Wednesday, December 7, through Tuesday, December 21, 2011: At Palm Springs:
We got up early in the hope that we could get to the Palm Springs Thousand Trails preserve in time to get a pull-through site. We left Soledad Canyon at 5:50 AM. It was the first time we had hooked up in the dark. It was eerie, but we did it without difficulty. The 130-mile trip was a piece of cake (Becky drove most of the way) and we did, indeed, arrive in time (8:20 AM) to get a perfect site.
By pre-arrangement, we had alerted Bill Wheeler that we were near the preserve so he could search out a site for us. When we called, he allowed that he was still in bed, but would get on it immediately. By the time he caught up with us, we were already in the site and completely set up. Late Wednesday morning, we arranged to have our carpets cleaned. It’s amazing how much dirt and dog hair can be stored in carpeting.
Wednesday afternoon, we bicycled to the RV dealer next door where we had bought the rig last March to see about buying a new 30-amp surge protector to replace the one I had just thrown away---because it had weird burn marks on it and I thought it might be unsafe. While we were there, Becky noticed that our old rig was in the dealer employee section. It turns out that the Service Manager purchased our old rig!
The dealer said that we didn’t need a 30-amp surge protector since we already had a 50-amp one that would do the job. Live and learn. I also talked to him about fixing a non-operating light in the front of the trailer. He said that he couldn’t get to our light problem until next week unless I was willing to take the light off the trailer and bring it in to see what was wrong. (I wasn’t going to bring in the whole trailer.) I agreed, and a half-hour later a faulty switch was replaced and the light was as good as new.
That night, we had just artichokes (Yum!) for dinner, since the salad Becky made for lunch was huge, and crashed early. After all, it was a travel day.
Thursday was a day devoted to errands and minor house projects, and Becky played pickleball for the first time in months.
On Wednesday, we had our teeth cleaned, and Becky got a filling to take care of a small chip in one of her teeth. The filling fell out the next day.
Becky made a trip to Pasadena on Sunday, the 18th, to visit her dad who is still battling the pneumonia that was discovered a couple of weeks ago.
Faye and Ken, guests at the park, threw a wine and cheese party on Monday, the 19th, at their site.
The invited Thousand Trail members had to bring their own wine and cheese, and their own chairs to sit on. It was a nice potluck event! And, it turned out to be a lot of fun.
The rest of the time in the desert was mostly spent running errands, playing pickleball (Becky), making numerous trips to the store to buy food and wine, shipping Christmas/Hanukkah presents to the kids, making a fruitless trip to the local GM dealer to fix a running light that didn't work even after replacing it (but working the next morning for no known reason), replacing our dead Christmas candy cane with colorful icicle lights, and walking the dogs endlessly.
Monday, November 28, through Tuesday, December 6, 2011: At Soledad Canyon:
The week we were to spend here was designed to decompress from the cruise. It didn’t entirely work out that way. Tuesday morning we picked up Daisy and Ramsey at the pet resort. We were pleasantly surprised to find that Jill had broken Ramsey of his annoying habit of using his mouth to get attention. Thank you, Jill. On Thursday, Becky went to Los Angeles to get her hair done and get a facial.
While in town, she visited her dad, Bill. He seemed to be fine, though a bit uncomfortable.
Friday was Becky‘s day to attend the Union Bank alumni Christmas party at the Pacific Dining Car Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles.
Sunday afternoon, we both went to Pasadena early in the afternoon to visit Bill again and to attend a Christmas party at the home of Joan Brannon, a former work associate and L.A Junior Chamber buddy of Becky’s.
On the way to see Bill, we learned that he had been taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital’s emergency room that morning for some tests. Frankly, he was a bit disoriented, but the doctors thought he would be fine once they got rid of a touch of pneumonia they discovered.
At Joan’s party, there was the expected array of her neighbors, and two surprises: 1) A fellow (Tom Downey) who had lived next to Becky’s family for many years while she was growing up in San Marino showed up,
and a couple (John and Pam Hilley) we happened to be chatting with turned out to be very good friends with Becky’s sister Wendy and her husband Kai and their two daughters. It was a lot of fun talking to all of them.
While Becky was doing her things during the week, I watched some football (on both Saturday and Sunday), caught up on my reading, and pursued a couple of projects relating to the trailer---making, of course, far too many trips to the local RV dealer’s parts department.
On Monday, two things happened at the same time: 1) Hellish winds peppered southern California, and 2) The power went out on our site and on the one next to us. On the recommendation of the ranger, we moved to another site nearby, rather than wait for the crack maintenance team to restore the power. We then decided to postpone our move to Palm Springs a day (to Wednesday) in light of the predicted continuation of the high winds. It turned out to be a good idea because on Tuesday the winds reached 60 MPH in nearby Palmdale, which we needed to go through to get to Palm Springs.