S: WALKER-SCOTT CALIFORNIA TRIP 2011
FC: OUR CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE MAY 31 - JUNE 18, 2011
1: On Tuesday, May 31st, 2011. the long awaited, much anticipated Walker-Scott California adventure begins. We have created this blog so that we might share our nineteen day journey in words and photos with the special people in our lives. Some of what happens in California may stay in California, not because we are being ugly and sinful, but simply because we are old and forgetful. We hope you understand. Children, we are sorry you can't go with us (not really). There was a time when we took you everywhere...maybe we didn't want to experience separation anxiety, but mostly because we HAD NO BABYSITTERS!!! We are going to have fun and hope you stop by daily and experience California in our own words and through our photos. We love you...Wanda, Ronnie, Tommy & Susie | INTRODUCTION MAY 30, 2011
2: OUR ADVENTURE BEGINS... May 31, 2011 We left Murray this morning at 10:00 and arrived in Hermitage at 12:30. After a brief visit with Jeremiah, Benjamin and Andrea, our driver, a.k.a. Katie, arrived to drive us to the airport. Well, the airport was an adventure. We have known each other 36 + years and have occasionally bared our souls, but this time was different. For some reason, we were singled out for the full body scan (all four of us)! | We had to put our hands, thumbs together, on top of our heads while our bodies were being viewed by us as well as total strangers! Is nothing sacred anymore? Why four old people? Our flight to Kansas city was one hour and forty minutes. After sitting on the runway thirty minutes, we were in the air again... this time for three and a half hours. Arriving in San Diego, we realized we may have been this tired before but couldn't remember when. After dinner at Gordon Biersch's and a quick trip to Target, we have all retired to our rooms for some sweet zzzzzs. We will meet at 9:00 a.m. for breakfast and new adventures! I might mention that we will often refer to ourselves as the Scokers, an abbreviated version of Scott/Walker.
3: THE SCOKERS RONNIE, WANDA, SUSIE AND TOMMY WAVING GOODBYE AS THE TRIP BEGINS
4: Well, if I had money, tell you what I'd do. I'd go downtown and buy a Mercury or two. Crazy 'bout a Mercury...Yes, I'm crazy 'bout a Mercury. I'm gonna buy me a Mercury and cruise it up and down the road. | Today, we cruised around San Diego in our Ultimate Edition Mercury Grand Marquis Limited. This is what $21.76 will buy from the Thrifty rental car company. Not saying the car is old, but it is worn and dirty with possible blood stains in the back floorboard. We were not old enough to qualify for the senior discount at Balboa Park where we toured museums and ate at the Old Town Cafe tonight. Strolling musicians asked if we would like to be serenaded with romantic or happy music...we chose happy. When asked if we would | THERE'S JUST SOMETHING ABOUT A MERCURY! JUNE 1
5: We are all set for new adventures tomorrow. | participate in two survey opts. One was concerning the ACLU, and the other was same sex marriages. After declining, we shopped at the Mission Valley Mall where Wanda purchased a hat. The only near mishap was when Wanda stepped off a curb and almost injured her "already injured at Brad's house" ankle had Ronnie not caught her. (This is for Brad...see, she is capable of breaking ankles/feet at places other than your house.) The challenge of the day was searching for parking spaces suitable for an RV in which to park our Mercury!
6: WANDA'S NEW CALIFORNIA LOOK | ENJOYING BALBOA PARK | AWKWARD...BUT SWEET! | THE ACLU SURVEY GIRL SNAPPED THIS ONE | CRAZY 'BOUT A MERCURY!
7: SPECIFICS ABOUT THE PACIFIC JUNE 2 | We drove to Coronado Island where we toured the Hotel Del Coronado, walked the beach, stuck our toes in the Pacific and pretended to be rich and famous. Wanda wore her Mrs. Howell (Gilligan's Island) hat and I wore my Bruno Mars hat. We made quite a statement. A little cause for concern when Susie became separated (lost) from us. | Today we visited Seaport Village where we enjoyed a lunch of fish tacos, shopped and appreciated the beauty of the water and ships. While there, we visited the BBQ Restaurant where Tom Cruise played the piano in "Top Gun". Yes, Susie sat at the piano and touched those very same keys. All she could say was, "Great Balls of Fire!" | No worry, she was found in a swarm of unfamiliar faces, all of whom had long lensed cameras hanging from their necks. Our only way of identifying her...the Bruno Mars hat. She has many new friends...(see photo next page).
8: When we left the hotel, we realized we could have been charged a parking violation. No vehicle over 18 feet is allowed in the hotel parking lot. Our "little" Mercury is 21 feet! We hurriedly, well the best one can hurry a 21 ft. car, got out of there! We ate at the Cheesecake Factory*, then turned in early. Tomorrow is another adventure...we travel to Palm Springs! Did I mention lately that there is just something about a Mercury? *note: Ronnie's credit card info, we believe, was stolen at the Cheesecake Factory by a server. Big headache for the Walkers! | WHO IS THIS?!! SUSIE'S NEW BEST FRIENDS! | THE BEAUTIFUL PACIFIC AT CORONADA ISLAND
11: THE ABOVE PHOTO WAS SUSIE'S VIEW FOR THE ENTIRE TRIP
12: THERE'S JUST SOMETHING ABOUT A MERCURY
13: ON THE ROAD AGAIN JUNE 3 The Scokers left San Diego at 10:00 this morning and moved on to La Jolla. Traveling in the Mercury, once again, the car presented a problem as we had no choice but to use valet parking when we arrived at our restaurant, "George's on the Cove". As you can see from the photos, the attendant was ticked because we had more Mercury than he had space. Paid a little extra and the matter was resolved! Enjoyed lunch overlooking the cove where seals and what we think were penguins played on the rocks and in the water. Yes, I said PENGUINS...might have been pigeons but none of us can see well. For those of you who know my critter in the dishtowel drawer story, i found him again on the beach (see photo). On the road again, we traveled on to Palm Springs passing by fields of thousands of big fans, better known as windmills. Tommy will try to get tickets tomorrow for us to ride them. Our new residence is beautiful...sitting between mountain ridges and near lots of interesting shops. Tonight we ate at the Village Pub where we witnessed two lovelies in wife beater shirts...neither had a wife nor did he want one. Saw Sonny Bono who was stoned. Get it? New adventure tomorrow...can't wait!
14: TOMMY, SONNY, WANDA & RONNIE WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT SONNY? | COULD THESE BE PENGUINS? | GEORGE'S ON THE COVE | FOUND HIS COUSIN IN MY DISHTOWEL DRAWER
15: THIS VALET ATTENDANT THOUGHT OUR MERCURY WAS A MONSTER!
17: ON TOP OF THE WORLD JUNE 4 | The Carpenters, 1972... "Such a feelin's coming over me. There is wonder in most everything I see. Not a cloud in the sky, got the sun in my eyes, and I won't be surprised if it's a dream. I'm on the top of the world lookin' down on creation and the only explanation I can find..." | is that the Valley Station Tram located at 2642' has brought us to the top of the San Jacinto Mountain located at 8516'. Wow! What an amazing eleven minute ride! To reach the tram station, we traveled through the desert with the gas dinger dinging and four bottles of water. Why? Because Tommy refused to pay $4.23 per gallon for gas. Better to find our skulls and bones later I guess. Before arriving at the Tram Station, we stopped by the visitors center where Tommy and Ronnie became engrossed in some new reading material. Wanda and I think they may be embracing the new California lifestyle. We have noticed lately that there are times when we don't have a clue of their whereabouts! They just go missing. Don't feel sorry for us girls. We are embracing a new lifestyle as well. Our Mercury took us to the Tram Station and there was yet another disappointment for our sweet ride. We had to park in the Fox parking lot, not because our Mercury is foxy, but because...well, you know. Enjoyed lunch on top of the mountain where we lost Ronnie and later found him among his new friends. We traveled home and discovered a luscious lemon tree hanging over our balcony. Who loves lemons better than Susie? We had to make a decision concerning which one of us would be sacrificed to pick the forbidden fruit that was just out of arm's reach. Tommy was chosen. Dinner was prepared by the Scokers and all ate plenty and enjoyed it. A late trip to Borders and we are now settled in for the night! Did I forget to mention that 'THERE'S JUST SOMETHING ABOUT A MERCURY"?
19: TOMMY, RONNIE & WANDA TOOK A LITTLE WALK... | TOMMY & RONNIE PICKING (SWATTING) LEMONS ON THE TREE BY OUR BALCONY
20: MISCOMMUNICATIONS JUNE 5 How does one say "knife, bowl and cookie sheet" in Spanish? Something must have been lost in the translation. Just look at what they gave us at guest services! Why would they think we needed six skillets? | We began our day with Wanda in the kitchen making breakfast before church. We attended "The Bridge" and loved being a part of that service. The music was great and the message, as well. We loved visiting this congregation and almost moved our memberships! Susie actually made a decision, but that will be revealed later. You will love this...can't wait to share with our readers. Don't forget the title of this post. We enjoyed lunch at Applebee's followed by shopping at a huge outlet mall. Just as we were leaving, Wanda grabbed her camera to snap a picture of the mall with the mountains in the background. Well, Ronnie, Tommy and Susie were already in the Mercury when we heard a THUD!! It sounded like a people thud, one you would hear when a moving vehicle makes contact with a
21: human body...yes, you got it! Wanda decided to stand behind a car, that was backing out, when she took the photograph of the mountains. Tommy was hanging out the window pleading with Wanda to tell him she was okay. Ronnie just put his head on the steering wheel and moaned, "Wanda, Wanda, Wanda Faye, you did it again!" I just sat there and took lots of notes for this blog. The man who backed over Wanda simply asked, " Are you okay, miss?" Then, Tommy asked the man to please let us take his picture with Wanda for the blog. You can imagine the look and the answer. NO!! | A true photographer always gets her shot, well almost always. Wanda's mountain shot...see above photo! | Our day came to a close with dinner on the balcony and a trip to Stater's Grocery for chocolate ice cream. Thankful that Wanda is okay, but glad, too, that she gave us something to blog about! We are still loving our Mercury which hopefully, will take us to "The Tonight Show" taping in the morning. Be sure and watch...I'm certain one of us will be a featured guest.
22: THE VIEW FROM OUR BALCONY | OUR MERCURY AT "THE BRIDGE"
23: TODAY WAS ALL ABOUT TONIGHT JUNE 6 | Splat! A giant California condor targets our Mercury. This was huge! | This day was consumed by our road trip to 3000 West Alameda Avenue. We left Palm Springs at 9:30 and arrived in Burbank at 11:30. | The Mercury was parked under a big shady tree and we walked to Weinerschnitzel's for a quick lunch before heading to the audience holding pen. We stood/sat for almost two hours before being greeted by the NBC pages. They basically told us they would break our arms if we so much as looked at our phones or pulled out a camera! Our positions in line were 19-22 so we knew we were in.
24: While waiting, we discovered the first five people in line were from Paducah and knew Robin's dad. Small world! We were allowed in at 3:20 and led to our third row seats where we had a perfect view of Jay's desk and the guests on the couch. Then we anxiously awaited Cee-Lo and Katie Couric! It was a special treat when Cee-Lo sang because he was directly in front of us. Jay and Katie came over to watch! We really had an up close and personal view! As we were leaving, Jay drove by and waved as we stood by the curb! All of us should have been wearing Depends! We crossed the street into Johnny Carson Park and hurried into the potty rooms! Arriving back at the Mercury, we discovered that our poor car had been the victim of a terrible attack of bird poop! I guess you could say that while we were getting the scoop, our Mercury was getting the poop! (That was a Tommy original and of course he thought it was funny!) Tommy began gagging and Ronnie had to drive to the nearest gas station to clean up the mess! I know this post is not exciting for all of you, but this has been one of our best days. So glad we added this to our list of things to do. We will watch "The Tonight Show" with different feelings from now on. Wish you could bottle some of your hot weather back home and send it out here. We are about to freeze! Tomorrow we visit Joshua Tree National Park. Hope it's warm there. No funnies today...maybe tomorrow. I don't think I've mentioned this today, but did you know "There's just something about a Mercury!" | WAITING PATIENTLY FOR THE SHOW IN STUDIO 11 AT 3000 W ALAMEDA DRIVE
25: JAY WAVES TO THE SCOKERS AS HE LEAVES IN ONE OF HIS OLD CARS | TOMMY & HIS NEW FRIENDS FROM PADUCAH | AT THE ENTRANCE OF JOHNNY CARSON PARK
26: THEY SHOOT HORSES, DON'T THEY? JUNE 7 | If they were horses, we would have shot them! (Speaking of Wanda and Tommy.) We greeted the morning with two sick ponies, one with a horrible head/stomach problem and the other with very high blood pressure. So our trip to Joshua Tree was postponed. Ronnie and Susie had a good day...reading, doing laundry, television, computer and forming an exclusive book club. The other two were just plain pitiful, sleeping most of the day. If we have to be stuck somewhere, the view here isn't bad at all. Late afternoon, Wanda and Tommy came alive just about the same time and we decided to get out and kick up our heels! Drove to Rancho Mirage and enjoyed dinner at P. F. Changs at "The River", named because fine dining and shops are waterfront. We had thought Wanda was healed, but we became concerned when she excitedly exclaimed, "How did they dig a dell weep enough to wovide all this prater?" Time to take the old gal home!
27: We think she wanted to know how they dug a well deep enough to provide all that water! A little more info about our exclusive book club...I forgot to mention last night that Katie Couric was on The Tonight Show to promote her new book, The Best Advice I Ever Got (lessons from extraordinary lives). As we were leaving the studio, each of us received a copy of her book. Today we were all randomly reading and discussing the content of this book and decided to form a book club. We will send an invitation if we decide to include you. Don't call us, we will call you. Great book, by the way! On another note, we finally got the cookie sheet...it looks brand new so we are certain they bought one just for us! People here are eager to please, but they don't get in any hurry. Very laid back! Have I mentioned in this post that there is just something about a MERCURY!!??? | THE SCOKERS DINING AT P F CHANG'S
29: MEMBERS OF THE SCOKERS' EXCLUSIVE BOOK CLUB | RELAXING AT "THE RIVER" BY THE RIVER!
30: THE MAJESTY OF GOD JUNE 8 | While eating breakfast this morning, Ronnie was a little sad. We asked, "Ronnie, honey, what's wrong?" His little chin began to quiver and he said, "I just hope I can say something backwards today so I can be featured on the blog tonight!" Our Mercury took us on a journey today that we will never forget. We left at 11:00 a.m. and drove to the Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave Desert and to the Key's View overlooking the Santa Rosa and San Bernardino mountain ranges and the San Andreas Fault. We heard tonight that western Kentucky had a quake of 3.9 this morning. Why do you have to steal our thunder?!! Standing at 5,185 feet, words were not adequate to describe these rock formations and mountain splendors. We all agreed that today we truly witnessed the majesty of God! Once again, we drove into the desert, this time the Mojave, with water, a picnic lunch and 1/4 tank of gas. I asked if AAA could find us out here, but then we realized there was no cell phone signal. You might say we are really brave, you might say we are really stupid. Our picnic was so nice with a pleasant temperature and a bird or two that visited our table several times because the boys fed them grapes and chips! We wandered throughout the rocks like drunken sailors, stumbling around...well just look at the photo and you will see.
31: On the way home, Ronnie remarked, "My lees are knocked up!" (My knees are locked up!) Yes, Ronnie you just made the blog tonight. As we drove back, the Mercury experienced a brief drive through a sandstorm and that was interesting! We went back to "The River" tonight for some fine dining at a California bistro, the Acqua Pazza. Dinner was enjoyed outdoors overlooking the water and mountains. At home now, we are reading Katie's book and bathing...lots of desert itchiness to eliminate. The Scokers are still lovin' their MERCURY!!!!
33: WE HEARD SOME RATTLING & HISSING ON OUR HIKE...COULD THIS BE WHY?
38: (Guest blog by Tommy) Finally, a warm day in the desert! Starting to think we might never have warm weather! This is true and also a way to rub it in to all of you suffering back home in the heat. Tomorrow we move out of the desert and upward to a resort at an altitude of 4,000 feet. They say the daytime highs will be around 70 and the nights in the 40's. But enough about the weather. . . If you've seen one palm, you've seen them all. Not true! You should see the ones that sink their roots into the San Andreas Fault and drink the water coming to the ground. We visited a real oasis in the desert this afternoon. The native American at the Welcome Center told me that I would not be able to straddle the fault line, but as you can see in the picture, I think I proved him wrong. Saved our team some big bucks today, but it took quite a sales pitch to convince the girls that they could see just as much of the stars' homes by riding on the hood of our Mercury as they could atop a double decker bus. ($5 tour map vs. $180 for 4 tickets) (See picture of our customized tour in front of Zsa Zsa Gabor's house. We don't think she was home.) | STARS AND STRADDLING JUNE 9
39: (Guest blog by Wanda & Ronnie) Since Ronnie and I lost the use of our credit card, we are trying to do Palm Springs on $5 a day. This was the cost of the map of the stars' homes. We toured in style on the hood of our faithful Mercury. The Scokers decided to head for downtown Palm Springs for their final evening of entertainment and dinner. Prior to dinner we explored the weekly Summerfest, an outdoor street fair where vendors and entertainers fill the street. Just as Wanda was reminding me to watch my billfold, a street mime came up behind me and tickled my neck with a feather. I did not see him so I thought he was a pickpocket. Everyone except me thought it was funny . . . I was too busy grabbing for my billfold to laugh. Another highlight of the evening was Tommy and Susie getting their picture made with President Obama. We are looking forward to the next leg of our trip. Hope to see everyone soon.
40: Welcome to the guest bloggers tonight! Please read all three posts for June 9th. I write tonight with mixed feelings . . .we leave Palm Springs in the morning (sad) and travel on to Stallion Springs near Bakersfield (happy). Will stop on the way and buy sweatshirts. We had such a fun day . . . touring the stars' homes on the hood of our Mercury. (see photo w/Tommy's post) Our Mercury is one classy ride! After a brief stop at the Visitor's Center, we traveled on the San Andreas Fault which was an experience. I'm still shaking. We were warned of mountain lions (see photo) and I know I saw a cannibal behind a tree. The area where the Fault is located is very isolated from civilization. We were the only people there and I felt someone was watching us the entire time (like Deliverance). I saw movement behind a tree, someone with a grass headdress and grass skirt. Certain it was an unfriendly native waiting for us to make a wrong move, Wanda and I headed to the car, long before the boys. Do cannibals like fleshier people or thin and lean? I think I'm in trouble. We moved on. Ronnie and I noticed a pattern . . . seems Tommy and Wanda are always the ones with the ideas of what to do next. Our view is usually from the rear and of the rear! Hope you enjoy reading Tommy, Ronnie and Wanda's posts. (Our Mercury is amazing!)
41: THE FORMER HOME OF ELVIS (AND I THOUGHT HE WAS A PRIVATE PERSON) | ONCE AGAIN, THE VIEW | THE STREET FAIR | STREET MIME
42: RONNIE IN NO MAN'S LAND | GROWING ON THE FAULT
43: IF ZSA ZSA HAD BEEN HOME, I'M CERTAIN SHE WOULD HAVE INVITED US IN! | THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE S C O K E R S !
44: GOODBYE PALM SPRINGS JUNE 10 | We began our day saying goodbye to Palm Springs! The Mercury headed northwest to Stallion Springs, a 3 1/2 hour trip. it was a leisurely drive once again through the Mojave and you guessed it...without a full tank of gas. Panicked a little and stopped at the first gas station available which was in Pear Blossom. $4.15 a gallon and we had to pay 25 cents per person to pee. When I came out of the bathroom door, I realized it was a two seater and Wanda and I could have shared the cost at only 12 1/2 cents each. Oh well. Ronnie was the only one who refused to pay. He asked the attendant about restaurants and she said, "Only one...Billy Bob's." What kind of food do they serve? Her toothless, grinning reply, "Good food." We got in the car to leave and discovered a gas station next door with gas priced at $3.72. Tommy was ticked with a capital T! Have you ever seen Tommy ticked? We drove about a half mile down the road and found a Burger King with free potty facilities, so Ronnie was the smart one! While there, we visited Silly Tilly's where we saw one of the three largest stuffed bears in the whole world. We also shopped for souveniers for the children. Hope you little darlings like long haired Taco Bell puppies. Yes, Emily C., that is your dad holding a DOG! When we arrived at our place this afternoon, we were once again pleasantly surprised at our surroundings. Our Stallion Springs unit is in a beautiful setting with jackalopes (fancy name for rabbits), mule ear deer, and lots of lizards just outside our deck. Tommy went wild earlier and screamed like a woman that there was a bobcat on the rocks by our deck...only a huge raccoon. When we get home, I am going to take him out more often! The reason he thought it was a bobcat is because there was a photo of one in the office where we checked in. They said the picture was taken right here at our lake...will keep camera in hand. Tonight we drove into Tehachapi and checked out the downtown area, then back to our restaurant here at our resort, The Horse Thief Bar and Grill. We dined outside in the cool breezes...wearing jackets to stay warm! These eleven days have been so much fun...everyday is brand new and we always find a reason to laugh. Miss our kids, but not enough to come home yet! I would be remiss if I didn't mention our Mercury...she purrs like a kitten!
45: DINING AT THE HORSE THIEF BAR & GRILL | COVERED BRIDGE NEAR OUR UNIT
46: OLD PEOPLE HAVING FUN
47: SCENES FROM OUR VALLEY | BRINGING UP THE REAR, ONCE AGAIN
48: JUDY, JUDY, JUDY JUNE 11 | We have laughed ourselves silly today! A lot of things we won't share because you would just have to be here to think it was funny. We drove to the local library book sale. Oh my, my. It was a book bonanza! We ate lunch at the Apple Shed and visited local shops. On the way home, we stopped and had a photo session with a rock and California poppies. Tommy and Ronnie were the photographers and could hardly take the pictures because they were laughing so hard. Arrived at our resort in time for our 4:00 p.m. orientation which was presented by Judy. Let me just say this about Judy...age 60 or so, Mary Kay dealer, prim, proper and probably the winner of "I'm So Proud of My Town" award. After her presentation about our resort, she invited us into the back room, closed the blinds, locked the door and laid out Mary Kay all over the bed. We screamed, "No, no, no! We are not buying your stuff!" Wanda looks great in her new shades of foundation and Susie's eyes are firm and no longer puffy with dark circles! We walked down to the jacuzzi where we discovered a wooden fence with holes. You know the story of Pandora's box...well, Tommy couldn't resist the temptation to peep! We are taking his clothes to the local Goodwill Store tomorrow! The late afternoon was spent sitting on our back deck watching wildlife on the golf course. Emily Oliver would love all our critters. There are bunnies, lizards, ducks, birds and some we cannot identify. They all play around us unafraid. After pizza at Papa's tonight, we settled in and watched The Bucket List movie. How appropriate for four old people! One bit about the Mercury...while we were eating pizza, we saw a man walk out of the restaurant and try to get into our treasured ride. Looking across the lot, we saw another Mercury...identical to ours! Truly, there must be something about a MERCURY!!!
52: A ROCK, A FIELD OF CALIFORNIA POPPIES + TWO WANT-TO -BE PHOTOGRAPHERS =
53: THE SCOKER PLANNING COMMITTEE (WE WILL SAY MORE ABOUT THEM LATER)
54: EXPLORING OUR BEAUTIFUL VALLEY JUNE 12 | Late Breaking News! Susie turned around in the backseat of the car this afternoon to make a photo of the landscape and pulled her back. Subsequently, the blog will take a step backwards today. However, others in the party will try to continue with a fair and balanced report of today's happenings. Susie is presently soaking in our jacuzzi tub. (No photos. We tried, but the door is locked.) Until this point, we were all loving our beautiful Sunday. We awoke to cool, sunny temperatures in the upper 40's that soon warmed to near 70. We had a delicious breakfast at our resort's golf club house restaurant, then attended great service at the Stallion Springs Community Church, the only church of any kind in our little town. We were in the 11:00 contemporary service. Music and preaching were great. Although it is called community church, it felt a lot like Baptist. The pastor offered to let Susie borrow fishing equipment. We especially liked the order of service. After the music service, they had a 15 minute intermission (coffee and fellowship) before the message. The congregation appeared to be smaller after the intermission. The afternoon has been spent touring the beautiful countryside in the Cummings Valley (our valley). We visited 2 parks and a vineyard. (see photo) The owner of the vineyard, Bob Sousa, gave us a personal tour of his vineyard. The vineyard is located across the road from the ranch house of the late actor, Jack Palance. (see photo - of the ranch gates, not of Jack Palance) In fact, Mrs. Palance planted the second row of grapes in the vineyard. (see photo) Ronnie and Tommy walked in the mountains of Tehachapi Mountain Park. Susie and Wanda were scared of bears and falling, so they waited for us at the Mercury. Ronnie thinks we found bear poop, but this is not confirmed. While Susie rested for the remainder of the late afternoon, Ronnie, Wanda, and Tommy went for a walk around our little lake, or so we thought. We ended up in misquito world and thought we would never get back. Sorry for the randomness of today's blog. Inexperience is easily detected.
56: BOB SOUSA, VINEYARD OWNER | INTERESTING FACT SHARED BY MR. SOUSA, THE YOUNG GRAPES ARE CALLED BERRIES
57: AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE VINEYARD GIFT SHOP | THE GATE AT JACK PALANCE'S HOME
58: BIG BIRDS AND LOOPING TRAINS JUNE 13 | Susie is much better today. After a leisurely morning with breakfast on our back porch, all four of us were able to take a 6 hour excursion into our beautiful valley. We had lunch at the Country Club, followed by a visit to a huge ostrich farm and then a drive up into the Sierra Nevada Mountains to look down on the Tehachapi Loop. (see photo) The Loop is one of the "7 Wonders of the Railroad World." Built 140 years ago to connect the railroad from San Francisco to Los Angeles, it provides a passage through the mountains for 44 trains per day. The trains loop around the mountain, through tunnels and as we watched, we could see the same train at several levels. Amazing and all of this was built along with a 28 mile stretch of track through many tunnels and bridges in only 2 years. Why does it take so much longer to build great things today? Ostrich farm was very interesting. (see photos) Highlights included Wanda imitating an ostrich about to be captured, Tommy letting an ostrich bite his hand 3 times just to get a picture, learning that the ostrich is the dumbest animal with a memory of only 5 seconds, (we are all starting to feel ostrich-like) and that ostrich poop disintegrates and blows away. We think our Mercury left the farm with a thin coating of you-know-what. The tour was great and we loved the fact that it was a personal tour given by the very proud owner. FYI: We are bringing home an ostrich feather duster. On our way to town this afternoon, we discovered some more valley splendors. (A public communal bath house and the local post office - see photos) We ate at a Cuban Grill tonight. We are planning our next trip, perhaps to Cuba. We heard that the hotels were cheap and we really like the food. Home at our resort tonight! Up early tomorrow to drive to see the giant Sequoias. We are excited! Guess you can tell by now, that even though Susie is feeling much better, she doesn't think her condition allows writing blogs. Hopefully Susie will be writing again tomorrow night from Oakhurst, near the entrance to Yosemite.
62: OUR JOY IS IN THE JOURNEY JUNE 14 | First of all, I should tell you that this entire trip has been planned and schemed by the Scoker Planning Committee. (see photo) As they would have it, our Mercury left Stallion Springs at 8:20 this morning and headed north for our tour of the giant trees, also known as The Sequoia National Park. Along the way, we were enthralled by all the orange, grapefruit, olive, and plum groves. Tommy hyperventilated and we almost lost him when he saw a "fresh oranges for sale" sign. He yelled at Ronnie to STOP the car, and before Ronnie could do so, Tommy threw the car door open, stuck his legs out with Ronnie screaming, "You stay in this car until it stops! Do you hear me?" By that time, Tommy had already hit the ground running! The oranges were indeed fresh. . . the truck had just brought them from the grove and they were still warm. Tommy was given a bag to fill with his hand picked choices and charged $3. The bargain of the day! Moving on up the mountain, we had a 35 minute delay due to road construction. Wish you could have seen our view where we opened the trunk of the car and shared a picnic lunch on the side of the mountain. The Mercury is a class act when it comes to a tailgating party! (see photo) Given the go ahead, we made our way to the Sequoias and Kings Canyon. We were awed at the greatness of these giants. The largest living thing on the face of the earth is the General Sherman Tree, a 2200 year old Sequoia. (see photo) Being Sherma's (Susie's) namesake, of course we stopped for a picture! If I posted a hundred photos, you still would not be able to experience the splendor of this park. Cannot be captured! Stopped in Kings Canyon to see another great one, the General Grant. As we said goodbye to these wonders, we started singing "How Great Thou Art". Seemed more than appropriate! We asked Mandy (our GPS) to take us down the the mountain to our next destination, Oakhurst. For reasons unknown, she took us through the lower forty and we found ourselves on a one-lane road on the backside of nowhere. Wanda asked the same question she had asked Ronnie (our driver), over and over again, "Ronnie, honey, where are we?" His reply for the hundredth time, "Wanda, darling, I don't know." Finally, arrived at the Best Western in Oakhurst unscathed. We are all safe and looking forward to Yosemite tomorrow.
63: THE SCOKER PLANNING COMMITTEE + RONNIE (THEY ARE PRETENDING HE IS ONE OF THEM, BUT HE REALLY ISN'T)
68: IF IT HAD RAINED, THEY WOULD HAVE ALL DROWNED! | WHY SO BIG...WHY SO OLD?
69: TWO WEEKS BEFORE OUR VISIT, THIS AREA HAD EXPERIENCED A HUGE SNOWFALL
71: OUR DAY IN YOSEMITE JUNE 15 | We know, our post is a day late. Arriving home very late last night from an amazing day in Yosemite, no one had the energy to blog. This post shares a glimpse of the majesty that we experienced. As we keep repeating, there is no way to describe to anyone what we have seen. All we can say is, "How great is our God!" Thanks to all of you who were concerned about the missing post this morning. To make up for this, another post should follow later tonight. Susie has some revealing to do.
73: COULDN'T TALK THE OWNER OF THIS JALOPY INTO TRADING FOR OUR MERCURY
78: OUR BEAUTIFUL TEHACHAPI MOON AS SEEN ON OUR DRIVE HOME FROM YOSEMITE | THE SPLENDOR OF IT ALL! A PERFECT DAY IN YOSEMITE
79: REVELATIONS! JUNE 16 | Sitting here in Tehachapi, writing our final blog from this sweet little town, I have mixed emotions about leaving. We have shared so many laughs, fun times and we have met the nicest people. Maybe they just catered to us because we are seniors, but whatever the reason we will never forget our stay here at Stallion Springs. Today was a leisurely day. Stayed around the resort until we decided to drive downtown to a Farmer's Market/Street Fair. Didn't plan much since we needed to rest after our Yosemite journey. Speaking of not planning much, the Scoker Planning Committee has been eliminated. There was a coop (pronounced coo) and the remaining Scokers kicked them out of the Mercury on an abandoned road. (see photo) Ronnie and I will now plan the rest of the trip. Arriving home, we enjoyed our last Tehachapi dinner on the back porch while watching the activities on the golf course. (see dinner photo) Will be watching for that beautiful moon later tonight! As you have already noticed the title of tonight's post is revelations. Our first revelation is that of a sinner. We had planned all week to have BLTs tonight, knowing that we did not have mayo, but we were okay with that or so we thought. Imagine our surprise tonight when 6 packets of mayo appeared. Ronnie said, "I am so ashamed. Last night, when we stopped at Chick-fil-a in Bakersfield, I confess that I swiped (stole) the mayo packets." He has repented. Just look at his repentant face! (see photo) I have to admit I am a bit surprised. Now, all of you reading this should sit down. The next revelation is about the decision I made in church a couple of weeks ago, as mentioned in a previous post. Maybe, I should just stop here and say "see photo." Yes, it is true. I am afraid California has had some profound influences on us and our prudish attitudes. Back in our early years, we thought women who had piercings were she-devils . . . look how far these two old grannies have come! Wow!
80: ELIMINATION OF THE SCOKER PLANNING COMMITTEE
81: GOURMET BLTS & A FURRY FRIEND | A KITCHEN BUILT FOR ONE!
82: The best part of all, is that Tommy and Ronnie like our new look! Back to the decision in church . . . there was a lady on the praise team whose top revealed some body art . . . my decision was where Wanda and I would get our tattoos. We chose shoulders simply because we could stay dressed (for the most part) while getting them. Do you like? Time to go pack for our trip to San Diego in the morning. I believe I have given you some food for thought. | CONFESSION REPENTANCE
83: NEARING THE END OF OUR ROAD JUNE 17 | We are coming to the end of the road. (see photo) Tomorrow, the chapter of our California adventure will come to a close and we will return to some sort of normalcy. We began our day by leaving Tehachapi at 8:30 and drove south through the desert and mountains to San Diego. Stopped at noon for lunch at "In and Out Burgers". . . this came highly recommended by Jason Castro so I was happy to check it out. Has great burgers and fries and that is all it has. The menu is hamburger or cheeseburger, fries and drink . . . that's it! Short and sweet! Moving on down the road, we arrived in San Diego about 2:00 and checked in at our hotel, the Westgate. When the hotel opened in 1970, it was the most expensive hotel in America and Tommy got it on Priceline for a great price. . . check out our photos! Walked down to the harbor tonight and made a stop or two along the way. Some little Asian girl that knew very little English, caught Tommy's eye and convinced him to step into her booth. He kept motioning for us to come back and get him, but Ronnie, Wanda, and I kept walking. When I looked back, I could see this girl twisting his arm and making him pretend to fly. . . that's what it looked like. We decided to sit down and watch and wait. Tommy is now sporting some new bling. (see photos) He says he can't fall down and his balance will always be perfect as long as he wears his new bracelet. I have a new name for Tommy . . . Suckerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! I will have to say, he hasn't fallen all night! We ate in the Gas Lamp District at La Strada's . . .had a nice little outdoor patio table that was perfect for people watching. We are back in our room now with a beautiful view of the city lights. Tomorrow we will turn in our beloved Mercury. I'm sure it will be a tearful goodbye because it has become such a special part of our journey. There's just something about a Mercury! Well, time to say goodnight . . . they have already knocked on the door and asked to tuck me in. No one has tucked me in since Mama . . . many, many years ago. Love you all . . . see some of you soon.
86: THERE IS A RONNIE MILSAP SONG THAT GOES LIKE THIS: "ONCE IN EVERY LIFE, SOMEONE COMES ALONG, AND YOU CAME TO ME IT WAS ALMOST LIKE A SONG." I'M CERTAIN THIS LITTLE ASIAN GIRL SANG THIS SONG TO TOMMY AS SHE SNOOKERED HIM INTO BUYING A BALANCE BRACELET. IT WORKED! HE HASN'T FALLEN ONE TIME!
89: GOODBYE SAN DIEGO JUNE 18
90: HOME SWEET HOME JUNE 19 | As you noticed, there was no post last night. Saturday began in San Diego as we "enjoyed" our breakfast sandwiches and pigeon feathers at a nearby Panera Bread. We then packed the Mercury for its final journey . . . a trip to Thrifty Rentals where we discovered that our dependable big M had carried us 2,114 miles during our nineteen days. We put a lot of miles not only on the Mercury, but our bodies as well. At Thrifty we said our fond farewells to this car and thanked it for the memories. Shuttled to the airport and we were well on our way home. The first leg of our flights was to Denver . . . uneventful except for a bump or two. After a very brief layover, we boarded again for our final destination of Nashville. This flight had a few more bumps plus an unidentified stinky. Thanking God for safe travels, we then saw Andrea driving up in our blue van. Home sweet home was finally in view! We were tired driving home, but reminisced about our good times together, talked about our sweet grandbabies and realized it's good to go away, but it's even better to come home. Dropped Ronnie and Wanda off at 12:30 a.m. and we arrived home about 1:00. Our blog is quickly coming to an end. We have enjoyed "entertaining" you with our souped up versions of the truth. I would be remiss if I didn't add that I hope our Mercury is in a happy place tonight with passenger(s) who truly love her. There really was something about a Mercury!
91: There's a miracle called "friendship" that dwells within the heart, And you don't know how it happened Or when it got its start. But the happiness it brings you Always gives a special lift, And you realize that friendship Is God's precious gift! (unknown) | Thanks be to God for great friends, good times and safe travels.