Newest posts are first. Scroll down on the right to see a list of Archive posts and also subject posts.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

back to a regular routine.

Good afternoon.
Back to a normal routine now, so here's a couple of puzzles I've done....

They had blueberries on sale last week, so I made a pie!
Craig sure does like my pies!!!
We finished off the pasta salad with grilled chicken thighs last night.
On Tuesday, we went to the Salted Lime inside our local Casino for Taco Tuesday with 4 other neighbors. I had 2 street tacos, and 3 taquitos. With a Margarita of course! Didn't do any gambling. Did enough on our trip to last a while.   :-)
Here's the puzzle I finished last evening....
And after my walk this morning, I went with a neighbor to Gilcrease Orchard.
It's only about 5 miles for our house, and they have a self pick garden open year round.
Picking Apricots...
My neighbor, Gloria.
I also got some taters, onions, and carrots. They of course have different things each time you go depending on the time of year and what's ready to harvest. When you pick/pull yourself, you know it's fresh! And even better, it's right here in our valley!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Death Valley Day

Good afternoon.
 Thursday took us up over the Sierra Mountains to the eastern side of the mountain range. Like i said in the last post, because of all the late season snow, several passes were still closed. So we had to go up to highway 88. That pass is around the same elevation, but they keep that road open all year.

 And it was a very pretty drive. Thankfully, we didn't have any snow while taking that route.
We landed in Mammoth lakes. A large ski resort on the eastern side of the Sierras. We wee just spending the night as it was already a 6 hour drive to get there, and it would be another 2 hrs to Death Valley. And we wanted to get to Death Valley in the morning.
So we checked into our Motel 6 and had dinner at a little sports bar across the street. This was our first, and probably last stay at a Motel 6. The room was clean, but very small. They don't give you shampoo, and you could hear every step above us. Thankfully, they got in late and went right to bed.
And it wasn't that cheap! But it was a resort area.
Anyway, we got up Friday morning and headed on to Death Valley.

This was the parking area for the lowest spot in the US. You could walk out to the salt flat which nearly everyone did.
And even with California's normally high gas prices of $4.35, this was not the place to gas up if you didn't have to! But to make sure we could make it to our next hotel, we did put in 5 gallons.
A very good view of the valley from this overlook!

All that white is salt deposits from a river that flows through the valley part of the year.
Click on the pic. The sign says I was 282 ft 'below' sea level. And did you know that Mt Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States is only 84 miles to the northwest. Crazy that the highest and lowest points are so close to each other!
And Craig is standing at a sign describing Badwater Basin. It's a year round spring but is undrinkable due to the very high salt content.
So, after spending the day in Death Valley, it was time to head home. We drove for 2 hours to a little Casino/hotel on the Nevada/California line. Had a decent room, a nice little fun casino, and even live music for a Friday night.
Saturday morning, we got back to Vegas, safe and sound. It was another good trip!   :-)

Monday, May 27, 2019

Yosemite National Park

Good afternoon.
The next day, Wednesday, took us over to Yosemite National Park. It was about a 2 hour drive.
We had to skip the Glacier Point drive due to the road still being closed because of heavy snow. Disappointed, but we came mainly to see waterfalls.
And, with all the snow they've had, the waterfalls were spectacular!

These were the biggest, but there were many more.
Yosemite Valley was surrounded by these massive gigantic vertical cliffs!
It was a sight! It was another cool day, but no snow in the valley as it was only around 1000 ft above sea level. Sequoia National Park was around 5000.
On the way out of the park, we saw a lot of the devastation that was caused by the terrible wild fire season last year....

There were miles and miles of burned areas. But they say, it's actually good for forest rejuvenation.
From here we drove an hour to the Black Oak Casino Resort.  The nicest hotel we stayed at on this trip. Really nice! Didn't do good at the casino, but very good food.
Tomorrow, we head north to get around the Sierra  mountains to get to Mammoth Lakes on our way to Death Valley.. We had to go up to 88 as highways 4, 120, and 108 were all still closed due to heavy snow. We had to go almost to Carson City before we could get across. That ended up being a 6 1/2 hour drive.
More tomorrow!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Road Trip!

Good morning.
We've just returned from a week long trip.
This one took us mainly to Sequoia, Yosemite, and Death Valley National Parks.
We were scheduled to leave on a Monday morning, but realized we would be leaving right around the time the 350,000 people were leaving the EDC. (Electric Daisy Carnival)
The EDC is a yearly event out at the Vegas Motor Speedway. It's a gigantic Electrical carnival. Runs for 3 days, or should I say nights. From 7pm to 5am. And Sunday night was the last 'day'. So we wanted to avoid the traffic heading out of town and back to LA. So, we left on Sunday, and to avoid the normal weekend traffic that heads back to LA on Sunday, we went to Laughlin NV, which was kinda on the way. and they have cheap rooms.   :-)
We sat on a patio with drinks overlooking the river. A very nice start to our trip.
Next day took us to Bakersfield CA. About a 5 hr drive. Stayed here so we wouldn't be at the first park too early the next morning. Had dinner at Hooters. The best wings!
So that takes us to Tuesday morning and a nearly 2 hr drive to Sequoia National Park. We had planned this trip near the end of May so school would still be in and the parks wouldn't be so busy. What we didn't bank on was how cold the spring has been and all the snow the parks were still getting.
This was suppose to be a really good view, except we had a ton of low clouds.....
But we did see the main reason for coming here.....
Giant Sequoias! Look close! I'm in front of the trunk on the right side of the tree. From what we read, the largest tree is 40 feet across! And 1700 years old!
These trees are enormous!
It was such an experience seeing these massive living things!
It was a mixture of rain/snow the entire day. Highs only in the low 40's. We left the park and headed to Fresno, where we ate at an Applebee's and spent the night.  We split a Riblit platter, Chicken tender platter And onion rings. And no, we're not eating anything very healthy on this trip.   :-)
The next morning, we see Yosemite.
I'll do that post tomorrow.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

time whizzes by!

Good morning.
I don't know what exactly I've been doing, but the time sure does fly by!
 I do walk every morning. Usually around 40 -50 minutes. Then on Saturdays, after my walk, I hit the gym.
I'm getting the mail for 3 neighbors right now, and 3 days last week, I was doggie watching also.
I made another apple/cranberry pie....
With a pecan crumb topping.
It was delicious! Finished it yesterday.
Of course, always another puzzle.....
And here's a few flower pics....
Red Lantana in my front yard..... And below, Purple trailing Lantana, and Bells of Fire bush in the back yard.
Wednesday, we had storms roll through the valley and drop nearly an inch of rain!
So far, we've had 4.5 inches of rain this year. Our yearly average is 4.19, so we've had quite a bit!
Pics on my walk.....
The cactus sure do get big pretty flowers!
A Yellow Lantana.....
Here's a list of our upcoming trips.....
1. Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, Yosemite National Park, and Death Valley National Park.
2. Flying back to Michigan.
3. Grand Canyon National Park,
4. Flying to New Orleans,
and 5. Moab, Utah seeing Monument Valley, Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park.
So a busy Summer and Fall.
And it does take a lot of time plotting out the trips, calculating driving times, researching sights and booking hotels.
As time marches on, trying to keep busy. Think I'm doing a pretty good job of that!   :-)

Saturday, May 04, 2019

week in review....

Good morning.Got a short walk in this morning with Dave and Gloria, then went to the fitness center and did the machines. After all that, came home and had a big bowl of cereal, Special K, Cinnamon and Pecan. Nice and crunchy!
Getting mail for 3 neighbors right now, and next week, I'll be dog watching again for a few days.
Here's a pic of the slow demolition going on at our community center.....
They have to take out the covered walkway between the two buildings, before they can rebuild and make the two buildings one. After they are done with the expansion, a covered walkway will extend toward me, the picture taker, and the driveway that goes in front.  I imagine they are taking their time at the demolition so as not to damage existing structures that will remain.
And on my walk yesterday, I saw this pair of ducks....
They were relaxing in the grass about six feet from the path. Could care less about us walkers, but did keep an eye on us.
Here's another Century plant sending up a flower stalk....
It's such a big impressive plant. A shame it'll die once it's done flowering.
Here's my latest puzzle....
This was a fun one. But it took up nearly the entire table. That's because this was a 'regular' 1000 piece puzzle. Not the cheap $1 ones I get at the Dollar Store. I found this one on clearance at another store.
And remember the house that was hit by a car? It's been rebuilt. Waiting for the stucco to dry so it can be painted.
But another problem......
I went out for my evening walk to see the workers van that was parked in front, completely burned up!
I can't imagine what caused the fire, but as you can see, it wasn't the engine. The inside is totally destroyed. Hope the guy had insurance!
Did some major cleaning and dusting this week. Got to do it when I get the bug.   :-)
Going out to lunch to one of our favorite places, the 3100 Grill at our golf course. They have a really good Avocado BLT and the best fries! Not to mention the view!  Maybe Cinco de Mayo tomorrow at the Salted Lime inside the Aliante Casino. Think I could use a Margarita!
That's all for now!