Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Fly Away Home...

We've been gone since October 1st and, much as I love and enjoy our California grandchildren, I had a severe case of missing my grandchildren back home in North Carolina. My solution - I shopped around and found a round trip San Francisco to Wilmington fare for less than $350...can't beat that!

I took a red-eye back to Wilmington and Becca and Jackson picked me up at the airport (Katie was in school) I can't describe how good it felt to hug them!  Katie kindly gave up her bed for me for the week but I shared the room with Spike the Bearded Dragon...who sleeps with a blanket ad pillow when it's cold!   ------>

Becca had to work some days and Jackson was still on Spring Break so he and I got in lots of time...coloring and playing the Toss Em game I brought them. He kicked my butt more than once! Most of our days were routine, soccer practice, gymnastics practice, pepperoni rolls for J's lunch, homework for Katie and coloring in her Dia de los Muertes coloring book. I didn't get to spend as much time with her since she was in school but I treasured every minute I spent with both of them. Besides spending as much time as I could with Becca and the kids, there were a few other things I wanted to do while in Wilmington.

One was to see Angela and get my hair cut, which I did the first day. I got it cut a bit shorter than normal but so much more of my hair is natural now.

Waiting for our table at Causeway
The Jiggling Board at Causeway
Breakfast at the Causeway Cafe was on my list. We did that with Davis on Saturday morning. On the way we noticed an RV show at Mayfair, so we stopped there on our way back and spent a couple of hours wandering through new RVs. Then the kids lobbied for a visit to Barnes & Noble. I exercised great restraint and didn't even buy one book! By the time we got home from breakfast it was four o'clock! It was a good day.

Another thing on my list was take-out from Brooklyn Pizza. We did that twice. Pizza and Chicken Parmigiana sub. Jack was jealous!

At Elijah's
I really wanted some Crab Dip on the deck at Elijah's. My birthday fell during this visit and where better to go than Elijah's, so Becca finished work early, Katie left school a bit early (shhh) and we went to Elijah's for a late lunch. Becca and I shared Crab Dip, Calmari and Grilled Tuna. Katie had Fish and Chips and helped us with the Crab Dip and Calmari. Jackson enjoyed his burger and fries. We finished with a walk along the riverfront. It was a beautiful day...and there was birthday cake that evening!

On my last day, while picking Katie up from school, we realized I hadn't been to the beach so we picked Katie up and went over to the beach. Jackson helped me collect shells for Chanoa...she'd asked me to bring her shells from the beach before I left California. The day was sunny and a little cool but that didn't stop Katie and Jackson from getting their feet wet!

Wrightsville Beach
Click pictures to enlarge...

Katie's back flip...

The only downside of the trip was saying good bye before heading back to California and Jack. Can't wait to see them again!

P.S. I haven't mentioned our day trip to Raleigh to see the Brick Universe...that requires a post all it's own.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Back to Vacaville...

We enjoyed some beautiful scenery as we traveled back to Morro Bay from Hearst Castle and Jack stopped so I could get a few more ocean photos! Our last day in Morro Bay we enjoyed one more breakfast at Frankie and Lola's and I scored some delicious Salt Water Taffy in town...then it was time to leave.

On our way back north from Morro Bay we stopped in Fresno for a week to visit Jack's sister Mardell, brother-in-law Bart and brother Terry. We stayed at Blackstone North RV Park, the same place we stayed in 2014, only this time we reserved in advance and had a spacious pull thru site with a nice grassy area between campsites, It's a great urban RV Park and right across the street is Chubby's....good breakfasts, though not quite as good as Frankie and Lola's!! We had a great visit with Mardell, Bart and Terry and hated to say good bye, but they will come up to Vacaville to visit once more before we hit the road.

We returned to Vineyard RV Park for one last month. We were given a different site that was a lot tighter to back into than the first. Jack got too close to the tree at the edge and scraped up the roof. Thank goodness for Eternabond! Once we were settled in we realized the site had a better view and some nice shade. The weather was great most of the month and we were able to have the windows open a lot. So...a pretty good final month.

Kayla with Blue Bear and Red Bird
We were happy to see the rest of the family again. Dinner in Benicia with Robyn and Mel, dinner at BJ's with Stacey, Brian and Kayla and dinner at Stacey's with Jack, Candice and the girls. Stacey and I enjoyed another pedicure and Jack and son Jack went to the races! There was a World of Outlaws Sprint car race in nearby Stockton the weekend we returned and Jack was able to get tickets and enjoy the race with Jack! I'm glad they were able to grab some time together.

Then it was time for my getaway home...

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Hearst Castle, Flush Toilets and Pie...Oh My

The Castle as seen on the drive to the top
About 30 miles north of Morro Bay sits Hearst Castle. We took a day to drive up and visit. It's an amazing place with 115 rooms, 38 bedrooms, 42 bathrooms, 3 guest houses that house 46 rooms, 2 pools and a wine cellar sitting high on a cliff with breathtaking views of the coast. We took two tours, the Grand Rooms Tour and the Upstairs Suites Tour.

In an effort to conserve water Hearst Castle has closed all the public restrooms and installed Porta Potties (ugh). I understand the terrible drought in California and applaud efforts to conserve water but I can't stand porta potties so when our tours were over my priority was finding a bathroom. My brother-in-law Bart had suggested we try the Easy As Pie Cafe in nearby Cambria so off we went in search of flush toilets and pie! Their rest rooms are adequate and I can highly recommend the Raspberry-Rhubarb Pie!

Hearst Castle allows picture taking everywhere so I'll let my many photos speak for themselves.

Exterior Castle and Grounds...
(Click photo to enlarge)

The view from the castle is breathtaking

Castle Interior...