July 25. On Sunday we took our fully loaded motor home to my aunt and uncle's in Manteca for storage until we take it to pick up the new one. From there we left to head southward to visit the RV factory and see how they make the motor home we intend to order.
July 26-30. We were quite impressed with the manufacturer in Lancaster, CA and then went on to Los Angeles to see Mark's just acquired condominium. He sold his Walnut Creek condo last year, and bought a new one in LA at the same time we were disposing of our home in Lafayette
July 30-August 1. We returned to the Bay Area and stayed at Bev & Rick's and watched Selina while they went to the Gold Country for a weekend excursion. We had our other granddaughter, Monica, come over on Saturday to baby-sit, so we could play bridge with friends in Lafayette down the street from our former home.
August 1-2. Spent the night of the 1st at Gail and Monica's while preparing for a medical procedure. Yuck! Everything turned out okay, though.
August 3 - 8. Celebrated daughter, Gail's, birthday with her. Returned to Bev & Rick's. Bev had to work and Rick had meetings, so we took care of Selina and/or took her to day care so her schedule wasn't too disrupted for the first part of the week, then they all three headed to San Diego for the weekend. We remained squatters at Bev & Rick's through the weekend. We played pinochle with friends on Friday and went to a dinner party on Saturday.
Ray's official retirement date was August 5th. But...
August 9 - 10. We remained in Pleasant Hill the 9th, our anniversary, and collected our scattered belongings. Went to Gail's home for the 9th and 10th. We celebrated our anniversary a day late in San Francisco with an elegant dinner followed by the new (new to San Francisco) theatrical production of Jekyll & Hyde, which was an anniversary gift from Pam. We enjoyed both the dinner and the theater.
I also finally got my new computer ordered and should have that by the time we leave over Labor Day. That means I can update my programs, web pages, and maybe even answer some emails. Things have been pretty spotty since quite a while before the move, as my computer was quite "sick." I have been using an old notebook with too little memory and a really slow modem. I can hardly wait for the new one.
August 11- 17. Flew to Las Vegas for the USA West Square Dance Convention August 11 to 14. We enjoyed the convention and friends there, if not the unbearable heat in Vegas. We also got a Las Vegas address which we will be using as a legal address and ordered our new motor home from a dealer there.
So, we are looking for delivery of the new RV about the end of September. We will continue to be homeless and sleeping around until then. We know many friends and relatives are apprehensive about our choice of lifestyle for our immediate future, but, rest assured, we are looking forward to it immensely. No pool to clean, no yard to care for, no house to clean, etc., etc., etc.
August 18 - 31st. Celebrated daughter, Pam's, birthday Baby-sat for granddaughter, Selina. Attended a square dance on August 20 and enjoyed a birthday dinner with friends on the 22nd. On Monday, my birthday, we drove into San Francisco for a nice dinner overlooking the bay (actually staring at Alcatraz) where we enjoyed the briskly cool weather as opposed to the bristling heat in the East Bay.
Worked on consolidating our belongings and in hope to find some less expensive place to store things, perhaps in the San Joaquin Valley near Manteca, instead of the Walnut Creek facility we have currently. Received our new computer so spent some time setting that up and getting everything running properly. Of course, I still don't have my printer or my scanner connected, and I'm not sure when, or even if, that is going to happen.
September 1 - 6. Drove to Reno, NV where we took care of obtaining our Nevada driver's licenses, then we headed back into California for a square dance weekend in the Gold Country. We had intended to stop at the California State Fair on our way home, but the hot weather was just too much, so we headed back to the Bay Area.
September 7-11. At daughter, Bev's, house first helping with Selina to day care, then just taking over her home while she and Selina flew to Portland for a visit and Rick was away on business. Got the last of our Hepatitis shots, so we are good to go anywhere. Ray worked at his office daily.
September 12 - 15. Ray took the redeye to Ohio for consulting work, and I went to stay with Gail and Monica. I spent my time taking care of various loose ends in the area.
September 16-23. Checked back into a suite hotel to stay while Ray worked at his office before going to Palo Alto for the final presentation days.
Square danced the 17th at our regular 3rd Friday dance, then on Saturday, the 18th, we went to Marine World with Bev, Rick, Selina and Pam and enjoyed a great day in the park with the animals and enjoying Selina's action and reaction with them. She loves them all and knows all of them by name.
September 23-29. Checked into yet another hotel in Palo Alto for the days of Ray's work at Hewlitt Packard. Some friends in the area made certain we were suitably entertained. We square danced with a club where we knew almost everyone in San Jose on Friday night.
Enjoyed a leisurely Saturday visiting the Stanford University art museum and taking a look around the expansive campus. A nice dinner then rented a video for the evening. Sunday we had dinner in San Jose with a friend from childhood in Chicago.
Monday while Ray worked at H-P, I toured the Stanford Campus with friend from Los Altos who is a Stanford grad, so enjoyed her insights into the university. We had dinner at their home, then square danced once again in San Jose, but this time with a different club, but mostly the same people. We had a very nice time, even though Ray was working.
September 29 - October 3. Left Palo Alto for Manteca to pick up our trusty old motor home. It overheated horribly while returning to the Bay Area, so we knew we had a problem. After manifold, muffler and radiator fixes and three days of delay while work was being done, we left on October 2nd for Las Vegas to get our new abode which had been waiting patiently for us since its arrival on September 20th.
Drove to Bakersfield with no problems on the way down. However, Sunday morning when we tried to leave, trusty "old" Camelot was having none of it. Perhaps she thought we were going to trade her in and let strangers have our companion of 26 years. Thought it was going to be AAA to the rescue when Ray interrupted my call for help with a "ready to roll" bulletin.
Drove on to Las Vegas and spent the night in lodgings before heading to the RV dealership Monday morning.
We rolled into Johnnie Walker's RV center to meet Camelot on Monday. Yes, that's right! We are calling the new rig Camelot just like the old one. No II after the name. Just Camelot. The RV dealer has sites on their lot with hookups for folks who are getting their new rigs to settle in, load up, and get acquainted with their new rigs. We took advantage of this availability and unloaded our supplies from "old Camelot" and loaded new Camelot.
Several days later I drove our new wide body (102" wide) three miles down the road to Sam's Town RV park where we waited for Mark to fly in Sunday night so he could drive "old Camelot" back to LA. Enjoyed Octoberfest at some casinos and just relaxed for a while. We left at the same time Mark did and headed to Laughlin, NV.
Our first time on the open road with our new rig was quite an experience. Ray gritted his teeth and hung on to the seat while I drove south, unwisely choosing a two lane highway with lots of construction. When someone wanted to pass me, I had to veer slightly onto the shoulder to let them squeeze by. We needed to get our license plates for Camelot. Nevada had just installed a new computer system, and lines were averaging 6 to 8 hours. We got lucky and stumbled into the Laughlin DMV late on Columbus Day. Seems most folks thought they were closed for the holiday, and we didn't even realize it was a holiday! We stayed that night on the Fort Mojave Indian Reservation which has a modest casino and a new RV park on the river. Great place.
After making our rig legal, we headed to Arizona, stopped to visit Ray's brother, Rich and Roswitha in Surprise, to show off our new home and to visit their new home. Could just stay one night, as we needed to get to Tucson in time to get Bev and Selina when they flew in to visit Selina's great grandmother.
Bev and Selina were our first house guests. Selina was all geared up for her time in the "Grammamobile." The name was encouraged by dad, Rick, who coins Selinaisms. Anyway, we all enjoyed the visit--went to the Tucson Zoo one day, and they had four generation pictures taken at a studio another day. A nice leisurely visit. Click here for a look at the photos.
Bev and Selina left on Saturday, the 16th, and on the 17th we headed back to Surprise to Rich and Roswitha's for a celebration with their family for Rich's birthday. Went bowling with them and out to dinner on his birthday. Left Arizona and stopped in the Snow Bird Capital of California - Indio. Huge RV parks with all the amenities of cable TV, three swimming pools, spas, recreation rooms, and who knows what else we missed.
From Indio we headed for Los Angeles to visit Mark and Shelly. I asked Mark about the RV park in Playa del Rey where he lived for several years. His description was less than great, " at the end of an LAX runway, on the water next to the sewage treatment plant." But we braved it anyway. It was fine. We were right on the beach, and yes there was a runway behind us, but the planes stopped about midnight and didn't resume until morning. The sewage treatment plant was a problem for about one hour when the wind shifted. The spectacular sunset and walk on the beach made up for any drawbacks. Ozone does contribute to the beauty of sunsets.
From Los Angeles we headed to a square dance weekend in Solvang with Mike Sikorsky and Steve Kopman. Stayed at at a huge RV park in Buellton. We had friends, Marge and Korny, staying at a motel about two minutes away, and they chauffeured us around during our five day stay. We visited two of California's Missions and a winery. The dancing was terrific.
Next stop, three days at Pismo Beach. Walks on the waterfront, watching surfers catching the waves, and waiting for the morning parade of ducks through the campground. Needed on-site phone hookup to work on updating web pages, so headed to Morgan Hill for a couple of nights enroute to the Bay Area. Need to get back to unload unnecessities and to pick up necessities from our storage. Looking forward to seeing kids, etc.
Got in town in time to see Selina in her "mermaid" costume which her non traveling grandmother made for her. Really adorable. We'll be in the SF Bay area for a while now getting more business taken care of.
We spent the first part of November with Camelot parked in Vallejo and commuting back and forth across the bridge to take care of storage and other business like items. I had a doctor's appointment; we got flu shots; and we played pinochle with friends. I also managed to get some web pages up for a square dance caller friend, Mike Sikorsky. Check it out and let me know what you think. Suggestions are always welcome.
Having that completed we headed for Mendocino for a while then returned for Paul's visit the week before Thanksgiving and then Thanksgiving at Bev and Rick's. That about filled up November.
Spent the first part of the month with Monica since her mom was in training in Deerfield. Christmas parties, shopping, planning and other activities filled much of our time.
Mark arrived the second weekend for Bev and Rick's annual party, then Paul arrived from Kansas City the 17th and Gail returned from Deerfield also on the 17th. I managed to get the Christmas Letter written and printed for "snail mail" delivery. The internet version was completed later.
A brief celebration before Bev, Rick and Selina departed for Florida, then Christmas Eve and Christmas Day celebrated at Gail and Monica's with Lloyd, Pam and Paul. Mark was in Los Angeles. Paul returned to the midwest on the 28th, Bev, Rick and Selina returned on the 29th, and Mark arrived in San Francisco for a two day visit the end of the month.
We ushered in the year 2000 sedately with some good friends, good food and good wine.