Thursday, November 22, 2012
We are so far behind once again in updating our blog but we will…I promise…but for now we just want to say that we are back on a tree lot and getting ready for our next adventure to begin…but for today I wanted to share a few things with you all.
We have a Facebook friend, just as with many of our blogger friends, we have not met them but still consider them friends. They are in a deep funk and are reaching out and it touches my heart to the core since Jerry and I can totally relate to them…we were there and it took every ounce of our beings to pull ourselves out and begin living our lives. If we ended our lives as they continue to share then look at all the precious moments we would have missed.
Jerry and I have gone through some pretty rough times, not just financially, but emotionally with our family dysfunctional chaos that we are now happy to say has ended. They finally got it that we are who we are and we do not choose to live in the chaos ever again and they have accepted it and do not contact us any longer. At times that could be a negative, but we see it as a positive because after all these years without them in our lives we now choose to keep it that way. We are no longer the same people and neither are they and to try to ever reconcile would not be beneficial to us or to them.
To get back to our Facebook friend, they are in that deep black hole that we were in so many years ago when we lost it all and thought we would never recover and there were moments in our lives that we have both contemplated ending it all but we were lucky enough to never fulfill that request. If we had we would have missed out on the best years of our lives.
No, we do not have the finest things in life, even though there are times we dream about them. But, what we do have are grand moments in our lives that would have never happened if we had followed through during those dark times in our lives and we hope that with our words we can help them or anyone else who is going down that black slippery slope of despair.
Do not concentrate on the negative, the things you do not have, the bad times. Instead focus on all the good and believe me there is so many good things if you choose to look in that direction.
We are grateful for one another, there is not a morning that upon wakening that I do not thank the Universe for allowing both of us to have awoken and are able to share another day together. We are grateful for our home and that our home has wheels. We are so thankful for all the wonderful job opportunities that continue to come into our lives since we do need to work to continue living. We are grateful for our health, even though at times the aches and pains are severe, we do know that we are both very healthy and are just getting a little older and some of those aches are inevitable.
The list could go on and on of all the great things in our lives but you all get the road we are traveling. If you are depressed and are contemplating ending it all, please reconsider and start looking at all the wonderful things you have going for you. If you do not see all your good, then just take a trip and open your eyes to the many other people who have it so much worse than you do. The folks who do not have any shelter at all, or are not healthy and have lost limbs, their hearing, their eyesight, or those who have lost all of their hopes and dreams. We are surrounded by them daily on many street corners, or in the news, or walking past us in a daze because they no longer care.
Take a moment in your day and understand that they are you…only they gave up… realize that by just looking into their eyes and acknowledging them or extending a hand that you can give them the hope and encouragement they need to make it through one more day.
Happy Thanksgiving and to all of our readers, we hope you all have everything you dream about and more!
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
101 Golden Shore
Long Beach, CA 90802
We paid $263.70 for 5 nights which balances out to be $52.74 per night with our Good Sam 10% discount. We had a flat, packed sand graveled site with water, 30amp electric, sewer without cable and a charge for WiFi. Our Verizon phones and MiFi and DirecTV worked marvelously for us while we visited.
Customer service at the front desk was not the best, with our calls and check in, we did not feel the love, they did not do anything wrong just no great service that stood out for us.
While doing laundry in the less than adequate laundry room, we did have the maintenance man offer a ride to us to our site while carrying our laundry and this was well received.
Sites were cramped together and they did warn us with a flyer about theft within the park in recent months. This was disconcerting to us but we noticed it was quiet at night and no mischief while we were there.
The resort was conveniently located for what we needed from our stay, but as for recommending we would not do since it is highly priced and really not a lot to offer.
Sunday, November 04, 2012
Our main goal was to visit Catalina Island, even though we could have parked Maggie in their huge parking lot while visiting the island, we also wanted to visit a few other places while here so we opted to stay at the Golden Shore RV Resort that is located right in the downtown area. Read our separate review on this resort.
We stopped for lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and enjoyed it as much as we did our first visit to a Bubba’s on Fishermen’s Wharf.
We walked to the Aquarium of the Pacific and explored all the different areas of the Aquarium. We paid an online package price of $42 for the Aquarium and the Queen Mary. If purchased separately we would have paid $52 each, so we saved quite a bit doing it this way. They offer several different packages, check them out prior to getting your tickets in case you want to save more too!
The aquarium was nice and even though there were never any of my favorite colorful coral, sea urchins and jelly fish, nothing will ever compare to my childhood favorite at the Belle Isle Aquarium we enjoyed weekend after weekend while we were kids and have some really great memories of those times.
We stopped for lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and enjoyed it as much as we did our first visit to a Bubba’s on Fishermen’s Wharf.
This time I had the “I’m Stuffed!” Shrimp which is Shrimp with Crab Stuffing, baked in Garlic Butter, and topped with Monterey Jack Cheese...
Jerry had Forrest’s Seafood Feast which is Southern Fried Shrimp, Seafood Hush Pups, Fish & Chips, Coleslaw… And don’t forget the delicious Sauces for dippin’ – Tartar, Cocktail and Remoulade. Both dishes were great and very scrumptious tasting and even though it is a bit pricey we would return again.
We then took advantage of the free transportation and rode the bus to the Queen Mary.
In its time, this ship was huge, not so much nowadays...
We enjoyed exploring the different decks.
We did a little shopping at the shops, we checked out some of the rooms on board which we did not stay in. We also had a drink in one of the lounges and had a great time.
We would highly recommend visiting this area and these are just a few of the many things that can be done while here. Stay tune for more and check out our photos, photos and more photos at Picasa Web Albums, we took hundreds!
Friday, November 02, 2012
1537 South Coast Highway
Oceanside, CA 92054
We paid $48.60 for one night using our Good Sam discount for a fairly level smaller site with water, sewer and 30amp electric. They also offered complimentary cable and WiFi which we did not use since our Verizon MiFi worked perfectly as well as our DirecTV.
Customer service was high, exactly what you would expect since it is a high dollar rate they charge. Everyone was friendly and willing to go that extra mile to make us happy.
Being so close to the tracks was intimidating at first, the noise took some getting used to, but after all being just a few moments away from the ocean...well it was worth it.
The amenities and the landscaping were all clean, pristine and well maintained.
Even though it is way beyond our budget, we would most certainly stay here again.
Thursday, November 01, 2012
I am a Senior Citizen…I turned 55 and even though Jerry is right behind in a few months, I get all the discounts and he has to wait!
It’s also official we have completed the Pumpkin Station and had a blast doing it. What a wonderful feeling of knowing that we are truly appreciated and that we are NOT workhorses, instead we are managers just like the way it is supposed to be. We are returning for the trees, but for now we are in vacation mode and already having the time of our lives.
We stopped at the Camping World in San Marcos, California for a few minor things that needed to be done on Maggie. We are so spoiled by having Jerry do most all of the maintenance that when we have to go to the shop we soon realize why we do not like it. We arrived early for our 10am appointment and knew it would take some time to just diagnose the problems so we went to breakfast. Returning one hour later and they had not even moved Maggie…ugh, this was going to be a long day.
Finally around 2pm we were out of there with hundreds of dollars out of our pockets and parts that Jerry will replace on our water heater, our jacks are now in working condition, but absolutely no answer to why our refrigerator was making that noise. According to their diagnostics, they could not replicate the noise. Funny how often I continue to hear it!
With that behind us, we focused on vacation time. We stopped at Walmart to do some shopping and then checked in for one night at the Paradise by the Sea RV Resort. Even though we had laundry and cleaning to do, we chose to have a glass of wine and take this moment to just enjoy where we were and just relax. Check out our review on the resort, it is one of those gems…very pricey but oh so nice.
Got up early the next morning, took a walk to the beach and had a great Breakfast Burrito at Buccaneer Café. Not only does this place have location…location…location, the food was delicious and the customer service was exceptional, Linda was a great host!
It’s time to move on down the road and visit Long Beach, not only the Queen Mary
and the Aquarium of the Pacific
but we will be spending one night on Catalina Island…stay tuned for more of our vacation time and see all the fun things on our agenda.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
But who’s counting?
Even though this Pumpkin Station experience has been the best we have ever had, we are still counting down to when we will be on our mini vacation in between this and the Christmas tree lot.
Hooking up, getting some work done on Maggie, overnight on Catalina Island without Maggie, play days and the Boat Ride on the Colorado River we have been anticipating for years is just a few of the many things we have planned for those 18 days.
Getting out of California for a little while will be a treat, we have been here for months and are looking forward to heading to Arizona and Nevada for a few days to just unwind and cross things off on our Life List.
Managing this lot has been a great experience; we have learned what it is like to truly be appreciated for our skills and to work for a very well-oiled company. They do everything top-notched, their systems work and we are happy to be a part of this family.
The only complaint we have would be about the hired workers but we have weeded out the bad apples and are finally down to the very best of the crop. Many of the workers have been coming back for years and as I informed one of them that in all actuality that only means they have worked for a few months since this is a seasonal one month job, not the years they continue to state they have been with the company. Many of them took advantage of the other managers and took long breaks and even hours on company time, did not show up for shifts and then expected to just show up for their next one and work. That is not how we operate, this is a business, not a day care center and we hire adults who need to give us their all while they are on our time, if not they can find other work. We run a tight ship and once that word got around we began losing people which was really a blessing. Now, we can relax and have some fun since all of our workers are now exactly that, they are workers who understand that this is a business.
Now that we are on the last part of this, we will continue getting busier each day. Pumpkin sales will rise and so will the traffic but that will make every day fly by and before we know it, we will be on vacation once again.
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
It has been a strange opening for us, we piddled around the lot while the workers did the rest. Ah hah, we now know what it is to manage a lot and not work a lot…big difference and we most certainly can get used to this.
By not destroying our bodies with all the setup, we now have plenty of stamina to take care of the staff and the customers the way they should be treated, not from the pain and tiredness but from relaxed and ready to work side of us. Love it!
Norm and Linda Osborne and their son Mike have owned this family business Pinery Christmas Trees and Pumpkin Station for many years and they do a top notch job keeping these businesses flourishing. We had our employee orientation and hired around 50 people, Linda came by and facilitated the event and it all came together and went pretty smooth.
The pumpkin business is much different from Christmas trees. With the tree business, it booms on opening and slows way down towards the end. Pumpkins on the other hand begin very slow and then booms for the last two weeks. By then we feel we will be ready for it and will have all of our best employees prepared and then head out on November 1st with a satisfying feeling of completion of a job well done.
The weather has been a bit draining, since El Cajon, California has been in the 100’s for days now, but we are told that today should be the end of the 100’s…we are hoping that this time the weather forecasters are correct. Wouldn’t you love a job where you can be wrong 90% of the time and still have a job?
Sunday, September 23, 2012
The nerve of some people…check out this photo…
Oh wait…that is us doing what we have complained about others doing for years, being sprawled out in a Walmart parking lot and we will be here until November 1st...What have we got ourselves into now?
Our vacation is over, at least for the next 30+ days it is. We arrived at our Pumpkin Station location in El Cajon, California and even though we don’t open until September 28th we are here. We are not helping with the setup which is strange to us, but fantastic at the same time, but what we are doing is interviewing employees that will begin working when we open. We are actually going to be managing this Pumpkin Station and not manual laborers, wow life is good!
It has been warm so far, highs in the 90’s but the lows are into the upper 60’s at night thank goodness since we are on blacktop and we will not have any power for a few days due to some restriction changes the City made on them. We are exercising our generator and also taking advantage of the Mall’s air conditioning.
Yesterday we did some shopping at Walmart that is located in the Westfield Parkway Mall. This Walmart has a second floor that have elevators or escalators, the escalators have a middle space that your cart goes into and travels up or down along with you!
We then ate lunch at Bob’s Big Boy, also located in the Mall which we have a separate entry on our blog for that review, be sure to check it out.
Hopefully, with the shortened hours here at this lot and managing instead of all that physical work we just might be able to do what we love, write about our adventures.
For more photos, check out our Picasa Web Albums.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Westfield Parkway Plaza Mall
937 Parkway Plaza
El Cajon, CA 92020
For most of my childhood we ate at Big Boy’s in Michigan and while visiting we made a special stop at one of them just so Jerry could see how similar they really were to Bob’s Big Boy’s in California.
The atmosphere is pretty much the same and many of the food items are the same as well, but the one major item Bob’s is missing is the Slim Jim, my all-time favorite sandwich. They have a similar item that I ordered here at Bob’s but it just was not the same. I forgot what they called it but it had sliced ham, pepperoni, cheese, lettuce, tomato on this absolutely wonderful dried tomato rye sort of bread. And, even though it satisfied my taste pallet it’s just not the same.
I did enjoy the strawberry malt…
Jerry had the Super Big Boy which is still the 2 patties of 100% pure ground beef with American cheese, lettuce and their special sauce on a sesame seed bun, only bigger! After only one bite he had to put it down on his plate and begin eating it with a knife and fork, but he enjoyed every bite and the fries were so delicious, crispy on the outside but soft and flavorful on the inside.
We are going to be here for over 30 days so most likely we will be dining there again and will let you know if we try other items on their menu.
Friday, September 21, 2012
15379 Oak Creek Road
El Cajon, CA 92021
Sunland RV Resort properties are located in several areas in Southern California and this is our second one we have stayed in. This one totally out shines the San Diego RV Resort by far.
Conveniently located just a few miles from I-8 with a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains, we were able to use our Passport America membership and paid $47 for two nights for a water, 30amp electric, with sewer on a part concrete and part gravel fairly level site. The nights we slept with our windows open and there was no noise to be found, it was peaceful and restful.
While we were there we used the laundry facilities that had large washers and dryers that did their job but were a bit pricey, $2.50 to wash and $2 to dry. The Recreation Room was located next to the laundry room so it was nice to sit in the air conditioning, watch TV, read, work on a puzzle or even shoot some billiards.
The showers and restrooms were kept very clean and the landscaping was impeccable. Even though it was obvious that there were many long termers they all kept their area immaculate.
They had no cable but offered TengoInternet for a charge. They also provided discounted attraction tickets for purchasing them there. Our MiFi and Verizon phones worked perfectly and we would highly recommend this place for an overnight or even a longer visit.
They had a cute verse to remind everyone to pick up after their pets, “If your puppy does his business in a place where people stroll, then for the sake of all of us, picking it up should be your goal. If it’s beneath your dignity to stop and scoop it up, then maybe in reality you shouldn’t own a pup!” Seemed to have worked, but we did have a run in with an ignorant dog owner while doing our laundry. They believed that allowing their Pit Bull to come in “just for a moment” while they took their clothes out of the dryer was not going to harm anyone…wrong! I immediately asked them to remove their animal and when she replied that their dog has never bit anyone, I told her that was exactly what the last person who said that to me said a moment before their dog bit my ass! She looked startled but complied with the rule immediately. I am getting less tolerant of stupid people as the years pass.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
A few weeks ago we were just bidding time until work begins at the end of September when I received an email from Auto Club Speedway about an upcoming event, the MAVTV 500 INDYCAR Race. Being almost a week before it began we didn’t think we could get any camping or tickets, but we soon realized that this event was not NASCAR!
We were able to get front row infield camping on turn 3 with two wristbands for $345 including all taxes and fees. We jumped at the chance for us to enjoy our first live Indy race together. Jerry had never gone to one and the last one I attended was through the streets of downtown Detroit which they have not been racing there in many years.
We arrived at noon on Thursday to stage for entry to the infield at 3pm…they were late getting us in but we were finally situated by 5pm. Of course we chose the weekend there was to be record breaking temperatures in the area and they were not wrong. The 3 days we were there, the highs were over 105 degrees and the lows at night barely dipped out of the 80’s. Needless to say it was warm. We kept cool as possible with plenty of ice, water spray and plenty of drinking water.
The race was a night race and it was so exciting under the lights, and to be right next to the track was awesome.
We were lucky enough to be camped next to a wonderful man who was an Indy fan that caught us up on who is who and how they were scoring for the final championship race. He was 71 years old, lived in our old neighborhood in Phoenix and was just a joy to hang out with. He lost his wife about 5 years ago and even though he is dating another lovely lady, you could still see that he still missed his lovely wife of over 40 years every time he spoke about her.
Our other neighbor, unfortunately, we did not get to know him until the day after the night he ran his generator ALL NIGHT! He came over the next day before we had a chance to go over and talk to them about it and he asked if he had been a bad neighbor and we agreed he had been. He assumed since it was so warm that most people would run theirs all night which we did not. Of course we could have gone over there at 3am but I did not want to bother him…yes, you heard me right, I can be so annoying at times. Instead, I stayed up and worried about all those stories we have read about couples dying from the fumes. Because of the heat all of our windows were open and we are not sure whether that is good or not. Oh yea, forgot to mention that by this time I woke up Jerry who was sound asleep which scared me because I thought he had rendered to the fumes. No alarms of ours went off but how certain was I that they were all working correctly. Or that even though our neighbor had just bought an exhaust pipe that Jerry assisted installing, how certain we were that the pipe was taking the fumes away and not winding right back into our open windows? Finally after 4am I was too tired to sleep outside anymore and the body was aching so we just threw caution to the wind and decided if we were going to die, we would go together in our RV…what a way to go!
Even with the heat and the one night of the fume fear, we had a great time and are now thinking that we will be checking out more opportunities to be at the tracks besides just NASCAR.