Monday, May 12, 2014

San Francisco Bay Area - Spring 2014

Bill had an uneventful solo drive up I-5 and into San Jose. We met up at the Santa Clara Fairgrounds RV Park around noon. Finding a spot to park a big rv, anywhere, in the bay area is a challenge. We've come many times to the east, north and south bay and always have an issue finding a good spot. In the north bay we stay with our hash friend, Burt, in the east bay we stay at the Alameda Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, but in the south bay the only places I'd seen were way south, like in Gilroy or Morgan Hill. We were meeting a bunch of friends for dinner and didn't want an hour drive home afterwards. Somehow I discovered that the Santa Clara Fairgrounds also had rv parking. There were no reviews or pictures anywhere, but I thought for a night or two at $30 per night, we'd chance it.

It's pretty bare-bones. No internet, and from Bill's report, the showers looked like they had leprosy. The bathrooms there are for the stadium so you can just use your imagination. I asked about the safety of the place and was told that there was 24-hour security. I never felt unsafe, there were mostly older rv's, and you can see how empty it was in October. We didn't stay any longer than necessary, but I would stay there again.

I met Bill at the RV park at noon, and after we got into the site I grabbed a quick bite, and drove an hour and a half to see my daughter at the West County Detention Center in Richmond. I had gone on the website that morning to see what the "rules" were and decided to not wear the leggings I had planned on, because it said no tight-fitting clothes. I wanted to give myself a lot of time to get there as I had a faint memory that my ex had said something about getting there early. Unfortunately, I did not remember that he said that you had to CHECK IN with the front desk thirty minutes before your visit. I got there forty-five minutes before my appointed time and sat in my car playing on my phone, whiling away the time. At 2:10 I thought I'd go in and see what's what...and what was what, was that I was late checking in and could not see my daughter!! I was so angry with myself for sitting in my car when I had gotten there in plenty of time to check-in appropriately! I was so upset that my daughter would think that I stood her up, and would be waiting there for me to show up...what a bad, bad mother. I cried myself all the way home, screaming and berating myself for my stupidity. This has to be the worst thing I've ever done, as a mother. I waited all afternoon for her to call me so I could apologize.

In the meantime we had to get ready for the Silicon Valley Agnews Hash. Our friend, Bloodweiser, was haring and I really wanted to show up and surprise him. Bloodweiser came down to Borrego Springs this winter to celebrate new year's with us in the desert. It was a Dr. Seuss theme hash and I only realized this about 3 minutes before we were supposed to leave....this is the best costume I could come up with in that time.  

Right before the hash started, Lauryn called and although she sounded very disappointed, she tried to make me feel better. She was able to get me another time to see her on Saturday morning.

We went hashing and I ended up having a really good time. There were some cute person had a shirt that read "One Fish," another with "Two Fish" and then there were the red and blue fish costumes!!
Hashers love to dress up in costumes!!
The next day we were going to meet up with Tom and Schelby to see Tom's band, "Gina & The Tonics" play at a school benefit. I was looking forward to hearing his band for the first time. The venue was a little bizarre for us, with a trillion grammar school kids running around, but it was nice to sit in the sun and just chill.

While we were there a guy came up to Bill from behind and low and behold it was Rich Parmentier, a classmate of Bill's from the Air Force Academy! They spent the rest of our time there "catching up." The last time they had seen each other was thirty years ago!!

A bunch of our other hash friends showed up and when the school started doing their "program" during the band's break it was time for us to get out of there and get over to the restaurant where 20 of us were going to meet for dinner.

Thanks to everyone that showed up - it was great seeing you all!!

Saturday was my visit with my daughter. I got there plenty early, turned in my form and ID and waited in the room for 45 minutes until my appointed time. We had to go through a metal detector and all we could bring in with us was one ID and one key. There were a bunch of long tables and a glass partition with the inmate on the other side. They were scattered about the room and there was no telephone, like you see on tv, just a little grate that you speak through. I guess when it's crowded in there it's pretty hard to hear, but we were lucky and there were only about 10 of us there at that time. Lauryn looked great - we just really wanted to hug each other! We had a wonderful visit and I will see her again in a couple of weeks when she gets out.

This is PoopaTrooper - we liked the sign!!

Sunday was Mother's Day and the East Bay Hash. The east bay was were I first started hashing, so it is called my Mother Hash. My friend Becca pointed out that it was quite appropriate that I was coming to hash at my mother hash on Mother's Day!! I love the east bay hash - they run trails, long, hilly beautiful trails and this was one of them. It was the annual James Brown Hash that Zydeco and Early to Bed hare every year. We haven't hashed with the east bay in about 5 or 6 years, so we were both looking forward to this hash and hoping a bunch of our old friends would be there. They set a walkers trail, a turkey trail and an eagle trail. I did the turkey trail which was about 7 miles!! Bill did the eagle trail which wasn't that much longer, but the extra part on the eagle was a super steep climb and descentd right at the end of the was brutal, or so I heard.

It's been an awesome visit so far and we still have a few dinners and lunches with friends today and tomorrow, then we're off to Sacramento....getting closer and closer to Tahoe!

The kind of world I want to live in...

We decided to bale on our stop at the Deanza Springs nudist park as the temps in Jacumba were dropping into the low 60's and that just didn't sound like weather I'd want to run around nekkid in!! So we moved onto sunny San Diego where the temps were in the low 90's. We were still hoping to hear word of Ariadne - Ari, our friend Laurie's dog, who got lost in Rosarita Beach on their way home to the states. Sunday, Bill had a dream-filled night where we had traveled back into Mexico to find the dog. I awoke early and went to a 7:30 yoga class - at 9am when I got out there was a message from Bill that someone had found the dog! Laurie's friend Iyan, who lives in San Diego, has a pass that allows him easy border crossing and offered to drive down and get her and bring her to us, since she was familiar with us; having just spent several weeks in our company. I was positively overwhelmed with happiness and the dog went from being terribly frightened to big smiles and wagging tales when they arrived.

The next morning we took her to Dunk-N-Dogs wash where they spent many hours getting rid of her fleas and tics and bringing her coat back to it's fabulous shine. I stayed with her the entire time. Wednesday night was the San Diego hariettes hash and the start was just a few miles from where we were parked in the Mission Bay RV Park. I wasn't sure she could do a hash because she didn't appear to have that much energy when we walked her, but as soon as we arrived she knew she was at a hash and got very excited. We ran into D-Cup, who we knew in the East Bay, and Maui Wowie, whom we had met years before and who knew Laurie (aka Panty Free) and her dog, and had been following the saga on Facebook.
XS sporting his new vodka socks from Cheek (hash names!)
 I couldn't believe how much energy she had. As soon as the pack took off, she pulled me into a trot and off we went. XS took off with the runners and I hung back with the walkers. But every now and then we would take off and do a little running. This was the hare's "virgin lay" - it's a hares and hounds game, where the hare sets the trail with flour and chalk and everyone tries to find the true trail and snag the hare (check out the HASH!) Anyway, it ended up being a SUPER long trail, about 6 miles, and both Ari and I were fading...everyone else, except the walkers, were at the end already and since we were so close to the car (and there were no dogs allowed at the "on in" (end)) I thought I'd take Ari to the car and drive over there. Well, finding the car was another fiasco and then once I got Ari in the car, somehow I performed the miracle of locking both my key fob and my phone in the car WITH the dog! OY VEY!! The restaurant down the street was closing in a few minutes but in the meantime let me use their phone to call AAA who came out in 15 minutes...boy do I love AAA!! Anyway, it was a great night with beautiful weather, we all got some exercise and slept great!

Ari will never get lost again!
You never know where you're going
to end up on trail!

She was a little concerned!
We spent a few more days in San Diego picking up our plants from Jeanette's dad's house in Dulzura and a bunch of stuff from Sini & Bob's son.
We saw Bill's good friends Scott and Jean for beers and dinner.
We'll being seeing them again in June, when they come up for the Tahoe relays.
They're putting together a reunion team as they've run this relay many times over the years!

It was time to go brave the 100 degree temps in Palm Desert to see my parents, pick up more stuff we had left behind before we went to Mexico, and I had a couple of doctor appointments. I had a feeling my parents were going to fall completely in love with Ari, as I had, because our family dog was a dark colored golden retriever who looked very much like Ari did. And I was right! She is such a love, all she wants is for you to hug and pet and love her. I left her a couple of times with my parents and she just stood in front of my dad, for hours, as he pet her.

We parked at the Thousand Trails campground there, where we are members. We get the first 30 days of camping free, and after that it's only $3/day - that's the good part, the bad part is that it is an incredibly sandy, dirty park. Ari loves to lay under our rig so Bill laid out a big mat underneath for her to lay on, but as you can see in the pic below she liked the part 2" off the mat, in the dirt!

We spent about 4 days in the 100 degree temps and then drove into Riverside to take Bebe into the Ford dealer to see why the engine overheating light kept coming on. They needed to order parts so we stayed the night at our friends, Clarke & Elaines favorite campground, Rancho Jurupa. They've workamped here a couple of times and it is a beautiful park with GRASS!

I had an appointment to visit my daughter on Thursday afternoon and since we didn't know how early the rv repairs would be done, I made the decision to drive up to the bay area separately, take the dog the final leg home, spend the night and have no problem making my 2:30 appointment, or so I thought...

We had an uneventful drive home - Ari wouldn't eat, drink or pee - just the best little passenger - every once in a while she'd come up for a pet or a scratch...but other than that, you wouldn't have even known she was in the car.
and then there was the homecoming...

Ari, didn't miss a beat, although she was sticking pretty close to Laurie, every once in a while she'd come up and just lean up next to me and give me a couple of kisses. She knew I brought her home...and we are both just thrilled we were able to do so.

I was lounging in Laurie's luxurious bed the next morning and ruminating on the last two weeks of Ari's adventures. Before Iyan went to pick up Ari in Mexico, he asked Laurie if she wanted to give the couple who had found Ari something for their troubles. Laurie said that in their culture it would be insulting to do something like that. How different from our culture is that? Here, everyone expects something for "their troubles," but there it's just what you do...something good with no expectation, nor desire for compensation....that's the kind of world I want to live in...