Sunday, November 30, 2014

From One Blogger to Another

One of the truly nice features of blogging is getting to know other bloggers.  It is especially pleasant when said blogger shares many of the same interests, like living in and traveling in an RV.

Allison and her husband are spending the winter here in Tucson and I decided to take the opportunity to meet her.  We have been following each other's travels and you will find her blog over there to the right of this page...."Allison's Post Work Thinking--now that I have time to think." 

So we met for lunch and took a stroll through my very favorite little park, Tohono Chul.

It was a perfect day, warm and crystal clear,  totally unlike the raging polar vortex smacking down the northern regions at that moment.

I, once again, photographed some of my favorite pieces that are sprinkled about the park...

while we chatted about life's pleasures on the open road.   Allison and her spouse have been at it since 2008--several years longer than Sigh Me and me.  Altogether it was a wonderful and relaxing day and I hope we can do it again before they take off in the spring.

A few days later my friends Suzie and Bill left to spend Thanksgiving in Colorado...

and I have the pleasure of babysitting this handsome lad.  He is so affectionate  that he follows me even into the john.  Don't ask me why I had the camera with me at that particular moment but I am glad I did--I love the picture. 

And I can tell you about one very unhappy and upset kitty.  

One afternoon my friend, Bailey, and I decided to venture to the dog park.

Bailey found a friend right away and the two of them raced each other from one end of the park to the other for 1/2 an hour--until...

...this lovely lass appeared on the scene.  Well things got a bit testy when Bailey decided this was the love of his life (or at least the love of the day) and he would not leave her alone.  In frustration with the over abundance of displayed affection, I put Bailey's leash on him and marched him back to the RV, only to discover that he was not ready to leave  his new sweetheart.  He flat out refused to set foot in that RV, and I learned it was impossible to lift a 60 lb dog if he isn't willing.  So he sat on the ground and whined to go back to his sweetheart while I sat on the floor of the RV with a lap full of dog biscuits trying everything I could to sweet talk him into jumping in.  It was almost dark when a cute young gal walked up and asked, "Anything wrong here?"  
I explained the dilemma but was sure she couldn't help, she didn't weigh much more than Bailey.  Where upon, she reached down, wrapped her arms around his middle and heaved him up and into the van.
"How did you do that?" I gasped.
"Easy," she said, "I'm a veterinarian. I do this all day long."
Bailey munched on dog biscuits all the way home.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

One last day of Sightseeing

The day after the wedding we deposited Janice at the train station ....

...with all her luggage and a very bad cold.   

Albert came along to say  goodbye to his walking partner.

The rest of the day we took a drive to visit some of the quaint little towns within an hour or two of Santa Barbara.

Visiting the little shops and wine tasting rooms in Santa Ynez with your new in-laws seems a strange honeymoon to me but these two appeared to be enjoying themselves anyway.

Then on to the Danish town of Solvang for some pastry and more touristy things...

How many thousands of photos have been taken in front of this telephone booth? 

(Lily, Vanessa, Loretta, Ron, Jo, Albert, and John)

Friday morning we all met at the IHOP (at one time known as The Fig Tree) for breakfast then said our final goodbyes....

and finally, one more drive out onto Stearns Wharf for old times sake.

 Sigh Me and I pursued as many backroads as we could find trying to stretch this last few days out as far as possible.  The windy, twisty, narrow little road that first climbs then drops into the Ojai Valley is a hidden jewel.  This valley is the antithesis of Solvang and Santa Ynez with agriculture as its core.

The centerpiece of the valley, Lake Casitas, is showing the extreme effects of the drought.

But the valley with its many citrus, avocado and almond orchards....

...reminded me that water is everything and, somehow, we need to become better stewards.

We spent a night at a truck stop, another in Joshua Tree National Park then on to Tucson where the future is very uncertain.  But the weather is great.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Reception on Stearns Wharf

If anyone is looking for a memorable setting for a wedding reception let me recommend the Conway Family Wine tasting room on Stern's Wharf in Santa Barbara.

The wharf is always interesting...

But the view of the city is really lovely.

It was a perfect afternoon with very calm water and lots of boaters. 

The reception was upstairs at the winery and dinner would be served on the balcony.

There were lots of interesting shops to explore before the bride and groom made their appearance.

The tables were set...

and a few intruders began to arrive.

Christine volunteered to keep the interlopers at bay.  

It was a great party, with delicious food, great friends, a caring family and two happy lovebirds.

Robin, Loretta, Renee

Christine, Raymond and Ron

Jenna and Christine

Some warm toasts...

Loretta and her father, Albert

and some smooth dancing.

I wish you both a life filled with happiness and health, joy and love.  
from MOM

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Ceremony

(At the very moment Loretta started up the aisle, the battery died on my camera!  Crucial moments in my great photo-taking career have been punctuated by dead batteries.  Thankfully, I had a spare in my purse so, 15 minutes into the ceremony, I resumed the clicking....)

The setting was perfect...

A special reading by Sophie and Sasha..(if you look closely you will see a very proud father in the background)

They are a very striking couple (even if I do say so myself).

Loretta was absolutely beautiful and clearly Ron agrees.

(The Clooneys would be so envious)

Two dolls...

Loretta's family--Vanessa, Ron, Loretta, Albert, Lily and John

Ron's family--Janice, Loretta, Ron, Me and Jo

Jenna, Sasha, Loretta, Ron, Sophie and Joe

Bride, groom, Robin and John

Raymond, Christine, Loretta, Ron, Elva and Don

(For readers of this blog who may not know the relationships-- Ron was age 7, and his sister Janice was 6 when they joined my husband Roger, our son Tom, and myself through adoption.  The above picture includes another sibling, Christine, with her son, Raymond; but also, Ron's and Janice's 'birth' mother, Elva and her husband, Don. This event was the first opportunity I have had to meet Elva in all these 40+ years.)

Next:  The Reception