Monday, October 21, 2013

Day 42 - The End

I woke up with a start in what I thought was the middle of the night, and realized that it had just been a dream……….  I dreamt that I was surrounded by a colony of sea lions, barking and barking and barking and barking……………

Then I realized it was time to get up and prepare for the farewell breakfast……………..

What?  Wait! Whoa!  Can’t be! 

It’s true.  It’s over.  Our 42 day Adventure has come to an end. 

This morning we all gathered for the last time on this trip to say goodbye for now to our old and new traveling companions.  The staff put on a good spread as usual, and none of us are shy around food.  So it was a good breakfast. 

Spence, Lula, Sandy, Gerald, Rae Anne.  Lots of hugs, invitations to visit, fond farewells...

Hex, Dorris, Susanne, David, Joe and Ted.  Chatting and saying goodbyes.

more and more gather as the morning

After a while, the crowd dwindled, and RV's began to peel off left and right. 

Goodbye to our good friends and travel companions, wherever you go next.

It has been a great pleasure to travel with all of you.  We have said more than once how much fun this trip was.  How much we laughed and enjoyed ourselves.  As staff we truly appreciate a group like this.  

We saw a lot of the beauty and majesty of what Oregon and California have to offer.  We were snowed on in the Sequoias, locked out of Yosemite, tasted wine, beer, cheese, jelly belly’s, saw magnificent coastlines and visited places we have only seen in history books; and all this with wonderful companions.

On behalf of Hex, Sandy, Spence and Madi, as well as Ron and Juanita Kohn, and Tina Poole we want to thank you all for joining us on this adventure.  Thank you for traveling with Adventure Caravans.  We hope you will choose to join us again.

Submitted by:  Madi and Spence Schaaf #2

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Day 41 - Los Angeles Area

We started our day with a short delay. While waiting for our bus, we had a short power outage in the park. Since many of us have pets, we wanted to make sure the air conditioning was working before we left.  

The power came back on; our bus arrived so off we went on our trip to the Queen Mary where we had the most wonderful champagne brunch. We dined in the Grand Salon which was the dining hall for the first class passengers traveling on the Queen Mary. There were nine stations of food for us to choose from.  Oh, the decisions to make!  Everything from breakfast items, soups and salads, beef, chicken, seafood, pastries, and desserts.  And during the meal, we were serenaded with the beautiful music of a harp.

After we were sufficiently stuffed we met Robert for a tour of the Queen Mary. The ship originally was a Cunard ship from Scotland launched in 1934 and used to transport mail. In 1936 she sailed to the United States. In the 1960's she went up for auction and made her final voyage. And in 1967 she ended up in Long Beach.

Back on the bus, we traveled through Long Beach, over the Vincent Thomas Bridge to San Pedro Island where the battleship, USS Iowa sits in the harbor.

On to the West Adams area and Exposition Park. This is where the 1932 and 1984 Olympics were held. It is also the campus of the USC Trojans. The California Science Center is here which is where the Space Shuttle Endeavor is now making its home.

As we head for Santa Monica and Venice, Chris explained the history of the two cities. Many people moved to the area to get relief from respiratory problems. A man named John Jones from Santa Monica and a guy from Venice named Abbott Kinney became very competitive at trying to get people to live in their city. 

Santa Monica prospered and was big into arts and the wealthy. Venice had circus acts to draw people. Venice was built on a system of canals all running to the ocean.  When Jones died, Santa Monica continued to prosper with the building of the Pier while Venice began to deteriorate after Kinneys death. Santa Monica is now a hot spot for people from Los Angeles. While Venice took awhile to be revitalized, it is now a popular and expensive place to live. The canals have been paved over and are now streets and the graffiti style of art is very popular. We walked on the boardwalk in both cities and enjoyed the local activities.

As our day was winding down we drove through Marina Del Rey and back through Long Beach to drop off Chris. And then we headed back to our RV park. The end of a long day!

Submitted by Carol Gosline #8

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Day 40 - Los Angeles Area

With an early wake-up call, we boarded the bus for our trip into Los Angeles with the bright sun illuminating the skyline of the city as we entered. 

With a population of 4 million in a metropolitan area of 18 million, it is a beehive of activity. Our guide took us through the exclusive areas of Rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills. The Chateau Marmont Hotel, where John Belushi died, caters to actors and others that value privacy. Flash photography is not permitted inside. 

We soon arrived in Hollywood. The famous sign was erected in 1924 and began as a way to promote a real estate development. Originally it was wood, but is now stainless steel. 

We took a look at the Dolby Theater where the Academy Awards are held each year. You must be invited, but can attend as a volunteer checking credentials and filling empty seats as needed. 

Marilyn descended the piano stairs on her way to street level where the Walk of Fame is located. 

Our guide helped Susanne understand that for her to get a star on the Walk of Fame she would have to be approved by the committee and find the funds for the $17,000 cost. 

Dave thinks passing the hat might be an option. We then examined the area in front of  Grauman’s Chinese Theater where stars place their hand and foot prints in wet concrete if their film premieres there.

Traveling on to the downtown area, we saw many interesting buildings, but the most striking was the Walt Disney Concert Hall which cost $300 million, looks similar to floating sails, and is constructed of 12,500 stainless steel panels. 

The original high reflectivity required buffing after the reflection created excessive heat and glare. 

We made a brief stop at Olvera Street, a Mexican marketplace, and a lengthier stop at the Farmer’s Market for some shopping and lunch. A banjo band provided dining entertainment. 

The afternoon was spent at the LaBrea Tar Pits. 

Tar from an oil field 1500 feet below seeps to the surface through cracks formed as result of earthquakes.

In mining the tar years ago, workers discovered bones which led to the realization that the tar had preserved fossils that range from 10,000-60,000 years old. When conditions warmed the tar, it became so sticky that animals were trapped, died, and their bones eventually were covered with tar and preserved.  Insects, seeds, plants, etc., were also preserved and there is evidence of Native American interaction going back 1000 years. Excavating began in the early 1900’s and is still continuing with areas where the work can be observed.

The museum houses a research area where fossils are examined, cleaned, catalogued, stored, and displayed.

 There is no place in the world where as many ice age fossils can be found.  

Submitted by:  Jim and Rae Anne Hamp #9

Friday, October 18, 2013

Day 39 - Travel Day to Los Angeles Area

Well it's a travel day again. We are sorry to be leaving Buellton, CA. The Flying Flags RV Resort was very nice with all pull thrus, lots of grass and mature shade trees. But it is time to move, so we headed south on 101 again. The road to start was nice, many places lined with brilliant red bougainvillea. 

Often we could see the beach and ocean. Lots of ships and oil platforms. On the beach were parked RVs with people walking the beach. It would have been nice to stop and visit.

As we get closer to LA the road widens-often 5 lanes in each direction. I saw beautiful cars and ugly cars and mostly just cars, and cars, and cars. WOW, Calif has LOTS of cars. The road was clogged with cars! and they were not willing to give a RV any extra space to change lanes. Luckily, Virginia was following me to find the campground. I would turn on my turn signal, she would move into the lane and slow to give me room-Thank you, Virginia!!

We found the East Shore RV Resort-it is very nice. A large area with grass and trees-quite nice! The park soon began to fill up. I think the locals use this as their weekend entertainment. Pack up the family and TVs and come to the park.

We had our last pot luck dinner

Submitted by:  Tom and Catherine Gasser #7