Where We've Been (45 out of 50 States)...Where We Are!

Where We've Been (45 out of 50 States)...Where We Are!
Currently roaming in the west and not sure where we will end up!

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sky Valley Resort

74711 Dillon Road
Desert Hot Springs, CA  92241
760-329-2909 or 888-894-7724
5/11-5/14/13 & 11/14-11/20/14

Have you ever felt as if you were the only special person in the entire world…well that is exactly how this crew made us feel.  Since we are hanging out in the same area and checking out all the resorts nearby we arrived at 9am to check in, but the office was closed until noon.  We called the Assistant Manager and he sent someone over immediately.  We were way early, but she apologized and said to make it up to us she would put us in a Super Site. 

We paid $15 per night with our Coast to Coast membership without any additional charges for water, electric, sewer, on gravel with a patio, patio set under shade trees and a gazebo…WOW!  No cable but they offered a $20 value for internet but our DirecTV and Verizon MiFi and phones worked perfectly.  Unfortunately our entire time there was a heat wave going on with temps reaching 108 so we could not enjoy the patio as much as we hoped.

The restrooms, laundry room and other areas were kept immaculate.  

The hot spring pools were wonderful which we took full advantage of every chance we got, especially when the sun went down.

Feeling like a million bucks we decided to check out the on-site Restaurant and we were thoroughly impressed.  We had breakfast because they serve it all day and it was the best food we have ever tasted and the friendliest staff we have come across. 

The House Omelet had all sorts of vegetables that complimented one another with some secret sauce that tantalized the tongue with every bite and topped with fresh avocados and sour cream made it a special breakfast.

If we ever decide to settle in somewhere this place would be high on our list and we would highly recommend it and will come again and again and again.  Love the area and love this resort!

NOTE 2014 UPDATE - On our return visit we were not put in one of their Super Sites but they made us feel special anyway.  Just a really good group of people that work there that have a nice way of making us feel special.  We had breakfast and just as the last time it was tantalizing to the taste buds.

For more photos, check out our Picasa Web Albums.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Being Exactly Who We Are Meant To Be

Life always gives us reminders of why we do what we do and the other morning was no different.  

We replaced our microwave a few years ago with a lower voltage since we were boondocking a lot more often but our keen senses caught it before it went up in flames while using it the other day.  We became aware of the smell and then the strange noise coming from it so we immediately stopped it, unplugged it and removed it before it began to smolder.  

We replaced it and are just grateful that as bad as things get, they are not as bad as they could have been if we were not open and aware of our surroundings.

We are still recuperating from the long days of work, not just from the pumpkins but remember we worked the Kansas State Fair, then drove like truckers for 5 days and then straight to work at the pumpkins so this has truly been nice for us.  Especially since I am finding so much work online that we may continue doing this until January, life is truly so good once we stop fighting it and allow it to just flourish for us.

I feel at home just the way things are currently, feeling connected to the Universe and allowing it all to just engulf us is such a relaxing feeling.

We are hanging out at several resorts located in the Desert Hot Springs.

Just enjoying soaking in the hot springs, writing and living in a better state of mind then we have for so many months now.  Life is Grand once again!

We had our tires rotated... (Maggie with no shoes...SCARY!)

And, ran a few errands in between a few of the resorts thus far and have another move planned in a few days where we will pick up our Thanksgiving meal and other needed items since we are scheduled to be at our next location through the holiday.  After that move we will be heading to Vegas for the NASCAR Champion Event.  We have been wanting to attend it for so many years but we had always been working and since we are off at this time it is a perfect opportunity. 

We had an eventful weekend with the weather.  On Saturday they were predicting some heavy winds for Sunday early morning, around 4am but the winds continued to get stronger all day Saturday and we thought they had the timing messed up but oh we were so wrong.  Even though the winds were quite strong all day Saturday and into the night it was NOTHING like what we felt at 4am on Sunday morning.  It literally bounced us up and out of bed, it felt as if somebody had hit our motorhome and then we continued to rock and roll at a high speed for the next few hours.  Daybreak finally came and the wind settled down a bit and for the first time in a very long time the weather forecasters were spot on.  I suppose even out west we still have some weather situations where I lose sleep but we will take this over all the weather they are having all over the country now.

For more photos, check out our Google + Web Albums.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Palm Springs Oasis RV Resort

Palm Springs Oasis RV Resort
36100 Date Palm Drive
Cathedral City, CA  92234
760-328-4813 or 800-680-0144
5/2-5/7/13 & 11/7-11/14/14

With our Coast to Coast membership we paid $20.04 per day, $15 in points and the rest at check in for Resort Fees and taxes.  Even though those extra charges annoy us, it is still usually a great deal for the type of resorts they offer.

A smaller resort with under 150 sites, ours was water, electric, sewer, level on a concrete slab with a patio.  Our Verizon MiFi and phones had great reception

The restrooms were immaculate and the laundry facilities worked perfectly, we were in and out in record time.

Conveniently located near restaurants, stores and so much more and they have a spa and a fabulous pool that we took full advantage of due to the weather flirting with temperatures near 100 degrees.

It was off season during our visit, so there were not many sites filled.  It may be more cramped during peak season but we would highly recommend staying here and we will visit again.

For more photos, check out our Picasa Web Albums.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

September & October Wine Tastings

We continue to learn things about wine tasting by researching and now know that even though a bottle does not include a vintage date it does make a big difference.  As explained to us at one of our wine tasting outings that weather has a lot to do with the taste.  If there was an early or late frost, or too much or too little water can change the taste of any wine annually.  So even though we tasted a varietal by a certain producer and liked or disliked it does not necessary mean that the next time we taste the same item that it will not taste much differently.  We have recognized this several times in the past few years and finally understand it.  This even applies to the box wine that we purchase in between bottles, we have tasted a huge difference with the same kind over and over again especially when traveling across the country.  So we may have a review one time that if so different the next time and this is the reason behind it.

We have not been doing much wine tastings in the past few months since we had been working so much but we hope to once again add our wine tastings to our blog on a more regular basis.  We are more into the sweeter types like Sangria, Moscato and other sweets but have also enjoyed a good Riesling every now and then.

Please let us know if you have any favorites that you feel we would enjoy tasting, but do remember that we try to keep our budget of under $5 per bottle for the most part but definitely under $10 for sure.

Sutter Home Pink Moscato - A Napa Valley regional wine that has a 10% alcohol content that we rated a 6.8.  Even though the aromas were caramel, melon, passion fruit, peach and vanilla it still had a bite to it and was not smooth nor sweet.  We thought we had tasted it before and thought it was good but even though many wines do not include a vintage date it makes a big difference in the tastings and would consider purchasing it again for this reason.

Carolina Vineyards White Ocean Breeze – We bought this in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, from one of our tastings, this white grape wine has 11% alcohol that we rated 8.5.   With a very slight floral fragrant it is snappy, cleansing, light, refreshing flavor, just like an ocean breeze that would go great with any meal or just to enjoy its flavor.    We would definitely recommend this one to others and will purchase again.

Stone Cliff Winery American Moscato - Just had to try one of the local wineries located in Dubuque, Iowa as we were passing through the area.  We gave it a high rating of 9.3 because it was sweet, fresh and tasted like a honeydew melon on a hot summery day.  With a light floral aroma it would be on our list to purchase again and we would recommend it to others that costs under $10 per bottle.

For more photos, check out our Google + Web Albums.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Traveling Leisurely

What a huge difference to be traveling leisurely, nothing we had planned but we could get used to this again.  Currently doing some online work that should assist our funds and we are still looking for other work that we enjoy but for now we could possibly take some time off to once again enjoy ourselves.  Something we have not done in a very long time.  We got all caught up in the work, work and more work and forgot the reason we began living this lifestyle ten years ago.  To have fun, to enjoy ourselves with no stress and absolutely no drama.  Time to get back to that once again.

We will be hanging out in the Palm Springs area at several of the resorts that are part of the Coast to Coast membership for the next month or so before heading into Arizona for more stays at resorts through the holidays.  The weather here has been in total agreement, highs in the 80’s and lows in the 60’s.  Our plan is to take in the Hot Springs, relax, and go on a few bike adventures to check out things and to work on some of the projects being offered to me online.  We are now remembering how to relax and have fun once again.

Even though we feel the Osborne’s made a ridiculous choice about us not returning for trees we are appreciating the fact that we are once again finding ourselves and the reason we began living this lifestyle.

When we discussed their decision we know that they made a huge mistake but at the same time we are lucky we got out of their rat race.  Anyone who takes the word of a few customers against the hundreds of compliments from customers at the pumpkin lot is someone we are not willing to work for any longer.  Daily, we had so many people tell us how much they appreciated our wonderful customer service and loved the way we kept control and were so safety conscious with their children.  Then they would go on to explain how when they went to the other lots of the Osborne’s they did not feel the same security because all they noticed were the other lots allowed many safety issues to go unchallenged and the employees were unconnected to the children.  We heard this all the time from customers but tried to explain that we were instructed by the boss to follow the guidelines but then were told by a different boss to allow things to just happen, “Nobody’s going to get hurt!” is a direct quote from another boss. 

The first week we had the “it’s all good” attitude and was more relaxed with the rules and guidelines we had 3 accidents because we allowed parents on the Jumpies and for the kids to run wild around the lot so we tightened up again and that is when the accidents ceased but the complaints began.  Even though we did not have any broken bones as the other lots did we were the ones let go.  According to parents who came to our lot because they were at the other lots when these accidents happened and it was due to the chaos of supervision of their children that they believed the accidents happened.  Several parents informed us that they would not be returning to those other locations because they did not feel the same safeness due to what they witnessed and would only return to ours because we were there.

It is a fact that people call to complain much more than they do when things are good and we understand that but do not feel the Osborne’s realize those facts.  For as many complaints as they got from customers, there were hundreds of compliments said to us daily but they never heard them nor did they even care to ask us about it all.

There is a few facts about the people that complained that the Osborne’s did not take into consideration…
  • First off they were the rude ones, they wanted us to bend the rules and guidelines for them and several of them played the “race” card and then began early into the disagreement to personally attack our characters with some very vulgar statements and yes I did get a bit perturbed over their attitudes and told them that I would not be spoken to in that manner and asked them to leave the lot since they were making a scene.
  • Several of them wanted to leave their children at the lot without any supervision and got upset when I told them assertively that they could not do that and would need to return immediately to the lot.
  • There were also several who wrote reviews that if they looked into their review patterns they would have noticed that those people hardly ever had anything nice to say about anything or anyone and even were banned from several businesses due to their rudeness.

There are several other items we could list but at the end of the day the facts are that after working for them for 3 years they ended up treating us very poorly.  To say over and over again that you have our backs, or we are family and you love us and then to just call us and not even ask us our side of any of it and just let us go even though we have a contract is just the kind of people we do not want to work for and we are better off.  But at the same time we needed to get our feelings out there because we are tired of allowing people to say and do things to us and not be held accountable for it.

We will move forward and we will not allow this situation to bitter us toward people because we know that there are many folks out there who would love to have us work for them and know that we are good people who have great skills to share.  And, that for every complaint they understand that there are several hundreds of compliments about our great customer service skills.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

It’s All Good

Torn feelings this morning, bouncing between bewildered, feeling as if we just had the rug pulled out from under our feet and anger for being lied to by them.

Having someone’s back does not mean that you should stick a knife into it the first chance you get, but maybe being part of the family means to kick us while we were down.  We have learned that is exactly what family does so maybe they didn’t lie to us after all.

We have our feelers out there for work, contacting places that had offered us work in the past few weeks when we should have taken them up on their offers but we felt that we had made a commitment to not only finish Pumpkins but to return to work the trees as well.  Apparently a person’s word is no longer worth anything as well as a contract that we had with them isn’t worth the paper it was written on.

Life lessons along the way has been a tough one this year and as we were hoping the worst was over but we can see that is not true.

We are heading away from the area today, way too expensive for us now that we are currently unemployed again.  We have some Coast to Coast points to use again in the Desert Hot Springs area, in Ehrenberg, Earp, Laughlin and Lake Havasu City through the first part of 2015 and were able to make the reservations so if no work comes along then maybe it’s time to just relax and enjoy this lifestyle once again.

We have a few online jobs waving at us in the breeze so we hope that might be enough to supplement our income through this year as well as setting other opportunities in motion.  We will be okay and we will once again get out of this despair with dignity and learn to always be true to ourselves and never allow anyone ever again to dictate to us how we should act.  If our attitudes are not what they want then we will move onward and upward.

Chula Vista RV Resort

460 Sandpiper Way
Chula Vista, CA  91910
9/15/2013 & 11/1-11/25/13 & 11/3-11/6/2014

2014 NOTE - We paid $60 for a water, electric, sewer back-in site situated on a concrete slab with a picnic table along the entrance road area.  A bit noisier traffic wise but we were located right by the laundry and spa area where we took full advantage of it.

This is by far one of the best and perfect places we have come across in our years of travels.  The area is perfect, the park is gorgeous, the only bad thing is the price but I guess you do get what you pay for.

We paid $75 for a water, electric, sewer back-in site situated on a concrete slab with a picnic table and $1090 for the monthly rate.  So much higher than we ever want to pay but it was location…location…location we were after.  They do offer free WiFi but our Verizon MiFi worked wonderfully well.

Relaxation...activities...and all the amenities that you need are available for your convenience.

The pool and spa were sparkling and very inviting.

They strictly enforced their pet policy which we witnessed for ourselves.  We noticed a neighbor across from us had 3 dogs and were NEVER on leashes.  Two days after she moved in another person walking her dogs were rushed by her 3 dogs and then 2 days later she moved out and she was a monthly.  

The restrooms and laundry were the cleanest we have ever seen.

It is a gated resort that is located next to a marina and a park right on the San Diego Bay.  We did not see any of the obvious homeless folks hanging out in the area as we have seen so often while hanging out near the ocean. 

The views are spectacular and there is so much to do in the area but we soon found that riding our bikes through some of the areas to get to where we wanted to go was not a comfortable feeling.

Even with the exuberant pricing, we would highly recommend this resort.

For more photos, check out our Google + Web Albums.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

We Are Saddened…

Hurt and disappointed but as usual we will survive.  We were told, “Got your back”, “Love you guys”, and that “We are family” but they still called us yesterday and told us they do not want us back for Christmas. 

It was a rough year and we thought it would all be good once we got back to the west, well it isn’t and the bad stuff keeps on coming.

This season was long and we had some really tough customers, mostly because we are instructed to be firm and follow the guidelines they give to us but then we are informed that the other lots do not and then when those customers come to our lot they must follow the rules and they get upset and call the office to complain about our management.  The bosses can’t have it both ways, they either want us to follow the guidelines or they don’t and believe me we would rather just allow the customers to do all that the other lots allow them to do but each time we did, one of the bosses told us not to and then the other would tell us to lighten up and allow them to do whatever the hell they want.  The same for workers, we were told one thing by one of the bosses and another thing by another boss.

We are taking full responsibility for our rudeness to customers when we were personally attacked by a few of them but for the most part we had hundreds of compliments by customers and only a handful of complaints but unfortunately the compliments only made it to us and not to the top where the complaints went.  Since they obviously could not see the bigger picture they decided to end our relationship even though we had a contract with them for both Pumpkins and Trees but a contract is just a piece of paper and nowadays breaching one’s word does not matter. 

Life goes on and we will survive as we usually do and we are holding onto the faith that good will come our way because when one door closes another always opens and it’s usually better than the original plan.  We are good, deserving people that need to understand that if somebody doesn’t like our way of doing things does not make them right and us wrong it just makes us different.  We need to hold on to the belief that we are great just the way we are and that it is not fair to change who we are because somebody else doesn’t like our personalities.  We have worked for many people who accept us for who we are and understand that we are good at what we do and that there will always be times when people complain because that is what our society has become.  The internet has become an easy outlet for many to just bash one another just because they were asked nicely to not do something.

I am a reviewer so I know what it is like to write a review about a place but to personally bash people is just not what a good reviewer should do.  Looking at many of the reviews online about their business you can see that there are other issues besides us and that many of those reviews were from people who by looking through their profile bash everyone.  Unhappy people nowadays take out their aggressions on others to fulfill their own inadequacies and should not hold so much power over hard working people like us.  But it happens and we all need to understand that we all will have to live with the consequences of our choices.  We stand by each and every choice we made and yes we learned from them but we will move onward and upward and not allow this bad choice to tear down our attitudes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Little Caesars Pizza Review

We had lunch/dinner at Little Caesars Pizza and it was fabulous!

Honey Mustard Bacon Wings
Such a sweet and tangy flavor going on that melted in our mouths.

Parmesan Garlic Wings 
The garlic aroma filled the air and then the blend of Parmesan Cheese made these wings wake up our taste buds and we could not get enough of them.

Soft Pretzel Crust Pizza & Pepperoni Cheese Bread
Is it a pizza or a pretzel?  
Every bite gave us a different taste, with the four-cheese gourmet blend of  Asiago, Fontina, Parmesan and White Cheddar cheeses the bite leaned towards a pizza but then when the Creamy Cheddar Cheese sauce was in the bite it was a pretzel.  Either way it is a uniquely different taste that we would highly recommend and we are going to have many more in our future.  Especially for only $6!
As for the Pepperoni Cheese Bread is was flavorful and the crunchiness of the burnt ends really made it taste even better.

There’s No Place Like Home…

It felt so good to get caught up on our blog finally and to be able to catch up on all the other blogs we follow.  Life certainly is nice on this side of the country.  We had such high hopes that this trip east would be so great but it was a disaster and we are so grateful that we made it back to where we belong.

We had so many downs we thought our lives would never have any ups again but we both feel so centered, so connected to the Universe that we know things will once again begin to balance out for us.

We unpacked our emergency bag and I am not constantly looking at the weather all night.  We are once again living our lives to the fullest with no worries and getting rest when we sleep.

Jerry fixed up our new area quite nice and the evening was so spectacular that we sat on our porch sipping wine and just talking.  It has been a long time since we have done that and it felt great.

We still have a few days of just puttering around to get the Pumpkin Station ready for opening day on Friday and we are interviewing and hiring all the people we need to assure it is a successful year for all of us.

Our last day is on November 2nd, then we leave the 3rd on vacation for a few weeks before we return to do the Christmas Trees.  If any of our readers are in the area it’s a great place to bring the kids or grandkids or just stop by to say hello.

For more photos, check out our Google + Web Albums.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Our Truck Driving Experience from Hutchinson to San Diego

Our time at the Kansas State Fair ended and it was uneventful but we had a wonderful time.  Many of the folks there are farmers and they are the nicest people we have dealt with in a very long time.  Some of the workers we had to work with were a bit on the cranky side but we soon realized that was their issue not ours.  We also had the opportunity to work with some of the best people as well.  We worked many hours but we also just had some fun.

We usually try to travel under 200 miles and then take days off in between but we needed to get to Chula Vista for our next job at the Pumpkin Station so we became what we consider truck drivers.  But in reality we do not come close to the miles that they put on daily.  We were traveling 300 miles per day for 5 days…

Day one had us leaving at dawn with cool temperatures, clouds but no storms and very little wind.  There were some rough roads but nothing like back east and we had a mishap with our wipers but it was an easy fix which kept us on schedule.  All and all it was a great first day travel to Corral RV Park in Dalhart,Texas.  This place had some good and then some bad points, read our review for the entire scoop.

For our second day of travel we left in the fog, rough road with truckers on our butts.  The speed limit was 75 and we usually do about 59 so it was a little tense ride until we got to New Mexico when the road got so smooth it was as if we were gliding and we gained an hour. 

We arrived at Route 66 Casino to do some boondocking for the night and to get a free buffet and other freebies.  When we pulled in we later realized we had an issue with our house battery, we just recently replaced our engine battery but now it was time for the house one to stop working.  We had no lights and realized our refrigerator was not working either but we really did not have much in way of food in there and we kept it all closed for the rest of the night.  We slept in the well lit parking lot and got an early start the next morning.

There were two Walmart locations on the way to our next stop and we chose to stop in Gallop, New Mexico, not the best choice of the two.  We are true believers that things happen for a reason and this time we were able to witness it ourselves.  When we pulled up all of the sudden I had this uncontrollable urge to go potty that just would not wait so I got back into our rig to go and then realized we forgot to lock our house door…ooops! 

Wait that is just the beginning of the story…

We did our shopping and then on our way out while we were pushing our cart to our rig we witnessed a homeless man come around our rig to the door and attempt to open the door…when we yelled to him he just turned around and asked us for a handout.  We were both in shock and just told him to go on his way.  We were both shook up and then when I explained to Jerry what had happened earlier when I went back into our rig he truly understood how things do happen for a reason.  We know that if I did not answer my urgent call then this man would have been in our home and who knows what might have happened.

We replaced the battery and got back on the road swiftly and we were not going to allow Hurricane Odile to ruin our drive, it was wetter than usual in these areas but we were so lucky because you could see by the radar and the puddles how we missed the major downpours and only had to deal with some periodical drizzling.  Not only did we feel safer from the weather than we had in months, we also felt aligned with the Universe again and knew that we were coming home.

Our next stop was at the Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort east of Flagstaff, Arizona to boondock for another night.  We gained another hour and they were also giving away some freebies and/or deeply discounted items which we enjoyed.  We again slept well in a well lit up parking area and woke at dawn for our next adventurous day.

Being at over 6,000’ elevation caused Maggie to hiccup a few times when we first started out in the morning but we tried to stay calm and she came around.  The drive was nice through Flagstaff and Williams on I-40 but then we turned onto 89 at Ashfork and enjoyed an even better route…that is until we went where we had not gone before as we continued on 89 to 71 to 60…over the mountains to I-10.  The views were absolutely spectacular and it was really not as bad as some of the other roads we had been on before but we do not plan to take this route again.  It may have saved us miles but the time it took us to climb and descend we could have saved a few hours by going miles out of the way but it would have been hot so we probably made the best choice.  We took so many photos of this days drive of the spectacular views so check out our Google + Web Albums for all of them.

The cool temperatures came to an abrupt end when we landed in Ehrenberg, Arizona around noon and the temps were in the 100’s.  We did not want to push it further to even hotter weather so we opted to stay at the Colorado River RV Resort using our Coast to Coast membership for $15.  We have stayed here many times before but this time there were only a few others there and unfortunately the laundry room air conditioning was not working and we needed to do laundry so we suffered through it to get it done.

We finally awoke to our last day of travels and knew we needed an early start to get through the Palm Desert area where wind and heat was always at its worse and this time was no different. Temperatures were already into the 80’s by the time we were passing through and the wind was so rough we thought for sure Maggie was going to lose some of her outings but as usual she hung on tight and we all made it through without any incident.

Once we turned onto 79 off of I-10 the weather once again cooled at least 15 degrees and it was a great ride into Chula Vista.  We did stop at Walmart for our huge grocery stop for our stay at the Pumpkin Station.  We are so grateful to be back and we love the work, the owners, the area and above all else the weather is the absolute finest of all.  It is so nice to be able to just sleep without worries and to look at the weather and see every day the highs in the upper 70’s to lower 80’s and the lows are mid to upper 60’s.  We will take boring over all the east coast exciting weather anytime.

For more photos, check out our Google + Web Albums.