Tad Turns 6

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Valerie’s grandson Tad turned 6 on September 3.  On the following Saturday, Jason and Ashley hosted his birthday party at their home.

Tad Turns 6

It was a nice party with lots and lots of kids, a game wagon, a piñata, a mound of gifts, pizza, cake and good fun.

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Pismo Beach/Oceano Dunes

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Immediately after returning to Torrance from Lake Tahoe, we spent a long weekend with some family and friends at a campground near Pismo Beach, along the central coast of California.

Oceano Dunes

Valerie’s son Tim has a truck that is specifically equipped for the type of off-road challenges presented by the sand dunes at Oceano Dunes.  So he organized a family and friends camping trip.  Since we don’t own an RV currently, we rented a trailer from a local business that towed it to the camp site and set it up for us.

Tim gave everybody an opportunity to ride in the truck while he drove across the dunes.  The Oceano Dunes is a State Vehicle Recreational Area consisting of 3,500 acres that runs along the coast just south of Pismo Beach.  The sand is shaped by the weather into steep hills, often with very sudden drops.  All manner of vehicles navigate the dunes and camping is allowed along the coast away from the vehicles.  Everybody enjoyed the opportunity to “ride the dunes” in Tim’s truck.

During our 3 days here, we also visited Avila Beach, Harford Pier, Pismo Beach and had some great meals and plenty of good times.

Oakland, CA

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Next up on our mini-vacation to the San Francisco Bay Area was a quick stop in Oakland to visit with Valerie’s cousin, Marcy and her significant other, Marc.  They have an apartment near Jack London Square in Oakland.  This part of the city is very lively with lots of restaurants, breweries and other activities.  Their apartment is in one of the recently completed buildings nearby.

Waterfront at Jack London Square

We started our visit with a stroll around Jack London Square and they treated us to a wine tasting at Rosenblum Cellars, a winery right on the Oakland waterfront.  Afterward, we had a terrific brunch at Fat Lady restaurant.  In the evening we went to a nearby brewery that was having a comedy night with 5 local stand up comedians.

We started off our Sunday with a nice hike in nearby Redwood Regional Park.  This a huge park with miles of hiking and mountain biking trails in the hills east of Oakland.  There are some nice spots with good views to the west to Oakland and the San Francisco Bay beyond.  After working up a good appetite, we had brunch at one of their favorite spots, the Chop Bar which very recently moved to a new location which is just downstairs from their apartment.  Quite delicious.

Our time with Marcy was all too brief but filled with fun activities, food and beverages.

Next:  Oakley, CA

Chrissy & Johnny Get Married

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At long last, the big day had arrived:  Chrissy and Johnny’s wedding day, January 19, 2019.

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The wedding and reception dinner were held at a golf course near Temecula, CA.  For several days in the week prior to the wedding all of southern California was rain soaked.  However, when the weekend arrived, the sky cleared and we had beautiful weather with pleasant temperatures.

They had about 100 guests in total for the ceremony and dinner.  Chrissy acted as her own wedding coordinator and orchestrated every detail herself.  She did a splendid job which was validated by the many positive comments from those in attendance.  The ceremony was brief but elegant, the dinner was good, the music was right on point and lots of the attendees danced and celebrated with the newlyweds.

Chrissy and Johnny will have a slightly delayed honeymoon in Paris during late March.

We thank them for letting us all join them in their celebration.

San Diego–December 2018

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As November drew to a close, we headed south to San Diego.  We wanted to return to Mission Bay RV Resort for the month of December.  It’s a super relaxing place with a great location right on the north side of Mission Bay.  From the RV park you can access the walking/biking path for miles in both directions.

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As soon as we got the motorhome parked, we headed up to Murrieta in order to babysit Tad and Mia for the weekend while Jason and Ashley took a weekend trip.  The fun began as soon as we picked them up from day care and went back to their house.  Keeping up with a 5 year old and 3 year old is a challenge for grandparents, especially now that Mia likes to “fly” which means holding her in your arms and letting her swoop around the room.  She likes doing that a lot.

For the remainder of the month, we attended Steve & Wende’s very fun Christmas party, did some bicycling and visited (or revisited) various spots around San Diego.  For Christmas we joined Valerie’s family at her Mom’s house.  Tim picked up delicious steamed Dungeness crabs for dinner.

Next stop:  Long Beach, CA