Fun Part 3

First off, I have to correct a grievous error on the previous post. According to Sylvia’s Aunt in Ireland I made a horrible mistake not including this picture in the post. So Finola, this one’s for you! Who doesn’t love Meerkats after all?

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Our next day in San Diego was spent exploring the USS Midway, a retired Aircraft Carrier first commissioned in 1945 right after the Second World War ended. It stayed on active duty until 1993 and was the US Flagship during the Desert Storm kerfuffle in 1991.

It really is quite impressive to see how large these ships are, as the Flight Deck is 4 acres in size. By comparison, the newly commissioned USS Gerald Ford has 6.4 acres of deck space, bigger than many Hobby Farms. Mind you I still wouldn’t like to land a plane or jet on it when it is moving 30 MPH and pitching up and down 30 feet or so in the middle of the ocean.

This exhibit was definitely one of the things our Son wanted to do, as he’s been a sucker for airplanes since he was a little kid, and seeing the Corsair and Intruder on the ship made his day. He has a Remote Control Corsair with a 5 foot wingspan squirreled away in storage somewhere, and has wanted to fly an Intruder since I gave him the Vietnam War book, Flight of the Intruder, when he was a teenager.

It was a nice day in San Diego! The vessels in the distance are newer and larger Aircraft Carriers undergoing refit.

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Gotta love the Intruder. I believe they can carry thirty-two 500 pound bombs at a time.

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And then there was the Corsair on the Hanger Deck.

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The immense size and surprisingly cramped living spaces and stairwells were interesting to see. I only banged my head once….right after I was told to watch my head going down the stairs. Normally I’m not tall enough to hit my head on anything, so I can’t imagine they tried very hard to recruit 6 foot tall sailors.

Our last full day in SD was spent at Seaworld. This was another site that we’d been to in the distant past, and it has many features that were familiar, and several new ones.

The massive video screen at the rear of the Orca pool was one of the improvements. It kept up a running dialogue to inform and educate the audience.

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The Dolphin enclosure seems to be larger than I remember, but the Dolphins were just as entertaining.

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The Sea Lion was probably the most entertaining show in the whole place, just like it was almost 30 years ago. The first time we were here, a Walrus was part of the show, but this time it was a very precocious little Otter.

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The Penguin enclosure was massive, and the Tuxedo Wearing critters had quite a large audience to entertain.

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They have added several fast and twisty Roller Coasters to the park, and Jason and I rode the Electric Eel and the Manta. The Eel is very fast and so sharp and twisty that they don’t even allow riders to wear Eyeglasses for fear of them falling off. So, even though I was half-blind I really enjoyed the ride. I even kept my lunch down. They take pictures of all the riders, and we could have bought one of us smiling from Ear to Ear, but the $40 price tag was a bit steep.

The following day we drove back to Gold Canyon, spent Christmas Eve visiting with friends in the park. On Christmas Day we prepared a traditional Turkey Dinner and invited Jim and Cheryl to spend the Holiday with us. Jason and Diana prepared a couple of special dishes to treat us with, and we all ended up eating too much. That didn’t stop us from filling up on desserts though.

The Kids flew back to Calgary the following day, and we got down to business preparing for hosting a New Year’s Eve party. More on that later.

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That Was Fun – Part 2

After the long drive to from Phoenix we got gussied up and checked out one of the trendy restaurants in San Diego. We had a large selection to choose from, and the one Diana chose for us was right next to Balboa Park, so after dinner we explored the park (in the Dark) to see where we might like to spend our time and cash.

Our first full day in San Diego was spent at the San Diego Zoo. We had taken our to kids there when they were actually kids, some 27{?} years ago. Needless to say, it has changed a bit. Many of the buildings and animal enclosures had a dedication plaque on them from the mid 90’s and newer, so we never saw them on our first visit.

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The Leopards have a walkway right over out heads. I think they like looking down and dreaming about dinnertime…

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Two of the strangest animals we saw……

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Like most zoos we’ve visited, many of the animals were lethargic and disinterested, but this Cheetah was always looking around and seeing what was going on outside the cage. What I found most intriguing was that they also housed a Yellow Labrador Retriever in the enclosure along with the Cheetah. It seems they are great friends.

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The Pandas seem to be the highlight of the Zoo, judging by the crowds lining up to see them. Lots of Oohing and Awwing went on in front of the cage, but the solitary Panda that we could see didn’t move a muscle while we were there. Cute Pose though.20181221_135558

After a full day, we wandered back to our Beachside lodgings and enjoyed the sunset.

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That Was Fun–Part 1

As our Christmas Present this year, our son and his Fiance (yep, that’s new news) were able to come visit us in Arizona for Christmas. They have been a couple for several years, but Jason finally managed to get her to sit still long enough to propose. They haven’t set a date, and he mentioned something about the Ring buying him another 6 years before they get married, but I have a feeling that isn’t going to be the case.

We have no pictures to share of the Happy Couple, but maybe we’ll be able to post some Wedding pics sometime in the next 6 years or so.

We managed to take them to explore a couple of places near us before heading to San Diego for 4 days. First up on the list was the Boyce Thompson Arboretum just down the highway from us. We haven’t been there for a few years, but the flowers and shrubbery are quite special this year due to the cooler temps and rain since summer.

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This home, Picket Post Mansion, is part of the complex and was occupied by a Mining Magnate while they were developing the Arboretum almost 100 years ago.

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This is one of the few pictures of the flowers that I took that was in focus. I need to retire my phone as a camera it seems.

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That evening we attended the Hale Theatre to see A Christmas Carol. We always enjoy the plays there and while we’ve seen this particular play 3 or 4 times, it never gets old, as they change it up every year.

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The following Morning we took off for San Diego but as check-in for our AirBnb home was 4PM we weren’t in too much of a hurry. We were hardly out of Phoenix when we got a text message that the place was ready for us. Oh Well.

The location was right next to the water both in Mission Bay and the Open Pacific. It was fun to see the surfers running into the water to catch a few waves before the sun disappeared for the day.

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Gotta Love the Beach. Our on going adventures in San Diego will be in the next post.

How We Spent our Pre-Christmas

I know many of you won’t believe it, but Sylvia is the one who wanted to try these out!

A Year of Renos

Christmas 2018

Actually, it all started in 2017 when we decided to purchase a Park Model. All you blog friends already know that story.

Just before last Christmas we decided to move into our Park Model, even though the addition of an Arizona room had not been built yet, due to numerous delays. Then finally in February 2018 the construction began! Yeah!!!!, but alas that meant we were now going to be surrounded by construction noise and mess. Not Sylvia’s favourite place to be…clean freak that she is, ha! Ha! The construction slowly….yes very slowly progressed through the rest of our stay for that winter.

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Home we go. Get unpacked and then start a kitchen renovation in our beautiful home in West Kelowna. You may ask…are we crazy!?!? We had already ordered our countertops and cabinets before we even left for Arizona in November 2017, so all should be a piece of cake, right? Well, for the most part it was alright. But what it did mean is once again Sylvia is coping with construction mess. I was in charge of deconstructing the kitchen, as Sylvia followed closely behind, with vacuum and cleaning products in hand.

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The cabinets came in the middle of May as planned, then the countertops were shortly to follow. That’s where there was a little blip. We thought the counters would be measured and placed in about 7 to 10 days…not so. Even though we ordered the countertops for a week after the cabinets were installed, it came to our understanding, that first you need the guy to come out and measure, then he puts in the work order, then the fabricators schedule you into their over scheduled calendar, and then the sales person schedules when they can deliver and install. All total, about a month to five weeks! In the mean time we were coping with a partial old counter for our day to day food prep. At least we had that and the old kitchen sink!

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Then we painted the kitchen. You can’t have new cabinets and countertops with old painted walls, can you? So Sylvia and I donned our painting clothes and got ‘er done. Thank goodness we both work well together. Of course Sylvia was constantly cleaning as we went, trying to keep the ciaos to a minimum. (Have I mentioned that I am a messy worker??) All said, the kitchen reno turned out just the way we planned, and the work and mess were well worth it.

Then comes summer, with a stream of wonderful family and friends coming for a visit in the lovely Okanagan, and a kitchen that made it a breeze to entertain.IMG_5599

We also were very involved with organizing a Super Seniors Pickleball Tournament with the executive of our West Kelowna Pickleball Club. The tournament was held in August and proved to be a success, which made all the long hours of prep worth while. Winning a Medal was quite a treat too.

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Then as fall was fast approaching, we started making our plans to go south for the winter. A little different planning was required as this year we were not using our now sold 5th Wheel. So, the challenge was packing in bins to be stacked in the bed of our truck. How much stuff can we actually take?! Do we really need all that?! After packing, and re-packing, and re-packing we got it all in! Everything! Not one thing that we thought we needed had to be left behind! Yeah!!

As we arrived at our Park Model, our contractor and his wife were frantically trying to get all their tools and stuff out of our house. Was it finished? Well, almost…but not really. So here we are in reno mess again.

First things first! Clean all the dishes, and cupboards, and counters of construction dust so we can use the kitchen. Yes, and I mean every piece, and every square inch. Next get the bedroom cleared (it was used as a storage room) and set up the bed. Thank goodness all the bedding was sealed in a huge container! Next get the bathroom cleaned…no other explanation needed. It was a big whirl wind just to get the place to a point of using it.

Once we were a little more settled, the painting started, and fixing, and touching up. It has been an on-going project since we got here.

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Sylvia’s favourtite feature of our new place is the Washer and Dryer. No more Combat Laundry at the park Laundromat!

Finished home

We’ve managed to get in several hikes since we arrived in Gold Canyon, the Softball team continued it’s winning ways and we won our division, but have not played much Pickleball yet. That will change in the New Year we hope.

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Mondays

Note the Catchy name for our team. Nobody ever came up with a decent name, so the coach (Mike M) decided to call us the Mondays!

Now as Christmas is coming, we can finally say that most everything is done…can you honestly ever say everything is done when you own a home? We are settling into a routine and beginning to enjoy our friends and activities.

We have to admit, this past year has had its challenges, and sometimes we felt tired and overwhelmed, but through it all we also felt blessed, and thankful, and loved. Isn’t that what life is all about? No matter what challenges life brings from year to year, there are always beautiful, and wonderful things as well.

We are so thankful for a God that loves us, a Saviour that gives us life, and a Spirit that gives us strength to live each day to the fullest.

We are also thankful for family and friends that we can share our lives with, and support, and encourage, and love.

So this Christmas we want you to know that we share our hearts and lives with you. You are very special to us, and we want to wish you love, and joy, and peace this Christmas season and throughout the New Year.

Merry Christmas everyone,

Rod and Sylvia

Praying Hands Loop

Check out my activity on AllTrails.
https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/praying-hands-loop–5?p=-1

For whatever reason, these pictures got posted in Reverse Order,

Just a bit Cloudy today, and cooler, but great weather for Hiking.

Praying Hands from the ‘Far’ side.

Almost at the Top.

The Brittle Bush don’t seem to know it is still winter. We usually don’t see these flowers until February or March.

There were 38 of us in the group today.

For those of you in the Park following Sylvia’s Tootsie Troubles, the new stiffer boots she bought didn’t help any. On to plan C.