Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What's next?


Hangman Valley Road - my brother-in-law and the Lovely Elaine

On September 30th Elaine worked her last day for her employer of 20 years. We went out for an amazing Italian dinner at Mario's Place in Riverside to celebrate.

Returned from our trip to Spokane, WA.....a week of relaxation, many, many naps, hikes, bike rides, anniversary celebrations, a trip to Cabela's, and walking in the rain. Our Alaska Air flight from Ontario to Seattle left at 6:20am. Our second leg of the trip was aboard an Alaska/Horizon Air propjet into Spokane arriving just before Noon. It rained all the way from Seattle to Spokane, and as we deplaned from the propjet we got a little wet walking across the tarmac into the terminal. All in all it was a fast trip...less than 6 hours....of course we had to get up at 3am in order to be at our home (where we would leave our car for the week we would be gone) and meet the shuttle service that would deliver us to the airport. Since our plane left at 6:20am the latest Super Shuttle would pick us up was 4:20am. It's only 10 minutes from our house to the airport so we had a 2 hour wait....don't you just love sitting in airports waiting for flights?

The Spokane River

My sister and her family live in the hills on the southwest part of Spokane. Their home is about 10 minutes from downtown. The home has 3 levels, including a full basement that they had built out when they bought the home a few years ago. The basement is just under 2,000 square feet all by itself, and is divided into four areas......a family room with a large screen TV, a media room with theater seating, a guest bedroom (The Queen Suite) with its own full bath, and a large guest suite (The King Suite, of course!) with a kitchen, dining area, bedroom, bathroom, patio, and laundry.....that is where we stayed.

Our suite

The view to the south

We slept in until after 8am almost every day. Since we had our own coffee maker in our suite we didn't have to run upstairs for our morning dose of that wonderful elixir! We had a wonderful trip, and thoroughly enjoyed visiting with my sister and her family. We loved hearing the rain during the night, and taking walks in the gentle rain that fell 5 out of the 7 days we were there. We watched several movies with our hosts in their media room, and many college and NFL football games over the weekend. We did a 13 mile bike ride on the one clear day along Hangman Valley Road. What a great way to celebrate Elaine's retirement.

Just before we left for Spokane I bought Elaine an iPad, and a Kindle for myself on Ebay. Since she no longer has her company laptop she needed a computer. She decided what she wanted was an iPad. Both items were waiting on my desk when we returned from Spokane. Elaine is going through her learning curve on the iPad, but she loves it a lot! The first book I downloaded was "The Sun Also Rises" by Ernest Hemingway. Much to my shame I have never read any of his books. I became fascinated with him after seeing the recent Woody Allen movie "Midnight in Paris" on our Texas trip, and then on the trip home from Texas read a long article in the Southwest Airlines in flight magazine about his life and times.

The weather is decidedly cooler at night, and, although the temps are still in the 80's during the day it just feels like Autumn should feel. I'm doing soccer each weekend, and will be attending the High School soccer recertification class next week. This is my last Fall soccer season, and the High School season will be my last. I have bittersweet feelings about finishing my career as a soccer referee, but would rather go out this way than gradually finding myself assigned less and less competitive matches as I get slower and older. I'm still being sent to do CSL Premier games down at UC Irvine each weekend, and that's how I want to end.....on my terms, when I decide....still at the top.

Since Elaine retired we have been riding our bikes virtually every week day in the morning. We've developed an 8 mile loop that takes us across the Santa Ana River, over to Fairmont Park where we ride around the man made lake, down Market to Mission Inn Blvd. and home. The first time we did the loop it took us 46 minutes. Our last ride it took us 39 minutes!

Today while Elaine drove down to South Coast Plaza near Newport Beach to have lunch with an also retired work friend I spent time checking the coach over. First on the list was to pull each battery tray out, check water levels, and check the batteries for overall condition. The first battery I pulled out had a problem. The positive post is "pulling" out of the casing for some reason. Interstate Batteries will warranty the battery, so I just have to pull it out and take it in for exchange. Fortunately, the other 3 8d batteries checked out fine. But, that is the whole point of preventative maintenance....find the stuff that is failing and replace it before it breaks. I also checked the oil level, coolant level, etc. and that all checked out fine. Tomorrow I'll check the air pressure on all six tires.

We're planning on driving the coach up to Rincon Parkway just north of Ventura on Monday, October 31st where we will spend 5 days.

Well, that's it from Rancho Jurupa Regional Park. All is well as we drift ever closer to pulling up our anchor and heading out on the road. Thanks for reading!!

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