Hot and humid today

Hot and humid today. Just didn't feel like doing much, and fortunately, we're retired, so that's an option! Randy and Dan took a quick run to Prohibition  and tonight Dan and Ashley had us over for 50/50 burgers. We ate outside as the sun set and the breeze finally got cooler. Nice.

A retirement dinner

One of the guys at the Museum retired from his "real" job today, so Randy invited the gang here over for a retirement dinner for Mark. 
Randy fixed pulled pork, slaw, baked beans and pickles for everyone. The pork had to cook about 22 hours to get to the right level of tenderness, but everything came out great. He also made a marble cake which was wonderful. I decorated it, which was not wonderful. I have a lot to learn, but at least it tasted right!

Missy, the music critic

Randy recently bought a nice Indian flute at Ruby's Inn, near Bryce Canyon, and a couple others at the Indian Store in Vista. He likes to practice in the evening. These evenings are usually Missy's quality time with Randy; the dogs are in bed and she doesn't have to share him with anyone. But she is not impressed with his flute practice.
Instead of cuddling up next to him like she usually does, she sits there and yells when he hits a high note. Not encouraging!

National Dog Day

Today is National Dog Day so we took our two furry babies out for their favorite restaurant food, burgers. Usually they have to split one burger between them, but in honor of the day, they each got a whole one (minus the bun). They love to ride in the car so we took them with us to pick up the burgers up at Carl's Jr. They enjoyed the drive there but when we drove home before opening the sack, they whined all the way. At home they scarfed their burgers, then begged for more. Sometimes I wonder how much they would eat if we let them!

Bleeding Trees

Today Randy and Dan cut down a tree. It's a Eucalyptus that got infected with a beetle from Mexico, and the risk of it falling on someone was too great. So they grabbed a chainsaw and cut. When I walked up, I saw the stump and assumed someone was missing a finger. Yikes!
But everyone was fine. It turns out that some Eucalyptus trees have red sap. The sap is called Kino and not only is it blood red, it's also the consistency of blood. Yuck!
It makes you feel funny, when you kill a plant that bleeds; vegetarians should see this. But the tree still needed to come down, so they cut a big notch in the second trunk, hooked up a cable, and pulled it all down. 

August 22

Time slips by. What do I want to remember about the last few days? Lunch at Ciao's, where I love the pasta, pizza and bread so much. And today we went to the big Oceanside swap meet, but it wasn't that big this time. When we were here in February it was full of vendors, but it's less than half that size now. We think this is seasonal and the that vendors will return in the fall. It's in the high 70s now which, after Pahrump, seems wonderful to us, but it's still their summer. 

I spent the afternoon collecting pretty rocks to landscape our site. Dan brought me over a big potted plant from their yard, then joined Randy, sitting outside the RV and drinking Corsendonk beer. 

And Relaxing

Today was the first day Randy really had off, since we arrived. We celebrated by going to Beach Break Cafe for breakfast. They not only serve tasty, large breakfasts but they also have the good sense to offer coffee cake instead of toast! 

Then we walked along the beach. The water is still too cold for swimming but folks in wet suits were giving it their best surfing effort. 
The sand here is beautiful; besides having a normal sandy color, it has lots of mica for shine, plus some black sand mixed in. The black sand must have a different consistency or weight because it makes surprising patterns. Today when the waves went out, they left these patterns behind.


I got up early one more time, to help Patti sweep and mop the Sandwich Shop floors. Then we joined our guys at Theresa's for breakfast. She cooked eggs, biscuits and gravy, fried eggplant and bacon. A lovely way to start the day!

Randy will be working on the grounds today. I will get caught up on laundry, but I'm really too tired to do much else. I plan on resting and recuperating.

Summergrass San Diego Bluegrass Festival - day 4

Sunday was another day of the Summergrass Festival, although not a full day. Activities wound up around 5 pm so food services ended shortly after 2. Personally I was glad - I was exhausted, and I wasn't one of the people who worked 7 am to 7 pm! I really don't know how these folks do it. And they are all volunteers, it's all to earn money for the Museum. 

There were more musical groups playing today, culminating in a large children's group. We couldn't hear the music very well in the kitchen, but they seemed to be doing a good job.

At 2 o'clock we started cleaning up the food area. Fortunately the kitchens were kept in order all along the way, so there wasn't a mess to clean. Last order of the day was dividing the left-overs among the volunteers. 

Randy and I didn't do much in the evening - we were just too tired!

Summergrass San Diego Bluegrass Festival - day 3

Today we didn't have to work on the sewer line - YEA!  But it wasn't a day off - all the time we didn't spend working on the sewer line we spent working in the kitchen. The work starts at 7 am (not for me, of course) and ends around 8:30 at night. I made it in around 8 am and worked on and off all day. I took a couple of breaks to watch Becky Buller's two sets, and bought her CD. 
Back in the kitchen we had a good dinner crowd. At 7 we switched to dessert - cherry and peach crips a la mode. And the word must have spread from last night's customers because we had a big line waiting, and that pretty much never stopped. The crowd ended about the same time as we were running out of things, so it was a good evening. 

But wow, we are tired!

Summergrass San Diego Bluegrass Festival - day 2 with Becky Buller

Patti and Teresa were in the food court kitchen at 7 am but I didn't make it there till almost 8. That's OK, I wasn't cooking anyway. But there were salads to make and go-fering to do, so I kept busy. When I took a short break and went to the RV, I found Randy working on the sewer line again. He had dug the whole trench open and removed the old, broken pipe. Ken and Randy went to Home Depot to get new pipe and I went back to help in the kitchen again. Later we needed some supplies brought over from another building. Usually one of the guys does that for us but when Patti couldn't find them, she realized they were probably standing around our RV, watching the project. I went over there and, sure enough, there were several guys there. One of them promptly went to get the supplies but I stayed to help Randy a little. The new pipe had been connected and laid in.
The next job was to cover it. Ken got a loader and brought a couple of loads of rock for us. As he was doing that we hosed it down, to help the rocks and dirt get under the pipe and support it. 
Then we said enough of that project for one day. After working just a short time outside, I needed to take a shower before returning to the kitchen. I worked in the kitchen on and off all day, but since they had enough for the 6 pm rush, I went outside to look through the vendors' booths. 

Suzanne took over Patti's part of the kitchen at 7 pm, serving home-made apple and peach crisps that she and Randy had baked earlier in the day. I worked at the window for over an hour until the late rush was over. Then I went to find Randy at Teresa's RV, with Ken and Patti. They had already had dinner but they left some roast beef, potatoes and gravy for me. 

It was dark when everyone went their separate ways and Randy headed to our RV for bed, but I wanted to hear the music at the bandstand. I got there just as the last act was tuning up. I have never heard of Becky Buller before, but I love her. She has a mane of curly auburn hair, a southern accent (despite being originally from Minnesota), mad fiddling skills and a pure, strong voice. Her songs ranged from love-gone-wrong to gospel, and she wrote most of them. Bluegrass reminds me of my Dad; he would play country stations on the radio late at night, and they mixed in a lot of Bluegrass, plus he was a good mandolin player. Becky was backed up by 4 guest musicians and they were all extremely talented. I will definitely get some of her CDs!

Summergrass San Diego Bluegrass Festival - day 1

Last night was supposed to be a great night to watch the Perseid meteor shower. This annual event occurs when Earth crosses the path of the Swift-Tuttle comet. This year there was almost no moon and we are not in the middle of town, so it should have been an easy view. I was up until 3 am, and just saw a couple of shooting stars and one meteor. The meteor was actually cool - it fell a little slower than the classic "falling star" and was larger, and red. But that was all we saw. And I woke up early at 6:30 so I'm pretty tired today.

This weekend the annual Summergrass San Diego Bluegrass Festival is going on at the Museum. It's three days of music, and this year it has a little extra tacked on, on Thursday afternoon. A lot of people arrived today and around 4 pm they put on some ad-hock performances in the grandstand area. The kitchen is in the same area, so Patti decided to open for business. I was able to help set up and sell for a few hours. 

Randy also helped in the kitchen, but he didn't get to do much; he had something much less fun to do. Not only did Randy have to wire the plug-in for our site, but now he has to find the old sewer line and add a usable end on it. Finding it was the first challenge - there is nothing to indicate where it used to be. We have to wait for the guy who laid the line years ago to arrive today. Fortunately he was able to give a point-of-line where it should be, so Dan got the excavator and dug. After he found it, Randy got in the hole with a shovel to dug around it. Apparently Randy needed lots of supervision; at one point he had Rick, Ken, Jack and Eric all making sure he was doing the job right.
Randy discovered that the pipe was broken, so they had to do it all over again, further out. Dan uncovered the line until they reached a part that wasn't broken, Randy carefully dug around it, then cut off the broken part. They couldn't finish the job today so they sealed off the pipe - with duct tape, of course.
In the afternoon we saw some odd smoke on the horizon. It was obviously from a fire but it wasn't the dark, rolling clouds that come from burning buildings. We learned there was a brush fire on Camp Pendleton, about 10 miles away. At that point 1,200 acres had burnt, and bits of ash floated down around us. 
But the firefighters have it under control now, so we went to dinner at the Upper Crust, where everything was good, and Randy's Antipasto Salad looked even better than my spaghetti.

Enjoying Vista

It's good to be at the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum again. Yesterday we had lunch at Souplantation and shopped at Sprouts. And it's so much cooler here - for most of the day we can turn off the a/c and open the windows.

Today they had to shut the water off on the Museum grounds for a few hours to fix a leak, but it wasn't much of an inconvenience. We went out for lunch, joining Ken, Patty and Dan at Prohibition. It's the first time I've been there but the guys are regulars - it's where they fill their Growlers.

Tonight, dinner at Ashley's: prime rib, baked beans, potatoes, mac salad, apple pie and ice cream.

3 years ago: Bread Pudding, Horseshoes and cat poo
4 years ago: Horse Rescue
5 years ago: Dreamland BBQ
6 years ago: Golden North Hotel

Hello, Vista

Time to try this again....Randy woke me up at 6:30 this morning, to get ready to go get the tire fixed. He's letting me sleep in, compared to the recent 4:30 and 3:00 wake-up calls! The tire place is about a mile from the RV park so we got there by 7 am. They checked and aired the tire, put it back on, removed all the valve stem extenders, and we left by 8:30.

It's about 300 miles between Las Vegas and Vista. To our surprise we didn't run into any construction or traffic back-ups. Usually we take a few breaks along the way but this time we were afraid of missing the "no-backup" window of opportunity. So we only stopped for fuel and cruised on into Vista at 2:30.

Then we found that our spot was already occupied! Cousin Jack is at the Museum for a week and his view is that he has had dibs on that particular spot for the last two months. Since he was already parked there, he won. We moved to another area that is not used for parking, although it has water and electrical hookups. Surprise, surprise - the electric box has no place to plug in. Randy took a quick trip to the hardware store with Dan, got the right stuff, and created a plug-in. He gets to create plug-ins a lot - he's already done it at Mom's and at Jack's!

We settled in, then joined Dan and Ashley, plus Jack, for Randy's 50/50 burgers and Dan's grilled corn-on-the-cob. It's good to be back!

No travel today

Well, phooey. We were going to drive to Vista today but that didn't happen. Randy didn't wake me at 3 am to leave this time; he waited until 4:30. At 5 we were ready but his final check of the tires showed we have a flat. It's the inside rear dually - again. There isn't any reason for this! But it's definitely flat, and when we drove just to the front of the Resort to air it up at their pump, the tire came off the rim. Nobody going anywhere with that. And it's Sunday, so nothing is open. 

Time to take a few deep breaths, let it go, and do what we can with the day. We did a little internal cleaning of the black and grey water tanks, then went nearby Town Square. It's a nice walk around there, even in this heat, and we got a couple of refrigerator containers at the Container Store. Most of the stores are surprisingly expensive, but I wasn't looking for anything anyway. The RV is full of things we need, or think we need, so there isn't a lot of spare room, plus my breakables always break. 

Tomorrow we will see about getting the tire fixed. If that can be done quickly enough, we can still go to Vista. Otherwise it's another night in the Las Vegas desert.

Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace

We went to check out the shops at Caesar's Palace. Don't know how these shops stay in business - we didn't see anyone with shopping bags. And it's easy to understand why, at these prices! I found a lovely pair of Jimmy Choos. Cute as they can be. Adorable. Costs $1,500. Not going home with me.
Caesar's Palace has made some changes, trying to keep things fresh. In one of their large atriums they built a stage populated with good animatronics, themed in Medieval Fantasy. The Dragon behind the King's throne is kitschy, but overall it was still well done. 
And the base of the display is a round aquarium, full of pretty fish and stingrays.
Caesar's Palace has expanded a lot since we first visited it. They have more shops than ever on three stories. Everything in Caesar's is attractive, even the stairways. The big curved stairway at one end is really a curved escalator.
Outside the lights were coming on and the sidewalk acts were starting. Most are pretty bad, a few are OK, and occasionally someone is really good. Today the good act was a group of 5 young men, dancing in coordinated sync to Michael Jackson's music. 

For dinner we went to Silverton Casino, very near our RV park. Saturday they have a Polynesian Buffet. We figured it must be good because there were a lot of Hawaiians in line. And we had a two-for-one special, so it seemed like a good deal. What we didn't know was that a huge group had just been seated, and every seat in the restaurant was full. By the time we realized there would be quite a wait, we had already invested a chunk of time, so we decided to wait it out. We were in line almost 1 1/2 hours! It was not worth that, almost nothing could be, but actually it was a good meal. And their prime rib was excellent, which is really unusual for a buffet.

Fare-Thee-Well, Pahrump

While we were in Pahrump we were investigating a position as a Resort Manager. Our initial impression of the Resort was favorable but every day revealed new and serious problems that needed to be fixed. Randy developed plans to solve the problems while increasing revenue, but the Owner and Randy were not on the same page. When he made us an offer yesterday, it was a probationary position, which meant Randy would be allowed to do the work, receive very little pay, and have no authority to accomplish anything. That offer was easy to refuse. 

At that point there was no point in remaining in the desert longer so we were ready to move again. We had really enjoyed our brief return to the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum, so Randy texted the folks there to find out if they had a spot for us. They forgave us our wandering ways and welcomed us back. This morning we drove as far as Las Vegas, where we will spend a couple of days enjoying the Imperial Spa and some good restaurants, then go on to Vista. And I can't wait to get back there!

Dust devils

One of the most common sights around here are dust devils. It looks like a small fire is burning somewhere, but it always turns out to be just dust and wind. Someday there will be a real fire and nobody will notice!

Nevada's nature

Today I found a large, unusual beetle in the laundry room. I freaked out but locals laughed at me, saying it was probably a water bug. "Water bug", it turns out, is a local name for a roach, similar to how "Palmetto bug" is a South Carolina name for roach.  But I knew it wasn't a roach. Good thing,too - if I found a roach this big, I would have to move. 

I decided I had to know that the heck this is, so I tossed a couple of pennies on the ground for perspective (upper left), let the bug out of the cup I had captured it in, and took a picture as it ran away. 
A few minutes on Google and I learned that it's a Palo Verde Beetle. They grow over 3 inches long (which in my opinion is way too big) and they aren't harmful to us, but they aren't very good news for trees. 

Las Vegas trip

Saturday we drove to Las Vegas to go to Costco. That seems like a weird way to spend time in Vegas, but we needed some stuff, we only wanted to be there a couple of hours, and we didn't want to gamble. So going to Costco and some other stores was a nice way to spend the afternoon. We also went looking for a nice place to have lunch, and found the Hash House A Go Go. Their food is good and the portions are HUGE. We ordered one pork tenderloin and had more than enough to split.
Our new GPS has some unusual traits that we haven't gotten used to yet. One is that if our car is facing one direction, she assumes we need to go that direction, even if turning around would make a lot more sense. Today that little trait got us headed out of town on the northern route, driving just south of the Nellis Air Force Base. I thought our GPS had lost its little mind when it described the landscape with a series of angles...
but it turns out the GPS was right - Nellis' border really does look like that.
But no matter which way we drive, there just isn't much to see on these roads. Good thing it's beautiful in its own way.