Saturday November 10
Life Is A Carnival ( For those Who Remember 3 Dog Night)
We left the campsite late this morning and had a quick drive to the Holiday Inn in Long Beach, where we will be spending the night, prior to catching the 1:00 shuttle to the Long Beach Terminal to check in at 1:30 for our cruise on the Carnival Splendor. While we are bringing the computer and Ipad with us, it is unlikely that we will be updating again until after we return on the 18th. The weather is supposed to be improving over the next few days, so we are looking forward to that. See you all when we get back!
Friday November 9
Who Turned the Lights Out?
Due to cool cloudy weather,we spent a fairly quiet day in the Adult Centre, reading in front of the fire or watching TV. We wanted to make a couple of phone calls, but couldn’t get cell service. Around 6:00, our half of the resort lost power, so we returned to Priscilla and cooked dinner. About 30 minutes later, the power came back on. We did most of our packing for the cruise. We will be leaving for the hotel tomorrow, so will update Sunday morning before we leave for the cruise terminal.
Thursday November 8
Best Campsite Yet (continued)
The weather has definitely changed; over the last couple of days, the temperature has cooled considerably, and we have had some rain, the first we have seen since leaving Cape Cod two months ago. The more we see of this resort, the more we think we will come back here for a longer stay in the future. It really is very nice:
Our campsite; the lagoon is directly behind us.
Looking out over one of the two lakes here.
In front of the fire in the Adult Centre.
We spent the afternoon in the Adult Centre, reading and doing some computer work. Jeannine went for a swim, then we talked to Matt and Nichol on Facetime. We will do some laundry tomorrow, then start packing for the cruise.
Wednesday November 7
Best Campsite Yet
We drove a short 2 1/2 hours to Mountain Lakes Resort, just outside of Los Angeles. Pretty uneventful, but got a kick out of this:
Just in case you were wondering…
This view, 70 miles from L.A., is less amusing:
The resort itself is arguably the best we have seen yet, set in the San Bernadino mountains at 3200 feet, it has two fishing lakes and a lagoon, and is large enough that although there are a fair number of rigs here, it doesn’t feel like that. Wonderful amenities, including three pools and two jacuzzis, a general store and full clubhouse and adult centre. Our site backs onto the lagoon.
We have decided to spend Saturday night at a Holiday Inn close to the cruise terminal. It provides free parking while we are away, and a shuttle service to the terminal. The weather is supposed to be cooler and wetter over the next couple of days.
Tuesday November 6
Walk on the Wild Side (Someone Told Me It’s All Happening At The Zoo)
We spent the day at the San Diego Zoo, and while it is very well done, on balance, we preferred the Safari Park. A big cat in a cage, no matter how nice a cage, is still a big cat in a cage, and there’s something sad in watching them pacing back and forth along the front of the cage. To the Zoo’s credit, they have tried to re-create natural conditions as much as possible, and their breeding programs are very successful. Overall, it is a beautiful zoo, although a bit over-commercialized for my taste (although it is non-profit and all money goes back into the zoo).
“What are you looking at?” (A Fishing Cat)
Just hangin’ out
Hmmm…Big Mac or Cheeseburger?
We returned to the campsite about 5:00 and met up with Maurice and Marilyn for a game of cards, and then watched the election results. Off to Mountain Lakes Resort tomorrow.
Monday November 5
Priscilla’s Day Off, The World’s Biggest Floating Basketball Court
Priscilla spent the day getting repairs to her passenger seat mechanism, so we rented a car and drove into San Diego to tour the USS Midway aircraft carrier, now retired from service. It is…big:
USS Midway (or at least, part of her 1000 foot length.)
“The Island” – air control and Bridge
Take off, eh?
We really enjoyed the tour, but were a little disappointed in the fact that a huge chunk of the flight deck was taken up with bleachers surrounding a basketball court, which is being set up for a college basketball game on Friday night.
After the tour, we headed to the community of La Jolla, which is beautiful and rich. Maurice drove us around, and the sights are quite beautiful:
La Jolla from Mount Soledad
We fought our way through San Diego rush-hour traffic, returned the rental, picked up Priscilla, had a bite to eat in town, then returned to the campsite to rest up for the San Diego Zoo tomorrow.
Sunday November 4
Tied Hand and Foot
Actually, we weren’t tied, we just played a card game with our new friends Maurice and Marilyn, which is called Hand and Foot. It was a lot of fun, and capped off a very pleasant day that we had decided to spend hanging around the pool. That pretty much sums up the excitement for today. We are planning on going into San Diego tomorrow to see the USS Midway aircraft carrier, then hooking up with Maurice, who is going to drive us around the community of La Jolla.
Saturday November 3
Me Tarzan, You Jane
We drove into the pretty little town of Ramona this morning and had breakfast at the “Kitchen Cafe”, which is a local favourite, judging by the number of locals eating there. Interestingly, right next door is a beauty salon, which, in addition into making you beautiful, will also sell you a stun gun and pepper spray to fend off the resulting male advances. We checked in with a local RV service centre regarding a problem we have been having with trying to turn the passenger seat around. We are taking it in first thing Monday morning for them to have a look at it. We then drove to the San Diego Zoo Safari, which is part of the San Diego Zoo, but is not in San Diego itself. It is a non-profit entity, which was founded to study and breed endangered animals, primarily from Africa, with an emphasis on research and re-introduction into the wild. It is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and has had tremendous success in its breeding programs. It occupies several thousand acres, and has developed a number of African habitats, ranging from jungle to desert, which focus on enabling its inhabitants to develop natural habits of behaviour, which in turn ahve enabled them to be re-introduced into the wild with a high rate of success. We took two different types of tours, as well as doing a lot of walking. It is not cheap, but well worth every penny, especially considering that all income goes to support the park’s efforts. Here are a few pictures:
Trivia: anyone know what a flock of flamingos is called? (Answer at the end of this post)
A cerval cat
Here kitty kitty
Tough day at the office
Cheetah run: 100 metres in 5.9 seconds!
We returned to the campsite after sunset. Tomoorow we will probably go to Julian, an old mining town very near here, which is now famous for its pies. We plan to spend the rest of the day relaxing, and are planning to visit the San Diego Zoo itself on Tuesday.
Trivia answer: a “flamboyance” of flamingos.
Friday November 2
We left Desert Pools campsite at about 10:30 this morning, and drove into the San Jacinto mountains on the way to Ramona. The views were outstanding:
Coachella Valley, Palm Springs, Palm Desert
After a scenic but twisty drive, we arrived in Ramona Canyon campground at about 2:00. We are in a lovely campsite overlooking a duckpond (euphemistically labelled “Lake Nicholas” on the campground map).
We went on an explore, ending up at the Clubhouse, where we met and had a lengthy conversation with an older gentleman named Maurice, who has a home in San Diego, but is on the road for a year with his wife. We have set tentative plans to go into San Diego in the morning, tour the U.S.S. Midway aircraft carrier, then meet up with him in the afternoon. He will take us up a mountain (actually, a large hill) overlooking La Jolla, which apparently provides a spectacular view. He also wants to get together to play cards and socialize a bit, which we are quite happy to do. We came back to our campsite and fed the ducks:
Jeannine’s new choir
“Now, one at a time…”
There are also several dozen mallards, but they seem to be intimidated by the bigger white domestic ducks, so they didn’t get much of the bounty. We are thinking of heading for the Wildlife park tomorrow, which comprises several thousand acres.
Thursday November 1
Watching the Prostate Parade, A Larger Than Life Marilyn and Palm Springs Night Life
We did not take the Palm Springs Tour as planned, since the schedule we had was not the right one, and the tour we had planned on taking had already left. Things have a way of working out, as we wound up seeing something a little less mundane than dead movie stars’ summer homes.
When we arrived in Palm Springs (which is a beautiful place; lots of really neat stores and lots of money in evidence) and parked, the first thing we came across was a 26 foot high, beautifully done statue of Marilyn Monroe, which was brought here from Chicago some years ago:
Marilyn, in the famous pose from “The Seven Year Itch”
After visiting a few stores, we grabbed a quick lunch and headed for the Plaza Theatre, a Spanish Revival theatre opened in 1936:
Outside of the Plaza Theatre
Inside of the Plaza Theatre
We had reserved tickets for the season-opening matinee show of “The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies”, the cast of which range in age from 52 to 84, and features music, dance and auxiliary acts (such as a world champion hula hoop “artiste”, and a set of songs done by Lorna Lufts (Judy Garland’s not-so-famous other daughter), all done in the classic Las Vegas style; huge elaborate costumes and big production values, all under the capable direction of “The Follies Man”. Well, my dears, how to describe the indescribable?
When it was good, it was very very good, and when it was bad it was hilarious. Don’t get me wrong; we applaud these folks for putting on a strenuous and quite entertaining show given their ages (keeping in mind that most of the cast have been in showbiz all their lives, dancing and singing with some of the biggest stars of the 1930’s and 40’s). “The Follies Man” was full of the standard patter, and wended his way into the front row of the audience to trade barbs with unarmed seniors. While much of his humour was poking fun at his Jewish background, and was quite funny at times, we were a bit worried when he found a gay German tourist to skewer, and referred to him as a gay Nazi not once, but twice. Anyway, you get the idea. It was a 2 1/2 hour show, but we were just as entertained by the audience as by the show itself. Picture a theatre audience with an average age of 88; now picture a constant parade of wheelchairs and prostate challenged males coming and going throughout the show. Lest we seem cruel, we are choosing to laugh at it now, because that will be us in 20 years. The good news is that Jeannine has been motivated to stay in show business, and has sworn to take up a training regimen for when we move here and there are holes to fill in the Follies cast, sinced many of them will have tap-danced their way to the Great Beyond by then. Just for fun, here is a list of the Medical Support Staff, according to the program:
Cardiology, Dentistry, Ear, Nose and Throat, Emergency and Preventive Medicine, Gastroenterology, Gyncology, Internal Mdicine, Orthopedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Pathology(?!) and Podiatry. (This seems to be where a large percentage of the State’s healthcare budget goes).
After the show, we wandered across the street to a Mexican restaurant’s Happy Hour:
Palm Springs Happy Hour
By sheer serendipity, Thursday night is Street Fair night in Palm Springs. About 4 blocks of Palm Canyon Avenue is blocked off and lined with vendors, artists, food stalls and the like.
Palm Springs Street Fair
We took it all in, then said goodbye to Lucille Ball before heading back to the campsite.
Bronze of Lucille Ball
We are headed to Ramona tomorrow for a few nights, which will serve as a base for exploring San Diego and the surrounding area.