Our New Home Away from Home

Eric and I purchased a mini travel trailer, the 2018 NuCamp T@g Outback, for our road trips this year and beyond. WE are super excited to begin cross country trips, and feel this little beauty will help us not only carry supplies but give us a night or two rest, if the need arises on those long roads.

We have already spent a couple nights in it to get the hang of it, and its been really fun. Like having a slumber party for 2 and our doggie! ūüôā

Trying a camp out

Our dog having a rest

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The Alamo in San Antonio

After picking up our new travel trailer in Round Rock (outside of Austin, Tx), we headed southeast to San Antonio. We pulled off the highway and took a few hours free of driving to visit The Alamo and have lunch on the San Antonio Riverwalk.

The one good thing about traveling in winter is most places are not as busy. The Alamo has several tours available or you can just walk in for free and make your own.

The Riverwalk is just across the street from Alamo and down some stairs. Many restaurants and shops and even a boat tour!

Hope you enjoy the pictures. Parking was a little difficult but we were able to find a spot with the trailer. If you are traveling in just an automobile, parking is much easier to find. Google maps and Apple maps give parking lot locations.

Bed & Breakfast in Pacific Grove

Let me set the scene, my husband and I are celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary, we have always dreamed of staying in one of the B&B’s in Monterey or Pacific Grove, California. Many years ago, when we were in our early 20’s we lived in the area and would drive around gawking at the beautiful places around the Bay. We made reservations to stay back in the late 90’s or early 2000’s for our December birthdays, but had to cancel due to a conflict with a church program that needed us to be there. I have always regretted that!

Fast forward to 2017! Eric and I planned this over 6 months ago. In April, we made our reservation, paid, and knew we were not going to cancel no matter what! When November 27th, rolled around, we were packed and ready to hit the road.

Monterey Bay is a little under 3 hours away from our home. So a small road trip was delightful and the weather was perfect. We arrived at the Seven Gables Inn in Pacific Grove and checked into our Ocean Mist room. Just opening that door and seeing that perfect view was breathtaking and made us so happy. We were given a tour of the facilities and then made our way back to unpack and just sit in those two chairs looking out the window for a few hours. We were drawn away from the crazing waves by the promise of cheese and wine in the drawing room. We both tried a glass of the Pinot Noir, and made a plate of cheese, crudites,  fruit, dips and even a chocolate candy. So far this Anniversary was headed in the right direction.

Ocean Mist window view

We were supposed to dress and go to dinner that night, but after our snack in the main house, we retired to our room for the night.¬† We turned on the fireplace, made ourselves a glass of wine, and continued to enjoy the view from the Ocean Mist room.¬† We didn’t even make it over to the main house for cookies that night.¬† A perfected evening just enjoying our fabulous and spacious room. We might of gotten a little hungry around 11 pm, but The Seven Gables staff had left us a snack and drinks in our room, so we made due.¬† We also were going to be so ready for the big breakfast in the morning.¬† The sunrise was at 6:30 to 7 a.m. so we didn’t want to miss it and set the alarm before climbing into our big king sized bed.

In the morning we had a fabulous view of the rising sun and then showered, dressed and made our way to breakfast.¬† This inn is spectacular!¬† Fully decorated for Christmas in every room, including the breakfast house.¬† Our breakfast was amazing and didn’t disappoint our hungry tummies.¬† We were even surprised with mimosas. The hot breakfast, pastries and fruit, along with all the drinks, were very satisfying.¬† This inn really knows how to treat its guests.

After eating, we were headed out to enjoy the area and all it has to offer.  Since today was our anniversary, we spent the morning and afternoon driving the famous 17 Mile Drive in Pebble Beach.  Lunch was had on the 18th hole at one of the many restaurants in the Lodge.  It was a beautiful view of the ocean and the Carmel beaches.  We had a seafood lunch of course.

That night we were given tickets by The Seven Gables Inn to attend the Christmas at the Inns celebration.¬† Two nights of touring the Victorian Inns in Pacific Grove, and enjoying the old 1880’s architecture and beautiful Christmas decorations, not to mention cookies, cookies and more cookies.¬† How delightful to be staying in one of those inns, and also get to view the rooms in other inns.¬† Eric and I have always delighted in touring old homes and viewing the history of them.¬† We thoroughly enjoyed our evening.¬† If you are ever in that area, during this time of the year, be sure to get tickets.

Christmas Tree

On the following morning, after another fabulous breakfast we set out to walk down to Cannery Row.  We had quite the adventure and lunch.  On our way back to the Inn, we met a woman on the trail that pointed out  Sea Lions sunbathing on the beach.  We took photographs and enjoying learning about the Monterey Bay sea life.  After we jump in our car and took another drive down the coast towards Big Sur.  It is such a beautiful area and so iconic.  We stopped a lot for photographs and loved the Highway 1 drive.  We are already making plans for another trip down the coast or up, depending on where we start!  We also made it back to Pacific Grove just in time for a sunset by the ocean.

We really can’t believe how lucky we are to have such a fabulous life.¬† We are very blessed and look forward to many more adventures.¬† We will for sure, be checking in again at The Seven Gables Inn.¬† Pacific Grove was a delightful way to spend our 30th Anniversary and many of the guests at the Inn (they have 25 rooms/suites) were also celebrating their anniversaries.¬† It is a very romantic place.

Until our next trip!

Eric and Susan

Celebrating our 30th Anniversary on the beach
Pacific Grove
The Seven Gables Inn
SunRise from our room
Pebble Beach 18th Hole

 

Sunset in PG

 

Ocean Mist room

 

Rest of room!

 

FOGGY SUMMER, WELCOME TO MORRO BAY

When the summer hits our Central Valley in California, one of the best places to travel to, is the Central Coast. ¬† Temperatures drop from the high 90’s to the high 50’s in just a few short hours as you travel to the Coast.

Eric and I decided to jump in the car and travel to Morro Bay, California to spend some time at the Beach.   The foggy beach day is just what we needed to escape the heat during the summer months in Fresno.  Our first stop was the Morro Rock.   It is iconic for the coastline in California.   The beach is really nice and nothing beats the sound of crashing waves on the shore as you walk along picking up shells and sand-dollars.  We enjoyed it very much and worked up an appetite.

Shoreline @ Morro Bay
Sand dollar
Walking on the Foggy Beach
Seagull enjoying the day
Sand dollars in the sand
Stack of Dollars
dinner time

Lunch was seafood, of course. ¬†We had a glass of Pinot Noir (I’m sure Grigio is more appropriate with seafood, but we like red!) with our cups of Clam Chowder and shared a dinner of Fish, Shrimp and Calamari, while sitting next to the glass window and looking out at the Morro Bay. ¬†It was a delightful time and the sea otters in the bay seem to be enjoying their dinner also, as they floated by the window. ¬†The only down side is you start thinking about moving to the coast so you can enjoy this daily, which would be expensive and who likes moving? ¬†Not me. ¬†ūüôā

Welcome to Morro Bay
Lunch spot

After lunch we did a little shopping in the near by shops and then decided to drive south towards Avila Beach to see if we could find some sunshine to watch the sunset over the coast. ¬†This is one of our favorite pastimes whenever we are near the beach. ¬†It is just too beautiful to take in and luck was on our side that day. ¬† We found a great spot a few hours later as we ate some delicious ice cream and snapped pictures of the golden sunset. ¬†Retirement is on the horizon for us, and these moments make us beyond excited for the traveling and sights to come. ¬†We feel very blessed to live in a State that offers so much beauty and nature for us to soak up. ¬† Where will we end up next? ¬† Can’t wait to find out!

We found a spot to take it in!
Searching the coast for sunshine
Day at the Ocean

New York, NY during the Holidays

AS we enter the summer months here in the Central Valley, the heat is reminding me of the cold weather we have left behind.  My mind is wondering to the trip Eric and I took last December to New York.   It was for my birthday, and we had never been to the Big Apple.  Eric said I could pick wherever I wanted to go for a cruise and I knew the two places I wanted, a Bahama Cruise out of New York!

WE flew in and didn’t have much time for site-seeing that first day, since we were getting on a cruise ship in several hours. ¬†We decided to jump on the Staten Island Ferry and cruise around the bay. ¬†It was super chilly that day, but didn’t keep us from enjoying the sites of the city. ¬† It really is a fabulous place to go, as Manhattan has so much to see and do. ¬†We had purchased the City Pass but we saved those for the days after the cruise, when we would have more time to enjoy the several places the City Pass would take us to.

AS we were settled in our cabin on the Norwegian Breakaway that afternoon, we sat on our cold balcony leaving port, staring at the Statue of Liberty as we sailed by.  It was a very surreal moment as we had seen this emblem of pride of our Country on so many medias, but never in person.  She is quite a magnificent site to behold. As soon as she was out of site, we left the balcony to warm up.  No better way to warm up in December than to travel to the Bahamas!

AFTER the 7 day cruise, we returned into the Manhattan Port early on a Sunday morning. ¬† We jumped in a town-car and traveled through the busy streets to our hotel room at the New York Marriott Marquis in Time Square. ¬†The sites and sounds were amazing. ¬†So many people crammed in the area. ¬† Our room looked right out on the Times Square Ball that would be dropping in just a few weeks on New Year’s Eve. ¬†We hurried down to the lobby and out the door into the maze of people. ¬† We walked a few steps and jumped on the Big Bus Tour and spent several hours traveling around the city and hearing all the tour guide shared about the places we were now seeing in person. ¬†It was amazing.

City tour from Bus – Trying to Believe we are really here in the City
Enjoying the Bus Tour

 

Riding Past the Iconic NY Christmas Tree @ Rockefeller Center
Sites are Amazing in the City

USING our city passes to tour Rockefeller Center’s TOP OF THE ROCK, traveled to the Statue of Liberty island, and Ellis Island, and spend time at the ¬†9/11 Memorial, was a busy day. ¬†We walked around the city too, taking in the Christmas decorations and lights. ¬†The evenings in New York City were better than we could of even imagined, but the cold air took away our breath. ¬†The food we had was great too. ¬†We tried the pizza of course, had a sushi dinner, and had lunch at Tavern on the Green in Central Park, even getting a piece of birthday cake which I have to admit was amazingly good. ¬† It’s quite extraordinary how much is crammed in that city and the iconic buildings and places to visit are not to be missed.

The Christmas Tree @ Rockefeller Center
Touring the Statue of Liberty
9/11 Memorial
Lunch at Tavern on the Green
My birthday Cake
Empire State Building

THE magnificent history of the New York City seen in film was even more memorable now that we have seen it with our own eyes. ¬†I can’t wait to return someday, to see all the things we missed. ¬† You can never tire of that beautiful City! ¬†NEW YORK….

Hamilton next to Marriott
Central Park in December
Top of Rock
Quenching thirst at Tavern on the Green
NY lights in Trees
Staten Island Ferry ride
Us in the Center

Waterfalls – Yosemite National Park

ERIC and I made a day trip to Yosemite National Park this week to see the impressive Waterfalls.  The snow started to melt last week during the beginning of the summer heat hitting the Central Valley of California.  We had a spectacular time as we hiked through the Yosemite Valley and snap picture after picture of the many waterfalls that were gushing over the granite mountains surrounding it.

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YOSEMITE has always been a favorite of ours, maybe because it is in our backyard.  Only 1 hour from our home.   Or it might be the amazing sites we see no matter what time of the year.   We make several trips a year to Yosemite National Park and it is always delightful.

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THIS ¬†trip was not a disappointment, even though we were hoping to see snow on the ground like we did last year. ¬†There was no snow but seeing those magnificent WATERFALLS with the blast of the spray as it hit the rocks, was amazing. ¬† I don’t remember ever seeing so much water in the Valley. ¬† There were small waterfalls everywhere you looked, and the Yosemite Falls, Vernal Falls, and the Bridalveil Falls were spectacular. ¬†The roaring sounds of them cascading over the mountains was a sight to behold. ¬† Like I said, YOSEMITE never disappoints!

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Me getting amazing photos of the Mountains surrounding the meadow
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Eric photographing the Valley floor
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I love Yosemite!