Friday April 19th, 2019
Ben had to work some today but made us a nice breakfast before he headed out. We lounged and watched TV (something we don’t have on the road much). JP and I went walking and toured Whole Foods again. I didn’t recognize much of anything brand wise but the fresh food, produce and bakery is amazing. Later Ben took us to A16 Outfitters so JP could do some window shopping. The boys had a good time!
Later we did dinner at Kura. Its a sushi place with a track around the tables so you can snag your sushi dish as it passes by on the conveyor belt. Each plate has 2 – 3 pieces of sushi on it. Once you’ve eaten a plate clean, you slip the empty plate in a slot at the end of your table. Your bill is determined by the number of plates for your table. We hit 33 plates – guess we were hungry!
Thursday April 18th, 2019
April 18th – We were up and at ’em and had all of our gear transferred from the truck into Lucky so we could store him at the KOA while we are visiting the kids in LA. Even though we left on schedule it took a good 2 -1/2 hours to get to Ben’s place (cuz well – traffic).
When we were waiting for Ben we walked up to Whole Foods. Why would anyone cook when you can have any combination of healthy awesome food for 8.99 a pound AND if you’re feeling tense, get a massage just outside near the gorgeous outdoor flower mart. Really? When Ben got home from work we went to the beautiful Century City Mall. You can shop for your Rolex and Tesla after you’ve found that perfect outfit at Bloomingdales. I on the other hand found the Container Store and was as happy as an organizer can be! Last stop was a hearty dinner at Fatburgers.
Wednesday April 17th, 2019
Today was a prep day, so we can roll on down the road to see the kids in LA on Thursday. We did our chores, packed for the trip and took a siesta. We decided to try one more Mexican meal. We kept it local and ate at Casa Blanca in Desert Hot Springs. I read they had a good Happy Hour – and it was for sure! I had the Blue Margarita and JP had a Tequila Sunrise. The food was good but the drinks were awesome! No skimping on the alcohol and for a mere $4.50 you were blurry eyed before your chips and salsa were gone. It was a fun night out and I had my favorite Margarita so far! I’ll still be on the prowl though – just to be sure it’s truly the winner! We hit the hot tub after dinner (boy I’m going to miss that) and hit it early so we could make the move in the AM.
Tuesday april 16th, 2019
We were up and at ’em and on the road early (which means by 10:00). I searched on atlas obscura and found Desert Christ Park and since it wasn’t out of our way we decided to visit. It’s located on a hillside just on the edge of town in Yucca Valley with hills on one side of the road and and apartments on the other. We took the self-guided tour and met a lady who is one of the caretaker volunteers there. She was cementing blue glass bubbles inside a well between 2 statues. The bubbles will eventually fill the well and each represents a dollar donated to the Park. It was very peaceful and unusual because of it’s location and the passion of one man. The park entry is by donation only and there are only 4 caretaker volunteers total. The park was created by Frank Anton Martin who sculpted over 40 white concrete sculptures on the sight over a 10 year period. If you’re curious there is a lovely website: http://www.desertchristpark.org
Our next stop called to us from a billboard. So on to Tortoise Rock Casino! It’s a small casino but had lots of new slots we’d never seen before and they were happy to give us 10.00 in free play so . . . we played for a couple of hours, had tons of fun and left with every cent we went in with! So it was a fun-for-free casino experience!
Our next destination was Joshua Tree National Park. It was odd seeing a landscape with Yucca plants and Joshua Trees instead of the Saguaro we’ve grown accustomed to in our Arizona travels. The park was pristine and every campground full. The rock formations were huge and there were tons of hikers. The wildflowers were in bloom and the sky was ever changing, with clouds, clear skies and a few times what looked like rain in the distance.
Somebody is traveling large! We saw this bus and I have to admit – I was a little bit jealous!
Friday April 12th – Tuesday April 15th, 2019
JP and I had 6 days at Desert Hot Springs. It’s not so much a destination, but it’s close to Palm Springs and the cities around it. JP drove me to all kinds of shopping and that in turn took us to see more of the area. I was happy to have some retail therapy!
We were in Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, La Quinta and Palm Springs. Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was going on while we were here, so we didn’t venture out that direction. According to Goldenvoice attendance is 99,000 per-day during the six days of Coachella. That’s two 3 day weekends. The revenue is over 115 million! It’s fun to watch on TV but I can’t imagine the crowds, the heat, the lines! Plus its a little spendy – General admission passes are $429 and the Festival Pass/Shuttle Combo is $509. The only effect the Festival had on us was the high price of gas and our RV spot cost jumped up on the festival days.
Harry and Suzanne told us to try our new favorite restaurant in Palm Desert – Sherman’s Deli and Bakery. It was SO good! We split a pastrami sandwich and fries and had the best key lime pie ever!
Even though marijuana is legal in lots of states, some of the dispensaries around Palm Springs look much like spas. The billboards are clever and funny too. No sign of Grateful Dead tees or crazy paraphernalia, instead very modern, tasteful, professional and high end businesses!
Palm Springs has a large LGBTQ population. Palm Springs has the highest per capita gay population in the US. As a matter of fact – this year voters elected the nation’s first city council consisting entirely of members of the LGBTQ community. Palm Springs also has one of the first LGBTQ Radio Stations. 103.1 is “Q” Radio and the funniest billboards we’ve seen!
Thursday April 11th, 2019
Mike and Ann were packed and ready to hit the road when they picked us up in the morning. We went into Palm Springs for breakfast downtown at the Broken Yolk. We had a huge breakfast and did some window shopping before they brought us back to camp and headed north to Clovis. We had a hella’ good time with them between Sunday when they arrived and Thursday when they headed home. JP and I spent the rest of the day relaxing and plotting our route north at the end of the month.
Wednesday April 10th, 2019
Suzanne had an early flight but we slept in a bit. We had another great breakfast with some crazy good bakery good, and spent the better part of the morning having coffee and visiting with Harry. There’s no doubt they have taken hospitality to a new level! Everything was perfect! We loaded up and left hoping to miss traffic but it seems in Calif. you’re hard pressed to escape it.
We rolled into Desert Hot Springs in time for dinner at South of the Border. And YES Margarita’s were involved! Ann and I even bumped it up to the Cadillac Margarita. Yet the search continues . . . for the PERFECT Margarita!
Tuesday April 9 th. 2019
We woke up to a lovely breakfast and coffee’d up for our day. We split into 2 cars and drove to the border parking. We walked into Mexico and started our adventure. We traveled by bus, by van, by city bus and in something like a golf cart (with 6 of us plus the driver it probably looked like a clown car !) According to my pedometer we walked 6 miles too – so we covered some territory!
Our main destination was La Bufadora in Ensenada. Its a natural phenomenon where the waves come up through the rocks with just the right force to make for an awesome and unpredictable wave of spray.
The street is lined with merchandise and food vendors. You can sample pina coladas at about every other booth and there was fresh seafood in half shells and every kind of bakery good you can think of.
We finished the day in Tijuana. We made a stop at a corner vendor that sold Camechana (a seafood cocktail) so Mike and Ann could give it a try, Harry and Suzanne are fans but I decided to hold out for dinner. We walked the town a bit, and visited the fish market.
We did some shopping on the way to dinner. Ann was able to find a treasure to take home and I got a souvenir for a friend. The downtown near our dinner destination was made up of stores (rather than booths) and had more interesting shopping.
We ate at Caesar’s in Tijuana. The story is Caesar Salad was originally created here back in the day and it’s still their trademark menu item. The menu prices were in Pesos so it looked a little scary at first (180.00 for an appetizer!) but alas once converted to USD it was all good! We had a great dinner and of course Margarita’s!
Apparently I’m on a quest to have a Margarita everywhere I go (in search of the PERFECT Margarita). I’ll let you know when I’ve found it!
Harry and Suzanne were great tour guides! Suzanne speaks Spanish and that lends a lot to knowing more of what’s going on around us. They had everything planned out and covered all the details (including water and sunscreen). A fun day in the sun in Mexico!
Side note: We saw this window display coming into Mexico. I, loving all things odd and unusual, thought it was awesome! I’m not sure I know any dogs that require this kind of fashion but it tickled my fancy!
Monday April 8th , 2019
We left early, hit McDonalds for a quick breakfast and met up with Jerry’s brother Harry for a full whirlwind of a day in and around San Diego.
Our first stop was Old Town San Diego. We wandered through the Old Town buildings, and did some pre-shopping for our trip to Mexico.
Next we drove to La Jolla and then to Imperial beach.
We got to Balboa Park near closing time so we did a quick trip around the grounds, looked in on the Japanese Garden, Botanical Building and Lily Pond. Even though time was short the buildings alone are worth the trip.
We stopped in for a late lunch at Soda & Swine (meatballs are the specialty but they had great salads too)! Next stop was the Hotel Del Coronado which was lovely! It’s been around since 1887 and is very impressive! It sits on a beautiful beach and has tons of old world charm. The elevator and the chandelier were really cool!
After a full day of touring the hot spots in San Diego we kicked back with Harry and Suzanne and had an awesome meal at home before we hit the hay. It was lights out in no time. What a great day!
Sunday April 7th, 2019
Ann and Mike our friends from Bandon (who also live in Clovis Calif) checked into their park model here at the KOA mid-day. We planned on a Mexican dinner but after Happy Hour (and lots of silliness and laughter) we decided to eat in, so we put together a myriad of snack foods and made a plan for the AM getaway to San Diego.