Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy 2013!  How can it be another year has flown by?  Lots of new friends met, lots of awesome places seen and lots of incredible memories!

Let me start by catching up on the past 3 months (I know...I've been a blogging slacker!).  At the end of September I talked about taking my first long solo hike of 14.5 miles while Tom would lounge watching football on TV.  Well, I did take my hike and thoroughly enjoyed it but Tom watched football a little closer than on TV.  My brother surprised him, flew him to Phoenix and took him to the Cardinals game (coincidentally this was the last game they won during the season).

We spent a little more time in Oregon and took a unique hike across the incredible sand dunes near Florence.

From Oregon we started heading south to CA with a brief stop (too brief!) at Alan & Trudy's house in Redding.  We had a great 2 days playing pickleball and our awesome hosts showed us some great sights around their house including Whiskeytown Lake and Dam as well as a biking trail which led us to an enormous Sundial Bridge.

After sadly leaving our friends we headed further south to Morgan Hill for a few short days before taking a quick trip home for a month.  Before we left I had the fun of meeting up with 2 dear friends, Jon & Darrell, from PA who moved to San Jose several years ago.  What started out as a Sunday brunch led to shoe shopping, margarita drinking and a great day of catching up!  Miss you guys!

Back to PA...we decided to head to PA for a month to catch up with family and friends and for Tom to get in a little hunting.  I don't think we've eaten out so many times in one month and hope to never do that again!  We had a great time with everyone but cannot eat that much!!  I also got in a backpacking trip on the AT with Brenda & Joe (annual tradition) while Tom enjoyed Drew's end of season soccer games.   Apologies to those we were unable to hook up with during our quick trip.  We miss everyone back home!

After returning to CA and thankfully finding our home (RV) in good shape and running well (you never know after it sits for a month all shut down!) we settled back down in Morgan Hills for a few short days before leaving the RV again and taking the Jeep on a quick trip to Phoenix to visit my brother and the family for Thanksgiving.

Back to CA again, picked up our RV and headed to Palm Springs for an extended stay of 4 weeks.  After moving around so much it was nice to settle down for 4 weeks in our home.  We also ran into lots of friends we met who also ended up in Palm Springs so we spent lots of time playing pickleball, enjoying social happy hours and dinners and just hanging out together.
Girls day out - Sandy, Barb, Gloria, Becky, Trudy

the resident Roadrunner in the campground

our Christmas wreath - simple decorations!
our Charlie Brown Christmas tree!

my morning visitors stopping by for their treats - Suz, Cody and Sandy (not pictured)
 Our Christmas lunch...
Joe and Barb

Lax and Christie (Joe's daughter - they flew in from Austin)

Tom having fun with the gals

Janet and Becky enjoying an afternoon (actually in Wilderness Lakes) playing Cribbage and drinking tea (with a little Baileys!)
We enjoyed our traditional Christmas day hike with Lax at Thousand Palms (an Oasis).  Unfortunately Christie was not feeling well and was unable to join us.

New Year's Eve and my Birthday - We decided on a last minute trip to Idyllwild to take a hike.  Little did we know it stormed the day before and the roads were covered with snow (steep and windy roads!). We could not have planned this hit this town with a fresh snow covering the trees and everything.  It was a winter wonderland and a great way to spend the day.  After our hike we headed down to Palm Springs to enjoy a little party with friends before heading back to our new campground, Wilderness Lakes, in Menifee.
Becky and Barb - on a previous day trip to Idyllwild

Tom prepping for our snow hike

Borrego Springs was the 2nd city to gain the recognition of International Dark Sky Community ( so we headed there to see the meteor shower on the morning of Jan. 3rd.  We bundled up (it was 32 degrees that morning) and saw 23 meteors in 45 minutes.  Unfortunately the moon was out and lessened the viewing of the estimated 60-75 per hour.  We also enjoyed several hikes as well as an unexpected visit with my brother, Dan, who lives in Carlsbad and just happened to be in Borrego Springs at the same time - small world!

So where are we now?  Menifee, CA - west of Palm Springs.  We'll be here for another week then head south to Jamul which is 30 miles east of San Diego.  We'll be there for a week, then back to Menifee for 3 weeks then back to Palm Springs for 3 weeks.  After that we'll make a stop in Death Valley, a few weeks in Vegas then to Verde Valley (near Sedona, AZ), a favorite area of ours so far, for a month or so.  Then?  We'll see!

Til next time...Happy Trails!