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December, 2006
Our new home. December 1 - 3
Friday, December 1. Boy, we're hearing about the ice and snowstorms that hit the midwest over the last 2 days and we're glad we're not there to deal with it.

Today we drove south to see the communities of Marina, Seaside, and Sand City and to get familiar with the locations of grocery stores, Walgreens, pet food stores, etc. I think we've got a pretty good feel for it now and should be able to help guests find their way around too.

Mike is cooking a pork tenderloin on the grill tonight and I'm taking care of the inside stuff and we're having a *bleep*tail (I can't believe the website won't allow that word but I guess you can all get the point) to celebrate the new job. Bright and early tomorrow morning, we have an orientation meeting and get started with training.

Saturday, December 2. Today started early with breakfast with Bill and Michele (the park managers) at 7:30 and then training until noon. Mike followed Bill around the park to learn where the mechanicals are, what gets locked, what to clean up, etc. I was in the office with Michele learning the computer system, opening the office, where stuff is stored, etc. The time went by quickly and I don't think it will be a problem as long as it isn't too busy.

In the afternoon, I walked with Lucy along the dunes on a dogs can't be on the beach itself in that area). It was a nice long walk about the length of Moss Landing, maybe a mile at most. The weather was beautiful with clear, blue skies and temps in the 70 degree range.

Sunday, December 3. It didn't get quite as cold during the night, the thermometer read 44 when I got up this morning. Training went well today, was really slow with a few checkouts but no checkins.

This afternoon we walked to the dog friendly beach area where we met Hans and Donna and their 2-year old Great Dane named Samson. We ended up walking with them for quite a while, learned a bit more about the area, and got some information about how to report injured seals so they get the care they need.

Mike was going to fix enchiladas for dinner but we didn't have all of the ingredients, so I decided to fix cream of potato soup. Half way into the prep I realized that we had no milk, so Mike had to go to the store anyway. It was a good thing because he met some more locals and found that there is a small market only a block away from us - very convenient. The soup turned out good - not the greatest for our heart health - potato, bacon, butter, etc. - but we enjoyed it anyway.
December 4-10, Moss Landing
Monday, December 4. The day didn't get off to a good start for me today. I was getting ready to start my 1/2 day of training and took Lucy for a walk before my shift was to start. We were crossing the straight and she got all excited and ran in front of me, causing me to trip and fall, the palms of my hands and my knees catching the fall. Needless to say, it brought tears to my eyes. The worst damage is a bad scrape on my right palm. I think I will survive but be inconvenienced for a few days.

Around noon, Michele asked if we were comfortable to work alone for a while and since there really wasn't a lot going on, we agreed to work the afternoon by ourselves. During our lunch, a couple stopped by to inquire and we ended up talking to them for quite a while. Then the phone started ringing and we got 4 reservations and several e-mails and phone messages (couldn't retrieve them, so had to wait for Michele's return). How exciting! All went well and we did ok. I think it will work - the best way to learn is hands on. We will now have the next 2 days off before afternoon training (closing).

Mike fixed his enchiladas for dinner and they were excellent, as usual.

Tuesday, December 5. No work today and it was probably a good thing because I was feeling the effects of the fall more today than yesterday. I walked to the beach this morning and noticed that many parts of my body were hurting. What a clutz I am! It was a fairly active day; grooming Lucy, treating her with the monthly heartworm and flea and tick treatments, cleaning the floors, walking to the post office, visiting with folks in the park.

This evening we walked to Phil's Fish Market where we sampled the halibut fish and chips. They have an extensive menu of locally caught fish and seafood - a bit pricy but then it is California. We will have to sample some of the other goodies but should have time to do that a bit at a time. Its nice to just walk to where you want to go.

Again today we talked about how we think we will like it here; the small but busy town atmosphere, friendly folks, fresh seafood and produce close at hand, fresh ocean air, and lots of other reasons. It does feel good not to have to move on at the end of the week.

Wednesday, December 6. Laundry and grocery day. I did laundry this morning and dragged out the Christmas tree from our "basement" storage and got it setup. Later in the day, we went grocery shopping and I bought some lights to hang on the inside front windows of the motorhome. I think I will also scatter some lights in the small shrubs that border our "yard". The park has been decorated for the holidays, as are the shops and residences in Moss Landing. Its beginning to look very festive around here.

We bought some steaks at Albertsons to cook on the grill this evening and the flavor was good but they were tough. I will have to search out a local meat market to get better quality meats.

Thursday, December 7. Today was housecleaning day and we worked in the afternoon but not much to write about. I did talk with Rita on the phone and heard that the Ozarks had a lot of damage from 3-4" of ice and 15" of snow on top of that. She said that many of the roofs and docks were badly damaged.

Friday, December 8. Some rainy weather is moving into the area today and the clouds and sky were spectacular. I took a walk to the beach to get some pictures. The beach is an area where I hadn't been before (it is not dog friendly and I usually have Lucy with me). It was very nice, although there was a seal carcus laying there in decay - apparently, they are left to nature to dispose of.

The park was busy this morning, as a meeting with current owners and prospective owners was taking place. Because the park land is owned by the harbor, they have to approve the new owner. The current managers will be leaving in January and we are unsure of our status after that - sure hope we don't have to move on. We really want to gain experience and because this is an "assistant manager" position, we are learning more than just hosting and taking reservations.

Chicken tortilla soup was on the menu for tonight and it was a good batch.

We had more training this afternoon and because it was rainy out, Mike was learning more of the office stuff. We were left to close on our own and had no problems other than jamming the fax machine.

Saturday, December 9. It was a rainy, windy, gloomy day today. I did go to Marina to buy dog food. The rain let up long enough so we could take a walk to see the resident sea otter. He swims around a part of the harbor behind the RV park and is so cute. People had told us about him but hadn't seen him yet. When we got there, he was lounging on his back with only face and feet(fins) poking out - and thats what he does all day. We will have to get a picture on a nicer day so you all can see how cute he is. They are an endangered species and this is a protected habitat for them.

We worked by ourselves this afternoon and actually had a drive-up and sold some products in the store - and everything balanced out at the end of the day. During the night it rained hard and you could hear the wind all night long.

December 11-17
Monday & Tuesday, December 11 & 12. Not much to write, we worked our first regular shifts. It was slow and not much activity. The weather has been rainy, although it cleared up a bit on Monday afternoon.

Wednesday, December 13. After a slow, relaxing start to the day, the weather is clearing and turning out to be very nice. I took Lucy for a walk over to see the otter, but it wasn't around. We hiked a path along the harbor and were headed back when Lucy got some spunk and took off from me, running along the path pretty fast. I was so afraid that she would dart into the street and I couldn't keep up with her. There she was just waiting for me around the bend, out of breath just like me. My heart was thumping from the run and the fear of something happening. I'm ok now, though.

Some of our Christmas lights were messed up, so I straightened them up. We shall see how they look this evening.

Saturday, December 16. I went to Marina this morning to get dog food and when I got back Mike and I walked to the harbor to the "Tina Louise" where they sell wild caught fish right off the boat. We were hoping to get fresh shrimp to take with us to Ben's this afternoon. Unfortunately, its not the season for shrimp right now, so we bought some of the frozen stuff that she had because I had my heart set on a recipe that I'd found.

We drove to San Francisco in the afternoon, about a 2-hour drive north along the coast. We really wanted to see Ben and Jill again, primarily because they had a real rough couple of weeks. Jill's brother, Casey, has been diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor and has had many appointments and not a lot of answers. We just feel so bad for what they and the whole family are going through and wanted to be there to show our support.

The weather was cold, rainy, foggy, and real windy and the surf was high all along the coast, just slapping over the rocks. The windshield was covered with salt spray.

Ben's friend and former gardening partner, Vernon, joined us for dinner. He brought along his 3 Japanese dogs; Jacko, Shima, and Mako. They are all pretty cool and that made 5 dogs in the apartment for a while. Mako is a lively year-old puppy and Lucy was sure to put him in his place right from the start. All were well behaved and got along well together. We had a very nice dinner and enjoyed being with Ben and visiting with Vernon, Jill had a previous engagement so wasn't able to join us for dinner.

Sunday, December 17. It was a lazy morning, sitting around visiting and enjoying coffee. Mike and I were on the road by about noon, since we had promised to relieve the managers so they could go out to celebrate their anniversary. Today was a much nicer day for a drive and the coast was spectacular. Once again the surf was high and when the waves hit the rocks, it sent a spray up in the air, just beautiful!

When we arrived back at Moss Landing, Bill and Michele greeted us and pointed out that the park's mascot, the carved pelican (see picture at the top of this page) that sat at the entrance to the park, had been stolen. Such a shame, as it was held in place by 3 very large steel bolts and a thick steel strap.

The rest of the evening was spent restoring my computer as it had to be wiped clean and started from scratch - I had lost all sound and Mike did everything he could to get it back. Its very frustrating, seems like I have to do that about every 3-4 months and it means installing everything again. Such an inconvenience. Maybe it is operator error.

December 18 - 24
Monday, December 18. Its COLD this morning, 34 degrees and there was frost on the tabletops and railings. It warmed to the mid-50s during the day and was nice and sunny. It was a work day and we were pretty busy throughout the day. We did a real NO-NO in letting a couple park their utility trailer on their site and were scolded for it when the managers returned. Starting out, there are so many rules to remember and both of us struggled with this one. After the fact, we did recall it being mentioned during training. Oh well! I don't think we will be forgetting that one again.

I talked to Mom today and she doesn't seem to be remembering very well at all. She was very upset today thinking that her place at the dining table was given to a new lady. After talking to one of the nurses, I found out that they no longer assign spaces at the tables. I hope that I cheered her up a bit, we did have a nice conversation.

Mike picked up mail at the post office today and WE GOT MAIL!! It was exciting! And they were Christmas cards - even more exciting!

Tuesday, December 19. Its cold again this morning and its been windy all day, but bright and sunny. It was a busy day at the RV park with lots of reservations over the phone, cancellations, online reservations, and other miscellaneous challenges. It felt good to be busy. In the afternoon, we got to meet the new owner and got a pretty good feeling about options with his company.

Wednesday, December 20. This morning we got to meet the new managers, a very nice couple. They said they would put in a good word for us. We also sent resumes to the new company, so hopefully, we will be considered to stay on or maybe work at one of their other parks (they own 11 other RV parks throughout California).

We drove to Seaside this afternoon to get an oil change on the Suzuki, the place was rather interesting. A 50s vintage filling station with assorted automotive antiques around. The staff was friendly and got a kick out of the Suzuki. From there, we drove to Salinas to do the last of our Christmas shopping and to get a view of what that city is like. Our first impression was good; clean, lots of California bungalows, and best of all, we found what we were looking for.

Thursday, December 21. I went to Watsonville today to the grocery store. It was a cold and rainy day all day today. We got our Christmas gifts wrapped and ready to go to SF. Its hard to get in the spirit of Christmas. The motor home is decorated with lights and a small tree, but the feeling of excitement over the holidays just isn't there. I will do some baking tomorrow and maybe that will help.

Pat called to say they received our box of goodies from California and to thank us. He was in a real talkative mood and that is always nice.
The Whole Enchilada, just a blocks walk away was our choice for dinner tonight. The food was very nice, the place is nice and they have live music every night - best of all we can walk there. A good choice.

Friday, December 22. I should have stuck to writing in the journal today, but I got to messing around with the photo section of the website and messed it up. Its a good thing I'm going to see the webmaster Ben this weekend.

I made some banana muffins this morning and they tasted fine but are kind of flat. I'm not sure if it is the oven in the motorhome, the pan or the recipe. Oh well, we shall eat them and enjoy.

We hung out in the park all day, enjoying the sunshine although it was cool. I talked to my brother Bob for a while this morning, went for a nice walk along the beach and watched some surfers ride waves. They look like they are having fun, but I know its not for me.

Saturday, December 23. This afternoon we drove to San Francisco to spend our Christmas with Ben and Jill. Their Christmas gift to us was dinner at Garibaldi's Restaurant in Pacific Heights. They spent Christmas Eve there with Jill's parents a few years back and liked it so much that they wanted to treat us too. Our dinner was excellent and so enjoyable. We exchanged gifts when we returned to their apartment and had a wonderful time.

Sunday, December 24. It was a really relaxing day, sitting around having coffee, playing with the dogs, and Ben and Jill's day to pack and get ready for their trip to Minnesota and Wisconsin. We walked to Sutro Heights Park to play ball with Ruby and get the rest of us some exercise. Ben made a pot of chili and Jill made corn bread to accompany it. It was an early to bed night.

December 25-31, Moss Landing
Monday, December 25. Our Christmas Day started with a trip to the airport so Ben and Jill could catch an 8:30 flight to Minneapolis. There was some concern about a possible "call out" by Northwest flight attendants but fortunately, that didn't happen. We then packed up the Suzuki to head back to Moss Landing. It was an uneventful trip and we had the road to ourselves. Poor Ruby was a bit crowded in the front seat, she could lie down between us but had to keep shifting her head from one lap to another. We will have to try to make it more comfortable on the way back.

Back at the motor home, I proceeded to start cooking Christmas dinner for us and Bill and Michele. The 8 pound turkey breast wouldn't fit in the oven, so we had to reduce its size by cutting off the bottom portion and cooking only the top half. All worked out well and it turned out just fine. I prepared everything; cooked and mashed the potatoes and squash and got the dressing ready, so all could be warmed up just before dinner. Since our counter and kitchen space is so small, I thought that would work much better - and it did. Our dinner was delicious and we had a nice visit.

In between, we got a little walk to the beach in and Ruby got to play catch for a while.

Tuesday, December 26. Work day. We worked along with Bill and Michele today because there were so many check-ins expected. It was quite busy and we did get experience that way. Its beginning to feel so much more comfortable. I may be speaking too soon because the new managers stopped in today and she happened to say the she thought we should probably plan on moving on once the closing takes place. That kind of through me for a loop because I had the feeling that we might have the option to stay on. So here we go again, the feeling of transition and not knowing what to expect. I will send a follow-up e-mail to the new owners (since I haven't heard back from my December 19 request) and also decided to contact the company we are currently working for to see if they have any openings in their company.

It got real rainy and windy as the day went on. Throughout the day, the wind picked up and all during the night it was gusting at about 30 mph. The motor home was rocking and rattling and I wasn't able to sleep too well.

Wednesday, December 27. We worked mostly on our own today, another fairly busy with a lot of cleanup and about 10 check-ins. We awoke to the high winds and a mess of leaves and litter all around us. A sail on one of the big boats in the harbor broke in the wind and was flapping and making lots of noise.

Thursday, December 28. A very nice day, relaxing and we also got quite a bit done. The windows needed washing - they were full of Ruby's nose prints and streaks outside from the rain and salt air and we vacuumed to get rid of the hair of 2 dogs. I started a pot of beef stew in the slow cooker. In the afternoon, we walked to the beach to exercise and play ball with Ruby.

The park is nearly full and its real different now. Lots of people to talk to, kids running around, and just about everyone has pets. The whole little town is full of life.

Friday, December 29. Mike had to work in the afternoon to help Bill escort 17 RVs to their sites. It was real busy with folks leaving and folks arriving - every site was full by 10 pm. We've met some very interesting folks and are kind of looking forward to the weekend.

We walked along the slough today so the "little one" gets her much needed exercise. I enjoy walking along that stretch because there are lots of birds gathered there; shorebirds, egrets, pelicans, gulls, ducks, coots, and others that I haven't identified. The road runs along the dunes that are along the shoreline, but the dogs are not allowed on the dunes. I also let her come with me to Petsmart and kept her up most of the day so she was exhausted in the evening. She rejuvenates quickly and was ready to be entertained again in the evening.

Saturday, December 30. The weather was gorgeous today, sunny and about 65 degrees. We stood around talking to the neighbors, they have 2 corgi's and Ruby was all excited about having her own kind next door. We walked to the beach and played ball for a while. There were lots of folks hanging around the beach. The park is full and lively, folks hanging out, talking, walking dogs, kids riding bikes,etc. Its kind of fun.

We drove to San Jose this afternoon to exchange the wrong size tire covers that I ordered from Camping World. It was a nice drive and we got that business taken care of. We also stopped at Radio Shack so Mike could get a cable that would allow us to watch movies from the computer to the TV in the bedroom. The technology just amazes me.

Sunday, December 31. I can't believe its the last day of 2006. We started it slow and relaxing with coffee and talking to family and friends on the phone. I took Ruby for a nice walk. Its kind of cool and cloudy today, so its not real inviting to be outdoors.

In the afternoon, we went for another walk along the slough and over to the Whole Enchilada for a bowl of chowder and an early *bleep*tail. Michele and Bill invited us to join them for dinner, and we had a wonderful steak, salad, potato, and broccoli dinner. We sat and talked with them until about 9:00, then went home and played dominoes and watched Garrison Keilor's New Year's Eve program on TV. Barely made it to midnight. There were a few fire crackers going off in the harbor, but it was real quiet around here. So much for 2006.

Created on 11/02/2006 09:22 AM by bridge
Updated on 09/07/2011 08:29 PM by bridge
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