Finishing up 2007

As we made our way west, one of the states we were wanting to see was Kentucky. We’d heard how beautiful it is, and the Appalachian Folk Arts and Crafts were fantastic. We pulled into an RV Park not far from Churchill Downs and planned our route. Taking only smaller roads, we came across this fabulous clubhouse:

We actually drove past it, then stopped and backed up to get this. On the same trip, we saw the “We Don’t Rent Pigs” sign, posted on the September 1st entry. Gotta love Kentucky! Knowing that the ancestors of the Appalachian peoples were mainly Scots-Irish, there was, of course, a Campbellsville:

We also stopped at yet another beautiful college town, Berea, for dinner at Historic Boone Tavern. At this point in the day, it was pouring rain, so we didn’t get any pictures. We did love the little town, and hope to return there some day to see the Folk Arts and Crafts prominently displayed in the art shops lining the downtown area. The college is renowned for keeping the old folk arts and crafts alive and charging no tuition.

By the time we got to California, we were ready to take in the beautiful sights of Lake Tahoe. We took a back road from Nevada that was suggested as easier than some to get to our RV Park. We were gratified to finally get to the intersection at Hwys 89 and 50, when we saw what looked like the clouds of a small fire. By the time we got to our RV Park, it most certainly wasn’t small.

We were contemplating evacuating, along with the rest of South Lake Tahoe, but since the wind was blowing the other way, and doggone it, we had already paid for three days, we stayed. It was surreal the whole time we were there. The electricity would go out, then come back on, there was horrible smoke and ash in the air, but the lake was still a beautiful blue, and the stream that went through our campground was a peaceful and restful place to relax. We vowed to return, and we did in September.

We were more than ready to return to the West Coast! We had missed the sunsets over the Pacific, salt air in our faces, and beautiful warm days by the ocean. We secured a place for two months right on the cliffs of a town called Pacifica. This is what we saw from our back window.

Oh, I need to mention that this was our view MAYBE 8 DAYS OUT OF THE ENTIRE TIME WE WERE THERE! I am a native SOUTHERN CALIFORNIAN, and Northern California, on the coast, at least, is very, very different! It rarely got over about 65 degrees, and some days the fog was so thick, it felt like it was raining! If we wanted that, we never would have left Bainbridge Island! Having said all that, it didn’t take long to drive a few miles over the hills that separated the coast from the main Peninsula of the Bay Area. We visited with Felicia a lot, took all the dogs to the various off-leash dog parks in the area, and also attended the famous Gilroy Garlic Festival. By far, one of the best things to happen was to get reacquainted with my sister, Cathi, and her daughter Wendy. Wendy had gotten married a year before Felicia, and, in this picture was expecting a baby.

From left, Felicia, Jeanie, Cathi and Wendy (with Laura). Cousins Felicia and Wendy hit it off immediately and now Wendy’s Laura and Felicia’s Thatcher can grow up near one another. Cathi and I are so proud and happy. We are all getting together next Tuesday for the babies to visit for the first time, and I will post pictures of this historic and momentous event.

Fast forward to October, and we were back in New York. We couldn’t wait to see Brando!

We have a mutual admiration society going – he’s so affectionate! We were staying at an RV Park in the tiny town of Florida, New York, when we learned of Croton Point Park in Westchester County, much closer to New York City. We took a day to investigate, and immediately decided to move when they had a space available. On our way there, we made a rest stop along the Thruway, and Bill noticed that our 5th wheel was leaking brake fluid. Make no mistake, this was a catastrophic event that could have been life-threatening if we had been on a mountain road. To make a long story short, we were escorted, very slowly, to a local garage, where the owner, Eddie Zachery, a seasoned RVer himself, told us to make ourselves at home on his property, no charge, and by the way, here is some water and electricity! We had to stay there for several days while we waited for parts. But Eddie and his crew were Knights in Shining Armor, as far as we were concerned.

All fixed up, finally, and we arrived at Croton Point Park. It is a Westchester County Park (they don’t advertise!), in the most beautiful setting you can imagine, jutting out into the Hudson River, and maybe 45 minutes to Aaron’s apartment. We were in heaven, especially in the fall!

We love this park. It is our favorite in the entire country. The only, and I mean ONLY negative to this place is that it is open seasonally, meaning from mid-April to mid-November.

Brando’s 2nd birthday was at the park next to their apartment, Inwood Hill Park. It is lovely, and truly a neighborhood park. We had a blast, with lots of friends, kids, and a pinata!

What would fall be in the Northeast without leaf peeping? Bill and I took a day to drive up to the Adirondacks to check out the colors before everything was past peak.

Bill composes some really lovely photos, don’t you think? Adirondack chairs in the Adirondacks.

The fall colors followed us south to Asheville, North Carolina. Our second favorite park in the country, Campfire Lodgings takes first prize in the most scenic category.

We seriously considered settling down in Asheville. It has the small college town atmosphere we love, plus it is in the mountains and is freaking gorgeous. What we couldn’t live with was the Stars and Bars mentality that we saw far too often. We are western people through and through. Oh well, at least we can visit. Oh, and by the way, Asheville has THE BEST Mediteranean Food on the planet, Jerusalem Garden on Patton Avenue.

Arriving back in Arizona, it was time for Ethan’s 1st birthday!

He got more on his body than in his mouth, but that’s the fun of it anyway.

Not ones to let any grass grow under our feet, we took off for Northern California again, to spend the month of December with Felicia and Wes. I hadn’t spent Felicia’s birthday with her for years, my birthday with either of my children for years, or Christmas with them for years as well. This lifestyle would change all that! We spent a joint birthday celebration at Tommy Toy’s, a favorite restaurant in San Francisco, for Felicia’s 30th birthday and my 54th birthday.

The year came to a close celebrating Christmas with Wes’s big extended family. At the stroke of 2008, we headed off again to Arizona, to spend the next two months with Heather, Tyler and Ethan.
We were looking forward to some nice sunny, warm weather and a bright new year!
More tomorrow.

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