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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Showing our Daughter San Diego…

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The first place we took Katie to see was the boardwalk and pier at Pacific Beach.  She enjoyed snapping photos and sending her friends phone Snap Chats of the beach.  Our next sightseeing trip was the beautiful rugged coastline of La Jolla, California. It was a real treat to share this beautiful spot in California with her and it was fun seeing her excitement in seeing all the seals and sea lions. Although the weather has been a bit chilly the cold front that came through this past weekend left us with some fabulous huge waves. As a result the surfers are out in mass (in wetsuits) taking advantage of the larger than normal waves. Watching the surfers seemed to be another thrill for Katie.

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We have also shared with her some of our favorite walks were in the RV park and in Mission Park. Katie and I venture over to the water’s edge nearly every evening to watch the beauty of the sun setting over the bay. Sharon typically comes along but sometimes stays back to  prepare a fun dinner for us. It is always a treat for us to all cook up some of our favorites that Katie has missed while we have been apart.

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Katie has also turned into quite a good cook and recently shared one of her newest dishes, eggplant rollatini.  We all had fun in the kitchen each doing one part of the task to make this dish which was a labor of love as it required lots of preparation. We were able to share some eggplant tips with Katie such as slicing it thinly and letting sit on newspaper or paper towels with some heavy weight on top of it to assist in extracting some of the water out of it. The homemade sauce we made along with the stuffing of four different cheeses made this dish very delectable. Although it took a lot of work to make this dish I am sure we will adding it to our menu of meals. Yep it sure is great having Katie with us during this Christmas holiday season sharing this slice of our life here on the road of retirement…

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunsets and Future Plans…

While staying in southern California along the coastline we have really enjoyed some beautiful sunsets. One out of every four or so days the sunsets are stunning… We tend to gather at the waters edge around 4 pm with a cold adult beverage to await nature"s final act for the day. It frustrates us that the sunsets occur so early this time of year.  They usually happen just after 4:30 here and although they are beautiful they signal the beginning of another long night ahead.

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We have been here in Mission Bay for almost 7 weeks and I can feel the tinglings of hitch itch settling in… As a result we are starting to talk about future plans and about what direction we will head this coming year. We have pretty much decided we will once again move east but to where we are not sure yet. Our first stop from here will be a few weeks stay in Yuma to include a visit or two into Mexico. From Yuma we plan to boondock in Quartzite for 5 to 6 days.

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We have never been to the big show in Quartzite and I figure we have RV’ed long enough now that we should go at least once… so we will. I am not into big crowds so I would guess it will be my one and  only visit but I am looking forward to attending the Woodstock for RV’ers. We hope to see some old friends there and look forward to making some new ones as well…

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After Quartzite we will make our way over to the Phoenix area for 2-4 weeks. We plan to schedule our annual physicals at the Mayo Clinic in Mesa. We love going to the Mayo Clinics to have all of our medical and optical needs taken care of as they may be in our opinion, one of the most efficient medical facilities in the world. The Mayo accepts our Blue Cross Insurance and for RV’ers like us the Mayo Clinics are perfectly situated to meet our medical needs during our travels. In addition to this one in Mesa AZ there is also one in Rochester, MN (the original one) and one in Jacksonville FL   which we visit when we winter out east.

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We know we will be heading to Texas to see our grandkids in the spring but we haven't decided what route we will take from Phoenix to there yet. Where we decide to go from Texas also remains elusive but we are considering exploring more of Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and North Carolina but who knows what we will actually decide to do This uncertainty is one of the beauties of this lifestyle as we are able to change our minds daily if we wish but these are our soft plans for now.

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New adventures await us here in San Diego as our daughter Katie just arrived and will spend the rest of December with us while she is on break from school. She successfully completed her first year in Physical Therapy school and it is weird to think she will have her Doctorate of hysical Therapy in two more years. Hopefully we won’t need her services anytime soon…

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Birds of Mission Bay, California…

One of the great things about staying at Mission Bay RV Resort is that we are able to take some wonderful walks without ever getting in the car. Just a short distance outside the park are two great walking trails. One is along Mission Bay complete with sand and sea while the other is along Fiesta Bay which also is along the shoreline. Both of these bay walks provide endless opportunities to see shore and bay birds. I love to watch birds in their native habitat and these waters right in the middle of San Diego offer some great bird watching. I nearly always have my binoculars and camera with me as we walk several miles along one trail or the other.The picture below are of some of the many species of birds I have spotted during our daily walks:

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               Greater Yellowlegs                                                Whimbrel

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                                Willett                                               American Widgeon

                       Brandt                                                      Marbled Godwit

                     Red Knot                                                    Solitary Sandpiper

              Spotted Sandpiper                                              Redhead Duck

                Male Lesser Scaup                                      Female Lesser Scaup preening

                     Pintail Duck                                               Black Bellied Plover

              Ring Necked Ducks                                                   Ruddy Duck

                      Sanderling                                               Semipalmated Sandpiper     

         Western Grebes and a Clarks Grebe                           Long Billed Curlew

                          Male Bufflehead Duck                                                   Osprey

We have seen and photographed many of the more common birds here as well but these are some of the more unique ones for this area. All of these photos were taken with my recently purchased Nikon Coolpix S9700. This small compact camera packs a great optical zoom of 30X which is powerful enough to zoom in on birds far away yet small enough to tuck in your pocket. I love this camera and am glad I didn’t purchase one of the much larger and more cumbersome digital SLRs.