Monday, March 31, 2014

Day 2 on the road

Most of today's drive was in good weather and just normal traffic.  No tie ups even around Sacremento.  We were really looking forward to getting to Williams to have lunch at an old haunt of ours,  Granzella's Restaurant and Deli.  It started to rain cats and dogs just as we arrived so it was great to sit by the fire.  Wonderful lunch and picked up some wine and deli stuff to go along with the cheese we brought from PS to have for dinner tonight in our room.  We won't feel like dining out tonight.  Quite rainstorm from Williams to Redding.  They really need it in this area but a bit of a shock to the system.

We are actually in Red Bluff.  The Holiday Inn Express we have stayed in around Redding doesn't seem to around anymore.  This is a particularly nice one but we do hear the train….ah well,  we'll pretend we're in Europe.  Often hard to avoid the sound of trains on the road there.

A few scenes from Granzella's

Lots of goodies of all kinds.

 Our table was right by the fire.

 And we looked at this cool poster from Siena…one of our favourite places in the world.

  200 bottled beers from all over the world available.

 Now in Spain,  these hams would be hung from the rafters without any covering.

 These pickles looked great but I don't want to deal with glass and we're pretty packed full.

 One of the Fat Ladies loved capers….she would have bought this for sure!

Back to reality….sigh….

First day down….

We managed to get away by 11:15 yesterday.  Tough to get everything done with me pretty much incapacitated and Jim' s knee not great either.   We've arranged for Benjamin,  the fellow who looks after our place when we're away,  to do some things and Erna and Marvin will look after things until they leave.  We're really going to miss them!  The one problem with the two communities is that we miss the people we leave behind.

We left on the Sunday to get less traffic but it was a nightmare yesterday and we arrived about one and a half hours later than normal.    We had a wonderfully relaxing dinner….a bit of surf and turf.  Jim had the ribeye and I had the halibut which was the best halibut I've ever had!  And we shared a bit of each others.

Heading to Redding today.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Last night in Palm Springs!

Given our health issues we decided we might as well head home and we  did want to leave on a Sunday so we are leaving tomorrow,  a week early.  It's been pretty easy to pack up since we don't have to leave things for anybody else.   Quite a change from the work involved in leaving our place to renters or exchangers.

We have a short drive tomorrow….4 1/2 hours and then staying at The Harris Ranch…an old favourite of ours.  We have booked a suite overlooking the pool…viewing the pool will be the only thing I'll be doing!  And then reservations for dinner in their great steak house.

First,  "Marilyn" left Palm Springs,  now us….

And a 5.1 earthquake to end the day!

Just after 9pm last night we felt a small shaking…didn't affect us much but was felt quite a bit and there was damage and power outages in the area of the epicentre….La Habra.

Well,  part of living in our two paradises.

Jim took some photos of our new bikes.  I know we're really going to enjoy them next year.  You can go a lot of places around here without even getting off the bike paths and large sidewalks that people use for biking and walking.

Friday, March 28, 2014

A bit of bad luck…and good luck.

We had a wonderful time with Roger and Kerry and Katie and the kids yesterday but I unfortunately took a fall.  Well,  long story short,  I went to Emergency today and after an indeterminate x-ray they gave me a CAT scan that showed a hairline fracture.  So,  am in a knee immobilizer. It could have been much worse!

 Good thing Jim's knee is quite a bit better and we only plan to drive a maximum of 6 hours on the way home.  And everything is completely level both here and at home in Vancouver.

It's been a wonderful time down here in our desert home and we feel very blessed.  This too shall pass.

And now for the good luck.  Jim ran into a couple from North Vancouver a week or so ago buying bikes at Walmart.  They were down here for only two week and it was cheaper for them to buy bikes than rent them.  They sold them to us for less than half price!  So, now we have two cool bikes and we will enjoy them next year for sure.  They are also a really neat couple and they have already invited us to their place when we return.

And the other good news is Jim was successful in a contract application to B.C. Campus to create an "open textbook" i.e. an online textbook for a second year English course that will be free to all B.C. students.   He is very excited about the project!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bar-b-q at the Ocotillo Lodge….very cool!

"The Famous Ocotillo Lodge was designed by Palm Springs Architect William Krisel and was built in 1957. The resort was the premier destination and “hot spot” to many celebrities from Presidents to Hollywood Actors to musicians to sports legends."

We've always been very curious about the Ocotillo Lodge and you can't really visit it unless you know someone so it was great that Linda and Brian,  who live in the same apartment building as us in Vancouver,  invited us for a Bar-b-Q.  It has a very cool mid-century modern feel and lots of stories.

The villa that they rent was apparently the one Marilyn Monro used to frequent and there is a remains of a door frame in the closet (apparently no other unit has this) where there was a secret door that Jack Kennedy used to use to visit her.  Well,  a good story even if it isn't true!

Brian bar-b-wed beef, chicken, potatoes and Linda served her secret old family recipe for fudge.  Wow…fantastic fudge and we even got some to take home.  We are very spoiled these days.  A great view of the mountains from their patio where we dined.

 Thea famous doorframe in the closet.

 Marilyn photos and paintings everywhere.

 View from the living room…love these upper windows.

 Marilyn clock.

 Linda, Brian, and me.

 Living room art…a little bit of the south of France!

 This was a well known restaurant and bar overlooking the pool.  The piano played by the likes of Frank Sinatra,  Sammy Davies Jr.  Now a common room for the guests.

 The swimming pool is in the shape of a champagne cork.

 Gene Autry owned the place at one time and loved Dalmations so this was his.

 Lots of great cacti.

Pool looks great at night.

Monday, March 24, 2014

This is irony for you….

In Vancouver we walk or take transit almost everywhere and of course we do use our car as well and we drive our car to the Hyndai dealership in Vancouver.  Well,  of course….we can't take the car on transit!  In Palm Springs we drive pretty much everywhere…it's a car culture.  Except….the Hyndai dealership is almost across the street from our condo complex so we could walk home and walk back very easily.  Funny that our we can walk from the car dealership here…about the only place we can walk!

But,  there are also some cool consignment and art shops around the dealership so we browsed instead of walking home.

 Jim asked me why I didn't paint something like this…maybe I will.

 This is a "bar" in the shape of a globe…quite cool.

 Love the chandelier.

 It hurt me to give up having a piano in where we live so maybe I'll paint one!

 We don't have a place for this but loved the golfing pattern.

 I like my real shutters and painting but this is very cool.

 We do have room for this fellow on our patio….

 The painting gives me an idea for a point of view for a Lion's Gate bridge painting.  Loved the chairs but no room and the aqua doesn't fit my primary colour scheme.

 Celtic harp….I suggested to Jim he could busk at English Bay with this.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Bar-B-Q chez Roger and Kerry in the desert

We just loved the house they rented and it suits them all perfectly….quite cool mid-century modern.  We had a wonderful visit and swim in the pool then Roger bar-b-q'ed way too much food for us so we now have dinner for tomorrow!   We're so glad the weather has been great for them.

 Very spacious open kitchen.

 JIm and Zion at the fountain…Zion is fascinated by water.

 Front yard
 Katie and Harmony

 The pool
 The chef extraordinaire….