Welcome

The CoolRVers are actually a couple of retirees, Judy and Luke Rinehimer and our 5 year old German Shepherd Dog, Miss Shady Lady. We are "extended-time" travelers with a home in Cool, California. Thanks for following along with us as we travel North America in our "rolling condo", enjoying the RV lifestyle. Your comments are always welcomed.



Click photos to view the images enlarged. Use your BACK arrow to return to the blog.





Wednesday, April 16, 2014

BACK IN CALIFORNIA

When we pull into our driveway in Cool, California on Thursday, we will have been on the road for 106 days for our Winter trip.  This trip only involves time in Southern California and Western Arizona and covered about 2,400 miles.

SO CAL -- AGAIN

Unless we are doing the Pacific Northwest or traveling the Midwest to the East Coast, our journey to the Southwest takes us through the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs both coming and going.  IMG_20140404_112939_303Our stay this year on our way home was at the Sands RV & Golf Resort in Desert Hot Springs.  We have stayed here a few times and have dealt with their narrow spaces. While the shot below looks like a lot of space, our passenger side slide is not extended because of heavy winds we experienced most of our week.

IMG_20140402_162636

IMG_20140402_182515_334

 

We requested a spot near their spacious, clean, and grassy dog park which made Star very happy.

IMG_20140402_182414_438  

GOLF and MORE GOLF

As mentioned back in my blog in mid-January, when traveling in the Indio/Palm Springs area we enjoy getting together with MerrieAnn and Jeff Martin, RVing friends who winter in Desert Hot Springs,  MerrieAnn and I enjoy playing golf and we ask the guys to join us for meals out. 

This trip through we first played the 9-hole Sands course that had a beautiful mountain view.  We then played 18 holes on the Martins’ home course, Mission Lakes Country Club.

IMG_20140403_080955_680IMAG1420

PALM SPRINGS

Thursday nights in Palm Springs means a street fair with vendors and lots of people watching.  We had an early bird dinner with MerrieAnn and Ken at a IMG_20140403_172953_903popular downtown eatery, Lulu’s California Bistro, and then had a chance to stroll down the street to take in the local scene.  Sometimes the local color comes in the form of pigs and statues.

IMG_20140403_174104_235

IMG_20140403_174621_129

The pot-bellied pig (above) attracted a lot of attention and is apparently a “regular” on scene.  The sidewalks throughout the downtown feature “stars” for local celebrities.  This featured fountain statue and star were dedicated to Sonny Bono, former Mayor of Palm Springs and, later, a California Congressman.  Yes, he is the same Sonny Bono that sang with Cher.

 

The famed “Palm Springs Follies” will end their run at this landmark Plaza Theatre this year.  Unfortunately, we never stopped to see it.

IMG_20140403_174426_897

Strolling Palm Canyon Drive

IMG_20140403_174302_209

IMG_20140403_174703_616

 

When I took this photo, the gentleman on the right did not realize that the “statue” was alive.  A good startle occurred when the statue moved.

 

 

ROSES IN DECEMBER

Before leaving SoCal we drove over the San Gorgonio Pass to visit Boomer friends Fran and Bill Rayner.  They purchased a “stick” house in the Sun Lakes Country Club development in Banning, CA and they invited us to dinner and a local production of “Roses in December”, a readers’ theatre production by their local drama club.  We had fun getting caught up on each other’s travels (not trials) and tribulations.

HEADING NORTH

Our next destination was the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, CA, less than a mile from where our daughter and family live.  We have found it is much easier for all if we stay in the RV rather than doubling up on the office futon.

During our five days there we helped our oldest grandson Taylor celebrate his 14th birthday at Hana IMG_20140411_202353_074Japan Steak and Seafood Restaurant, a teppanyaki-style performance venue.  Taylor invited a friend and they enjoyed sitting grill-side.IMG_20140411_201828_176

Our other grandson Tanner, 11, is on the “DL” (disabled list) from Little League.  He has apparently cracked a bone on his knee cap but they cannot put a cast on it or put a brace on the leg.  He has a month of “no weight” on the leg and is dealing with Tanner Wheelchair BBcrutches and “hopping” a lot.  This week he received a wheel chair and is trying a new sport for him:  wheelchair basketball. We also got him a new baseball glove (planned prior to the injury) so he is spending a lot of his time breaking it in.

 

WARE IN LODI

IMG_20140413_110326_602-1On Sunday morning we drove to the Lodi Grape Festival fairgrounds for the third annual Western Area Rally for Escapees (WARE).

This year’s rally was much smaller than in the past with just about 85-90 RVs present.  We are not crafters nor game players so there were few activities that interested us. 

I set up “recruitment tables” for two of the RV groups we are active in: the Boomers and the Geocachers. I also participated in a session for beginning Geocachers with Sue Pace and Barbara Westerfield, part of our club’s administrative team and instructors for our annual Quartzsite rally. Geocaching at WARE

We gave a fun-filled, informative presentation about the sport of geocaching that seemed to go over very well. 

IMG_20140415_101110_274

IMG_20140415_101132_680    IMG_20140415_101145_478

HEADED HOME

Thursday is our 73-mile travel day home to Cool, California.  We’ll catch up on the ubiquitous medical and dental appointments over the next two weeks and then head back to the Fairgrounds in Pleasanton for another couple of weeks with the family.

 

NEXT:  WAIT AND SEE…

Thursday, April 10, 2014

CACTI, CHIHULY, & CULTURE

It has been a couple of weeks since our life was evolving around spring training baseball and our social gatherings in Happy Trails RV Resort.

We did have a chance to experience more of the Phoenix area with our RVing friends Mike and Wendy Lawrence.

Our first outing was to the Desert Botanical Gardens and the featured glass works exhibit by Dale Chihuly. At the advice of the Lawrences, we signed up for the 4-8 pm time slot so we saw the exhibit during the daylight hours and then, after a dinner break, returned for the colorful exhibit under their unique lights. 

The array of cacti and other desert plants lined the walkways in a series of loops and special gardens.  Each plant was appropriately labeled and informational signs provided more details about the native environments of each area.

IMG_9484  IMG_9495

 

This Saguaro seemed to be communicating with a familiar hand gesture.

 

 

 

AMAZING CHIHULY EXHIBIT

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect since I hadn’t done much homework on our visit. 

WOW!!!

From the moment we entered the grounds, we knew we would see unique works of glass artwork incorporated into the existing landscape.  This exhibit is made of glass, and is not a plant.

As mentioned before, we saw the pieces during both during the day and with lights illuminated.  Here are a few of our favorites:

IMG_20140319_160622_405    

IMG_9501    IMG_20140319_194237_710

 

The Chihuly exhibit will continue at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens until May 18.  To learn more about the artist and his other glass works exhibits, visit his website (click here).

MORE CULTURE…

Mike and Wendy Lawrence are both veterans and have used a web service to get complementary tickets to various events.  I was surprised when we were invited to join them for the Phoenix Rolling Stones logoSymphony. Now, I never imagined them as “symphony types” [no flaming my stereotyping], but, yes, they had four tickets for a Friday night concert featuring “The Music of the Rolling Stones”.

The evening included nearly 20 Stones hits performed by singer Brody Dolyniuk and a rock group that combined with the entire Phoenix Symphony.  There were plenty of “Mick Jagger” gyrations and prancing as Dolyniuk admitted he had “studied” Jagger’s moves on YouTube.

For the record, I did NOT take any photos during the concert, but my good friend Mike certainly stole some shots with his phone and his iPad.  With permission, here are a few of Mike’s photos:

Symphony

Singer and Symphony

Singer Brody Dolyniuk

BIG BOOMER FIX

From reading Facebook, Boomer discussion boards, and blogs, I knew there were a number of Escapee Club “Boomers” in the Mesa area.  Last time we were on the east side of town we organized a “boomerang” (get-together) at the Val Vista RV Resort.  Working with Bill Joyce and Diane Melde, we once again put together a ‘rang at Val Vista and posted it with a week’s advance notice.  This time we added the new “RVillage.com” website and used the “get together” tab to attract potential Boomers.

As it turned out, the pool area we used before was actually pre-booked for another party, but a another patio area was available.  While only 5 or 6 couples posted an RSVP, we actually ended up with 20+ attendees.  Since we were in possession of the “Boomer Banner” it was a natural to call for a group photo.

group photo with banner

 

NEXT:  BACK TO CALIFORNIA