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May 2009
The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.
Mark Twain
May 1- 3, 2009
Friday, May 1. Shortly after my walk with Frisco this morning, the rain started and it continued throughout the day, although it was light at times and we had to squeeze in other Frisco breaks between downpours.

Our new brake assist system was delivered to Sublime yesterday, so we had to go pick it up today. Jill offered to give me a haircut since we were going there and I took her up on it. The salon was buzzing with activity, although Jill said her week was quite slow.

Mike spent quite a bit of time working on the Mac for me, starting from scratch with a new install. That took quite a bit of time but now it's all mine.

Saturday, May 2. It's another gloomy morning but we were able to get a good walk in. Thanks to Bluetooth or headphones, I had a conversation with Pat the whole time I was walking. I worked on cleaning up the layer of desert dust that is on every surface in this motorhome. It is going to take a while because I want to clean it thoroughly, so today I only did the front driver/passenger section. It wasn't long before my cleaning cloth had to be exchanged for another.

I decided to go to San Bruno to do some shopping, just a short distance to the southeast. Mike didn't really feel like doing girl shopping, so I went alone. The experience made me remember that I really don't want to do that on a weekend - the parking lots were full and the stores were crowded and messy. I will do my shopping during the week around here.

Back at home, I decided it was a perfect day for making chili and it really hit the spot.

Sunday, May 3. Guess what - another rainy day. I got soaked twice this morning when taking Frisco out. The sea has been loud and rough throughout the night and the surf is foamy when it hits the beach.

We met Ben and Jill at Duarte's Tavern in Pescadero this afternoon for lunch. It is one of our favorite spots in the area and since they had been in Carmel for the weekend, it was a good stop along the way for them and a short and scenic drive for us. We had a great visit and good food and drinks.
May 4 -10, 2009
Monday, May 4. Guess what - another rainy day. Poor Frisco hasn't had a lot of exercise the last few days, as he is as much of a fair weather guy as we are. It's been quick, take care of business kind of walks.

I worked on washing walls again this morning and now have only the bedroom and bathroom to finish. I want to do all of the window screens too, but that will have to wait for a day that we can get outside.

Mike's new computer crashed this morning and after reinstalling, it still didn't work right, so a trip to Best Buy became the priority today. We were lucky that we were still within the 14 day period and he could exchange it for a different computer. Naturally, they didn't have the same model so he was able to upgrade for only $50. He just didn't feel that he could trust it not to do the same thing again - and the Best Buy return policy would no longer be in effect. Start from scratch again.

All night long, it poured down rain and the wind was rocking our little house. Neither of us slept very well.

Tuesday, May 5. I've been dragging butt all day long, a result of a poor night's sleep. Yes, it started out rainy again, but as the day went on, the sky got brighter and brighter. By 3:00 we actually had sunshine and it was nice to be outdoors. That didn't last too long because when Mike took Frisco out around 9:30 it was foggy and wet again.

We made a trip to the nearby Home Depot to get some drawer hardware to replace a broken piece. The piece that holds the drawer slide at the wall seems to work itself loose and then breaks. This is the 3rd one that Mike has had to replace. We found the parts at Home Depot for $1.29 but we would be paying about $5 at an RV supply store. We couldn't find all of the things we needed, so will have to make a trip to Lowe's tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 6. I went to Lowe's this morning and bought a replacement fire extinguisher (ours was in the red - empty) and replacement tile for the base of our oven - a valuable item that helps our tiny oven distribute the heat more evenly. From there, it was a trip to Trader Joe's to fill up our cupboards with food again.

This evening, we went to Gail and Elaine's (friends and coworkers that we met here at Pacifica) for dinner. It was great to share a bottle of wine, have an excellent dinner, and a few hours of conversation. We last saw them when they were traveling through Wisconsin last summer and since then, Gail has had a bout of poor health. He is now recovered and they are back here working at the park. It was a really nice time.

Thursday, May 7. A busy day for the Bridges. While I did the laundry, Mike did the cleanup and vacuuming. It was the 1st sunny day we have had in a week, so I sat outside at the picnic table talking with Elaine while I waited for my laundry.

Mike applied for his Social Security benefits online this morning, then he found that he had to go visit the local office anyway to provide a copy of his DD214 - discharge from the Navy papers. The office was just a short drive away and after he got in to speak with someone he found that they wouldn't accept the copy of the document that he brought along.

Back home to pick up the original document, we opened the door and found the inside screen was torn to shreds. What got into Frisco while we were gone? He has never been destructive in any way. He was really upset, the windows were open and there is a lot of activity around here, so something must have got him worked up. We took him with us when we went back to the Social Security office. There, the representative took Mike's original document, made a copy, and handed it back to him. What a waste.

Friday, May 8. Another beautiful sunny day, and they can just keep on coming as far as I'm concerned. We took advantage and washed all of the salt spray and desert dust off the motorhome. It really needed it after a week of heavy fog and rain. Mike also replaced the screen on our door. It's a good thing the stuff is cheap because he had to buy a whole roll that has about 10 feet of the stuff and it will take us forever to us it up. Anybody need screen?

After a short nap (I fell asleep while reading), I attempted to sit outside but the wind was a little too crisp. Not bad if you can find a sunny, sheltered spot.

Saturday, May 9. A blaah, boring day. We talked about taking a drive over to Napa to the north or Sunnyvale to the south but then decided to do that during the week instead of on a weekday when it is so busy around here. Mother's Day weekend has increased the number of people in the park too.

Other than taking a few walks and baking a cake, there wasn't much to do. I did spend some time on an etching project, Sudoku, and reading. Tomorrow will be better.

Sunday, May 10. Happy Mother's Day! And what a nice day it was for me. It started with an e-mail, text, and a telephone call from Pat, then a nice conversation with my sweet mother-in-law, and then spending the rest of the beautiful sunny afternoon with Ben and Ruby (Jill was in Minnesota with her Mom).

After meeting up at Ben's apartment and having a cup of coffee, we headed to Sutro Heights park to exercise the dogs. The park was real busy and there was even a wedding going on there. The dogs were having a great time until a spat over Ruby's ball got started and all hell broke loose. Nobody was hurt but we were cautious after that. Frisco met another puppy and played with him, the puppy stole Ruby's ball and then he and Frisco got into a fight over the ball. Once again, there were no injuries but I think we have a scrapper on our hands and will have to do some research on how to change that behavior. Back at the apartment the dogs had no more problems but we were careful about toys and treats.

Ben fixed Cuban sandwiches, Jicama salad (a Mexican turnip) , and beans and rice for dinner and it was deeelicious. He is a great cook and has that recipe perfected. We had my Coconut-Rhubarb cake for dessert. It was a wonderful way to spend Mother's Day.
May 11 - 17, 2009
Monday, May 11. It was cool and foggy in Pacifica this morning. I stopped at the office to check on the mail and found 2 large envelopes of stuff that Marty sent to us from Florida. There were a few important items, but as usual, most of it was junk mail or duplicates of stuff that we get online.

We decided to take the drive to Napa this afternoon to check out the Napa Valley Expo, an RV park that I had read about. We're always looking for options that are less expensive and in warmer places. Pacifica really is the closest place to be, as it is a 15 minute drive to Ben's house and it is a nice area - if you overlook the cost and the weather.

As soon as we got over the Golden Gate bridge, it was warmer and we took off our sweatshirts. The park was nice and about the same price as in Pacifica ($32/day with Good Sam). We also checked out the Skyline Wilderness park nearby and that was in the same price range but not nearly as nice a place. We decided that the drive was just too far away to stay there when we come to visit the kids. It was a nice day for a drive.

Tuesday, May 12. I had some things to take care of this morning based on the mail that I received yesterday from Florida. Most important, a letter stating that the payment for my colonoscopy done back in January was rejected by my insurance company. A call to them cleared it up right away and I was much relieved. For some reason the computer kicked it out and refused to pay it, it was reprocessed and payment will be sent shortly. A call back to the biller solved the problem - they had the wrong ID number for our insurance. All is back in order and I don't have to cough up $5100 - yeah!!

I went to the store this morning to pickup a few ingredients for the Chicken Sausage Gumbo that I'm making for dinner tonight. It is Hair's recipe and is yummy stuff. I got it started about 3:00 and it simmers all afternoon. Ben will be joining us for dinner.

I can't believe I got a sunburn while sitting outside this afternoon. Never would have thought that would happen in Pacifica.

Ben and Ruby joined us for dinner. We took a walk with the dogs and did some computing (he's really a geek). Dinner turned out ok. I'm saying ok because I don't think it was as good as what we had at Hair and Judy's house. It might be the sausage as you really can't find good Cajun sausage around here and what I used wasn't as flavorful. Mike and Ben both thought it was good. Ben could only stay until 8:30 when he had to leave to pick Jill up at the airport.

Wednesday, May 13. I was up bright and early this morning and was bored by 9:30, so I headed off to do some shopping. After trying on about 20 pairs of jeans, I still ended up leaving the store empty handed. I spent 3.5 hours browsing at several different stores and only spent $2 - what a cheapskate I am.

We had a visitor today. Don, a fellow that we worked with here at the park back in 2007 drove up from Paso Robles to spend the afternoon. It was a beautiful afternoon and spent most of it outside - the thermometer read 69 degrees at around 3:30. Gail and Elaine also wanted to spend time with Don, so they joined us for dinner when they finished their work shift. We had the gumbo and it was a big hit. Don brought fresh strawberries and they were so sweet and delicious. It was a real nice visit, lots of laughs.

Thursday, May 14. What happened to our beautiful, sunny mornings? The "Got Fog" slogan for Pacifica is quite appropriate today as everything is wet and it looks like clouds rolling past our window.

I did laundry this morning and then went shopping with Elaine in the afternoon. I bought jeans for both Mike and I today and guess what - Mike's have to be returned and I'm not sure I will keep those that I bought - they aren't exactly what I really want. I'm so good at this, I wonder why I enjoy doing it. Maybe just because I get bored.

I fixed some spaghetti with meat sauce for dinner and it was real tasty.

Saturday, May 16. We woke up to a beautiful, warm, sunny day and it was cause for celebration. It definitely brought out the people to enjoy and experience the day. The Terra Nova High School in Pacifica held a car show and we went to that with Elaine and Gail. They had a good sampling of cars in several categories, motorcycles, and bicycles. We enjoyed walking around and checking them all out.

After the car show, we stopped at the Green Enchilada for lunch and it was very good, will consider it again in the future. Back at the park, it was a day to just enjoy the outdoors. Later in the afternoon, we headed to Gail and Elaines where we played some Washers, a game where you throw metal washer into a box with holes, similar to horseshoes. Later on, Jack and Dorothy stopped by to show us their electronic toys; iPod, Sony book reader, GPS, etc. We had a beer and hung out for a while.

Sunday, May 17. I just realized that if we were back in Stoughton, we would be celebrating Syttende Mai. There sure were many years of participating and partying.

It was another beautiful day and we spent most of it hanging out outside until time to head for Ben and Jill's. We considered going to observe some of the Bay to Breakers festivities but decided against it, primarily due to heavy traffic and large numbers of people. Guess we just don't appreciate large crowds anymore. Even when we did drive along the Great Highway and Ocean Beach to get to Ben and Jill's, there were cars packed into every available space and people everywhere. It was crowded and we saw lots of crazy people in costumes, topless, and some very drunk.

We had an excellent Fajita dinner then watched the mid-80s movie, Brazil - a very strange film. When it was time to go back to Pacifica, the fog had come in and was quite a challenge getting back home. We expected it to be worse in Pacifica but it was actually worse along Skyline Blvd in Daly City. Mike did a great job getting us home safely.
May 18 - 24, 2009
Monday, May 18. Back to crappy weather, a cold, cloudy, and windy day. We both spent the morning on our computers and then I just couldn't sit still any longer. I started cleaning the walls, shower, and woodwork on the back half of the motor home. I had done the front half a week or so ago. It feels good to have it out of the way.

Going for a walk is a real chore today, especially opening the door on the motor home. The wind is so strong that we have to hold the door with both hands to keep it from flying open. Frisco doesn't seem to mind as he has become very interested in the gopher's that live under the grassy areas in the park. He came real close to catching one this afternoon.

Wednesday, May 20. Yesterday was a long, boring day spent inside due to the yucky weather day we had. A few walks around the park, warm hoodies on, hoods up, and a stop at the office to chat with Elaine. Reading, etching, computing, and talking on the phone. That's about it for the day.

This morning, we are up early and getting ready to go to California Academy of Sciences at Golden Gate Park. Wednesday's are free, so we arrived about 1/2 hour before the doors opened and were surprised that the line extended to the end of the block and then again about 2 blocks beyond that. We stood in line talking with folks and it was only about a 45 minute wait and we were in the door.

What an incredible place! The building itself is a state-of-the-art earth friendly sustainable structure. There are 3 different restaurant areas. One side had exhibits of rainforests, an aquarium, and an exhibit about climate change in California. The other side houses a planetarium, an African safari exhibit, and an incredible pendulum, similar to one that we saw in Paris. The planetarium movie was quite enjoyable. It was 3:00 when we left and we both felt that it was a very enjoyable day and we appreciate Wachovia's paying for our tickets. What a deal.

Friday, May 22. What a nice day we had today, spent with Gail and Elaine on their 54th wedding anniversary. I made them a set of etched wine glasses and they were really happy and surprised. They invited us to join them for breakfast and a movie today, so we started out at 9:00 at the Salada Cafe in Pacifica for a delicious breakfast. Mike and I had been there once before but Gail and Elaine never had. We all enjoyed it and will certainly consider eating there again.

From there, we headed to the Century theater in Daly City and got in on the early bird special and saw the movie, "Management" with Jennifer Aniston and Steven Zahn, a comedy love story. Next stop was Costco where we purchased a membership, thinking that we will make up the cost in savings on gas alone. It is a convenient location from where we are and scattered throughout the US. We will see how it goes as far as being a worthwhile investment.

On our way back home, we stopped at the Treasure Island Mobile Home Park, just to drive through and see what it is like. It is about the only option available in the area other than the San Francisco RV Resort and Candlestick. It really wasn't too appealing to any of us, although it might be pretty affordable. We stopped to talk with a friendly, older gentleman that was standing out side his home. He had a workshop added onto one end of his trailer and some brilliant paintings and Italian statues and fountains on his small lot. We learned that he is a local artist and rather a famous one at that. He is known for his "memory" paintings of his childhood home in Pontito, Italy. Check out the Franco Magnani website for some examples of his works.

Saturday, May 23. Can't believe I played my first ever game of golf today and we really enjoyed it, in spite of another crappy weather day in San Francisco. I was dressed with 3 layers underneath my rain jacket and was glad that I piled so many layers on. We met up with Ben this morning and headed to the Golden Gate Park Golf Course where we met up with Ben's friend, Joe. Ben has played a few times before, Joe is quite good, Mike last played in high school, and I've never played. It is a 9-hole, par 3, laid back course so it really wasn't bad. We started by hitting a few balls on the driving range and practiced some putting, then started off. In spite of our inexperience, I don't think we did bad. We were all able to keep the same ball throughout the game except for a couple of wild shots that Ben made. I ended up with a score of 68, about 20 more than the rest of the group, but I still had fun.

Back home, we took naps and then packed a few things to spend the night at Ben and Jill's. They are treating us to dinner at Clementine's restaurant tonight.

Dinner at Clementine's was very enjoyable 4-hour experience. Although our reservation was for 8:00, it was a good 1/2 hour wait for our table to be cleared. The staff was quite apologetic and we were starting to get impatient but were then thankful for the corner table that we were given. 3 of us ordered the tasting menu where you could choose between 3 of the appetizers, 5 different entrees, and anything from the desert menu. The presentation was beautiful and the flavors of everything was delicious. Mike chose the filet mignon entree that was served with a variety of mushrooms and the rest of us ordered the pork tenderloin that was served on mashed turnips with a delicious cabbage, apple, and carrot side dish. For dessert, we sampled the french toast ala mode, chocolate cake with banana ice cream, and creme brulee for dessert. They gave us a complimentary berry custard desert for the inconvenience of our long wait. Naturally, we were all pleasantly stuffed and satisfied when we walked out the door.

Sunday, May 24. The day got off to a lazy start and kind of continued on that way. Ben fixed a delicious breakfast of Mexican scrambled eggs, black beans, and avacado. Later on, he and I took the dogs to Sutro Park for a walk and some exercise in the afternoon. It's another cold and windy day around here.

Later this afternoon, we went to the Sundance Kabuki Cinema to see the movie, "Tyson", a documentary about the former boxing heavyweight champion. The story is told in his own words and certainly doesn't paint a very pretty picture of his rather extremist lifestyle.

Back home, Ben and I took the dogs for a nice long walk to the Legion of Honor and back home again. Again, he was the chef again and made us another delicious and healthy pasta dinner.
May 25 - 31, 2009
Monday, May 25. Happy Memorial Day and thanks to all of those who have served our country. After 3 weeks of seeing each other now and then, Frisco and Ruby finally became friends this morning and played together and wrestled for a long time. The sure did have fun. We hung out until around noon, then we headed back home to Pacifica.

I'm back at my computer, trying to figure out the stuff that Ben taught me about embedding photos in the text sections of the website. It's going to take a while before I grasp that concept.

Tuesday, May 26. SUNSHINE!!! Something very bright woke me up this morning, something I haven't seen in several days. The first thing I did was open the shades and let it warm the motorhome. Sure feels good.

I stopped by the office to pay our rent for the next month, then I went to the Pacifica Market to get some stuff for dinner that we are taking to Ben and JIll tonight. When I got back, Mike washed the car while I vacuumed and did some housecleaning. Then we both tackled the motorhome. There is a thick layer of salt and sand covering the vehicles that has to be washed off every few days. They were both filthy. It felt good to just spend some time outdoors. Frisco enjoyed playing with Spanky, the little dog next door and we enjoyed gabbing with Jay, Spanky's people.

After a short nap, I chopped and diced the ingredients for Cabbage Creole Soup and Mike's cheesy, peppery, cornbread. When we got to Ben and Jill's house, Ben took the dogs to the park while Mike and I got dinner started. Dinner was nice and relaxing. They were both thankful to have dinner prepared for them after a long day at work.

Wednesday, May 27. It was another beautiful morning, so Frisco and I took a nice, long walk. It feels so good to see the sunshine, although jeans and hoodies are still the order of the day.

We keep trying to find an alternative to this park in Pacifica, although it has the convenient location to offer. Being on the coast certainly adds interest to the view but it also deters from the sunny weather, bringing us lots of cool, foggy, windy days - and that's getting a bit tiring. So we keep looking for something different.

This afternoon, we headed south to Redwood City to check out the Trailer Villa RV Park. Their website tells that they have updated and improved the park. When we asked the person in the office what improvements have been made, she told us none - it is supposed to happen this year, although she didn't sound real confident about it. Again, we were disappointed. The park is located in the very southern tip of the San Francisco Bay and it smelled like stinky salt flats. It is very industrial as you approach the park and it also is just off a street that runs parallel to Hwy 101 with just a wall separating it. The park itself has many older, permanent trailers and some are quite run down. The sites weren't very attractive either. Nix that one. It was sunny and about 20 degrees warmer there than Pacifica.

Thursday, May 28. The day started out sunny, calm, and relatively warm (57 degrees). It made me feel like getting going, so I got going with the laundry. By the time I finished, about an hour and a half later, the wind had picked up so much that it was hard to open the door to the motor home. Sure does change quickly. Other than a few walks with the dog, we spent the rest of the day indoors. I got so bored in the afternoon, that I baked a batch of brownies to take up some of my time.

Friday, May 29. The Pacifica library had a book sale starting this morning, so after picking Gail and Elaine up, we headed there. As people arrive, an attendant hands you a large grocery bag and you proceed to look at the books. They have them all organized by topic and they are priced at $.50 for paperback and $1.00 for hard back books. We spent $12.50 and will just drop them off at the exchange libraries in RV parks when we finish them. What a deal and a great way to recycle!

From there, we headed to Pescadero, as Gail and Elaine have never seen the area. Our continuing quest to find alternatives to the RV park in Pacifica led us to the Pelican Point RV Park in Half Moon Bay, a smaller 70-site park on the southern end of the golf course. It has a pathway to the beach, beautiful trees, and is somewhat sheltered from the coastal wind. Monthly rates are less than at Pacifica, so it could be a possibility for the future, about 20 miles farther away.

At Pescadero, we stopped at Duarte's Tavern for their delicious combination of Cream of Artichoke and Cream of Anaheim Chili soup and a piece of Olallieberry pie. Mike and I have the same thing every time we go there, but it's so good that we never try anything else. After lunch, we checked out some of the local shops, then did the scenic drive through the countryside, over the hills past San Gregorio, La Honda, and Woodside, then back to Pacifica. It is a beautiful drive and we had a nice sunny day.

Sunday, May 31. It's hard to believe that a month has gone by since we arrived in Pacifica. All is well and we will stay here through June before starting our trek back east to Wisconsin.

Yesterday was a blah day, cool and cloudy and windy again. We spent the whole day inside with the exception of a few walks with Frisco and it was hard to keep busy. I read half of the book, "Glass Castle", by Jeannette Walls - a very well written book about a dysfunctional family. I thought my family background was weird.

Today was a little more active for me, although Mike wasn't feeling good so he was indoors again.

Ben and Jill called this morning to see if we wanted to meet them at Fort Funston to walk the dogs. Frisco and I met them and we had a great time. Fort Funston is a huge park on the south western end of San Francisco, the staging area for hang gliders that fly along the coast, and also a place where dogs can run off-leash. I was a little bit leery about letting Frisco off the least, but it was so tempting that I went ahead and tried it. He was so good - he played with lots of dogs and ran away in different directions, but always came back to me -maybe all of the treats I was giving him helped. He wasn't real good about coming when he was called, but eventually he got around to it. It was a nice time and we got in about a 2-mile walk. I will have one tired little dog tonight.

Created on 05/02/2009 08:51 AM by bridge
Updated on 06/09/2009 09:55 AM by bridge
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