Remember, we had to cut short our time in the Northwest in order to make the unexpected trip to El Paso the end of September and some family time was mandatory!
We left Chimacum/Port Townsend on Tuesday the 12th and took the Coast route 101 all the way. Though very scenic along the Oregon coast it was slow going mainly due to so much construction long overdue on this well-traveled mostly two lane road. We did no sightseeing and took no pictures. We stayed each of the three nights en route at Passport America parks which are half price: Netarts, OR. near Tillamook (sort of a fish camp), Port Orford, OR. (small but nice) and Willits, CA (noisy, hot & too many trees). That left a relatively short drive to Petaluma on Friday where, as you know, we stay at the Elk's Lodge.
First order of business of course was to see the family and spent our first evening over burritos with Wendy, Noelle and Christina. Norm returned that weekend from Vancouver/Whistler, BC and a 40th birthday trip with friend, Tony, where they did extreme "manly" things like mountain climbing, zip lining, fishing and a new sport I'd never heard of - "cougar hunting" (definition available on request)! Tony is a bachelor.
Noelle has spent quite a bit of her summer working at Christina's day school where she volunteers while Norm and Wendy are at work and they pay her $4 per hour. The teachers were so impressed with her and recommended she apply at one of their churches where, if accepted, she will make minimum wage. The prospect of shopping for clothes for the new school year prompted a savings plan that will be matched by her dad and promises a very "cool" wardrobe for this 7th grader!
Christina, a month shy of two years old, is funny, talks non-stop in her own language with hands flying for emphasis and is displaying a bit of the "two year syndrome". She absolutely loves Howard and calls him "Papa" though he pays her hardly any attention at all. I, on the other hand, get an occasional nod and am referred to as "Gwawha" (or some such). There was a major breakthrough the other night when Bina decided that she and I would take her "baby" for a walk around the neighborhood and over to the park to play on the jungle gyms. That was huge!
We have two major projects to accomplish here before leaving the area. First, we order and install a catalytic propane heater. These heaters are designed and built to provide comfortable, radiant heat and economical LP gas consumption using a flameless catalytic combustion process. Our mega-BTU diesel furnace not only consumes expensive fuel but takes a lot of power to fire and run, not convenient in some of our favorite non-electric locations. Having a son that has been in the plumbing and pipe fitting business for almost 20 years helped the process go very smoothly - He did all the work!
The second project is to sand and paint the fiberglass roof of the motorhome. This involved a drive down to Sausalito and the West Marine store for a quart of very durable polyurethane marine paint used on areas that are subjected to extreme sun and weather. They even had a color that perfectly matched the sample we brought with us. Howard has sanded but now needs to clean and then paint in early morning before it's too hot.
Sausalito is a lovely Bay-side town so we take advantage of a work related excuse to enjoy a walk along the water, check out the marinas, window gaze through town and partake of a great smoked salmon, capers and mascarpone panini on a warm, sunny day. We visit the “Bird” dock where vintage 1920s wooden sailboats designed exclusively for racing are moored. Howard has history with these sleek 30 footers as he owned and raced “Mavis” on the Bay during the 1960s. She was not in attendance today.
We enjoyed the Summer Olympics from Beijing, especially since we can watch both east and west coast satellite feeds for viewing events in “our time zone”! Loved the swimming, gymnastics and of course, beach volleyball. And now the conventions, somehow less than exciting after what now seems like "years" of political spin!
Got so enthused by all things “Chinese” that I decided to visit a local acupuncturist, Dr. Ho Lam Chang, to see if his magic needles could somehow reverse the deteriorating discs in my neck, or possibly supply an “attitude adjustment”! Tiny needles were placed in my forehead, temples, arms and hands while I lay peacefully for about 30 minutes. I only felt a pleasant tingling sensation. This was followed by a neck adjustment and massage which felt great until soreness set in a while later. This is supposed to allow me to relax and avoid the tension buildup when I’m unable to find a comfortable sleeping position at night. Hmmm, maybe I should just take the pills the doctor prescribed!
So, we’ll be around here for awhile, then Half Moon Bay and probably Sacramento.
Stay in touch…..!