Category Archives: beach

Hawaii with Elane

IMG_3560RI just got home after two wonderful weeks in Hawaii.  Vince and I stayed the first week and listened to the timeshare “blah blah,” and took quite a few side trips with a friend of ours.

Driving south on Maui Highway 30.
Driving south on Maui Highway 30.

But Vince only likes to be away from home for a little bit, so the second week my friend Elane joined me.

I still really do have hair.  The pre-hurricane wind blew hard!
I still really do have hair. The pre-hurricane wind blew hard!

She is amazing at any age, but she nears 80 with grace and enthusiasm.

NY high school theatre-arts classes still in effect!  :)
NY high school theatre-arts classes still in effect! :)

Sadly, no theatre classes in my past.  I was way too shy!  :)

Everyone looks better at the beach!  :)
Everyone looks better at the beach! :)

Here is a link to the book I made her.

Click here to view.

I hope you enjoy it as well.

Weekly Travel Themes: Noise

Vince and I come to Avila Beach in Central California to escape the quiet tranquility of our country home in the hot Central Valley.

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At the Friday night street fair this band attracts a crowd.  Nobody could resist  “Sweet Home Alabama,” no matter what their age.

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People moved out of the way to let this couple dance.

Street fair6They didn’t inhibit others from doing something different.

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Vince noticed the mature gypsy queen.  I tried to get close to her, but people kept crowding in between us as they danced their way across the street.

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First one and then another, and my camera has a bit of a delay.  So I would get her all lined up , snap the picture, someone walked in front of me, and click, the shutter opened.   The results were interesting at times.

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Sometimes they were downright laughable, but it was so noisy that you couldn’t hear yourself laugh.

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I can’t hear her, can you?  I hope you enjoyed the music we heard at the Avila Street Fair last Friday night.  Tomorrow’s Friday.  Want to go?

To see more entries about noise or to see other themes visit Where’s my backpack?

No Girls Treehouse

WP Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture in Edna Valley

Vince and I discovered tons of textures in this gem of a “Farm Stay” called Old Edna, the location of an artistic townsite in beautiful Edna Valley, CA.  They offer their guests fresh ranch eggs compliments of “chicken liver coop.”  The cottage we saw has a beautiful, functional kitchen.

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The texture-laden tree house offered hospitality to some, but not to everyone.

No Girls Treehouse

I wonder if the sign applied to girl spiders.

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The Bluebelly Barn welcomed one and all.  In 1887 this was Tognazzini Dairy Barn.

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We arrived at closing time.   As we walked by this little building, out popped a flap.  The owner, Pattea Torrence, said, “I’m Old Edna.  Would you like a little tour of one of the houses?  I’m getting them ready for guests, but you look like you are having such fun taking pictures.  I hope you don’t mind that the bed isn’t made yet.”

We couldn’t resist such a friendly offer.

The texture of the gate highlights the romantic aura, but hides the textures of the house.
The texture of the gate highlights the romantic aura, but hides the textures of the house.

First, we visited the 1897 DeSolina House, the perfect bridal suite.  Here Pattea displayed amazing uses for garage sale finds.  My favorite was the copper table top headboard and overhead light.   She mixed textures in this display in ways I would never have dreamed if I’d had ten million years to think it over.

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My favorite little place was a Gypsy wagon her dad built for her mother, Pi Pi (pie pie).  Pattea’s father taught her that “the bond of romance can come in the form of structure.”  I fell in love with the structure and its story of the many textures of love which it bore.

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Waning sunlight adds a romantic texture to the cottage, but when Pattea opened the door, we stepped into another world of competing textures.

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See Kalev’s little tail in the bottom? She wanted to add her own texture to this post. :)

The auto-focus setting of my camera couldn’t bring all the varied textures into focus at the same time, but concentrated on the fabric lining the post. I don’t know that I could have chosen either.

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This was such wonderful experience, I know we will go back to Old Edna.

For more texture displays, go back to last week’s challenge.

 

WP Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

Some things never change.  MOST people love being near water in the summer.

As some of you know, it is because of this blog that I have a contract from Arcadia Publishing company to write a pictorial history of Woodlake.  These are some pictures taken around 1911 that Chris Crumly, one of the book’s contributors sent me.

Long Beach summer day

I’m thinking that maybe the little guy wasn’t as crazy about the ocean as his father expected him to be.  Maybe big brother could encourage him.

Long Beach 2

Can’t you just hear this conversation?  Is dad wheedling or demanding?  I think big brother echoes whatever Dad says, pleading in a higher, hopefully more convincing, voice.

Woodlake should be out in January.  I can’t thank the wonderful people who are helping me enough.

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Click logo for more Summer Lovin’ entries.

Black and White Sunday: The Friendly Beach

The friendly beach

My brother and I took a side trip to Michigan to see the Warren Dunes where we vacationed once as kids.  I wasn’t inspired to return.  I’m sure it must have better days.  This was a bad beach day.  Click on widget to participate in Paula’s challenge.

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Howdy Doody 2

For the Love of Valentine’s Day

Day 44 My Five Hundred Words Challenge.

Prompt:

It’s Valentine’s Day.
Maybe you think this is a manufactured Hallmark holiday, or you might really believe in the magic of love.
Romantic love is the big cliché for today. So let’s talk about a different kind of love, instead. A love that isn’t all Cupid and conversation hearts.
 Write about a time when love meant stepping out of your comfort zone, making a hard choice, or offering up a sacrifice.

As my blogging friends know, I’ve been writing my first romance/comedy novel since November.   Rewrite number five brings me to this episode that my friend Tonia Hurst suggested that I share with you today for Valentine’s Day.  Valentine’s Day knows no gender in love.  In kindergarten you learn that valentines are for everyone in the room.

Three friends, Trixie, Ann, and Sarah, went to Sarah’s condo for the weekend, where a series of misadventures struck. One disaster landed Sarah in the hospital, and brought Trixie’s new love, Nick, to visit from Southern California.   Today Trixie arises at 6:30 am, leaves the love of her life sleeping in HIS room, and drives 15 miles to the hospital to see her friend.

I don’t know that I would have picked this as a romantic moment, but you can decide for yourself.

Characters:

Trixie:  unmarried friend in love with Nick

Sarah:  widowed friend always on the go, collapsed and had to go to the emergency room

Howdy Doody:  The nickname given to the nephrologist (kidney doctor) called in by the emergency room physician to run tests on Sarah.

Howdy Doody 3
Dr. Howdy Doody

Chapter Thirty-four

After Howdy Doody left, Sarah leaned back in the bed and adjusted the pillows.  Trixie walked up to Sarah’s bed, and sat down.

“Can you believe Howdy Doody getting in my face like that?  I’m bushed after that encounter.   He sure thinks he can push his weight around.”

“You sure gave us a scare, Sarah.  No wonder you were tired!  Sounds as though he’s targeting the sodas.  What a cutie.  I wonder if he is married.”

Howdy Doody 2

“Trixie, you enjoy playing Cupid now that he’s shot you in the heart.  Yeah, Sandstrom’s definitely my type.  He’s at least six feet five inches tall, and I’m only five feet tall when I stand perfectly straight.”

Sun streamed in the hospital room window making patterns on the bed.  Sarah traced them unconsciously as she talked.

“I recognize sarcasm when I hear it.  I think he’s perfect.”

“I need to research.  Can you find me a computer to use?”

“Sure, I’ll send my computer with the twins if they stop by.  You can call me and let me know when they are coming, or better yet, I’ll just leave it on the table.  Where are they?  Did they go out for some breakfast?”

“No, they went back to the condo to sleep.   How was your night?  Did you and Ann have dinner after you left?”

Sarah didn’t know that Ann had left.  Sarah wanted to discuss many things with Trixie, but her breakfast arrived, and she hadn’t eaten since breakfast yesterday.

“It is Sunday, right?” Sarah asked.

“Yes, at least you don’t have Alzheimer’s.”

Trixie was glad she had made it to the room in time to talk to the nephrologist.  Now she wasn’t as concerned that Sarah was not going to make it.  Sarah controlled her life. If Trixie had to bet on any of them living forever, it would be Sarah.

“This breakfast is awful, Trix.  Buy me a cinnamon roll and a decent cup of coffee.”

Old West Cinnamon Rolls, Pismo Beach
Old West Cinnamon Rolls, Pismo Beach

“Is there a better way to say that?  Have you ever heard of the word please, or better yet, would you please?  But the long answer is no.  Don’t draw me into your schemes for bringing you contraband.  I need to shove off.  Remember Nick is at the condo.  He’s not expecting the girls.  No telling what’s happened there.”

“Good idea, Trixie.  Hurry back, though.  I understand now when I hear nursing home residents yelling to get out.  I can’t believe I have to be camped out here when it’s seventy-five degrees and sunny outside.”

“Ok, I’ll touch bases with you later today, Sarah.”  Trixie told her.

“You know, don’t come back today.  Enjoy your time with Nick.  I’ll be fine.  Send the girls back as soon as they wake up.”

Sarah waved to her friend then settled back against the pillows and closed her eyes.  She was still pretty tired, and right this minute rest seemed to be the perfect prescription.

Sarah 1

Girls on Fire visits the editor this weekend, and expects to come home with a few band aids, but hopes to avoid major surgery.  Depending on the damages I’ll need to rebuild, this romantic comedy should be ready soon.

So do you agree with Tonia, that this has some merit for Valentine’s Day to fit this prompt?

Travel Theme: Illuminated

Without illumination, there would be no photography.  Even the worst pictures illustrate illumination.  That being said, shooting into the sun illuminates.  When the sun is blocked, an interesting outline appears.  I scooted under a huge anchor to take this picture.

Luau Kalamaku in KauaiIf an object is translucent, it acts like a filter shadowing what is behind it.  To me this looks like a little alien carrying a pappoose pointing its finger at something.  We had gone to a Luau in Kauai.  The grounds attracted us back the next day for closer inspection.

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The night before at the luau, illumination came from man-made lights.  Since it required longer exposures, the photographer has to be careful not to move.  When a tripod isn’t available, that is difficult, but the results can still be interesting.

Luau Kalamaku in Kauai

Slow motion shows up when illuminated.

Luau Kalamaku in Kauai

Some surfaces reflect back the sun or lights when the photographer shoots toward them.  Nothing behind or underneath the reflective object is visible.

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I visited Santa Monica to get this sparkly picture.  My bird friend is well illuminated.

Clouds change colors when illuminated.  Cameras capture the sun as it truly is, a gaseous object.  People everywhere take sunset shots and it seems that we never tire of them.

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Santa Monica at sunset combined both artificial and fading natural light to illuminate the ferris wheel.

I hope you enjoyed my beachy tour of lights.  To be further illuminated, click here.

Travel Highlights of 2013

This was my first full year of retirement.  All my life I dreamed of traveling when I retired, and certainly God granted my every wish.   When I didn’t get travel, Manny did, so I have many wonderful pictures and memories for 2013.

Manny in Wuerzburg

On January 5th Manny and I headed south in my little green Prius that has 192,000 miles on it to San Diego where we met the History Girls.  We met Russel Ray, the San Salvador, and the bronze lady.  We faced peril in the Railroad Museum, and had to keep Manny under control in the Botanical Gardens.

Manny on San Salvador
Manny is climbing on the San Salvador as it is being built.

Later in January I attended a committee meeting in Berkeley and had time to walk around the neighborhood and take pictures.

Manny walking the streets of Berkeley

I went to Los Angeles to visit my friend Elane in February and so some shopping and serious eating.  I probably visited my dentist, Dr. Moy, as well.

Brian's classroom

In March California Council for the Social Studies (CCSS) held its annual conference, Social Studies on the March in Burlingame in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Marches in Birmingham.  SFW 2013 Folklorico Dancers 036

The next week the History Girls and I celebrated our friendship in Costa Mesa attending the play “Wicked,” which I had wanted to see forever.

getting made up
We all had to wear green make-up.

April is the month for the Executive Conference for CCSS.  As the President, I got to pick the place, and Vince prepared our house to host it here.  However, that didn’t work out for too many people, so we it moved to Los Angeles to the location where our conference will be held in 2014 at the Sheraton.

LA Sheraton

By May our neighbors wondered if I still lived here.  I visited my friend Elane again in Los Angeles.

Brian's classroom

My friend Jean and I went to San Francisco to celebrate her birthday for a couple of days and did walking tours.

Hotel Beresford

Towards the end of the month Vince and I took Cindy and Manny to Kauai, HI for her birthday.  The dogs watched our homes, and Kay and Mike East watched them.

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We arrive home from Hawaii on June 3, and believe it or not, we stayed home until September 11, and rested up for the remainder of the year which made us dizzy.

Manny and Danny 3

Since we stayed home, we sent Manny to visit Ralph in July.

Manny going to airport

In August he left Ralph’s home in Spain, and traveled to London with Ute.

Manny at Buck palace

From September through November he went with Carol and Glenn to Cologne, Bruges, Brussels, Frankfurt, Tasmania, Toowoomba, Waterloo, and Wuerzburg.  I’ll be doing lots of posts about these trips during the year.  I just need to learn a little bit more about them, and Manny is being rather tight-lipped about the events of the trip!  Carol tells me they have some secrets they’re not telling me.  :)

Manny in Toowoomba

Then he flew home with their daughter Melissa, who was going to Florida.  She sent him home from there.  His bags arrived in December from Australia.  He had fun showing us all his stuff.

Manny and stuff
Kalev thought Roo was for her. We caught her playing with him when we weren’t looking. She never plays with stuffed animals, but she loves Roo. We had to move him. :)

By September Vince and I contracted the travel bug, and went to Oregon to pick up the best Ebay bargain trailer on the market in Southern Oregon.  We turned it into our accidental vacation when our truck broke down in Klamath, CA.

Klamath Canon288

Manny was still on the road, so he missed my next trip.  A week after Vince and I got back from our first trailer trip, I took a train from Sacramento to Portland, Oregon to attend the Oregon Council for the Social Studies annual conference, and to meet my brother.

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After the conference my brother took the train ride of our lives going first to Chicago, then to South Bend and Indianapolis, IN for a week.

Randy and Marsha's elementary school.
Randy and Marsha’s elementary school.

After a short jaunt to Louisville, KY, I headed home on a plane to CA, and my brother took the long way home by train back to Portland.

Louisville Sluggers

Almost immediately I had to go to a dental appointment, and stayed in Santa Monica, an took the opportunity to visit our President-Elect, Amanda.

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No sooner than I got home than my house-bound husband wanted to take a trailer trip to the coast for two weeks.  We stayed a week, then he went home for some appointments. I stayed in Avila by myself to write my contribution to 2013 NaNoWriMo, Girls on Fire.  A few days later he drove back and picked the trailer and me up and carried us back home.

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Less than two weeks after that, I flew St. Louis, MO to the 2013 National Council for the Social Studies Conference.

The Mississippi in Missouri
The Mississippi in Missouri

Manny and I arrived home about the same day, him from Australia via Florida and me from MO.  It was my husband’s birthday, and one week later the three of us got back on a plane heading for Honolulu, HI, where we spent a week in Waikiki.

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We have been home eighteen days, and today we took a day trip to the coast to celebrate our friend, Margaret’s birthday, but I think we are going to stay home for a while now.

birthday cake with S & M

At least until morning.  :)

I’d love to hear about your highlights from the year?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manny’s a Whale Watcher

Here comes one now.

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“They’re right here, Mom.  See them swimming.  And here we are.”

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“Unfortunately, Manny you’re just looking at the sign.  You have to look at the ocean to see them.”

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“Mom, do you think I need glasses?  I can’t see the ocean.”

Do you ever feel like Manny feels.  The answer must be somewhere nearby, but you just can’t see it?  Tell him about it.  It will make him feel better.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Layers

Layers conjures all kinds of images for me.  As a gal from the Midwest, I learned to dress in layers, but layers envelops us at even more basic levels than that.  These pictures all came from our Accidental Vacation to the Oregon Coast then down the northern California Coast.

For example, here is an example of the air we breathe.  When we can see it, we can tell it comes in layers.  The more layers you see, the less you see what’s behind the layers. In this case, a hillside obscured by layers.

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Klamath River in Klamath, California

Trees grow layer after layer, year after year.  When we harvest the tree, we shave layers off it to shape it into a form that pleases us.  Then we add layers of protective coating to it so that it stays beautiful forever.  If we add too many layers of even clear varnish, we lose the beauty, and it can chip as it becomes brittle.

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Myrtle Wood Factory next to the Oregon Dunes KOA north of Coos Bay, OR.

This next picture has so many layers that it distorts the picture.  Layers do distort.  This next picture has so many layers that I can’t even count them all.  Maybe you can.

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A window display in Florence, Oregon

How many layers did you count, and what were they?

To see more wonderful layers, click here.

 

Avia Beach, The Perfect Place to Write a Novel

Notice I didn’t say set a novel. I set the novel partly in Pismo Beach, mostly in Visalia.  Why, because it just seems to be working its way out there.

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This is the fork of San Luis Creek that didn’t make it to the ocean.

I was so fortunate to have beautiful weather while I was in Avila.  My writing schedule was fantastic.  I crawled out of bed around 7:00 a.m. and made coffee, checked emails, and my blog.  By 9:30 I finished housekeeping chores, and walked 3 miles to Avila Beach.  I was stranded there without a vehicle because Vince came home to be with his son, but I was close to everything I needed.

Taken with my iPhone, this coyote looked hungry.  Maybe I was just imagining it because I was hungry.  He left the water without grabbing a duck-to-go.
Taken with my iPhone, this coyote looked hungry. Maybe I was just imagining it because I was hungry. He left the water without grabbing a duck-to-go.

To get to Avila by foot there is a three-mile long bike path called Bob Jones Trail.  I have written about that before, so I won’t bore you with details.  I did see three coyotes on my walks this time.  This was a holiday weekend, so the path was crowded over the weekend, but that made it all the more interesting.  By this time I had run out of clothes, so I had to start wearing Vince’s shirts.  One day I wore his Shelby t-shirt and two men stopped walking and looked at me.  “I love your shirt,” One of them said.  Getting a t-shirt compliment is really rare for me, so I was pleased.  He continued, “My name’s Shelby.”  That explained the compliment, and we went on our separate and opposite ways.

Farther upstream on San Luis Creek
Farther upstream on San Luis Creek

The Bob Jones Trail winds around the San Luis Creek, which empties into the San Luis Bay at Avila Beach.  The trail also borders the Avila Bay Golf Course.  It crosses the creek at the west end of the golf course where men have a 130 yard span to hit their golf ball across the creek, and we can watch it all from the bridge.  Birds watch them every day from their stadium seats.

I wonder if they were placing bets.  :)
I wonder if they were placing bets. :)

Once you get into the town, you only have one block to get to the beach.  When I taught 4th grad we brought our students to this beach after we took them to the San Luis Obispo Mission.  Many of our Woodlake students had never been to the beach before that time.  There is an adorable park, and an aquarium on the right as you walk up a steep block to the beach.

Want to be a pirate?  Catch a dolphin?
Want to be a pirate? Catch a dolphin?

I would estimate that I walked about a mile on the beach, maybe more.  Dogs can be on the beach until 10:00, then it is for human consumption only.  Humans have a great time.  Little ones experience the water for the first time.  One mother looked like she was using the beach for her tiny tot’s modeling debut.  Birds put on their own show.  They found some raw bird meat, and one bird carried around some tail feathers in his mouth.  Most of the time I walked and got my feet wet, I was dreaming up scenes for my characters.

I got a kick out of this photo shoot.  The little girl was obviously enjoying her poses.  Her dress was totally inappropriate beach attire, but she was modeling.
I got a kick out of this photo shoot. The little girl was obviously enjoying her poses. Her dress was totally inappropriate beach attire, but she was modeling.

By 12:30 to 1:30 I returned to our trailer, and began writing.  It took about 2 to three hours to write a chapter.  I would break, after completing the chapter, and walk around the park for a few minutes.  I rarely ate too much dinner except maybe a bag of potato chips – yum!  Then I would write the second chapter.

The end of my interesting day came usually around 9:30 or 10:30.  There is a wonderful spa in the park that no one but me used.  It’s big enough to swim in and do exercises if you are ambitious and have no one to talk to.  I did less talking on this trip that I have probably ever done in my life.  Vince asked me if I was lonely, and surprisingly, I wasn’t.  I guess my characters kept me company.  Two of the three women are very much in love, but they are having problems, some of them pretty serious ones.  The other woman is taking stock of her life, and facing some very difficult decisions and life changes.

So that was my experience as a full-time writer.  Doesn’t it sound like fun?  It was!

Here are some more pictures of Avila Beach.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Infinite

Today Randy and I made our way north to Michigan to the Warren Dunes State Park.  I would describe it as infinitely blustery!  It was infinitely uninhabited.

The pier acts as a windbreak.
The pier acts as a wind break.

The water stretched infinitely far, but I didn’t venture close enough to get a good picture of how unending Lake Michigan appeared because the wind blew so hard that it seemed like it was sprinkling even as far away as I stood.

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I got a kick out of the red flag.  No swimming today.  DUH!  Infinitely stupid!

This poor bird didn’t budge when I crouched to take its picture.  In fact after standing with the wind ruffling its feathers, it hobbled over to me.  I think it wanted to cuddle.  I wanted to take it home.  It was warm just two days ago, so I imagine he didn’t listen to the weather report and was taken by surprise at the sudden change of temperatures.

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He looks like he is surrounded by an infinite amount of sand.  In reality he hovers with me under the cover of the abandoned restroom building.

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There was an infinite stretch of sand.  You can see the barriers stretching along the coastline, but they didn’t stop the buildup of mounds of sand across from the parking lot.  Wind blew streams of sand across the parking lot where they sometimes got stuck into little drifts.

The dunes are in back of the parking lot, but I think one was beginning to form around our car.
The dunes are in back of the parking lot, but I think one was beginning to form around our car.

The road in and out of the park looked infinite, and the colors were infinitely beautiful.

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Randy and I had visited the Lake Michigan coast infinitely long ago – about 50 years or so, and we both wondered if this was the place.  The season was July (I don’t say that entirely in jest), and we swam in the lake, but I remember everything was cold where we were in Michigan – even in July.

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I’ll leave you with one infinitely funny sign.  No glass containers OR animals?  What’s the connection?  Is it an either or choice?

For infinitely more ideas, click here.

Accidental Vacation: Chapter Five

Chapter Five Has The Transmission Come Yet?

unretouched sky, bright blue
bright blue sky not retouched by Photoshop,  new red rental car

Vince remained in his Twilight Zone of Optimism for several more days after the truck’s transmission lost everything but first gear and reverse.  The sun shone into their little palace on wheels early on Sunday morning.  Vince was ready with activities before Marsha awoke.  He scoped out Crescent City the night before when he went there to get the rental car.  Only sixteen miles north of Klamath, it bustled with history, restaurants, and best of all, internet and cellular service.  He knew Marsha would appreciate that.

The smell of fresh coffee and rays of sunlight drove Marsha from her warm bed.  “Let’s go to Crescent City today,” Vince announced still in his cheery mode.  There are lots of things to do, and I want to take you to breakfast.”

“That sounds good.  Do you want to go check on your truck?”

Vince was the kind of guy that checked and double-checked everything.  He checked the bank account balance several times a day to make sure it hadn’t been hacked.  He asked Marsha about every check.  Then he checked the credit card account, and asked Marsha about each charge.  Every day he checked the pool, swept it, skimmed it, put chemicals in it.  Before every swim, or just when he happened to go out and see a flower bud floating across the surface, he cleaned it again.  Marsha knew he would want to go up to Crescent City to see if his truck was still sitting safely in the lot at the GMC dealer.  He did.

20130915_0613166R “There’s a famous lighthouse here,” he told her after they finished a delicious breakfast.  “How is it that she doesn’t weigh 600 pounds?” Vince thought to himself as he watched her clean her plate making sure to wipe away every trace of cream cheese frosting drizzled on the blueberry pancakes.  “Good thing.  A woman can never be too skinny or too rich.  She’s pretty well maintained for 61,” he continued musing.

“You look so pretty,” he voiced his thoughts a little more flatteringly.  “My beautiful wife.  I love you sweetie.”

“I love you too,” she answered as she always did.  They had their rituals.  Just like when Vince’s son called and they were ready to hang up, Vince never hung up without saying, “Here’s a hug,” and making a little hug sound over the phone.

"That dog looks like PG."
“That dog looks like PG.”

Battery Park was huge, but not nearly as interesting as the jetty, pier and the lighthouse.  Both camera bugs took pictures of the lighthouse on top of the hill.  To reach it people crossed over the rocks, a stepping bridge across the mouth of a stream flowing into the ocean.

I won't let you fall, Puppy.  Hold on tight to my arm.
“I won’t let you fall, Puppy. Hold on tight to my arm,”  the wind blew her words out to sea past PG’s outstretched, listening ear.

“Do you want to go across?”  she asked, not feeling overly adventurous.

“No, you need high boots unless you are prepared to get wet.  Do you want to get wet?”

"Looks like high tide," Marsha thought to herself.
“Looks like high tide,” Marsha thought to herself.

Marsha knew he had her there.  It wasn’t that she minded getting wet.  In fact, she loved it.  But what other activities did Vince have planned? This was a rare occasion, and she didn’t want to ruin it by getting wet and wanting to go change.

Remembering one time she had gone kayaking in Monterey Bay with friends from work, Marsha hesitated.  Even though they wore wetsuits, she experienced soaking wet shoes.  Not realizing that the boat would let in water, she wore her only pair of shoes into the boat.  Bare feet, being more comfortable than sloshy shoes, Marsha removed her shoes after she gracefully landed the boat and literally rolled over in the surf a few times getting out of it.  The group wanted to go eat after their strenuous excursion.  She had put her wet shoes in the car, but the eatery clearly stated, “No shoes, no shirt, no service.”  Her boss shielded her as she scooted through the door shoeless.  That memory cautioned her.

“No, thanks,” she answered after giving the idea some thought.  Although the hill and house called her, she resisted.  Let’s walk out on the jetty.”

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“DANGER: Deadly waves at any time. Jetty unsafe for walking.”

“It says it’s dangerous at all times.  Do you want PG to be swept away by an ocean wave?”

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“Don’t let go, Mom. That looks like water down there.” PG’s thoughts were a clear as if she actually uttered them.

Visions of whether she would let go of the leash and lose PG or be swept out to sea with her aquaphobic doggie kept her moving away from the jetty towards the safer boardwalk.  A young couple with their two dogs joined them on the boardwalk.  One dog was a huge pit bull, the other a terrier, smaller than PG’s slight 9 pounds, pranced side-by-side looking like Mutt and Jeff.

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Fisher people with their empty poles dotted the boardwalk.  A couple from Medford, Oregon escaped the 100 degree heat to catch crabs in the bay.  Several huge crustaceans lounged unsuspectingly in their blue plastic bucket.

20130915_0620173R Soon it was time to leave.  There was lots to do, and they still wanted to see the Trees of Mystery.  They wound their way through the Redwood Highway back towards Klamath towards the mysterious trees where yet another adventure awaited them.

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Work would start on the truck tomorrow.  Or would it?  Stay tuned.

Does your dog or pet have any phobias?  How about you?

Accidental Vacation Chapter Three

Chapter Three Finally Camping

oregon trip 201320130912_0109105The next morning Marsha and Puppy Girl checked out ATV prices at the log cabin store next to the campground.  For only $45 an hour she and Vince could chase each other around in dune buggies.

She also figured out that if she flushed the toilet to add the sewer sweetener, the smell hissed out, and the flap didn’t close properly.  If she pressed the foot pedal up after emptying the tank the little lid closed tighter.  However, the toilet emitted an enduring, foul-smelling burp as though it didn’t know what large quantities of breath freshener had just been poured down its gullet.

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“I rented ATVs with Jason once,” Vince called out to her as she emerged from the back.  Mine broke down.  It seems like I had to do a lot of walking.  We ended up with dust everywhere.  It’s really fun, though.  Jason wanted to go every weekend.   ATVs can be dangerous, though.  You have to be really careful where you go.”

oregon trip 201320130912_1219184Marsha knew they were not going to rent ATVs and chase each other around the dunes.

While they parked at The Dunes KOA, it was an easy drive to go north 30 miles to sight see in Florence, or 20 miles south to Coos Bay.  The decided that their favorite was Florence.

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The two days in Reedsport flew by just taking care of business.  Of course, to be legal and safe in Oregon, the truck needed a new hitch and mirrors.  Vince had already spent about $3,000 on the truck before he left home making sure that belts and hoses were current, and the brakes were in good repair.  “Even if we have to buy a new motor, it’s only about $5,000,” he assured her.  Vince arrived at Porter’s in Coos Bay, Oregon before 8:00 a.m. and they fixed the truck right up.  It only cost another $500, he told her two days later.

They even had some time to check out the Myrtlewood Factory next door to the Oregon Dunes KOA.

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Yep, Marsha in the truck – check. PG – check. Vince – oh yeah, he drove.

Outfitted properly Vince roared away from their first campground in the ATV country of the Oregon Dunes, hauling his new trailer confidently through the twisty turns of the California Redwood Highway 101.

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The odometer turned 155,555 miles on their navy blue GMC ½ ton Sierra as Vince snapped a picture on his iPhone. Marsha immediately texted the picture to their friends, with the caption, “and still going strong.”

oregon trip 201320130914_1116241That should have foreshadowed interesting things to come.

Have you ever bragged when you shouldn’t have?  Ooops….  What did you say?

The Accidental Vacation Chapter Two

Chapter Two Settling into New Digs

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It was just a short drive the next morning from picking up the trailer to the Oregon Dunes KOA where they were scheduled to spend two days.  There were more dune buggies in the campground than trailers.  Every trailer had at least three or four buggies.  Itty bitty kids had tiny green buggies with large red flags attached to a stick behind the seats, waving 6 feet in the air.  Marsha counted 6 adults as they piled off another fun buggy.

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Vince energetically hooked up his new toy, and came inside. “This is not the same mattress as the picture showed on Ebay is it?”  Marsha asked Vince as he helped her unpack and put all the stuff stored in boxes into their new places in the trailer.

“No, but we can stand it for a few days.  I didn’t bring the other mattress topper,” Vince answered cheerfully.  He walked into the bedroom, and patted the bed with his hand.  “Did you try it out?”

“No, did you?”

“Feel this.  It’s pretty firm.”

“Muh huh,” she muttered.

They had figured out that the faint smell was coming from the sewer line.

“We need to go to the store.  We need some stuff for the sewer, and I’d like to get a TV.”

“Muh huh,” she muttered.

The mattress topper that Marsha found was only for a double bed.  K-Mart was going out of business.  “Go ahead and get it,” Vince told her.  “I think that is just a double mattress anyway.”  Vince met back up with Marsha after checking out the TVs.  He was ecstatic.  The dying Super K-Mart had all their flat screens on sale, and there was a choice between LCD and LED.   The salesman told him that the LED was the newer and better model.  “Which do you think is the better picture, Marsha?” Vince asked hopefully.

“They look the same to me.”

“Look here from the side.  Ok, now come over here, and look at this one.  Doesn’t it look better?”

“Muh huh.  Which one is which?”

“This one, the LED.”

When they got back to the ATV infested KOA trailer park, the stiff mattress on the bed turned out to be a queen.  “I don’t mind,” Vince insisted.  “Put it even on your side.  I don’t mind the bump.  Here look at this new TV.”

Almost as soon as the bed was made, Marsha lay down and slept for two hours, and still felt like an elephant had sat on her rib cage when she woke up at 6:00 p.m.  She found Vince passed out on the couch with the new LED TV as a soft night light and background noise soothing him as effectively as any blankie could quiet a toddler or rocking chair and mother’s milk could lull a baby to sleep.

“Isn’t this fun?” he announced when he woke up.

oregon trip 201320130912Pancake Mill

“Muh huh,” she muttered, looking up from her computer screen.   “Are you hungry?”  They had a big lunch at the Pancake Mill, and so eating was not a priority to her.

oregon trip 201320130912 Planing Mill Muffins

“No, are you?”

“No.”  She kept pecking away at her computer to finish her blog.  He watched reruns of Big Bang Theory and the Shark Tank Show in which millionaires give money to struggling inventors and entrepreneurs. They would explore…

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…tomorrow.

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Puppy Girl decided that, for now, this was home.

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Is anyone in your family a home body like Kalev?  Or is there someone in your family who loves to explore?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting

SC got me started on this quest in a fleeting moment when I was thinking of writing something else entirely, but I do love WP Challenges.

Some ideas to get you started:

  • Observing nature and capturing a quiet, special moment.
  • Experimenting with shots of movement.
  • Taking a snapshot of someone deep in thought (or alternatively, in mid-action).
  • Exploring a place that’s transient in nature (airports, stations, streets, etc.).

We think this theme is open to many interpretations and look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Here are some more photos of the Thai dancers that we came upon in a fleeting moment in San Francisco as we just happened on them.  The problem with fleeting is that you don’t really know what is going on, and you don’t stick around long enough to find out.  Even though we were just passing through I decided to move closer to get some better pictures than I can take with my lens extended all the way out to 270 mm.

Click on the pictures below for a larger view slide show and camera information.

If you want to share your story and photos of fleeting, click here.

Monk Seal at Poipu Beach

We spent only a week in Kauai, HI, but I have way more than a week’s worth of posts – even though they are not written yet.  I’ll post this one, the I’ll take a break from HI so I don’t bore you too much.  This was our first visit to the local beach.  We didn’t have a sandy beach outside our resort, and the one within walking distance wasn’t guarded.  So each day we drove five minutes to Poipu Beach where there was a life guard, picnic tables, and a guarded section of the beach that was like a wading pool.  This was Day #1  Before we could even hop in the ocean, the lifeguard tower blasted out a warning.  “Get out of the water.  A monk seal is approaching.  Get out of the water!”

Rumor is that she’s dangerous.  I think she’s just hormonal.  Anyway she cleared the protected beach at Poipu, Kauai, HI.  She approached lazily, and no one moved very quickly to get out of the water in response to the lifeguard’s microphone’s voice warning swimmers of her approach.  There are only 1,500 left and they live here in Kauai, so they get their way.

Everyone out of the water!  Give her room!  She is dangerous.
Everyone out of the water! Give her room! She is dangerous.

My pictures of her turned out blurry.  Soon she sped up and swam to the protected shallow waters where kids played protected from the surf by a ledge of unapproachable lava rocks.  She lounged on her back soaking up some rays, then dipped under to get cool while the multitudes warmed their heels in the sand.

Nobody minded getting out of the water, and everyone ran to grab their cameras.
Nobody minded getting out of the water, and everyone ran to grab their cameras.

Day #2  I should have known to take my camera today when we went out for a cup of coffee.  I mean we were only going to grab a cup and bring it back to our Diamond Resort home away from home.  Right?  Of course, WRONG!

After we grabbed our coffee, the car turned towards the beach at Poipu Point again, and there she was.  Charming the tourists she flapped her way over to give them a little kiss and a playful tap with her flippers.  The life guards ran frantically out of their tower like ants swarming a piece of peanut brittle on the cement.  They shooed back the squatting onlookers trying to get a good picture and a chance to rub her tummy.  They spent a bit of time penning her in because she moved, then flopped, moved, flopped.  They gave her a large playpen with multiple warning stakes with “keep out” ropes marking a perimeter all around her.

Day #3 The next day she was sunning herself when we got to the beach.  After enjoying a brief float, I joined the large group of onlookers, and clicked pictures at every angle.

Our Monk Sea Lion is pregnant.

Day #4  By our last visit to Poipu Beach Monk Seals were old news, so I didn’t take any more pictures.  She was just sleeping.  She did move her flippers much like fingers, and sort of scratch herself.  She was laying on her back this time, so I don’t thing that her tracking device bothered her too much.

If you can read and remember all this, you get a gold star!  :)
If you can read and remember all this, you get a gold star! :)

I hope you enjoyed this brief vacation to Hawaii.  I know we did.  But it is good to be home, too.  Our puppy girl, Kalev, was very glad that finally got back.  She was jealous that Manny got to go and she didn’t.  I hope you are enjoying a wonderful weekend.  :)

Manny the Sailor

In January Manny went to San Diego with the History Girls from all over California.  Rumor has it that he got himself into some kind of trouble at the San Salvador.  There were all kinds of displays there and the History Girls had a great time trying them out.  But something happened, and Manny found himself ar the end of his rope.

Manny the Sailor BearJust to prove it really happened, here’s the photo – unaltered by human Photoshop.

Manny's in trouble1Oh no!!!

What did I do wrongWhat do you think Manny could have done to deserve THIS???

You haven’t EVER wanted to do that to your little sailor have you?  Even if they asked for it??  What did your sailor do to almost get this same fate???

BTW Manny survived. ( I don’t want Bear Protective Services coming after me!)