Monday, July 17, 2017

meet vera!

Did I tell you we bought a van? Meet Vera. Vera CamperVan Beethoven. A Transit Connect, to be exact. Yep, the same type of vehicle we were trying to get back in 2010. It only took us seven years.
We weren't originally looking for a passenger van but this one had the right price, was in the grouping for the year we wanted, had pretty good mileage, and was local! The only downside, is that it is black. I swear I feel like THE EYE when I am driving it...which doesn't happen often, as I'm a weirdo with car anxiety and have to take baby steps when driving a new vehicle. If it was me on the bus with Keanu, we'd all have crashed and there would have been no movie.
The first thing and the main thing that the mister did was build the platform. The whole point of the van is so we have something to sleep in without having to pitch a tent for a day. The platform is to create a level place for the camp pad to go so we can catch some ZZzzzzzzs....under the platfor there are three compartments. The center compartment is for the camp chairs, with the other two to house boxes and bags. We left one passenger seat in place as it folds flat enabling us to put the platform on top. This way, if for some reason we need to transport someone we can.
I found a foam pad on Amazon for $10 that fits perfectly on top of the camp pad. It all stays in place with the road trip sheet holding it in. See the chairs there?  Things are happening.
And because, the mister is the mister, we hit up JoAnn's for some sun fabric to create an awning to sit under for rain or shine. Luckily there was a sale and I have a teacher discount card so it cost us just under $50 for the fabric...outdoor fabric is expensive! Yikes! The poles are bamboo pieces we found in Los Osos. We are nothing if not frugal.   So, there you have's to new adventures!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

wildflowers to identify

These little blue flowers are about the size of a quarter. Grow low to the ground and are very happy out there on Shell Creek Road.
These guys were my favorite. Clustered up in all sorts of colors. The open flower not as colorful as the bud. Love the fuzzy stems. These grew about a foot tall with buds the size of a marble. I need to dig out the books...

Sunday, March 8, 2015

drought resistant wildflowers and the best taco ever

In Santa Margarita there is a place that is a wee bit famous for its wildflower show. Back in 2010 9t was stunning but that was the last time we had a good rainy season. Last year we went in search of wildflowers and all we found were cows. This year, we had a smidge of rain and a lot of sun and since we kept seeing lupines off the highway we thought we would head out to see what we could find.

With not a cow in sight we managed to find small pretty patches of wildflowers. Enough to make us wander around looking for more at least. There were tidy tips, poppies, and a bunch I do not know the names of.
There was also frost and birds. The birdsong was remarkable, woodpeckers, meadowlarks, sparrows, and more. Well worth the drive.
We were the only folks out there and it was divine having it to ourselves. We spent maybe an hour amongst the flora and fauna then headed out Shell Creek Road to Hwy 41 where there were more flowers.
It was nearing 11am and we had been out since 6:30 so it was decided that it was time for lunch. We headed to the coast and hit up one of the best taco places ever. Good times.
It has since rained a bit more. I bet there are even more flowers now. We may need to go back.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

more of cannery row

she spoke!
happy mural
morning wander
cocoa and sand
we sat for a while here
they don't call it cannery row for nothin'
We went to Monterey to wander around the Elkhorn Slough then Point Lobos. I added the aquarium to the mix so we extended out stay by one night. When we got up there we discovered that the Slough was closed on Mondays AND Tuesdays. What's up with that? We stayed on Cannery Row because it was convenient and had parking. I have to say the row is really touristy and has little that you would not find say in Morro Bay. Admittedly the Morro Bay Embarcadero is more happening with a smidge less cheese. Cannery Row though has the aquarium which is really cool, if not pricey. We did wander away from the row and found it fun if not closed up a bit. There is a lot more to do nature-wise if you plan for it and have the time (and better lungs than I). I'm glad we went even if I was a teeny-tiny disappointed. We will return to the are with a better plan. It's super pretty and some really awesome tortas can be found not too far away.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

we went on a wee trip...

Sadly, we a-go-gos simply did not go anywhere this year. Not really. Chalk it up to bad timing and my stinking allergies but we did manage to squeeze in two days up the coast to wander around the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Pt. Lobos, and ridiculously good Oaxacan/Mexican eats at La Tortuga Torteria in Seaside, California. So good we almost went back the next day for more but I had a hankering for a diner burger and was completely satisfied with the goods from the Nifty 50 Cafe also in Seaside. Here are some snapshots from the aquarium proper...because...cuttlefish!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

on the rinconada trail

We a-go-gos managed to get up for a hike after not hiking for far too long. We drove up to Santa Margarita and along highway 58 to the Rinconada Trail in the Los Padres National Forest. it's not difficult (I could muster it...somewhat) but it does start you off going up, up, up. Phew!

This was before the rain so who knows what it looks like right now. I like the colors in the grass. With all the up, up, up it was nice to have a few resting places for those of us with sad lungs.
 We didn't continue once we hit this summit of sorts. It was a bit gustier than usual and my wheeze was a bit wheezier. It was beginning to warm up and well...I got hungry.
 Eee! I love fat little acorns. There were acorns everywhere and surprisingly we did not hear many birds. Go figure.
 The gate was locked but you can step through on the left there. Just past the gate is where the big oak tree was. It was open and really pretty. Windy and gusty as well but really pretty.
The view as you near the top is ridiculously pretty. This is not a summertime hike as there is not much trail shade. We did this hike two weeks ago and it got warm even though it was a bit early in the morning. I got a bit too much glare in the photos but it was clear enough to see layers and layers of hills, valleys, and trees. Going back down was actually more trying for me than going up. It is semi-steep, easy to traverse, not too much loose rock...I just have middle-aged knees. Once we made it back to the small parking lot, we refilled out water bottles and headed out for a breakfast burrito from Frank's in SLO.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

wintering monarchs are hiding in los osos!

We had an end of the year visit from L.A. friends who mange to hit our town once or twice a year. Even so, they had never been out to Los Osos or Morro Bay and so we packed them into the back of Eleanor and headed out. Our first stop was a wee grove of eucalyptus in the tiny town of Los Osos to see if there were any monarchs in residence. The numbers here tend to be very low but this was the first time I saw more than a handful. If you stand still long enough you realize you are surrounding by the pretties. Even when the butterflies are not in residence, this wee grove marks a pretty path that heads out towards the morro bay sand dunes.


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