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September 25, 2022

Enjoying our first week back home

Fran’s tennis league captain sent an email asking if she could play with her best friend, Debbie, in the match on the 16th.  That gave us a date to be home.

And (more important to me) the OTL Longboard Surfing Contest was on the 17th.  Another reason to return home.

Apparel burgers, dogs and drinks were available on Crystal Pier for purchase.

A long board is at least 9’ in length and is ridden without a leash.  If a rider falls off, he better be a good swimmer.

I was a bit disappointed there were no wooden boards, nor any gals this year.  

The hydroplanes were also running at Bayfair.  But it was no contest, longboards over powerboats.

I spent the next few days catching up on some yard work.  With another fun weekend coming up.  The big event would be PIFA.  The Pacific Islander Festival at Ski Beach. 

We chose to ride our bikes over, rather than fight the traffic.  Good thing or we would have missed the Dragon Boats.

A huge turnout this year, with canopies all along Tecolote Shores.

The big canoes have 16 paddlers, a coxswain in the front drumming out the cadence and in the rear standing is the tillerman.

Here boat 8 easily defeats boat 7 for 1st place.   Just look at the length of the boat!

We rode on, watching crew boats practice along Fiesta Island.  Then to the PIFA Festival, which requires all of Ski Beach. 

I wonder how long this old oak will continue to mark the entrance to Ski Beach.

The main attractions are the live performances on the main stage.

The stage is home to a none stop assortment of music and dance.

OhNo, my camera has added a blue filter.  That's something new ...
The music can be heard throughout the park.  Which is a good thing as it takes awhile to select what to share for lunch.

I had the SPAM Musubi in the past and was looking forward to curing my craving for another year.

What’s not to like about fried SPAM on rice wrapped in Nori seaweed?

In the end we settled on Chinese BBQ chicken.  The line was shorter and with a distant view of the stage.

Served with a good rice and the mandatory macaroni salad.

I saw the queen and her aide in line for the musubi.  I asked her ‘Why does royalty have to wait in line?’  Her reply ‘I’d never take advantage of my subjects’.  Awesome, bet that line has been rehearsed!

I have yet to try a Malasada.  I guess it would be the Portege version of a churro.

We spent a little more time enjoying the entertainment.

It seems somebody in the front row has to standup just as I snap the shutter!  Every time!

Quite a few people here for this event!

As we finished our ride around the bay, into Crown Point, there was a police motorcycle competition.  The bikes were inspected.

Then 4 man teams competed in a dance around an obstacle course.  The riders came from all over, including Tijuana  …

San Diego Police and Sheriff, Albuquerque, Phoenix along with this fine group from Pinal County Arizona.

They completely blocked the Malecon for their selfies.  Yup that’s Fran in the back with her arms crossed.  I can just hear her thinking ‘We’re trying to bike here …’.

Reaching De Anza Cove we missed this event.  The flag is that of Ethiopia, but represents all Pan-African ideology. 

To finish off the weekend we put the bikes on the truck for a ride to Balboa Park.  From there it’s less than a 5 mile ride to Normal Heights and the Adams Avenue Street Fair.

The ride is all on surface streets, but in many places the parking area is off the curb and the bike path along the curb.  Much safer!

Music, crafts and food is what this is about.  There’s 65 entertainment groups on 3 stages over the 2 days.

Now this is for a sweet tooth!

A strawberry kabab, caramel apple wedges or froze cheesecake on a stick!

And way more food vendors!  It must have been easier to get permits here than at PIFA, which had a lot of specialty food, but not enough vendors.

A BBQ pretzel looks good.

But I still need to cure my annual SPAM fix.  And unlike yesterday, there was no line here for a SPAM Wrap!

A wrap with fried egg, secret sauce, SPAM in an onion pancake.

Tasted just ok, but way, Way, WAY too greasy.  I’m good now for at least another year … maybe two!

Interesting pizza option from a wood fired oven.

That might have been a better option.  Next year.

We stopped at the Trolley Carbarn Park on the way back to Balboa Park.

Although I was living in the area back then, I never saw the old trolley barn.

My friend, San Diego’s Armchair Hiker did some research and found photos of early San Diego, including this Trolley Barn, which can be seen HERE.

The Pacific Beach Festival is next weekend.  It includes a taste off for the best fish taco in PB.  Can’t miss that.  Our favorite OB tacos are not invited :(

The San Diego Tennis Open is an easy bike ride away…

And those wonderful grand-girls deserve a visit …

And the EGR valve failed again somewhere in west Iowa.

And the seal on the left rear dually seems to have a leak.

Looks like next week will also be busy with more fun to come.

Certainly good to be home!

September 17, 2022

The Road Home

We hung out in Kettering until Labor Day to avoid the crowds of the holiday weekend.  Being in Ohio we had to cheer the Reds as the Cubs totally dominated them on the MLB field adjacent to The Field of Dreams.

Fran checked out the movie DVD from the local Kettering Library.  We both enjoyed it more the second time.  So … it’s now going to be a stop on the way home.

to get there we stopped at the Knoxville KOA the evening before.  I’m not a big fan of KOA, but this one impressed even me.  My highest review ever for a KOA!

Bill and Jodi of On the Road Abode, were at The Field of Dreams just a couple weeks ahead of us.  Their blog can be read HERE.

For sure, it is now a tourist trap!  And everything – home tour, museum, hot dog, etc. – all are a bit expensive.

But access to the ball field,

bleachers remain open to the public.

In the movie, the daughter, Karin chokes on a hot dog.  Doc “Moonlight” Graham steps off the field to save her.  So I had to have a $4 hot dog and eat it in the bleachers.  And a souvenir bottle of wine.

We returned to the Lincoln Highway at Marshalltown.  Just west of town we stopped at Shady Oaks Campground.  Oh my what a find!  Judy, the owner/host, has lived on the property all her life.  And she knows the history of the Lincoln Highway and the area specifically.

Original sign from the Lincoln highway
Fun arts around the campground

Large garden.  We enjoyed an Acorn Squash ... No tomatoes :(

After a very heavy fog it was a chilly 44F when we stopped for the night at the Walmart in Laramie WY.  Fortunately it was Fran’s turn to drive that section  :)

We spent Saturday night at Island Acres section of the James Robb state park in Colorado.  Perfect!  Just a few minutes east of the Sunday morning Palisade Farmers Market!

Big crowd!  Arrive early

A VW bus converted into an expresso bar

We left with a few Palisade peaches, Olathe corn and a small peach pie.   So much fun to walk around and enjoy the live music.

After leaving the market, we continued west, then south through Moab to Bluff, UT.  Our only stop was at Goosenecks State Park.

Last time we were here it was FREE.  Now be prepared the $5 Day Use Fee to take a couple pictures or $10 to spend the night.

We spent the night at Cadillac RV Park for its advertised FAST FREE WiFi.  Not all that fast, but it was free :)

Fran drove the section through Monument Valley as I took pictures out the window, and at the pullouts.


We always stop at the Burger King in Kayenta.  It hosts a Navajo Code Talkers museum.


and a small Navajo village museum.

My kid brother’s ex-wife and her brother Rick were raised in Wolf Creek Montana on a reservation.  Rick married a Navajo gal whose grandfather was one of the original 29 code talkers.  We had a great Christmas with them as the gals showed off their Indian Fry Bread skills.

I have seen my Padres play a pre-season game at each of the Cactus League stadiums.  We have also stayed at a variety of accommodations, and I can say that Usery Reginal Park is a favorite.

Gay and Joe of good-times-rollin are awesome blogger friends that we get with when we all can.  They live a half hour south of Tucson but suggested meeting at El Charro (the oldest Mexican Restaurant in Tucson) for lunch.

Gay, me, Fran, Joe

I did not take many pictures, we were too busy talking and enjoying the good times.  They are known for their traditional Carne Seca (dry meat – jerky), which I was happy I tried!  They make it with sun-dried beef, then shredded and rehydrated in a mild spicy red sauce.  Very tasty! 
El Charro was awesome!  Thanks for the suggestion, Gay!  and Joe … thanks for lunch!

Our final stop in Gila Bend at what is now Sonoran Desert RV Park.  This was formally a KOA and last time we were here Augie’s Quail Trail.  Vastly improved!  Yupper we’d stay here again!

Except for the mandatory stop in Dateland for a Date Shake, we boogied on home. 

There’s no place like home!