Monday, February 5, 2018

Finishing San Diego and Eastbound thru Texas

     Our visit with Liam has ended for a few weeks, and as we sit in Port Aransas, Tx. still searching for nice warm weather, I'll take some time and try to get up to date.  Today is Feb 5, 2018, and we've been on the road for a few weeks now, working our way through visits in Texas.  We've now met up with Ted and Mary Anne from Alabama, who we talked into meeting us down here.
     We departed San Diego about 2 weeks later than originally planned.  Ben had decided to take down his Christmas lights one day, and his ladder tipped over with him about 12' off the ground.  A visit to the ER confirmed a broken bone in his wrist, and the need for a few stitches in his chin.  He was out of work and unable to drive his car, so the grandparents stepped up and drove he and Liam around for a week or so.  Great sacrifice on our part!!
     San Diego had been a little disappointing this year.  Perhaps it was the fact that we had spent a considerable amount of time there.  But more important was the fact that San Diego and California in general, has become a filthy city with homeless encampments springing up everywhere along the city streets.  The population density is having a derogatory impact on the quality of life forcing tourists like us to be off the roadway by 2:30 PM or face gridlock with the rest of the population.  Law enforcement has disappeared on the roadway, and Mario Brothers trained drivers make traveling anywhere a little hazardous.
     Of course we enjoyed staying close to Santee, and visiting with everyone almost daily.  Most of our days were spent visiting with Jamo and Liam, and making plans about the pending move back to NY!!!  Ben finally has a date of 5/28/18, when he will come under the control of the Champlain POE.  We also have a granddaughter arriving mid-April, which will make the entire move east quite interesting. 

     Christmas went quite smoothly, with Liam enjoying empty cardboard boxes as much as matchbox cars!  Ben enjoyed his "best present ever" moment, while Joanne watched nervously as Liam challenged the limits of his new trampoline!!  Grammie and Liam bonded over Christmas cookies and candy, and easily handled the complex instructions being issued in the kitchen.
 Eventually willpower broke down and there seemed to be a few moments where the directions were being ignored and the ingredients were being sampled.
     As we worked through the holidays, we made arrangements to meet with our Vermont friends who were visiting family up in Vegas.  It's only about a 4-5 hour drive up there, so we packed up and headed north on I-15. As expected traffic was pretty exciting, but we made it safely and parked across the street from Dean and Joanne.  Joanne treated us to a great dinner complete with brownies and ice cream, which I think was Dean's favorite.  He was a little disappointed though when I passed on the maple syrup!!

     Our second day was spent being tourists and wandering over to the Hoover Dam.  They have a unique foot bridge along the highway which provides you with a very unique view of the dam, and is definitely worth experiencing.  In the evening we ventured over to the Vegas Strip to check out the decorations, crowds and casinos.  Since you're there, you have to try it.  The Fountains of Bellagio in front of the Bellagio Casino put on a beautiful water show with music and is a must see.  Day 3 we said goodbye to "Dean and Deluca" but we'll see them again in Sarasota, Fl in about 7 weeks.
      On our way home we were tempted off of I-15 with numerous sign advertising Peggy Sue's 50's Diner.  It was originally built in 1951, and quickly serves a delicious burger with plenty of old fashioned rock and roll in the background.  We would strongly urge travelers to take a break and check it out if they are passing by.  After all, that's why we're out here.
Back in Santee, we worked at feeding Ben and Liam, who seemed to eat anything Debbie would put down in front of them. 

     Liam's bashfulness was disappearing and he seemed quite comfortable with us.  There was little hesitation upon entering Big Red, as he knew he was going to get something to eat and a walk over to the playground.  Ben took us up to the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla, and the views from the tide pool plaza are pretty impressive.  There are lots of displays and hands on for kids, and even adults are a little impressed with the work being accomplished there.

     Before leaving Santee we had to do lunch 1 more time with "the Admiral" and Nancy.  They are always fun to step out with with, whether it's a fancy dinner at the Casino, or a quick lunch at Casa de Pico near Grossmont Center. 
The food is good and the drinks are great!  This restaurant used to be down in San Diego in Old Town, which is where we first experienced it many years ago.  Thanks Debbie for the great photo!  We'll most likely see them again this summer up in NY as they summer in the Syracuse, NY area.
     So now we're in Texas at the Pioneer Beach Resort and RV Park in Port Aransas with Teddy and Mary Anne.  But Texas is a new adventure, so I'll end this story here.  We've managed to stay away from the flu which is ravaging cities all around the country.  I've got a few little adventures to talk about, but you'll have to wait for the next edition.  Stay safe  everyone!

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