4gslivingthedream

Adventures of Steve, Patti, Sami and Ozzie


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Paradise – Desert Hot Springs, California

We left Panoma last Saturday and decided to head to Desert Hot Springs, CA.  The weather in Ponoma was in the upper 60’s in Pomona and rainy.  Patti’s Aunt and Uncle come to Desert Hot Springs  in the winter and we knew this was a must do on our list to visit.  The drive was about an hour and a half or so, and the traffic was light.  Nothing like we experienced in LA.  The farther East we got and the closer the mountains were, you could see the blue sky.  By the time we crossed the mountain area and fields of windmills (and people in Brownsville think their wind fields are bad…) the temp had risen into the 80’s and the sun was shining. 

We pulled into Sky Valley Resort.  When we had called to make reservations, the gal on the phone asked if we had ever been there before, when we said we hadn’t, she told us we were in for a treat.  We had heard that before, but we were pleasantly suprised.   This is a very nice park.  BIG…over 1000 sites for year round, seasonal or nightly spots.  Nine hot mineral spring tubs and 3 mineral spring pools.  Beautiful palm trees and fruit trees everywhere.  Sami and Ozzie had to adjust to there being no grass to do their business on, but they adjusted just fine. 

The weather here all week was beautiful.  By the time we woke up, it was 70, upper 80’s by the afternoon and when the sun set, it would quickly cool down to a comfortable 60 degrees.  The pool is open until 10pm, and at night the pools are all lit up and it’s really quite beautiful.  The people here are so friendly.  Thanksgiving our neighbor even came by with pumking spice cake for us. 

Speaking of Thanksgiving.  We had our first big food holiday in the Motorhome.  It was a challenge with limited counterspace and no oven-only a convection microwave and a 2 burner stove, but we made it work and had a full traditional dinner and all the left overs. 

We are scheduled to leave tomorrow and spent today checking out other parks in the area.  If we don’t stay here, there is another place a few miles down the road we are going to check out.  San Diego is also a possibility.  We will figure it out before we leave…

Adult only swimming pool.

Building leading into the adult only and family swimming pool.  Both have mineral hot spring hot tubs and very warm pools.

Lime trees….

Pomegranite trees….

Orange trees…..

Ozzie catching a nap on the couch.

Took a drive into Palm Springs.  Awesome sights.

Steve totally relaxed in one of the mineral hot springs hot tubs.  They are sooooo hot and you don’t want to leave once you are in them.

Family pool and spa area.

Have a good weekend, and we will keep in touch…..

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Our day exploring LA

Warning…this post has A LOT of photos. 

Thursday, we left the beach in Ventura and headed off to LA.  We found a place to stay in Pomona which is northwest of the DT LA area.  Traffic coming in was light and we got to our campground with no problems. 

Friday we headed out to explore some of the sights in LA.   First stop, Pasadena.  We wanted to see the Rose Bowl.  They were setting up for a game on Saturday between UCLA against USC.  These games are huge.  Big tents in the parking lots and vendors setting up.

In Pasadena, they treat their dogs very well!!!

 Then we headed off to Hollywood and Beverly Hills area.  A lot of really expensive homes!

We found our way to Hollywood Blvd, Sunset Blvd and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  There were vendors on the street selling everything from souvenirs to Jay Leno tickets.  If only I could have gotten some Price is Right tickets, I would have had the best Christmas present for Steve!!!!!!  You really need a couple of days to see and experience everything here.  It really is pretty spectacular.

 

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. There were people in costume and a lot of other interesting people as well!

Below is the Magic Castle.  We originally thought is was some sort of theme park, however it’s a private clubhouse for the Academy of Magical Arts, Inc.  An organization devoted to the advancement of the ancient art of magic.  The Academy has grown into a world-renowned fraternal organization with a membership of nearly 5,000.

For all our Harley friends.  Not the best picture, sorry..but yes there is a Harley store in DT Hollywood.

Almost forgot…We found the sign!  It’s not as easy as you would think to get a picture.  We had to drive up into the hills to get a good shot.

Next stop Rodeo drive.  We started out by driving down the residential area, and what gorgeous homes!!!

 

 This was the coolest house.  I can only imagine what it looks like on the inside!

 Now for the shopping area on Rodeo Drive.  We’ve all probably seen these stores in our bigger cities, however it was much different here.  The area was so pretty and clean and sharp.  The windows were all done up to the hilt, unfortunately my pictures didn’t capture all of them as I had hoped.  Well dressed people and the car of choice in this area appears to be Mercedes.  Not sure, but it looks like George Clooney walking in front of that cool car!

 

 

 

 

 Fashion update below…check out the stockings.

This is my favorite store…some day….I will own a Prada purse!!!  So far I haven’t crossed that off my bucket list!

 

 

It was tempting to do a little shopping, but I was good and just stuck to window shopping. 

Next stop Malibu.  It was overcast and hazy over the ocean by the time we got there, inland was sunny.  The beach was really hard to take pictures of because of the weather, but  looked very nice and there were very expensive homes everywhere.  I imagine the weekends here are packed with people.  The beaches are lined with volley ball nets and clubs on the beach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We headed back to Pomona around 3:30 and hit rush hour traffic in LA.  I don’t know how people here do it.  It took almost 2 hours to get back to the motor home.  It was a long day sight-seeing, but it was worth it.  Saturday we woke up and changed our plans again….Desert Hot Springs here we come…..stayed tuned……

 


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Ventura and camping on the beach of the Pacific Ocean

Ah, what a relaxing day of soaking in the sun shine and the mineral hot springs in Desert Hot Springs….but wait…getting ahead of ourselves.  This past week has been amazing and very different in every way – every day.  So lets back up to last Tuesday and Wednesday, when we decided to do the camping on the beach in Ventura.  

Before picking out our spot, we did a little exploring around the area.  Ventura was much bigger than we thought, the downtown area was very busy but everywhere you look, there was something that just stood out and you knew you had to take a photo.  This was one of them, The Old Mission San Buenaventura.  Built in 1782.  Interesting history, to read more – www.sanbuenaventuramissionresting 

They started to hang Christmas lights already.  Not a job either of us would want, it was way up there.

Also drove around the beach area quite a bit.  There were people fishing, although we didn’t see anyone catch anything but an itty bitty fish.  Also, the homes are amazing.  There was one for sale behind a gated area with a Sotheby’s sign.  We tried to find the house, but a lot of the listings on-line do not have an address.  In that price range, it’s understandable.  but what we found in the area ran 1.7 – 4.2 million.  Probably not a lot for California standards, but still…

So back to our beach front camping.  This was something that we were really glad we did, it was so peaceful, and loved the sound of the waves crashing on the  beach.  The highway was behind us up on the hill and Amtrak did go by every few hours about a few hundred feet, but it didn’t bother us, how could it with these views.

When we decided to stay an addition night, Patti walked down the road that follows the beach to let the ranger know.  On her way back, she walked along a sea lion swimming south all the way back to our motor home.  She was really close, but didn’t have a camera.  We saw them many times after that, but they come up and go back down in the water so quickly, we never got a good picture.  The otters were much more accommodating.

Pelicans everywhere!

Some of the best sunsets!

Patti got creative.  She said she was getting her Zen on!  Just rocks in front of a sunset to me! ha! ha!

Okay, so it’s not the best picture, but we had to take it ourselves.  We realized that there aren’t to many pictures of us together along the way, so thought we should take one and post it. 

And the best picture for last. DOLPHINS!   These guys are hard to catch on camera!  They came by a couple of times and were awesome to watch. 

Next post is coming very soon.  Patti is working on our trip to LA.  Including Hollywood Blvd, Beverly Hills, Malibu and yes…even Rodeo drive.  Stay tuned!


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Moving on in California

On November 7th we sadly left Santa Rosa.  It was really a nice park with friendly camphosts.  However the weather forecast was getting cooler and we wanted to get further south.

We only ended up about 10 miles south that night.  We stopped in Rohnert Park to do some shopping at Walmart and figured this would be our only chance to do some free camping for a while, so we parked in the lot for the night.  Now there isn’t a whole lot to do when you’re in a Walmart parking lot other than people watch, and boy did we have a good show that night.  A lot of people park in the lot overnight, some in their cars, other people in campers and motor homes.  Some guy pulled up in a compact car pulling what looked like an oversized casket.  He put the jacks down and crawled in for the night.  When the police came knocking on his door, he didn’t answer.  Either did the couple who had a trailer dropped in the middle of the parking lot.  They had a sign on their door that said their truck broke down and they would be back to pick it up, but their car was right next to it and they and their two dogs were inside.  But they pretended not to be there and the police finally left.  The police never bothered us or the other motor homes who stopped for the night.

The next morning we headed out.  We were less than an hour away from the Golden Gate Bridge.  We saw Alcatraz.  The bridge was ok but not worth $26 to cross.  Had there been another way around it, we probably would have taken it.  However Hwy 101 took us right through down town San Francisco and that was definitely worth it.

Below is Alcatraz.

Cable cars everywhere.

We ended up stopping in San Juan Bautisa at a campground in the middle of no where but right off the highway.  Nicely landscaped park.  Sites were close but 6ft hedges between the sites gave us some privacy – you can’t see by the pictures, we didn’t get a picture of where we were, but you can see the great views.   It rained on and off that day and the next but we were treated to a beautiful rainbow.  There were also hummingbirds everywhere.  We stayed 2 nights and left to go to Santa Maria on Saturday.

Stopped for lunch along the way.  Can you believe this is a rest stop?  No wonder the state of California is broke!  The bathrooms were as big as a house and they had vending machines and a visitor information center.  Some guy Steve talked to said that there was a tarantula in the parking lot.  I am glad I didn’t see that.  The pet area had warning signs for rattlesnakes.

We drove through Pismo Beach, it looked like a really nice place and very touristy.

We arrived in Santa Maria..where to begin…well the park we planned to stay at for a week, didn’t exist.  It was at their county fairgrounds and there was info on the internet, I talked to the office a few days before but when we got there, there where no campers and all the lots were fenced up and locked.  It was 4:30 and we only had a little daylight left so we went to another park we saw on the way off the highway.  The office there kept odd hours, they were closed for the weekend, so we just picked out a site, paid by envelope and camped for the night.  It was next to some kind of go cart race track park and not really in the best of areas.  We packed up the next day and headed south.

Sunday we decided to head to Ventura.  

South of Santa Marie, it was mostly agriculture that we saw.  Again, lots of vineyards and onion fields.  Many times tractor trailers passed us on the highway filled with onions, sort of like what we see in WI with corn.

We passed through Santa Barbara, it was really beautiful, even the drive on the highway.  There were palm trees and flowering trees everywhere.  Most of the hwy at this point followed along the ocean.  We could see the channel islands and oil rigs in the distance.

Coming into Ventura, we notices all these RV’s dry camping along the beach.  We checked it out, it’s $20 to dry camp there.  We may look at doing that while we are in the area.

Pulled into Ventura Beach RV resort.  Since it was a holiday, the regular price was jacked up $20 more than the regular rate and.  Then, they tacked on $4 per day per dog!!!  Really….for $16 they should be following us around when we walk them and pick up the “accidents”!  Ha ha!!  But  it is a nice park and we are going to check out DT Ventura and the beach today, supposed to be in the upper 60’s.

Next post we’ll post some pictures of Ventura.


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Santa Rosa – still here!

We only planned to stay here for 3-5 nights, however tonight will be night 12.  The days go by so quickly and the weather has been really nice.  Only one day of soaking rain, but the last few days have been in the 80’s.  It’s been a long time since we have had this nice of weather and now we are spoiled!  The forecast for the next week is going to be in the 60’s and that seems cold to us now.

We really haven’t been up to that much really.  Reading, shopping, cooking, trying to get our tan back and planning where we are going next, is as about all we have accomplished.  We have been driving around the city a bit, what amazes us is how nicely landscaped the yards are.  The colors are changing here and it makes everything look so nice. 

 

Yesterday we drove up into the hills to a subdivision called Grace Heights.  People that live there must have to get new brakes every couple of months.  Very steep roads but the houses are worth checking out.  It’s not a newer area and we would guess most houses were built in the 70’s or 80’s, but they still have a big price tag!

If you have $644,000 this one can be yours….

Or $737,000 could buy you this one…..

The area is pretty tight so it was hard to get a full picture.  Here is a house anyone would love just for the view….

Love the trees in front of this one…

The best thing about this area are the views.

This is the view we have from our campsite.  There a lot of views like this around the area.

This is the place we are staying at – the Sonoma County Fair Grounds.  It’s nothing special, but it’s quite and peaceful.  We have seen a lot of people come and go, but one thing most have in common, they unload cases of wine daily from their trips to the vineyards.  We have seen people from Canada, Colorado, Florida and even a small motor home with a license plate from Europe…I imagine that was pretty costly to ship over here!

Starting to see more palm trees of all varieties. 

Tomorrow we plan to leave and head south.  We will cross the Golden Gate Bridge which isn’t free, it’s $24 for the motor home and tow, just to cross over it.  From here we are planning to head to Salinis, Santa Maria, Ventura/Malibu (we’ll hopefully get to stalk a few stars..ha ha) and then to San Diego.  Once there we’ll figure out if we’ll stay in CA or move onto AZ. 

Happy Election Day!