|Friends and relatives . . . that has pretty much been the focus of our travels since arriving back in the lower 48. Washington, Oregon and California are awash in Bryans, Zimmermans (Kalyn’s maiden name) and various friends and hangers on. We spent a couple of weeks in Washington visiting a couple of Kalyn’s school buddies; those we could find at least (most had pretty good hiding places but we managed to ferret out the least creative of the bunch). It was then on to Oregon where we met our nephew’s new wife and the newest addition to our extended family, our grand-niece, Faith . . .
Faith is the little person on the right. We took several pictures with my nephew included but he just seemed to vanish when the pictures were downloaded to the computer. I think it must be one of those vampire kinda things where they don’t show up in mirrors . . . We then moved on to California to meet our new granddaughter, Isabella . . .
It’s pretty hard to believe that the handsome chap on the right is even old enough to have children much less grand children. Enroute to Fremont we stopped by the brother-in-law’s farm to check out this year’s grape harvest and ensure that he is still taking his medication. Our visit happened to coincide with the crushing, bottling and tasting of the latest vintage of Zimmerman’s Zany Zinfandel. This event is always attended by a few unwary neighbors who are invited to try their hand at wine making. This process is best defined as shoveling, pressing, bottling, corking and cleaning up the mess in exchange for a few tastes of wine that has been described as “flabby” by the local winemakers association . . .
Jerry’s neighbors have all caught on to his winemaking shenanigans and conveniently “travel” during that time of year. Lars and Hilda from Holland (that’s them on the right), with their limited knowledge of the English language, thought they had won a free weekend to a wine country bed and breakfast. They found out differently when their wooden shoes were floating in 200 gallons of red wine. We were also able to catch up with our Australian mates, Ian and Betty, who were just completing a 3 month tour of the USA on their Harley and spent their last week with us in Fremont. Winston Churchill once said, “The U.S. and Britain are two great peoples seperated by a common language.” He obviously never tried to talk to an Aussie!! On the day before leaving for home they packed their Harley in a crate for the 2 month boat ride back to the land down under . . .
Here they are loading all their goodies into an “Aussie condom” for the trip home. We took nearly a hundred pictures of Ian and this is the best of the bunch. In the nearly 4 years that we have been on the road we have stayed at 306 Elks lodges from coast to coast as well as Alaska and Canada (yes, there are Elks lodges in Canada). The only one of the group to prove less than friendly was the lodge in Homosassa Springs, Florida . . . until now! The gold medal goes to the Fremont, California lodge! We have stayed there in years past completely without incident and enjoyed every minute, but their front office has been hijacked by a curmudgeonly sort who delights in the harassment and rude treatment of traveling Elks. We lovingly refer to her as “Frau Hitler, the Parking Nazi.” We seemed to annoy her by parking our Jeep next to our motorhome while unloading groceries or laundry. Either activity would induce her to send one of her minions scurrying over to tell us to move our Jeep because it’s presence in an empty RV spot was preventing other RV’s from visiting. On one such occasion we were the only RV there and the 6 other spaces were empty. Well, almost empty . . .
I may be misinformed, but I do find it somewhat difficult to believe that our Jeep somehow occupies more mass than 2 tire trucks. I may be due for a refresher course in physics. We are now happily settled at the Monterey Elks lodge which is on a hillside overlooking Monterey Bay. Their office manager loaned us her Monterey Bay Aquarium passes and we spent a day checking out the otters and other marine life on display. The lodge sponsored a holiday motorcycle toy run on Sunday and our parking lot was filled with about 150 motorcycles, riders and teddy bears. . . .
This was my favorite!! Until next time, ride safe! (or drive safe, as the case may be). Hugs and smooches, Chuck and Kalyn