Retirement is a week filled with Saturdays and Sundays interrupted only occasionally by a holiday.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Errant Golf Shoes and Mosquitoes

Home sweet home. We arrived home yesterday, unpacked, read our mail, did loads of laundry and now I need another vacation. Whew!!!

All in all, it was a wonderful week away from home. As always, I'd been very meticulous about creating a packing list, doing last minute chores and getting the car packed so we could leave on time. And halfway to Santa Cruz, my mind suddenly replayed all that planning and I realized I didn't remember loading into the car the bag which had my 2 pairs of golf shoes and boxes of golf balls. Not a good way to start a golfing vacation. Anyway, we stopped at a well-known golf course near the highway and, lo and behold, they had exactly one pair of women's golf shoes in a narrow width and wouldn't you know it was in my size. Talk about the golfing gods looking down on me.

We arrived in Santa Cruz, checked into our hotel and then spent the rest of Friday and Saturday wandering around the area. We've been doing this trip annually for a number of years so there's very little we haven't seen. Still...we managed to find a new restaurant for breakfast (thanks to my sister Lynn's recommendation) and had a great day in Capitola wandering in and out of the quaint little shops and walking along the beachfront road.

Sunday was the annual "Friends & Family Golf Tournament" and I made the decision not to play. Still...I had a great time as I rode around the golf course with Michael, Karen and Sue whom I've played with before. They are fun golfing companions and we chatted and joked as they played great golf while I watched. Rick was in a threesome following us and here he is (the little orange speck) teeing off on the #5 hole.

Monday we left Santa Cruz and played golf in the town of Aptos before heading down to Cambria. That was my first round of golf on our vacation and I have to say I played really well... for me. I guess watching Karen and Sue the day before really helped me find my swing and tempo. Oh...and the new golf shoes fit like a charm.

Our time in Cambria was wonderful. We stayed in a quaint motel along Moonstone Beach Drive and walked along the beachfront boardwalk. I did venture down to the sand and, for the first time in years, I actually put my toes into the Pacific Ocean.

On Tuesday we visited Hearst Castle and it was the perfect day. I managed to take some photos inside the magnificent home as well as photos of the incredible outdoor and indoor pools.

We also visited the Elephant Seal viewing area along the coast just north of San Simeon and it was fascinating to watch these huge creatures sunning themselves on the beach and romping in the water.

Wednesday we headed for Pismo Beach but stopped off in Morro Bay to play a round of golf at the golf course in the State Park. What a fun experience. The fog was incredibly thick and never lifted the entire time so we saw very little of the ocean and bay...and the golf course. It was like playing in the dark, unable to see more than a few yards in front of us. We played with a father and son who were great fun and the four of us did our best not to hit anyone in front of us with our golf balls.

We arrived in Pismo Beach, settled into our hotel and then went to a fabulous well-known restaurant in the town of Nipomo for dinner. Jocko's is known for its meat and so Rick and I each had steak...something we almost never do since we've generally given up meat for health reasons. can you go to a steak restaurant and then order chicken???

Thursday was yet another round of golf at one of the nearby courses and I was exhausted so I only played 9 holes. The course meandered through a development of large homes and wasn't nearly as interesting as the courses we played earlier in the week. And to top it off, I became the food source for a large colony of mosquitoes. I have bites all over the back of my legs, ankles and wrists and I'd forgotten how miserable it can be. We have very few mosquitoes here in Southern California so it never dawned on me to bring bug repellent on our trip. I know the itching will disappear in a few days but, until then, I'm not a happy golfer!!!

So now we're home and back to our normal routine. We're already talking about planning our next golfing vacation and I want to go back up to Cambria in December to visit Hearst Castle when it's decorated for Christmas. Stay tuned...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Which Way to the First Tee?

Our bags are packed; we're ready to go...

Bright and early tomorrow morning, Rick and I will be leaving for our golfing extravaganza in Central California. First stop is Santa Cruz, followed by Cambria and then Pismo Beach. We'll be back next Friday.

The only non-golfing plan at the moment is a visit to Hearst Castle (San Simeon) which was the home of newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst. I will do my best to squeeze in a few other sightseeing detours although we've been making this trip every September for several years now so we've seen practically everything between Los Angeles and Santa Cruz. Still...I'm sure there are a few off-the-beaten path sights we've yet to discover.

I am taking Silver Wonder (my laptop) with me so I will try and post while we're away. I'm also taking my camera so hopefully I'll have lots of photos to share when we get back. I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep up with your blogs but I'll do my best to stop by and visit while we're on the road. I hope everyone has a wonderful week.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What Map Skills???

I've always prided myself on my ability to read a map. I can still remember learning how to navigate using a map when I was in elementary school. Whenever we've taken road trips, I've always been the one to plot our route and to make sure we've been on course to our destination.

In some respects, mapping online sites such as Mapquest and Google Maps have taken much of the fun out of planning our trips. Yes, I admit that I use these sites to find directions to destinations around town and when we travel. Even so, I always make sure we have a map in our car to follow along when we're traveling to places we've never been before. What can I say...I'm a map junkie.

So why did I not put a stop to it when Rick started talking about buying a portable GPS unit for the car? Several of our friends now have units and I think Rick was feeling a little left out and behind-the-times. He's been doing his usual in-depth research on the different units and features and I figured it would be months and months before he would decide which one to actually buy.

Anyway, we mentioned our interest in GPS units to my cousin Ina when we had dinner with her two weekends ago. She has a unit and she was telling us how wonderfully convenient it is. Then last Thursday, she sent me an e-mail with the news that she'd been given a new one and that she was generously donating her older one to us. We met for dinner on Saturday and Rick and I are now the proud owners of a portable GPS device.

Here's the surprising part...I've been having waaaay too much fun with it. Since Rick is a technophobe at heart, I've been playing with the unit trying to figure out all the cool features and I think I have it down pat. I've already programmed some of the hotels we're staying at on our fast approaching golf vacation as "Favorites" and I've checked the "Points of Interest" feature to make sure the golf courses we're playing are included. Oh boy!

Of course, you can be sure that I will still take along those old-fashioned things called "maps." What can I say...I'm still a 20th Century girl living in a 21st Century world.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Not Always A Loser

You lose some; you win some. On Monday, I took my mom and my cousin Ina up to the casino at one of the tribal reservations. Mom loves to play the slot machines (the penny ones) even though they now seem overwhelming to her. Mom always wins and this time she walked away with $40 while Ina ended up a whole $1 ahead. Me? As usual, I ended up losing only a few dollars which for me is pretty darn good.

Then on Tuesday I was informed by Lynne over at Lynne's Little Corner of the World that I'd won her very generous book giveaway. So now I will be the happy recipient of a Debbie Macomber book which I will comfortably read while sitting on my brand new loveseat in my still-a-work-in progress den. Thanks Lynne!

Speaking of my den, I know I promised photos but since the book nook is not done yet, I hope you'll be satisfied with a photo I took of the loveseat while Rick and I were in the furniture store a few weeks ago. It fits perfectly in the den and I've already initiated it by sitting on it to read and watch TV and the all-important napping.

Not much else is happening. Today Rick and I went out for our weekly golf game. Sigh... Let's just say that today was not one of my best efforts. This is all very discouraging because we are leaving the end of next week for a weeklong golfing vacation in Central California. The first round of golf will actually be in an annual family and friends golf tournament which always causes me great consternation and fear. Although the people we play with are all very nice, there is a certain amount of competitiveness amongst the men and women and it makes for a very stressful round of golf. Yes, I know I should ignore the psychological torment and have a good time but I just can't seem to get over caring what these people think of my game. Oh well, we have one more practice round before we leave and maybe I will miraculously find the perfect swing somewhere on the golf course. To steal a mantra from my sister Lynn, "breathe in, breathe out."

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day Weekend Fun

Although the Labor Day weekend began with the traumatic theft of Rick's beloved watch on Friday, the weekend itself turned out to be quite happy.

Saturday we basically took it easy but Sunday turned out to be a blast! We went to our friends' home for a family and friends BBQ. Joey's grandparents (now to be known as Grandpa B and Grandma J) hosted the party for their 4 children and respective spouses along with 2-year-old Joey and 2-week-old Kaitlyn. In addition, Grandma J's two sisters were there as well as another couple who have been longtime friends. The food was wonderful (steaks and ahi tuna, assorted salads, corn on the cob, desserts) and Joey kept us entertained with the little plastic rolling golf cart with clubs and golfballs that Rick and I bought him. Poor Kaitlyn...she got passed around from female arms to female arms although I have to give us all credit for our restraint and cooperation. We managed to remain civilized and shared the joy of holding the little angel.

Yesterday, Rick went to the YMCA for a workout while I went to the market to pick up dinner items. Then I suddenly had the urge to visit one of the nearby furniture stores looking for the elusive loveseat for the den/computer room. So, how long have I been looking for a loveseat? I admit it...years and years. And what happened yesterday? I sat in four loveseats (this one's too soft, this one's too deep) when suddenly I got to the fifth one, sat down and shrieked "this one's just right!" Yes, ladies and gentlemen...I did my very own version of "Goldilocks and the Five Loveseats." Out came the credit card and, before I knew it, I was scheduling delivery for this coming Thursday. Yes...I promise to post photos once it's here and in place.

So what am I doing this morning? I've truthfully been using our den as a storage/junk room (along with the computer and TV) and so I've been moving boxes and "stuff" into the garage and other parts of the house. Then it's off to lunch with my retired friend Sherry. I am so excited. Soon I will have my own little retreat where I can relax and get started on the piles and piles of books I have waiting for me. Ahhh...