Monday, March 24, 2014

Precious Family Time

P1030274(Jan) Growing up in a small close knit community, there was always lots of family around. My dad was the oldest of twelve children, my mom was third in a family of seven so there was always cousins, aunts and uncles as well as lots of kids in our neighborhoods to be around. In our immediate family there is my older sister, Linda, myself and then two younger brothers; Glen and Ron. I was a bit young to really appreciate Glen as a baby but I was a young girl when Ron came along. He had dark hair and bright blue eyes. I loved that I was old enough to hold him & rock him to sleep. That baby brother is now 55 and lives in California. P1030271Because my mom, sister & brother are still in the Midwest it has been easier to get together there. This time we four siblings plus my two sister-in-laws and my s-i-l’s mother met at Ron and Scarlett’s house in Pleasant Hill. Our nephew John was also home for a while on spring break. What precious family time! Ron & Scarlett rented an SUV so we could all go out and tour together. We enjoyed Happy Hour and Dinner down on Pier 23 in San Francisco, Dinner in downtown Oakland at a authentic Chinese Restaurant, Wine tasting in St. Helena and Lunch at a Bistro in Calistoga. We walked on the Beach, overlooked San Francisco, the Golden Gate & Bay Bridges from the Berkley hills and saw retired Ships in the Oakland Ship Yards. We girls went to the Ruth Bancroft Gardens while the guys did guy things in Ron’s shop. We had time to watch NCAA basketball, time to play with Ron & Scarlett’s two Russian Blue cats, time for long talks and time for photo ops! Pictured above are Mary Ann, Marcy, Scarlett, Linda, Ron, Jan and Glen.

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Thank you so much for your warm welcome and hospitality, Ron & Scarlett. We loved every minute that we got to spend with you and all our family! We sure collected some awesome memories, didn’t we?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Virgin River area/Zion NP

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P3160065P3160073(Jan) March 12-17 found Chuck and I joining friends John, Julie and Loren in the Hurricane, Utah area. After a beautiful drive up 1-15 through the Virgin River Narrows, we arrived at our Boondocking site. The country here is amazingly beautiful!

We made several trips to nearby Zion National Park. It’s a remarkable place whether you’re hiking, enjoying a drive through or viewing it from the mesa above.

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P3150062 - CopyThere was time for walks, art galleries and shopping; also time for Happy Hours, picnics & dinners together and pizza in town at a wood fired oven. Good friends, good times, good memories!P3160076 - Copy

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Stop over in Vegas

2014-03-10 20.58.23(Jan) Last Monday and Tuesday we stayed at the Main Street Station RV Resort downtown Las Vegas. We needed a place to rest for a few days and clean up the rig after the dustbowl that was our home last week at NASCAR. Main Street Station RV has full hook-ups, is 3 blocks from Fremont Street and only $19/night. We took the opportunity  to vacuum and dust to our hearts content! We also discovered that we were quite weary so an afternoon nap felt great!IMG_20140310_210637_926

We met Frank & Diane at the lovely and delicious Main Street Station Buffet for dinner. It was terrific to visit over a good, relaxing dinner and trade ‘war stories’ about our workamping experience. We had many stories to tell and shared some great laughs!

Our next stop was Fremont Street. The four of us had a great time wandering the multiple block area. We were there long enough to see two of the music extravaganzas on the big overheadIMG_20140312_102639_247 Viva Vision Canopy. “The canopy towers 90 feet above the ground and spans the length of five football fields. Featuring more than 12 million LED modules and a 555,000-watt sound system, the light show attracts tourists and locals alike.” We enjoyed the by the Who and Bon Jovi. Great times Frank & Dianne!

Tuesday was a sleep in/catch up day. Wednesday we ventured back over to Main Street Station for their Breakfast Buffet. Good food, good price and an airy dining room filled with light and antiques. Then we were on the road to southern Utah to join our friends John & Julie and Loren near Zion NP.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Las Vegas Motor Speedway NASCAR Week

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(Jan) NASCAR ran two races on the 8th & 9th of March, the Nationwide Series Boyd Gaming 300 and the Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400. Add to that two night of World of Outlaws STP Sprint Cars at the dirt track and events at the LVMS Neon Garage and it was a fun week to be at the Las Vegas Track!

P3030008We arrived on Saturday, March 1st to meet up with our team of Workampers who would man the gates at the various RV lots in the infield and around the parameter of the track. Our duty was to check passes and stickers, park RVers in the correct spot, have them play by the rules and do all this with a big, welcoming smile. We were assigned to the Bull Ring RV Lot a short mile from the track on the 3-11 p.m. shift. 95% of the RV were delightful to work with. One couple even brought us dinner 4 nights in a row! Chuck baked them sour dough bread in return. Our gate was on dirt so it was quite dusty at times. It was also pretty warm standing in the hot sun most afternoons but nights were cold by time we got off work. We worked our shift with fellow Workamper Marge.

While we were at work all week at the Bull Ring RV Lot, we were parked about one mile from the Nellis Air Force Base Runway. Nellis is home to the Thunderbirds as well as many different Air Force, Marine, Navy & Army Air units. We got to watch the Thunderbirds practice their air show performances daily at 7 A.M. and then again in the afternoon. Amazing! Thrilling! Loud! We also watched B52 Bombers, A10s, F15s and the new F35 Joint Strike Fighters take off & land both during the day and at night. (We were glad that we did not have the graveyard shift; it would have been next to impossible to sleep!)

P3020033 P3020051Riding in 243 – C&J at left, Chuck sliding into through the car window at right. P3020050

(Chuck) The Richard Petty Ride Along Experience is a unique opportunity to ride very fast in a NASCAR Race Car. It is equipped with two seats and you sit in the front passenger seat. This was our choice for $100 and the second person for half price. This gave each of us three laps around the track. The speed was advertised as 165 mph. It was a very good time and I am glad that we did it. It seems to definitely put a smile on your face. If that is not enough, all it takes is more money and training time to sit in the driver’s seat. There are several combinations that can give you from eight to fifty laps for $450 to $3,500.

One of the benefits of working at the track was that we were given credentials which allowed us to wander most of the facility. We watched some of the action from the stands and the infield. The Neon Garage is the central location that is the garage area for the cars on race day. You can stand on the viewing areas and watch all of the work done on the cars prior to and during the race if a car is sent into his garage. The cost for the three day pass to the Neon Garage is $149, we were admitted at no cost. It was a real bonus.

IMG_20140304_100026_235The center area of the infield Neon Garage before Race Day. This area was filled with music, people and the roar of engines on Sunday. P3080021Perimeter of the Neon Garage on Race day packed with spectators and fans. With our pass we could watch the cars leave their garage. IMG_20140307_105625_096Looking down on Austin Dillon #3 getting ready to do practice laps on Saturday.

On the morning of the race a charity event is held which allows certain fans to walk on the track. We decided that is would be a good experience and it was quite a thrill to stand on the top of turn four. The one and one half mile track has a very steep bank of 20 degrees.

P3080050Jan on Turn 4 P3080055Cars on Pit Row before the Sprint Series Kobalt 400 Race IMG_20140309_112628_358Chuck w/#3
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(Jan) It was a major thrill to get to see the NASCAR cars in the Pit Area before the Kobalt 400 on Sunday and to watch the start of the race from behind the Pit Area.  We were standing behind #3 Austin Dillon’s Pit area at the start of the race and also, when he came screaming in for a pit stop under a yellow flag. They changed two ties and filled the car with fuel in what seemed like several seconds and off he went. We watched more of the race from the upper floor of the Neon Garage and then had to find our way back to our work station for our 3:00 shift.

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Overall it was an amazing experience and something we may chose to do again. Thanks Frank and Dianne for your heads up on where to join this Workamping Experience. (Click on any of the photos above to enlarge.)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Living in town this week

(Jan) Our home has wheels so off we went to be in Yuma for a week. 1010080_10152197189182973_2071591878_nThere are always many things going on here! Our Boomer friends have a weekly Wednesday Movie & Dinner outing. Judy & I joined the group for Monuments Men and then Winter Tale the following week. Monuments Men is the best movie I’ve seen in quite a while. Dinner was a La Fonda the first week and EAT Chinese Buffet the second. It’s always a different group each week depending on whose in town. Here’s our group from EAT; Dean & Judy, Don, Jenny, Linda, Luke, Tom, Chuck, Judy, Jan, Dan, Margie and Andie.

One of the things on the Yuma Visitors Guide particularly intrigued us so we had to go check it out. Street Tacos Vendors who set up shop along 8th Street. We pulled into Rossy’s last Saturday night because there were lots of cars in their small parking lot. The menu looked good and it seemed to be a favorite with the locals. We ordered Carne Asada (Beef), Shrimp and Fish Tacos and a Sopas. All GOOD. The tacos are served the traditional Mexican way; shredded cabbage, light mayo, tomato and your choice of garnishes such as salsa, onions and radishes. We enjoyed it so much that we took Jim & Diane along with us the following Tuesday. We were a bit more adventurous the second night. Tongue, Fish, Head meat tacos, Burritos, Tostadas, Quesadillas, cups of corn and a Mexican style hotdog! To drink we had bottled Horchata; a cinnamony rice milk. ALL were very good!

P2220007Dean & Judy, Jan & Chuck P2250002 P2250003J&C, D&J with Diane & Jim. Food being prepared at left.

988412_10201426465084768_1765458649_nJoy hosted another Boomer gathering at her place for Becky’s birthday.  Good food, good conversation, good friends! What could be better? Here’s Tom, Dorothy & Chuck, Bea & Ken, Carol, Jim & Diane, Lonnie, Dan, Margie, Joy, Ron, Dean & Judy, Sue & Jack, Jan& Chuck, Judy & Luke, Becky and Jenny. Great to see everyone!

We particularly enjoyed the company of our two good friends Dean and Judy this week. Many years back Dean & Chuck established the routine of morning coffee in our lawn chairs together and we’ve had some great visits. Afternoon chats while Judy works on her Pine Needle Baskets and I worked P2210003on beading bracelets flow into Walks and Happy Hours.  We had time for games of Pegs & Jokers and sharing recipes.  Judy gave us a great one for Homemade Granola and Chuck shared his recipe and the starter for Sourdough Bread. Here’s Chuck & Judy getting the dough ready for the proofing oven. All too soon it was time for us to head north while Dean & Judy headed south. Thanks for the great times, D&J!

Chuck and I are going to Las Vegas to workamp at the NASCAR event. Bullhead City, AZ was our stopping point on our way to Las Vegas where we met up with friends Frank and Diane who will be working in Vegas also. Sure good to share dinner with them….along with a good game of Pegs and Jokers! We will both be manning a gate checking in RVers at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This is their second year working NASCAR; it is our first Workamp experience. Stay tuned!

 
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