Friday, September 21, 2012

Waiting to see the Endeavor Shuttle

Waiting to see the Endeavor, because that is what we did - wait!
They never really had a set schedule, but told the places it would fly by so we decided to go to Long Beach near the Queen Mary. We took the Harley so we could make sure to have good parking, which meant that we had to wear long pants. Even though summer ends today, it's not really ending in Southern California. Wearing long pants, even at the beach, made for a warm day. And the waiting took a bit longer that most thought it would. We heard it was because of fog in San Francisco.
So we sat on rocks at Shoreline Village - no room for chairs on the Harley. Sitting in the sun on hard lumpy rocks for about two hours was taxing but finally at about 12:30 the Queen Mary blew it's horn and everyone looked to the sky. It came from the south and flew between Queen Mary and Shoreline Village, then inland a bit then north.
And it was over. Some of us stood there a bit longer to see if it was going to come by again, but it didn't.
OK, so I bet you're waiting to see the pictures? Now you know how we felt. Even so I think the pictures are pretty good.
Sitting on the rocks. What a great day!
The birds came out too.
Lots of people came out in their boats; these guys on jet skis.

Everyone waiting.
The Queen Mary across the harbor.
Look at the crowds on her decks.
Behind it was a cruise ship with crowds on the deck too.
It's a bird, not a plane.
This pelican gave us something to watch.
Here it comes!


It was one of those once in a lifetime things that you can never do when you work, so now that we're retired there's no reason not to experience it. And there's something about being with a crowd of strangers with the same excitement.
Well, taking the Harley seemed like a good idea and it probably was, however I think we should wait for winter or at least some cool fall-like days before taking another day trip. By the time we waited for the shuttle, went to lunch and then headed home it was quite hot.
All in all we had a great time!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Kern Valley

We spent a week at the lake house and had a great time. There was lots to do with putting things back after having the inside painted and we made great strides, but there's still more to do with that.
The weather put on quite a show for us and every day the sky looked different. If I told you the picture below was a fire coming over the hill behind the house you might believe it, but it was just the sunset in the clouds. Beautiful!
We started taking rides in the evening to see if we could see a sunset or some critters out for their evening meal. This evening we went out the direction of the airport. I know those horses have been there for years, but I think they made a nice picture. And it shows that there is still a bit of green in the valley.

We got the Coke Room redone. We were given this table (note the Coke fabric tablecloth) so the top of the small round table went on the wall. I'm thinking of writing all those great Coke sayings on the white part of the table. You know like: "It's the real thing." "A Coke and a smile." "I'd like to buy the world a Coke." Etc.

The Coke theme is spreading over into the sewing room (and the bathroom). On the wall is my Coke 4-patch Stack 'n Whack quilt. Of course, it's not finished, but I hung it anyway. The border will be the fabric that was used in the quilt so you can see what it looked like before I started. More about it later, when I finish it.
Another thing that changed is this sewing table for my Grandma's Singer 301. I got it at a thrift store for only $25 and moved the machine into it. It was tough to replace her old cabinet, but I'm sure even Grandma would approve. It looks great in this cabinet.  And it matches this seat, with Coke fabric, that I already had.  
Every time I sew with her machine it sounds the same as when I was a kid and she would sew. The sound of Grandma's sewing machine is a great childhood memory for me.
 Here's a picture of the lake from the east side of the V (the airport side) that shows just how low the water is right now. Some were even calling it Isabella Pond instead of Lake Isabella. But I have to say that we got there on Sunday of the holiday weekend and there were lots and lots of people enjoying the lake, which is still pretty big (as California Lakes go) even at it's diminished size. There were no clouds so the sunset this evening wasn't as dynamic.
This is farther out where there is no water.
The humingbirds were out in full force. It didn't take long for them to empty this feeder.

I finished another quilt top. This is Orange Crush and it's been a few years in the making.
One day we drove with Mike & Cathy to Bakersfield for breakfast with Dad & Daisy.
Another sunset.
The quails in the neighbor's yard; he had his sprinklers on.

Check out this sunset. Not actually down yet, but behind the mountain.

This evening we saw two deer.

I just like this tree with the clouds behind it.
Look who else was out that evening.

Another sunset from the Tilly Creek area.

On Sunday we, with Mike & Cathy, made another attempt to get to the Trail of a Hundred Giants and this time we were successful! Snow, fire and everything else has gotten in the way of getting there. Last time we even went around the barrier crossing the road only to find we had turn around because of lots of snow on the road.

These two trees growing close together are called Elephant Feet and they kinda look like it.
Here's another giant.

Here's (part of) one of the trees that fell last year.
A German tourist caught one of the trees falling. Check it out here: 

Here's the roots.
There were cute little bluebirds along the trail.

This little guy is called a Chickaree and the sound he makes almost sounds like a bird.

The last time we tried to get to this Trail of 100 Giants we took another road and saw the Needles. Here's a pictrure of them, behind the other peak, from another angle.
Beyond the giants is a place we hadn't been to in years - the Ponderosa.
We had late lunch/dinner there before heading back.

Sit and ponder at the Ponderosa.
This was out front. It made me smile.
We had a great day and FINALLY made it to see the giants!
As Cathy said, "We can check that off our list!"