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July 02, 2020

Staying Home - Staying safe

California remains under Stay-at-Home orders after an uptick in the percentage of Covad-19 cases.  No safe opportunity for a Road Trip this year, so we blew the travel budget on the counter tops completing our kitchen update.

The installation crew wanted an additional $500 to remove and anther $500 to reinstall each of our two kitchen sinks.  We saved most that by me doing the demolition and reinstallation.

There was the one-time expense of a trip to Urgent Care … While removing the small vegetable sink's garbage disposer I broke off the soap dispenser!,  Yikes!  I jumped so hard I broke my safety glasses!  Fortunately only my right eye was flooded with the very painful Dawn dish washing liquid.

Ever get shampoo in your eye?  Try dish soap!  While I’m rolling on the floor in agony Fran was scheduling a golf T-time.  The golf guy can hear me!

Golf: Is everything OK?
Fran: Is 3 O’Clock available?
Golf: Yes
Fran: I’ll take it!  …  click 

And she bundled me up and we were off to Urgent Care for a profession eye-wash.  We were back in time for Fran to keep her T-time!  I kinda watched TV with an ice-pack, maybe a pirate patch would have been more appropriate.  But nice to know that there was no permanent damage.

I can say with some authority that I would not recommend using Dawn dish washing liquid to clean a cornea.  It took 10 days for my eye sight to fully return.

I ended up behind on the demolition time frame and there are no pictures of that part of the project, but was ready when the stone counter tops arrived around noon at the end of June.

I was surprised that the stone was cut at the fabricator, we were told it would be cut onsite.  Glad we didn’t change any dimensions!

I know there certainly could/should be more before pictures, but I did take a few days off :)

A 3/4” plywood base was set fir
st, the stone counter top will be set on top.

Note that the plywood was screwed to the existing cabinets!  No way to change our minds now without destroying the cabinets.  Our first view of the counter top is the main sink cutout.

Enough material was maintained to keep the thin front and back sides from breaking during transport.

yes we do still have a fridge that will hold our travel magnets!

The cook top and small vegi sink side.

The main kitchen sink, ready for me to install the plumbing.

I still have to figure out the microwave shelf and the range hood, which will be above the stove top.  But I’m in no hurry now that the kitchen is again functional and looks a lot better!  A view of the stove top and the vegi sink.

Cabin Fever can be expensive!, even though it does make the cabin a lot nicer. 



June 23, 2020

Old Town State Historic Park - Lunch stop

Old Town State Historic Park is included as a California State Park and remains closed.  However, the park is home to individual businesses that can open if they meet the state’s Covid-19 safety requirements.  So under the June Gloom we ventured out for lunch.

All the restaurants outside the park boundary were quite crowded.  At Cafe Coyote and Miguel’s the waiting lines have extended into the street.  A few folks are not masked ...

I’m still not comfortable with the crowds and wanted an outdoor patio setting away from the street.

El Antojo (The Craving) may have the best chips in Old Town, although their patio is raised off the street it is also enclosed in plexiglass.

One of my favorites is Casa de Maria.  It has a nice outside seating area and live music, but we eat there often.

Within the park boundary the larger shops like the colorful Casa de Aguirre are open.

But most of the smaller shops and all of the museums remain closed.

The plaza and Fiesta de Reyes are open.  There are signs at the entrances outlining the safety requirements.  With the reminder that “NO evidence of Covid-19 transmitted through food!”

Not surprisingly the dining area is packed.  To accommodate, more tables have been placed in front of the performance stage.

Street tacos are tempting, maybe next time.  There’s not a good place to sit and enjoy them.

We’ve made the rounds and Barra Barra Saloon is a perfect spot with its raised deck where we can people watch while listening to mariachi music.

And they’ve been voted Best Margarita in San Diego.  For $7 I’d agree.

As June give way to July and more things open it will then become our Tourist Season and getting out will not be as safe nor as easy.

June 10, 2020

Mission Bay Park - It is now OPEN!

Mission Bay Park was released from most Covid-19 restrictions on June 8th.  Mission Bay Park is now open at 100% parking/activity with only the social distance of 6’ restriction!  WaHoo!

We took advantage of ‘Opening Day’ for a bike ride around the bay. 

Mission Mobile Home Park from de Anza Cove

It was great to see families back enjoying the day.  Although nothing near a normal park day attendance we did see more families on the grass, the water and also taking advantage of the boardwalk. 

Families having fun

Fisherman at the Leisure Lagoon, with a fully staffed Life Guard Tower.   

As the summer continues to heat up the park will become more crowded with “zonies and honies” ... the affectionate slang term for those who come from Arizona (zonies) and El Cajon (honies) to escape their heat and enjoy our beaches.

Officially the Mission Bay Boardwalk is open, altho the signs have not yet been collected.

There is literally nobody at Sunset Point, where we once played volleyball.

Nor at Bahia Point where friends Tom and Donna held their wedding.

Across the inlet is Bonita Cove, where this fella misjudged the tides or simply did not connect securely to his buoy.


We stopped for a brief visit with Fran's sister and her husband.  Their new puppy Chica is a very friendly companion.

Fran with Chica

To complete the Bay loop we rode along Sail Bay and Crown Point to the Kendall Marsh

Snowy Egret at Kendall Marsh

... and then back to De Anza Cove to complete the loop, before heading back home.

I have a few more home project pictures to bore you, as we continue to stay close to home.

Our Hollywood Apple tree has been very productive this year.  Having already made a couple quarts of applesauce, Fran decided on an apple crisp this time.

Almost as good as a Julian Pie, almost – but a lot healthier!

I power washed the deck and applied a fresh coat of stain. 
  I also took the time to clean up and varnish some of the deck furniture.

Together we made short work of a picnic puzzle we purchased awhile ago for the grand-girls.  I was a bit challenged by it, but I’m sure they’d have no problem :)  The last of our puzzles!  YAY!!!

Although the city libraries remain closed we can still pick up requests at the Point Loma branch.  The audio books and the Ghost Mountain DVDs are mine, Fran prefers a page turner.  Altho we can pick up we still cannot return items.

There's an advantage to having our pick up point in Point Loma. Near the Point Loma Library is my favorite burger joint, Hodad’s in Ocean Beach.  A small basket with more than enough fries to share.  Why/What is a Hodad? I have that covered in a previous blpog HERE.

The kitchen project has been the biggest of our 'Stay at Home' projects.  But the walls are now prepared and measurements have been taken for the counter tops.  We expect to hear from the fabricators in a couple weeks.

San Diego continues to open various outdoor areas.  This week Balboa Park including the San Diego Zoo will be opening.  Some hotels and casinos are also opening, almost getting to the New Normal.

Suzi has been updating the blog Our Awesome Travels.  In remembrance of George I put peanut butter on a ‘tube steak’ burrito, thanks for the tip George!  Pickles and cheese optional ...

RIP George! while the rest of us ... Stay Safe!

May 31, 2020

Julian - A escape to the local mountains

Although California remains under an official Stay-at-Home policy, each county is able to make choices of how to begin reopening.  San Diego County has reopened its parks for camping at 50% of capacity and only household members can share a campsite.  That was enough incentive for us to join up with friends Doug and Marilyn and their granddaughter Lilly for a few days at William Heise County Park.  As required, in separate campsites, of course.

Our site in RV Loop 2 was nice, but small and did not offer much shade.  Bigger rigs would find RV Loop 1 better suited. 

We took the short Nature Loop trail for our first hike.  We’ve done this trail several times before, but not in the past decade or more.  The trail seems now at a higher elevation and a lot steeper!  The hills must be getting bigger…

Near the trailhead was a hen turkey with her three poults. 


The Rio Grande Turkey was introduced to the area in 1993 by US Fish and Game, they are now estimated at 20,000 in the area.

The trail starts out in the shade of the Cedar and Oak trees that were spared by the 2003 Cedar Fire.

And quickly climbs to the remains of the new growth of the area where the fire took a toll.

Wildflowers are among the new growth.


After our ‘strenuous’ hike we headed into Julian to see how it was opening up.  There were nearly as many hand washing stations on the street as there were people. 


Most of the stores along main street were open.  However the restaurants were takeout only.  The pie shops sold only whole pies.


The following day we took the Cedar Loop Trail that passes through an area hard hit by the Cedar Fire.  The fire opened the area for many new growth opportunities.


The steepest section of the trail has a 'pull' rope for assistance.  Other trails are accessed from the top of this section.

The trail will cross Cedar Creek several times.  It is possible to reach Cedar Creek Falls from the Julian side, but it is best done from the maintained trail on the Ramona side, which I blogged HERE.

The park is also planting many dozen Incense Cedar trees that once populated this area.

Lilly gave a gallant try at making Jiffy Pop over the campfire.

The pictures in this post are all from my phone.  In the process of checking out the features on my new camera I managed to not be able to use it!  I finally resorted to a factory reset!

This is my first post using the new Blogger, I hoped it would be an improvement over the previous version.