Spreading Aloha

Q  014We first found out about “spreading aloha” on a plaque commemorating surfing by a beach called “Tourmaline Canyon Surfing Park”, one of many famous surfing spots in San Diego. The plaque reads:

Q  016Q  017SURFER’S MEMORIAL – TOURMALINE CANYON SURFING PARK

This monument honors the past and present surfers at Tourmaline Canyon Surfing Park who have embraced its beach, surf and camaraderie. Since the opening of the park in May 1963, Tourmaline’s local surfers have shared their time, skills, and wisdom with all who have been interested in receiving them. Great surfers and fine men and women have grown up within the Tourmaline culture, and carry the positive traits learned here into their lives and those of the people around them.

“Surf Well, Spread Aloha, Share Waves Without Judgment.”aloha  034

We were a bit surprised by the usage of “spreading” aloha, as we always thought of aloha as a greeting. So we decided to find out more about its real meanings.

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Mexican Valentine

Baja (19)Baja (27)Most years we celebrate Valentine’s Day quietly, but this year we planned to listen to some live salsa music with our friends, Gloria and Michael. But tickets were sold out.

Then , the day before Valentine’s Day, I got a text from Gloria  asking if we would like to go to Mexico with them, and I said sure!

Hector and I love adventures, so off we went to a Mexican Valentine.Baja (17)

BajaGloria and Michael, who have lived in the San Diego area for many years, know the route across the border well. We drove Angel to their house where their daughter, Jocelyn, had generously offered to take care of Angel and their two other dogs for the day.Baja (2)

We crossed the border at San Isidro, a massive affair with multiple lanes that crosses over to Tijuana. The most amazing border crossing we’ve ever made. Once in Mexico, there is a toll road that bypasses Tijuana. A few tolls later, we reached Puerto Nuevo, our lunch destination.Baja (7)

Baja (12)Baja (15)We went to a wonderful little lunch spot with a balcony looking down on the water.

Lunch included fresh lobster and shrimp and delicious margaritas. Fabulous!

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Embracing San Diego

San Diego 2015 97The transition from the peace and quiet of natural spaces to the hustle and bustle of big cities can be jarring. But we are embracing San Diego and much of what it has to offer. Including some beautiful natural spaces.San Diego 2015 6

San Diego 2015 95We’re in a prime location – one of the campgrounds we stayed in last year. Mission Bay RV Resort is a fairly average private RV park in an awesome location by the water.  Check out my review of the park here.

The location is great for Angel too. We’ve been taking her for lots of walks on the grass by the water.  One of our typical walks is about a mile long and she is walking that distance easily.

Hector continues to work on his photography portfolio and I’ve begun doing research on photography websites, so I think we can officially say we’re now both working on the road.

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The Scenic Route to Quartzsite

el centro  071el centro  053We decided to take the scenic route to Quartzsite and made a brief detour to the town of El Centro. Our friends Brian and Leigh found a boondocking spot about 15 minutes from town in an area that had a very strong cell signal. So we stopped there intending to join them and new friends Seth and Drea for dinner, do some grocery shopping and leave the next morning.el centro  062el centro  050

el centro  059But they convinced us to stay one more night. Angel was especially happy to hang out one more day with friends Emma and Curtie. Although they ignore each other half the time, she likes to have them nearby.el centro  063el centro  061el centro  055 Continue reading

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Anza Borrego  022Anza Borrego  011There is tons to see and do in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the largest state park in the state of California. Last year we enjoyed some hiking and drove to Borrego Springs to see the fabulous Galleta Meadows sculptures.

Anza Borrego  023Anza Borrego  024This year, we’re taking some time to work on Hector’s photography website while enjoying our beautiful campsite. But we have managed a few outings. Starting with the small but pretty good quality farmers market in town on Fridays. We’re big fans of farmers markets so we sample them whenever we can.Anza Borrego  026Anza Borrego  027 Continue reading

Una Pachanga en el Desierto

pachanga  006“Una pachanga en el desierto” (a party in the desert) is how Hector described our experience in Anza Borrego State Park to his mom on the phone the other day. So I couldn’t resist using those words as the title to this post.

The word “pachanga” today is Spanish slang for “a lively or very fun party”.   But the origin of the term is the name of a dance in Cuba; a fusion of charanga (which itself is a fusion of a couple of other types of music) with trumpet-based Latin band music.  Which is quite appropriate for the fusion of people here in this desert.

pachanga  025We arrived at the Clark Dry Lake Bed in Anza Borrego almost a week into the New Year, and found a community gathered here. We saw our old friends Polly and Curtis. We met Byron, Sam, Emma, Frances, Moose, and Kiki here. And those are just the dogs and one cute cat.

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The Woods and the Coast

north redwoods  001north redwoods  003north redwoods  013We headed directly up the coast of California with plans continue north; to stop in Oregon, in Washington and then to cross the border by ferry to Vancouver Island, British Columbia and cross by ferry again to mainland Canada.

But first, we stopped at another National Park. Redwood National and State Parks are actually four parks, one National and three State Parks, managed cooperatively. These parks “protect vast prairies, oak woodlands, wild riverways, and nearly forty miles of pristine coastline, including the majestic coast redwoods”.

north redwoods  043Coast redwoods are related to the giant sequoias that we visited earlier in the spring but they only grow in a narrow strip along the Pacific coast of California and southwestern Oregon. Although the giant sequoias’ trunks are wider, the coast redwoods can grow much taller, to nearly 380 feet. In fact, somewhere in these parks stands the world’s tallest tree, a coast redwood.

Our drive from Noyo Harbor was long, California is just so darn long! But not as challenging as our last drive, and part of the way was through coast redwood forests.

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Noyo Harbor and Glass Beach

ft bragg  030ft bragg  002ft bragg  004Our drive from Yosemite National Park back to the coast was very interesting.   Lots of curves and steep grades at first, crossing the flat agricultural valley in the middle of the state, across San Francisco Bay and lots of curves and steep grades going over the coastal range in the end.

Longer than we normally plan and one of the most challenging drives up to this point in our walkabout.

The good news was that we’d put some cleaner in our black and grey water tanks, and this drive was just the ticket to clean them out really, really well 🙂ft bragg  003 Continue reading

Rainbows, Sun Halos and Moonbows!

“In every walk with nature, one receives more than one seeks”   John MuirRainbows  034

Rainbows  027We had many special experiences in Yosemite. And some of the more magical moments came in the form of multiple rainbows, sun halos and moonbows too!  A moonbow is just like a rainbow, only it’s produced by the light of the full moon.  Who knew?

We’ve shared photos of some of the rainbows we saw on previous posts about our Yosemite visit. But we saved some more photos of those as well as photos of others for last.

There was the beautiful sun halo that appeared while we were huffing and puffing up Upper Yosemite Fall Trail to Columbia Rock. A double halo!  With El Cap in the background.Rainbows  025

Rainbows  029Rainbows  028There was the “expected” rainbow on the Mist Trail to the top of Vernal Fall. But we didn’t expect a double rainbow, nor a rainbow inside the rock arch by the waterfall.Rainbows  030

Then there was the absolutely perfect rainbow that appeared after the rain while we were standing at Tunnel View, with the valley, El Cap and Bridalveil Falls in the background.

An incredible moment that we’ll never forget.

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Rainbows  036Rainbows  032Rainbows  035 Continue reading