Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Holidays and LA

First of all I hope everyone had a very happy holiday season, I hope I am being politically correct with that statement.

Thanksgiving day was a beautiful day full of sunshine.  We enjoyed a wonderful dinner with our extended family Christo, Alida and Andre. 
Then it was onto the games.

  Mark and Christo threw bags.

              Then we all played Ping Pong.  Alida was tough to beat with a very wicked serve.

This is the view from their door step and do you see the camper?  That was our last one before we bought the caravan, it was kind of weird to see it again and the fact that it was in CA.

And then there was round two of the fab dinner we had earlier.  It was nice to spend the holiday with  family.  Their daughter married our nephew and they will be here for Christmas.


The following weekend we got together and went to the Oceanside Pier for dinner. 

Historic Oceanside Pier is one of the longest wooden piers on the West Coast, spanning 1,942 feet in length.

We ate at Ruby's Dinner which is at the end of the pier, good food and a great view.  After dinner we went to a club in Carlsbad to listen to a band.  It was a Metalachi band which is a mix of metal and mariachi.  Different is how I would describe it, but we had a good time, thanks Christo!


Since we didn't have reservations at Santee Lakes we have had to do the Santee shuffle.  So on the 28th of Nov we moved to a different site and then on the 28th of Dec we will move again for 5 days.

Our new site complete with a small river when they turn on the water!


We have spent our time here doing some exploring and just chilling.  The weather hasn't been great but much better then up north.  On nice days we get out and walk, ride our bikes or take a road trip and do some exploring.  Weekends you will find us in San Marcos with Christo and Alida enjoying dinner and playing games afterwards.  There really isn't much happening in this park although it is nice but a little pricey.  We are right is town which has been great so we have caught up on movies from Red Box.  The library is also close so we got a card and get movies from them for free.  The only Blue thing (Blue is Mark's job, Pink is my job) that I do is wash and seal the roof, then Mark washes the rig.  So we are now good for another 6 months.  The golf cart wasn't holding a charge, after 10 minutes of charging the charger would kick off.  We checked each battery and found one with a dead cell, dang.  Mark did research and found a used battery for $50 so we are good to go for awhile but have started a battery fund as they will have to be replaced in the next year or two.

                                           I do have to say that it gets cold here at night.

The month of November was pretty nice but December has been rainy and cold at night.  What's up with that, this is suppose to be sunny CA.  Our site doesn't include power and running the furnace at night burns up the propane quickly and the heat pumps can't be run below 40.  So my genius husband came up with a great idea.  First he had me get out the down comforter and then when we go to bed we shut the door to the bedroom, leave open the bathroom door and plug in the ceramic heater in the bathroom.  It has really saved on the power bill and we are snug as a bug in a rug.  We plan on getting a blue flame heater while we are in Quartzsite.   It is definitely time to move, neither one of us like cold weather.


I spend my free time making jewelry and getting my online Etsy store set up.  Now that has been a job!  Taking photos, editing, coming up with a name,  writing descriptions, store policies, shipping, etc.  I will be ready to open in January. I did meet a nice lady, Kimberly, that is a workamper and we have gotten together to make jewelry during the day and have dinner in the evening.  We went on a day trip into San Diego to the Spanish Village.  There are 29 artisan shops that you can browse through and watch the artisans work on their designs.  Unfortunately the day we went it was rainy and the glass blowers weren't working but the rain didn't dampen our spirit.  Next to the village is Balboa Park which was lovely with beautiful buildings.

We wandered around and had a nice lunch, just girl time with my new friend.  Afterwards we visited 2 bead stores, it was a nice day, thanks Kimberly.


We took a road trip to LA to see all the famous sights.  HWY 1 along the coast is very picturesque but I do have to mention that we kept seeing oil rigs everywhere.  Now we have seen the oil rigs off shore but they were right in town, I mean like this one in the photo is right behind my favorite restaurant IN n OUT Burger.

OK so now moving on, we drove through Camp Pendleton then passed all the LA beaches and stopped at Venice Beach boardwalk. 

Now this is a really cool beach and as you know many movies have been filmed here.  On the left is for walking and on the right is for biking.

It was a beautiful day so we strolled along the boardwalk taking in the sights.  From the boardwalk it seems like it is a mile to the water. 

Volley ball nets are all along the boardwalk.  I bet this beach is something in the summer, but today it was ours.  I wish we had more time as Mark would have liked to do some metal detecting but we still had lots to see so we loaded up and headed to Malibu. 

We spent the night in Thousand Oaks which is between Malibu and Simi Valley.  The next morning we awoke to grey skies but we continued on with our plans to see LA.  First we took Mulholland drive into Hollywood.   The road is featured in innumerable movies, songs, and novels.  The Mulholland Highway is destined to be one of the heaviest traveled and one of the best known scenic roads in the United States.   It follows the ridge line of the eastern Santa Monica Mountains and the Hollywood Hills.  From the drive there is a good overlook where you can see the Hollywood sign and look down on the city. 

Now remember it was a very overcast day so the picture is what it is, but we saw it!  The Hollywood sign began as a real estate promotion.  A gigantic billboard was commissioned in 1923 to promote the development called "Hollywoodland".  Mules hauled telegraph poles, sheet metal, and 4,000 light bulbs up the side of Mount Lee to create the sign.  Several years later, a landslide destroyed the 4 last letters.  Time and weather ravaged the rest of the sign, until the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce started the "Save the Sign" campaign in 1978.  Patrons paid $27,700 per letter to rebuild the sign, now an internationally known landmark.
                    From this same spot you looked down onto the city and the Hollywood Bowl.

The Hollywood Bowl is a modern amphitheater that is used primarily for music performances. It is the largest natural amphitheater in the United States, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000 and has been featured in many movies and television shows.

Now moving onto

                                                                 and the Walk of Fame.

                               I have to say it wasn't as glamours as I had pictured in my mind. 

                 At the Chinese Theatre they were preparing for the first showing of "This is 40". 

As you can see they were expecting rain as they had the tents up so the stars and the red carpet wouldn't get wet.

We weren't able to check out the hand prints in the concrete as they are in front of the entrance to the  
theater and it was being covered by the red carpet.  So now when we see on TV all the stars at a red carpet event we can say that we have been there!

                                                                 Next we headed to

And you can't stop in Beverly Hills with out going to

                              I'm glad we were there when it was all decorated for the holidays.

Mark found what he wanted for Christmas.

It's a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport with a price tag of $2,400,000.


I found what I would like for Christmas and I only want one!

It's all here on Rodeo Drive except for the Thrift stores.  I doubt I could afford anything even if I could find one!

We have never seen so many Mercedes, Rolls- Royces, Bentleys, Bagattis, Jaguars all in one place.

It was an experience to say the least.

OK back to reality and time to move on to San Gabriel CA.  This is where Mark was born so we drove through the town and visited the San Gabriel Mission which was the fourth built in a chain of 21 missions.  By this time it was getting dark and we needed to get back on the road but as luck would have it we got caught in traffic.  It took us an hour to go 10 miles, I don't know how people do it everyday.

                                                       I can now mark LA off my list.


We attended a party with Christo and Alida one weekend and meet a very nice guy by the name of Carl.  It just so happened that he had a motorcycle so we made plans to go on a ride.  The weather was perfect for our trip that started up through the mountains

and down in the valleys.  In most rural areas when you enter a valley there will be something growing in it or grazing on it.  We passed cattle, sod farms, orange groves and the list goes on.  I believe CA grows everything. 

Over the mountains through the valleys to the Pacific coast.

Thanks Carl for a wonderful ride!


If you find yourself in Santee or San Diego CA I highly recommend that you check out Mission Trails Regional Park.  There are wonderful hiking trails along with biking and horse back riding.

Site of the historical Mission Dam.

 Mission Trails Regional Park has been called the third Jewel in the City of San Diego Park System, along with Balboa Park and Mission Bay.  Yeah me, I have been to all three. 


Before we hit the road we were once asked, "Won't you be lonely on the road, you won't know anybody".  Well let me tell you that is the beauty of this lifestyle.  You will make friends and as long as you stay in contact you may see them again down the road.  For example: I received a call a couple of days before Christmas from Jim and Linda Hadley, we trained them to take over our job last winter in Mesa AZ.  They were camping on base at Camp Pendleton and struck up a conversation with their neighbors who happen to own a Mobile Suite rig.  During the visit they mentioned that they knew of a couple who owned a Mobile Suite as well and that they had met them last winter workamping.  The neighbors asked them if the couples name was Mark & Bonnie Williamson and of course they said "Yes".  Well the neighbors happen to be our friends Jimmy & John Francis from Alaska who we will be meeting up with in Wickenburg AZ in February.  They were visiting John's family for the holidays.  We prospected with them and their friends last winter in Congress AZ. 
See what I mean, it is a small world.  You will only be lonely if you choose too.  So get out of your rig and visit with your neighbors!
Jim and Linda arrived here at Santee Lakes the day after Christmas on their way to Mesa.  We had a nice visit and plan on seeing them next year at their home in Montana. 


We spent Christmas with our extended family.  Randall and Annilean flew in from Florida where he is attending Chiropractic school.  It was so nice to see them again.  A wonderful dinner was enjoyed, we Skyped with Lynn & Susan (Mark's brother and Randall's parents) back in NC and then had a nice soak in the new hot tub.

Alida, Andre, Mark, Me, Christo, Annilean and Randall.

Then we headed over to visit and have dinner once again with Jimmy & John's family that just so happened to live in the same town. 

We wish you all a happy New Year and remember, "If you can dream it, you can do it".

On January 2nd we will be heading to Quartzsite AZ and to work the big show.

                                                           Cheers to the Good Life!!!