We were also able to resurrect “family game night”: an event which once occurred weekly and allowed for the participation of everyone, regardless of age…

family’s budget.  However, cost notwithstanding, our ocean-side location is a definite draw for a couple of grandkids who live only 20 minutes away…

They both enjoy visiting “Gramma and Grandpop on the beach” so long as a visit includes some quality time playing in the sand or “surfing” the dunes…​​

I sometimes wonder just who is conning who in this “us versus them” game.  There just has to be some way of converting the perpetual motion of young children into a viable energy source.  Until that day, I suppose we’ll just have to continue gazing at those chemically enhanced Los Angeles sunsets which eerily resemble the detonation of a nuclear device…

After enduring a summer-long tri-monthly bombardment of endless drivel from Alaska, followed immediately by the tedium of wine making, Zimmerman-style, you are now about to enter the purgatory of travelogue narration and vacation “sharing”: pictures of the kids.  Having travelled and written about the Fremont to Los Angeles route through California on at least a bazillion prior occasions, about the only thing that changes from one year to the next is the size and appearance of our multitude of grandkidlets.  At this juncture, I would suggest that if you have already suffered through the agony of Aunt Gertrude’s slide show presentation of her latest Caribbean cruise featuring several thousand pictures of seagulls on the open ocean and a myriad of complete strangers in varying degrees of focal clarity, you should grab a beer and a bag of chips and catch a rerun of NCIS, CSI, JAG or whichever other acronymic program strikes your fancy. Go on!  Git outta here!!

Okay.  You have been warned but apparently your morbid interest in watching what is destined to be a train wreck compels you to read on.  So, here goes…  Our departure from the Zimmerman Fly Farm roughly coincided with the consumption of the last bottle of store-bought professionally vinted wine and the opening of the first bottle of a myriad of mysteriously unpredictable Zimmerman varietals.  We landed that afternoon in the campground at the Fremont Elks Lodge.  As it happened, we arrived on Halloween and within minutes we found ourselves surrounded by our son and two of our grandkids, Nick and Bella, decked out in their costumes…

The kids were having some difficulty carrying their “sleds” back up the dune after each ride so I attached a rope and pulled the sleds up for them.  Before long Layla tired of the sledding and decided to try her hand at retrieving and launching Devin…

Although we thoroughly enjoy having this pristine beach to ourselves, it is unfortunate that the 300% increase in camping fees over the past 3 years may be the reason that a lot of folks can no longer afford what has become a luxury item in a

Nick’s “costume” turned out to be the uniform he wears as a player for the Panthers, a youth football team which was in first place at the time and they went on to win the championship.  Bella’s angelic attire was completely appropriate as she is a very loving and caring kid who even takes over certain Grandpop grooming chores when we’re in town…

That about does it for this month’s missive which I am sure is of very little interest to anyone outside of the Bryan clan.  We’ll hope to do better next time as we are heading out of here in a couple of days to spend the winter at the Voyager RV Resort in Tucson, Arizona and have already purchased a 4-wheeling trail guide for the area.  We’re looking for people to join us on the back roads and trails around Tucson, so let us know if any of you happen to share that interest.  See y’all soon!  Hugs, Chuck and Kalyn 

I have been barbecuing various poultry on the Weber for about 20 years and usually arrange a turkey with the breast-side down on a poultry rack on the grill. (I use the indirect method for both turkey and whole chickens.  This involves placing a foil drip pan on the lower rack with about 25 pieces of charcoal banked on each side.  Add 10 pieces of charcoal to each side every 45 minutes until done.)  This year I decided to try a different method and placed it directly on the grill with the breast-side up while basting it liberally with butter about every 30 minutes.  I endured a bit of personal trauma as the leg temperature hit 200 degrees at the two hour mark while the breast meat was resting comfortably at 130 degrees.  I threw caution to the wind and allowed it to continue cooking, fearing that I was about to serve 23 pounds of turkey jerky.  The breast meat finally reached 165 degrees after another hour.  I removed the bird after 3 hours of cooking time and placed it in an aluminum foil roasting pan and tightly covered it with heavy foil for an additional two hours before carving.  As it turned out, both white and dark meats were cooked to juicy perfection and my jerky nightmare faded into oblivion.  Throughout our years of camping at Dockweiler State Beach in Los Angeles, we have witnessed the transformation of what was once a very popular destination into a virtual ghost town which seldom fills more than 20 of its 118 spaces…

Before long, a couple of windblown, sunburned, sand covered, completely exhausted grandparents lured the kids back into the RV with promises of Cheezits, Gogurt and Winnie the Pooh…

Leaving Fremont, we made a brief stopover in Monterey for some “alone” time before landing in Los Angeles and a pair of dervish-like grandkidlets.  Thanksgiving was spent with our daughter’s family, with me volunteering for the cooking detail as I was really craving a barbecued turkey…

You have no idea how much time and effort this saves me on beard maintenance.  My brother and his wife took it upon themselves to organize the first family reunion we’ve had since Kalyn and I adopted the “gypsy” lifestyle some 10 years ago and vanished into the hinterlands.  It was truly a grand event with all of the traditional holiday fare and provided one of those rare opportunities for our grandkids to get to know one another…

   Family                                                                    December 4, 2010