2011 - November ending our trip on a high note!

We enjoyed some relaxation in Palm Springs staying in our little rental RV at Thousand Trails, and spent a day soaking in the mineral springs at Sky Valley. Then on our last day in SoCal, my wonderful aunt and uncle in Huntington Beach treated us to a terrific Thanksgiving dinner, the day before Thanksgiving (as we were flying back to Missouri that day).

try to eat healthy where you can!

Our loaner minivan and rental RV, which both worked out wonderfully!

Thousand Trails Palm Springs - can't beat the weather in winter, but none of the charm of a state park

Gary soaking in the mineral spring hot tubs at Sky Valley Resort, Desert Hot Springs; this is one of our favorite places, with 4 pools and 9 hot tubs all with fresh running mineral water coming from the spring at 115 degrees.

No doubt in my mind, it makes a huge difference for a lot of maladies!

Gary was very happy to find the regular Tuesday volleyball games still in session!

Getting a neck massage

Wind Farm with the San Gorgornio Mountains in the background

Back to Orange County for our last day, and a quick stop at Huntington Beach Pier

Ray, Rick, Angie, me, Robert and Angela at our Thanksgiving celebration, pre-thanksgiving day.  Thanks again Angie and Ray. It was great to see everyone and I can't believe how tall Robert is, not to mention that deep voice!  :-)

2011 - November Family Reunion in Temecula

Gary's sister Sue joined us in Palm Springs our first night there, and we found out in the morning that Ray and Kay had stayed only a block away! We headed out on a caravan (all of us heading different directions for the next evening) to the family reunion. So glad we took the very scenic Pines to Palms Highway that runs around the San Jacinto mountain range between Palm Springs and Temecula.
Gary's brother Ray

Gary and me - it was very cold and windy!

Ray and Kay

Kay, Sue and Gary

Gary, Kay, Sue and Ray

The clouds creeping over the mountains from the coast

Kay about to blow away

Gary doing some off-trail exploring

We were meeting the Swindler's at a park in Temecula, but it was so darn cold, we ended up in a fast food restaurant before heading to the family reunion.
Kyle, me, Glen, Kay, Gary, Ray, Kelly, Sue, and Debbie

Everyone getting set to eat at the Kronenfelds

Gary getting his special spoonful of whipped cream fruit salad

It was great fun as usual!

2011 - November trip to California

Took a flight out to California for Gary's family reunion....so glad we were able to make it. It was great to see everyone and visit some of our old stomping grounds. We met up with my Aunt Angie and Uncle Ray for dinner, and they loaned us their terrific little mini-van for the week (BIG THANK YOU once again to Angie and Ray!!!)

Stayed one night in Newport, then spent the day making the rounds around Orange County on our way out to Palm Springs where we had booked a place at the Thousand Trails RV park.

our connection into Vegas, flew right over Lake Mead, here is a shot of Hoover Dam and the new high-flying bridge!

Egret on the Newport Pier, and no waves for the surfers!

At the Newport Pier area

Our cheap motel was a gem! Very clean, newly remodeled, and one block from the water

Right next door, Cappy's Cafe for an excellent breakfast - split one meal and both of us were stuffed, excellent quality breakfast

At the Newport Pier

Fishing Boat coming in to unload fish

Yes we have egrets

A brief stop at Newport Dunes RV Resort, where we lived for about a year - ah home sweet home

the drive from Newport Dunes up Newport Back Bay through the ecological preserve

Laying flowers at Gary's parents gravesite in Orange

Lunch at Pepe's, our favorite cheap mexican food!
My old house in Fullerton is still there, without the big Olive tree. : (

Still a nice place, the pines and palms around the back remain

Great Blue Heron at Placentia's Tri-City Park, a block from the Fullerton house

A great park to walk or run, miss this place

2011 - Late Summer

Catching up the blog from the summer.... we did actually get a couple side trips in despite the oppressive heat.

We were able to spend a couple nights at Twin Bridges (Oklahoma State Park, 8 miles from Seneca) in late summer (still very hot).  This is a terrific place to stay whether down on the water as we were this visit, or up on the bluffs overlooking either of the two rivers Spring and Neosho which both meet here, feeding into Grand Lake of the Cherokees.

Gary enjoying the shade

At the end of September, we were very happy to meet up once again with Brett and Olivia, fellow RVers we first met in Moab, UT. We had a great time playing Mexican Train Dominos and catching up. Great people and we always have fun together!  We're really hoping we can see them sometime this coming spring, as they have property in Georgia not too far from the Smoky Mountains.

2011 - Flooding on both the Mississippi river and White River in Tennessee / Arkansas

Our return drive home from Gatlinburg to Missouri was a challenge. Every possible route included flooded areas. Our original plan to go the 60 Hwy through Cairo where the Ohio River feeds into the Mississippi, was completely out of the question, as that juncture was completely flooded. So we had to take the southern route through Arkansas. Unfortunately, the White River in Arkansas was also overflowing and they had closed down a large section of Interstate 40 which was flooded. We had to take a long scenic detour, and saw flooding up close along the way.

Flooding at the pyramid in Memphis; these townhouses were just above the waterline, which has not crested yet

Crossing into Arkansas; we've been here before, and there's lots of water where there shouldn't be

Warning sign for the I-40 closure, for those who've been living under a rock (you can stop at the "afle" house if you're hungry)

These horses barely have any pasture left...

And this house and barn have run out of pasture completely