Sunday, March 11, 2007

Cruisin the Coast

I guess we need to catch you all up on our latest comings and goings. The volunteer coordinator ranger dropped by a couple days ago. He chatted, left paperwork for us to fill out, and said do whatever we want (or nothing) until they figure out what they need us to do. Most likely we will be working the kiosk when the other couple here leaves at the end of the month. In the meantime we pick up litter a couple hours a day and call it good. I have no idea why I get such a sense of satisfaction in litter pick up. Probably because this is a nice, unspoiled piece of California coastline that some crummy people feel free to throw bottles and cans on. I enjoy being outside, and helping to make this place look like it should.

We have not done much this week. We made a couple trips to the market but the rest of the time we just stayed here in the park. On one of the trips to the market I decided to try a new route. I found a road that goes up along a ridge to the highest point above San Clemente. The view from the top is fantastic, as are the homes up there.

Today was supposed to be a big warm up, so we decided to take a scooter ride to enjoy the nice weather. Unfortunately, so did a gazillion other people, but that comes with the territory here. We followed the coast from San Clemente up through Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, Belmont Shores and into Long Beach. (How did that shores get in among all the beaches?) We cruised up Ocean Blvd. to the downtown Long Beach area and stopped at Shoreline Village, a shopping and restaurant area in Long Beach Harbor across from the Queen Mary.

We were going to have a mid afternoon lunch there but all the restaurants said they had over 1 1/2 hour waits and some were not putting any more names on the list. Oh well. So after wandering around a bit we headed back down to Huntington Beach where we stopped at another restaurant. Unfortunately, we got the same story there. It was a beautiful day which had brought out the masses. However, none of the places were staffed to handle all the people.

We continued south and finally stopped at a Mexican restaurant in Laguna Beach where we were able to be seated immediately. It was OK. Not great, but OK.

Traffic was really bad in all the beach towns, but it opened up pretty good between places. The trip was about 120 miles round trip and our backsides were pretty sore when we got home this evening. Although we have ridden much farther, we probably spent more time sitting on the scooter today than any previous trip. This was because of all the stop and go traffic, stop lights and people out for a Sunday cruise. One thing we have noticed is a continual increase in the number of motorcycles on the roads. I suppose it has something to do with the popularity of shows like Orange County Choppers, expensive gasoline and more affluent older guys who are reliving their youth. Hey, I resemble that remark! Well, maybe not the affluent part.

It was a good day. Dianna is becoming quite the biker momma.


  1. I'm sure being Sunday had as much to do with the crowd as the nice weather. I bet you could try it again today and it would be fine (as long as you avoid the commuters).

    I would have thought you would have figured out after a few months of retirement that you schedule your outings during work hours, and lay low while people are out and about. For another example, Costco on a Tuesday morning is much nicer than on a Sunday afternoon.

    How long are you going to be in San Onofre?

  2. Yes, we have figured that out. But is was just so nice yesterday. It was not as bad as it could have been. We were going against the traffic most of the time.

    We plan to be here until Jun 1 when we will leave for Alaska. Our grandkids will be flying out here the last week of May and will accompany us. Then July 5th we will all fly from Anchorage to Phoenix for Dayna's graduation on the 7th. The kids will then go home with Chris and Dayna and we will fly back to Anchorage for the rest of the summer.

  3. Sounds like a full summer.

    Have you outlined an itinerary for Alaska yet, or just take it as it comes?

  4. Your talk of an Alaska trip makes me yearn. I had a bunch of brochures for you ... did I give them to you? Well, you can probably find everything on the internet that you will need. But do check with Ken and Robin, and touch base with Steve and Deanna. They'll have lots of great advice.

  5. When you were up on the mountain ridges, could you see smoke from the forest fires? I know, drought! We expect our first 90ยบ weather tomorrow, and from then on. Such is life in the desert.

    We are looking forward to July, when you are all here.

  6. We are looking forward to having you here in July.

    However, generally we are not looking forward to July in Phoenix.

  7. We got to 93 today in our valley. I'm not looking forward to July at all.

  8. Mom, yes we could see and smell the smoke. Since the wind was offshore it blew out over Long Beach. When we came back to the scooter from wandering around Shoreline Village there was ash on the seat.

    And we agree. Why would anyone want to go to Phoenix in July??????