We are in the road and rolling today. Our first overnight stop on the 900 mile trip to Bend Oregon will be near Mono Lake California at the MonoVista RV Park.
So here is how day Forty and Forty One of our sheltering in place went:
To beat the heat, I only got up early yesterday morning to walk. I said my goodbyes to a few friends and the beautiful resort.
Frank’s Wash and Wax gave the Road House the full beauty treatment on Thursday. We have it waxed twice a year to protect the paint. The guys showed up at 7:45 am and the two of them were done around 11:30. The Road House is looking good!
We spent the day Thursday doing all the final pack and prep inside and out. We took advantage of the large commercial washing machines at the resort laundry center to do all of our bedding and rugs. We will enjoy at least one cat hair free nights sleep!
Bentley got a refreshing bath outside … wow is he shedding in this heat.
Wally picked off the remaining lemons on our tree and found this “dude”!
I made pulled pork in the instant pot for easy meals on the road.
We enjoyed our final cocktail on the patio while Bentley laid in the grass behind out wall zesting lemons! I packed ten extra lemons just for him.
Dinner was a simple Smoked Salmon and Beet Salad with a glass of Italian Chardonnay.
As excited as we are to be rolling again it comes with some trepidation. The great thing about RV travel is it is easy to maintain social distancing. Our route is remote and rural so that makes us feel more at ease too.
So here is how day Thirty Eight and Thirty Nine of our sheltering in place went:
We are just a few days from pulling up the jacks and hitting the road. The record high heat here in the valley makes being outside a sweaty endeavor so we do a bit of work outside then come in and cool off. Our three roof top air conditioners have been running almost 24 hours a day. There are three zones in the coach for heating and cooling and it’s great being able to set the units differently as needed. The sun hits the back of the coach in the morning and works its way around the south side, eventually blasting the huge front window in the hottest part of the day. We, aka Mr. Handy Pants also put reflective foil insulation across the entire windshield on the inside. We also put the day night shades down for triple insulation and it is really saving our bacon but its such a bummer as it blocks our beautiful mountain view and makes the coach really dark inside. Another reason to get rolling for sure!!!
To beat the heat, I only got up early one morning to walk. Definitely missing being active… its hard enough to be quarantined but not being able to get outside as much is making me a little crazy (crazier?). Luckily, I have plenty of pre-departure chores to do inside.
Spent the morning yesterday outside with the mister on getting things ready to pack up and move to storage. Gave all the geranium pots a manicure so they would look nice at their new home.
We took a load out to the airplane hangar in Thermal. The big move is on Wednesday. On the way back we stopped for gas at the Costco Fuel Station – whoo-hoo, gas was $2.09 a gallon… it’s usually almost $4.00 per gallon here in Southern California. Sadly, its all virus related and not a good thing for the long term economy but for today we took it as a positive. I spotted two juvenile desert iguana in the landscaping as we pulled out of the fuel station and got this fun video of them scrapping it up.
I made some basil simple syrup to take for cocktails at a friends place on Monday. The Basil Bourbon Orange Smash is a very refreshing cocktail on a warm evening. A word of caution… smash = getting smashed so drink at your own risk!
We enjoyed a nice evening outside on Sunday, at proper social distance of course with friends here in the resort. Lots of peeps are rolling outta here for home or other summer destinations. Our friends who hosted have a fairly shady lot and had their mister on so it was great to chitchat and say our goodbyes to our dear friends Dawn and Fran.
Monday, we spent the evening with our other SIP friends in Palm Springs. They graciously offered a home for the geranium pots so we took them over and Wally aka Mr. Handy Pants installed a drip watering system that connects to their existing sprinkler system. It was international night so we all took a trip to Morocco… it is not what you are thinking, no huka pipe…the incredible meal was all moroccan dishes! Thank you Mike and Nanette for a wonderful time!
These next few weeks will be interesting, California joined the growing ranks of U.S. states and countries around the world preparing to ease coronavirus-containment measures, with many planning gradual rollbacks to help reduce the potential for new waves of infections. As more states look to reopen their economies, health experts have said officials need to put in place measures that include expanded testing capacity and contact-tracing teams to safely return to some version of normalcy. It’s confusing, its unsettling and downright scary. Most of us have settled into a relatively safe existence where we can limit our exposure but the idea of going back to the normal pace we knew before COVID-19 is seductive. I have mixed feelings and I know so many other people do as well. Our northern migration will be very different this year for sure.
Oh, it’s too hot (Too hot) Too hot, lady (Too hot) Gotta run for shelter Gotta run for shade It’s too hot…
So Kool and the Gang were actually singing about being high school sweet hearts and lost love…I can sooo relate right now to the lost love part for sure. The desert is kicking ass on us right now, telling us to hit the road and not look back. Hmm, sound like an old boyfriend or girlfriend? Sustained 100 degree weather took the bloom off the rose for sure so we will say our good-byes. We plan to hit the road on Friday and take three days to drive to Bend Oregon where we will spend a week or two, maybe longer depending on the weather and what states start to reopen. Ultimately, we will be going back to Anacortes, Washington where we keep the Beach House and will spend the summer on the boat. Our original, pre-COVID-19 summer travel plans included a big RV trip to Canada and Alaska but we have decided to reschedule that trip to 2021.
The drive to Bend is about 900 miles and many of the RV resorts and campgrounds are closed especially along the quiet stretches of Hwy 395. Luckily, I was able to find two great places to spend the night. On any other road trip, we would be spending a few nights or more at each stopover, exploring the area and trying a few new restaurants. Obviously, that is not happening but at least Hwy 395 is a more interesting drive than taking a major interstate.
So here is how day Thirty Six and Thirty Seven of our sheltering in place went:
To beat the heat, I got up early again on Sunday and walked about 3 miles on Sunday. Honestly, Saturday I was just not motivated to get out there.
Spent a few hours on the phone both days confirming our travel stopovers, getting our internet put on a seasonal hold, reviewing insurance policies to make sure we have coverage for our things we are putting in storage and doing some book keeping for my mother. All good projects when it is blistering hot outside.
Laundry… the chore that never ends.
Wally spent part of the day Saturday working on Ernie (our Chevy Equinox). Ernie’s’ check engine light had been coming on then going off, then coming on…not good. Our local Pep Boys, which is an auto parts store, will check for fault codes in the electronic brain of the car and tell you what the fault codes are. After some internet research and calling around, Wally aka Mr. Handy Pants found the part that Ernie needed at another local auto parts. Some solenoid thingy was malfunctioning but $49 later and some sweating in the hot sun, Ernie was back in business.
I reorganized our wine and beverage storage which was under our L shaped sectional in the main living area and all the paper goods that I had stashed under our bed. These are great storage spots inside when we are stationary for longer periods of time but once we start moving again, these spaces disappear as the slides come in.
Thanks to the misters that Wally installed up under our patio umbrella, we were able to sit outside in the late afternoon. It’s amazing how much the misters cool off the outdoor sitting area.
I fixed a grilled veggie pasta with basil and roasted garlic for dinner on Friday. Thankfully, the golf course sprinklers were going behind us which made dining alfresco much cooler.
Both nights, our friends Kristen and John stopped by around 8 pm in their golf cart so we jumped in ours too and went cruising. There may have been some girls running through the sprinklers on the golf course… WEEEEEEEE! YES, we were fully clothed!
We are really looking forward to getting the Road House rolling again and especially going somewhere cooler. Ideally, the SIP orders would be lifted in Oregon and Washington but if not we will certainly continue to shelter in place in our coach. Hope you are all healthy, sane and doing okay!
It’s 5:30 pm, our normal time to adjourn to the patio with a beverage and enjoy the evening. Today it is 100 degrees outside at 5:30 and even with the mister and patio umbrellas it’s just not that enjoyable to be outside – go figure.
The weather forecast is describing a hotter than normal summer in the Coachella Valley and this early warning is our cue to hit the road. We were hoping that the temperatures would remain tolerable and maybe the SIP orders would be lifted before we started the northern migration but alas that doesn’t seem to be the case, so we just drew a line in the sand for a May 1 departure. Excessive heat warning – No Shit!!!
So here is how day Thirty Four and Thirty Five of our sheltering in place went:
To beat the heat, I have to get up way earlier than I normally do to get a walk in. Wally and I walked about 3 miles this morning at 7:30 and by the time we were done it was already 84 degrees, which BTW was the temp at 10 o’clock pm last night – eewwww.
A couple of days ago I adopted two new geranium pots. Not sure why as its not like they are my favorite flower but it makes me sad when they get kicked to the curb for garbage pickup. These two needed some TLC so I brought them to the King Geranium Sanctuary where they will be rehabbed and safe from the inhuman act of being unkindly disposed of.
The patio has some new additions – a mister and a new rug. I was on the fence about the pattern of the rug but once we got it in place I promptly order another one for the dining area. With the temperatures being so high, we are sitting out after the sun starts to set.
I spent some time on the computer working on a northern migration travel plan.
We had a Tony’s take out dinner with our SIP friends Kristen and John yesterday. The main topic of discussion was getting outta of this heat. They are full timers as well so our plan is to get all of our outdoor stuff and golf carts stored in their airplane hangar and skedaddle.
As travelers, we are used to making plans, we often change our plans and then we sometimes change them again. 2020 is definition an exceptionally difficult time for us road warriors… it is one thing to change your plans based on a whim or the weather, we can deal with that. This unknown of the unknown is confusing and unsettling. That said, we remain optimistic and grateful that we have options and are healthy.
So did you ever think you would be craving “normal”? I think most people take normal for granted but in these last 30 plus days of sheltering in place our “normal” has been shaken to the core. I have wished for our normal to come back all most everyday. Every word listed in antonyms pretty much describes the last 5 weeks. Strangely enough, normal is starting to take on a whole new landscape and I suspect our old normal is not going to be the new normal, I don’t necessarily like it but it may just roll that way.
The last two days have almost felt normal…old normal. Mostly because did some things that we have not been able to do for quite a while. We actually had dinner at someone’s house which definitely could be described as a antonym for normal right now! The other big exciting news was that Riverside County Health Officials lifted the ban on golfing, tennis and PICKLEBALL!!!!! WOO-HOO, we played for a couple of hours on Tuesday which again felt more like an antonym. So how confusing is that??
So here is how day Thirty Two and Thirty Three of our sheltering in place went:
Kristen and I walked 3.5 miles and found these amazing beauties:
Wally, Kristin and I played pickleball – again WOO-HOO!!!
We went to a friends in Palm Springs for dinner. I brought an appetizer, crab cakes with a curry garlic aoili which were served with a boozy, lemon slushee. Lemons fresh off our tree!!!
Had a Zoom happy hour and REAL Ladies Happy Hour …again confusing because the real, meaning we were all sitting around together in one place, happy hour felt normal but in a abnormal way.
Day Thirty One, Thirty Two and Thirty Three all felt almost normal again. What three days in a row ???? Confusing as it all is right now it felt good to feel “almost normal”.
So Sunday is usually fertilizer day but instead of fertilizing all my plants we went flying. I know, what the heck right… who gives up fertilizing for flying??? The last two pictures in the slideshow below are of the airport in Thermal. One of the photos has a dust devil in the background too – thanks Kristin for sharing some of your photos. The Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport is an non-towered or un-controlled airport which means there is no flight tower controlling landings and take offs. It was surprisingly busy as we taxied down to the runway. The pilots have to take extra care to know where the planes are in the vicinity and use their radio’s to inform other pilots what their intent is. Of course the FAA has procedures for non-towered airports and being a boater it is similar to passing through a narrows, just different lingo.
So here is how day Thirty One of our sheltering in place went:
Kristen and I rode 10 miles in the morning…We petaled it out and got in a good sweat.
We headed out to Thermal, which is about 20 miles south of Palm Springs with our QuaranTeam friends to get Valentina out of the hangar. I am fascinated with flying and always have a 110 questions for our pilot, John who patiently answers all of them. Valentina was happy to help us fly our quarantine blues away… she and John took us along the western edge of the Salton Sea. Part of the testing to get a pilots license involves being able to do a 360 turn at a 45 degree angle without losing or gaining altitude. John obviously has a pilots license and he is an instructor as well, so I totally trusted him when he said he wanted to practice the turn. It’s a little freaky and cool at the same time. I took this video part of the way through the turn.
We got take out on our way to the hanger and had a standup “wing” lunch prior to taking off. What a great way to spend the afternoon and I really felt like we flew the blues away.
We sat outside and enjoyed our late afternoon Gin and Juice with John and Kristin at their place.
Dinner was Blackened Hangar Steak, Lentils with Beet Greens, Garlic and Red Onion and Asparagus.
Worked on this blog post.
Day Thirty One was almost normal again too… the unexpected invite to go flying was such a welcome diversion. Finding a bit of joy in each day is something we all some times take for granted but is especially important in these uncertain times. I hope you found a bit of joy in your day too.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think this was what I would be writing about. Traveling and seeing the US by coach – YES…boating adventures – YES but all of these things seem like a distant memory right now. Our days are filled with routine things, we are happy to be waiting this mess out in a warm sunny place, we are grateful to be healthy and uber grateful that our family and friends are healthy. That said, I still feel anxious…my need to know hasn’t gotten much satisfaction. Totally agree Mick…lots of useless information out there right now.
So here is how day THIRTY of our sheltering in place went:
Wally and I did a 3 mile walk in the morning…We traipsed thru the orchard and around the golf courses. Our wildlife spotting today was two HUGE carp in the big pond on the 18 hole golf course. These big boys were at least two feet long, goldish shadows, lazily swimming through the water. Not photogenic but cool to watch. We also found a small fish spine at the other end of the pond so there must be some smaller fish in that pond that we didn’t see.
The Palm Springs Farmers Market is still up and running so we decided to go check it out after some friends told us how well it is being run – Thanks Cindy!!! The sidewalks at the entrance had circles painted on them six feet apart and as someone left the market, a person was allowed to enter and you advanced a circle until you were in. Masks were required to enter, only 50 people at a time are allowed into the market, you could not touch anything and again there were circles at each vendors booth. There was a well dressed dude standing off to the side of the entrance line letting everyone know how this was going to go down (check out the picture and you tell me that’s not well dressed). The wait was less than 5 minutes to go in and I must say it was so much more civilized than many markets I have been to in the past. I scored a beautiful loaf of cinnamon carmel swirl bread (oh breakfast boy, please come out and play), two bunches of amber beets, one bunch of red beets, fresh carrots, three baskets of luscious strawberries and two fresh hangar steaks. Wow, look at me out shopping again!!!
I spent the rest of the afternoon in the kitchen putting away the market treasures, noshing on those strawberries and cooking up a storm. I used the instapot to sauté beet greens with red onion and garlic (yes, the tops of beets are edible people). Found a partial bag of brown lentils so those got cooked next in the instapot and combined with the beet greens along with some fresh parsley. Then I cooked the beets in the instapot…all of these yummies will be used for dinner tomorrow with that fresh hangar steak.
We sat outside and enjoyed our late afternoon Gin and Juice while Bentie zested lemons.
Dinner was Barbacoa Beef served over Garlic Couscous (cause I had a partial bag of that too) topped with Roasted Corn and Cilantro and a side of Spicy Coleslaw.
Worked on this blog post.
Day THIRTY was almost normal too… do you think this is just part of that acceptance thing??? Maybe, except normally we would be sharing this delicious meal with friends.
The temperature here today was a balmy 80 degrees which I think is sheer perfection. We actually got out of the compound today and went for a drive with our shelter in place friends. Yep, all four of us in the same car. I am not trying to sound flippant, because I know for some people this isn’t possible but honestly, these two have been our lifeline and we would be feeling so isolated if we did not have some friends that we could share these crazy times with.
So here is how day twenty nine of our sheltering in place went:
Woo-Hoo, the breakfast chef made a guest appearance today. He presented me with an asparagus, manchago cheese and carmelized onion frittata and toast with blueberry jam. We enjoyed this delicious breakfast with a glass of fresh, cold brew ice coffee.
Kristin and I did a 3 mile walk in the morning… my bike butt was not anxious to get back in the saddle today.
We had a visit from Mother Duck and her brood of five. This is the same Mother Duck who has been trying to help the parentless brood of nine. They has just come from the pond across the street and are still wet in the photos. If you zoom in on the photos you can see the water droplets on Mrs Mallard. Photo geeky coolio!
We took a drive in the afternoon to Lake Hemet with Kristen and John. Hwy 74 winds up through the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains. There is a spectacular lookout about 7 miles up the Pines to Palms Hwy that has stunning views across the valley.
We were going to have a picnic by Lake Hemet but the wind was a bit too brisk and we were all dressed in shorts and tee shirts. It was 24 degrees cooler up in the mountains and in our haste to go somewhere, we didn’t dress for the temperature change. We high tailed it back to the car without even taking a picture of the lake. Lake Hemet was built during the 1890s to serve as a reservoir supplying water to groves in the Hemet area. The California Park Co operates the campground which has monthly camping sites in the summer with full hookups. Interestingly, it has been a no body contact lake up until recently when a Splash Park was put in at one end of the lake.
We tried two places for a picnic and ended up doing a standing picnic by a horse camping area.
We sat outside, had a cocktail and a Rubio’s take out dinner with our shelter in place friends, Kristen and John. Thanks guys for buying us dinner!!!
Worked on this blog post.
Day twenty nine felt almost normal, it was so nice to get out and do something with friends.
The temperature here today was a balmy 85 degrees. The sky has been brilliant blue with very few clouds but breezy especially later in the day. Since we have never stayed this late in April, I don’t know if the breeziness is normal. We have had to turn on the AC for a while in the afternoons but the evenings are cooling off and perfect for lounging around outside.
We are feeling a bit stir crazy and are going to escape the compound tomorrow and go for a drive.
So here is how day twenty eight of our sheltering in place went:
Kristin and I did a 10 mile bike ride today… will my behind ever get in shape for a longer ride? Even with my big bertha padded seat, I am feeling those 10 miles.
Spent the afternoon doing mundane things like trying to figure out an easier way to post recipes on the blog. This is on all of you… In case you don’t know, when you are on the main page, if you click on Epicurious at the top of the page you will find the recipes.
My allergies are still in overdrive so I have been taking all kinds of over the counter meds. Wondering if this is a shelter in palace allergy??
Lunch was a chopped chicken and kale salad which we enjoying alfresco. Today was a two umbrella day…no, not a two umbrella drink day, but hmm, thats not a bad idea either. We had both outside umbrellas up to give us some shade in the outdoor living room.
Wally went to the chiropractor today. He mentioned that they had quite the cleaning protocols, wore masks and had appointments spaced to that no one was in the office with other patients. Do you think this is going to be our new norm?
I love a good cup a coffee in the morning and love finding local coffee roasters when we are traveling. ROC in Cavecreek AZ is one of our all time favorites And I may have to splurge and order some online. In the meantime, we have been using Peet’s Coffee from Costco…yep, coffee snob girl got all offended at the thought of it but when I noticed they actually print the roast date on each bag and its usually less than a month old, I decided to lower my standards and be happy to have something decent – LOL. With the weather warming up, it felt like ice coffee weather is in the future so I got out the coffee toddy cold brew kit.
We sat outside and had a cocktail with our shelter in place friends, Kristen and John.
Tonight we had Barbacoa Beef Tacos and Grilled Corn on the Cob. Love having left overs that can easily be made into another simple meal.
The fridge is full of possibilities but tomorrow might be a support a local restaurant dinner night. As much as I enjoy cooking, a night off occasionally is most welcome.
Worked on this blog post.
Day twenty eight was uneventful but somehow it just sped by. Don’t know about you but I am waiting anxiously to hear how our state governors are planning to start re-opening the US. This much I know for sure, we will not be going back to normal for anytime soon.
Just wondering if any of you grew up with a Magic 8 Ball? My weird Aunt, who had a house painted black with a grand piano (careful, there was often a cat poop underneath it) and red flocked wall paper in the living room did, so yep, I am an ultimate authority on the Magic 8 Ball.
In case you were not fortunate enough to have a wacky aunt like mine, the Magic 8-Ball is a hollow plastic sphere resembling a black-and-white 8-ball. Its standard size is larger than an ordinary pool ball, but it has been made in various sizes. Inside the ball, a cylindrical reservoir contains a white plastic icosahedron floating in approximately 100mL of alcohol dyed dark blue. Each of the die’s 20 faces has an affirmative, negative or non-committal statement printed in raised letters. These messages are read through a window on the ball’s bottom. FYI…these answers are never wrong 🙂
To use the ball, it must be held with the window initially facing down to allow the die to float within the cylinder. After asking the ball a yes–no question, the user then turns the ball so that the window faces up.
Given these uncertain times we are all facing, I thought you should all know about the Magic 8 Ball and its potential to answer all of your questions about the future.
The 20 possible answers inside a standard Magic 8 Ball are:
As I see it, yes.
Ask again later.
Better not tell you now.
Cannot predict now.
Concentrate and ask again.
Don’t count on it.
It is certain.
It is decidedly so.
My reply is no.
My sources say no.
Outlook not so good.
Reply hazy, try again.
Signs point to yes.
Without a doubt.
Yes – definitely.
You may rely on it.
I consulted the Magic 8 Ball on a couple of questions that were weighing heavily on my mind and here’s what I learned…
Question…Will life as we know it ever be normal again? You may rely on it.
Question: Will I ever be able to buy toilet paper again? Outlook good.
Question: Will I run out of wine before I run out of toilet paper? Don’t count on it.
Question: Will my spouse put a pillow over my head in the near future? Outlook Good ( shite…not for me it isn’t)
Question: Is President Trump a narcissist? All signs point to yes.
Well, if you had any doubts about the power of the Magic 8 Ball the answer to that last question should have removed all your doubts!!!
So here is how day twenty seven of our sheltering in place went
I made a last minute order on Instacart and was shocked to get it delivered the same day. Yay for fresh veggies!!!
We got the Corvette to storage without a hitch. Thanks Zonya and Darcy for a fun outing… that car is a beast!!!
Our friends Jill and Cindy stopped by for an over the wall happy hour chat. They sat in their golf cart behind our lot while we stayed on the patio. Bentley wasn’t worried about any damn virus and took his lemon out with him to say hi!
I had a hankering for a Blackened Chicken Caesar Salad. I have a great recipe for a killer caesar dressing, so I made a batch of that and served the salad with grilled asparagus. We sat outside again tonight and had dinner overlooking the golf course.
The fridge is healthy. The Ralphs delivery put some life into the veggie selection.
Worked on this blog post and edited pictures.
Day twenty seven was very mellow. It was warm and sunny so it really wasn’t a hardship to stay home.