A Sweet Oasis

dulzura  002dulzura  003We had to veer south for a bit for a dental appointment in Los Algodones, Mexico. It was a perfect opportunity to stop and visit our friends Jeanette and Dennis, who were camped at her dad’s property near Dulzura, California, which was (kind of) on the way. dulzura  054

Last year, Jeanette and Dennis helped us with a WordPress migration and development of some variations of our photography logo. Their business, Motorhome Office of Design and Technology, offers graphics, illustration and web development at a reasonable cost. So we also planned to get some help from them on some technical issues.dulzura  001

dulzura  006We arrived at Jeanette’s dad’s lovely hilltop property where their vintage 1978 Wanderlodge bus, the Cheddar Yeti2, is currently camped on a very nice pad with a patio and rose garden.  The property has a lovely pool and jacuzzi and a great deck. Unfortunately, it was too cold for the pool.

The home also has a great bar room with the largest collection of beer taps we have ever seen. Literally thousands of them.  Very cool.

We had a working session with Dennis and Jeanette all day the next day and hung out together in the evening. Our plan was to leave for Yuma the following day, but they offered us an alternative: leave Island Girl there, drive to our appointment and back, and they would take care of Angel. We couldn’t pass that up, and decided to forego Yuma stay and drive to the border in our car.

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So Long San Diego

San Diego 15  022San Diego 15  008As we said so long San Diego and reflected on our time there, we felt much gratitude for the great friends that surrounded us, for having Angel back home with us and seeing joy in her eyes once again.

We reconnected with a surprising amount of friends and had many wonderful times. But for two very long weeks, we went through a roller coaster of emotions while Angel had surgery and a tough recovery. After nine days of ups and downs in the hospital, she was well enough to come home.  Many caring gestures from friends and others helped us tremendously.

San Diego 15  020

San Diego 15  030It was such joy to finally bring her home, although it took a little more time for her to get her energy back. After many weeks of tweaking, she is on a supplement regimen that is maintaining her blood calcium level in the normal range. Continue reading

Cool Cars in San Diego

Lowriders  009Lowriders  002One day as we drove out of our campground to visit Angel at the veterinary hospital, we watched as a line of really cool cars drove by in front of us to the parking lot across the way.   And Hector the photographer followed them.Lowriders  004

Lowriders  005It was a group from the Viejitos (old guys) Car Club.  And clearly knowing that people would be gawking at their cars, the group parked them all together in one row. Then all of the families poured out of the cars along with their stuff, obviously  planning a picnic and barbecue on the beach.Lowriders  020 Continue reading

Moon Over San Diego

SD Sun and Moon 11Many people know by now that we love the full moon and devote some time to watching and photographing it. So last month, we watched the full moon rise over San Diego, but it was a really hazy day and not so good for photography (although still a nice moon rise).

SD Sun and Moon 1SD Sun and Moon 2Since then we’ve enjoyed a full month’s worth of beautiful sunsets. The beaches empty (except during Spring break) and become beautiful and dog friendly after 4pm.  So we’ve had our share of sunset walks.SD Sun and Moon 7

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Friends in San Diego

Friends in SD 100We began the year reconnecting with “old” friends and meeting some new friends.  And we have continued to hang out with lots of friends in San Diego.

Friends in SD 13Friends in SD 16Starting out with Doug and Trish from Calgary and Tim and Becky from Oregon, who were all staying at our same campground.  We met them here last year and have since visited them at their respective homes up north.  We also just saw them in Yuma last month.  It is so interesting  to get to know folks this way!

Friends in SD 32Amongst other things, we shared a couple of meals with them.  They are all great people and lots of fun.

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Dog Days in San Diego

Dogs 8Dogs 18San Diego is a pretty wonderful place for dogs.  Many of the beaches allow dogs on leash in the evening (after 4pm from November 1st until March 31st and after 6pm from April 1st to October 31st) and before 9am.  There are also quite a few beaches with areas that allow dogs off-leash as well as off-leash parks.  Dogs 4Dogs 19

Many restaurants allow dogs on their patios, and now a new state law officially allows dogs  on restaurant patios throughout California.

So, prior to her surgery, Angel visited a few beaches and restaurants in the city with her friends.Dogs 2

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Tide Pooling

Pt Loma 34Pt Loma  060Tide pooling is an activity that we enjoyed last year in California as well as Oregon. So when we found out the tide was to be a negative tide (very low) in the next few days, we decided to try to visit the tide pools of Point Loma at Cabrillo National Monument.

This was timely, as we were planning on spending the day with our friends LuAnn and Terry. We met for lunch at Blue Water Seafood Market and Grill, a wonderful little place with some of the best fish tacos we’ve had here in San Diego (which is saying a lot).Pt Loma 2

Pt Loma 13Then off we went to the tidal pools. We walked out to the south side of the pools to get away from the crowds and to look for a sea hare that we heard was down there. One of the volunteers was perched out on the far south border of the area that’s open to the public, and told us that the sea hare had gone behind a rock.Pt Loma 28 Continue reading

Perfectly Good Airplanes

Skydive  025Skydive  042We have some good friends from Denver who came to visit Southern California last weekend. Malcolm and his daughter Natalie are wonderful folks who are mostly quite normal except for this peculiar tendency that they have to repeatedly jump out of perfectly good airplanes.Skydive  002

So while Brenda visited with Angel at the hospital, I went up to the airfield to check out the action.

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There is more than one way you can get hurt ...

There is more than one way you can get hurt …

They are expert and very experienced skydivers of course.  The thought scares me to death, but they absolutely LOVE it.

Natalie happens to be a world record holder for an all women’s heads down group formation (63 jumpers, smashing the prior world record of 41!!) and she just celebrated her 1100th jump.  Rock star!  See videos of the amazing stunt here and here.

They came to Elsinore, Ca where there was a skydiving event with 4 aircraft flying repeatedly to deliver groups of these mildly unhinged enthusiasts to 12,500′ above the landing zone where they all then willingly jump out the window.Skydive  049 Continue reading

Angel Update, Its Been A Long Week

Without getting into too much detail, here is an Angel update.  Lets just say its been a long week here at Camp Lopez. Angel  001

As we’ve mentioned Angel has been dealing with a bladder illness that we’ve assumed was cancer and she’s generally been doing really well on the medication she’s been taking.  We took her to the vet here in San Diego for what we hoped would be a routine follow up since the meds can have adverse side affects.  We found out that she had elevated calcium levels in her blood, a very serious matter.

After some diagnostics it was determined that she had a small tumor on her parathyroid gland causing it to overproduce calcium.  The good news is that it can be surgically removed, the bad is that it is a delicate operation with potentially complex aftereffects.  When the overproducing gland is removed, you get the opposite problem, calcium levels are then too low.  Also very serious.

Angel  002In spite of our concerns we decided to proceed to remove the tumor.  We took her to the dog beach on a stormy Monday for a frolic by the ocean and the surgery was last Tuesday morning.  The plan was to keep her in the hospital for a few days to monitor her calcium levels and let her other glands compensate and return her calcium levels to normal. Usually this takes about 3 days.

Angel  004The surgery went well and the first few days went pretty much according to plan.  But unfortunately things have been going a bit sideways and we aren’t out of the woods yet.  Her calcium levels dropped, she has had some seizures, her calcium levels have not yet returned to normal, and her recovery is going slowly.

So we wait and worry and remain hopeful that all will be OK.  Thought we’d share this quick update with Angel’s friends and ask your continued good wishes for our furry friend’s recovery.

Hector and Brenda


Encinitas  025Encinitas  040About 25 miles north of San Diego is the town of Encinitas, a beach town with six miles of Pacific coastline. Our friends Jeanette and Dennis suggested we spend a day there.

We met for lunch was at Betty’s Pie Whole, memorable not only for its name but for its savory and sweet pies. Yum!

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