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Home Again

We are back from a great two-week vacation, unpacking, doing laundry, and getting back into our regular routines.

We left San Francisco on May 4th, driving down to LA in the afternoon. We had originally planned to stay overnight with Ray (profkampf), but due to an upstairs neighbor's water tank leaking all over Ray's apartment, we were graciously hosted by Jason (fidgetcub) and Dave (e_ticket), whom we wanted to see too, so it worked out wonderfully. Ray and Brad joined us for dinner, and we caught up and relaxed.

Next day we drove down to Aliso Viejo to visit Reid (animbear), Richard (redbeardedblond), Robert (bigsabu) and Tim (martini_tim). It was so good to see the boys together after such a long time, and stay overnight. We ate, we drank, we played with electronics and watched videos. These two visits were all too short, but we had an itinerary to follow, so eastward ho!!

Thursday we drove to Palm Springs for the first of two stays. This one was with Randy and Dick and their two adorable miniature Dachsunds Sparky and Buddy. We caught up and spend several days relaxing in the pool and looking at real estate. Dick took us out all day Friday, and Randy all day Saturday, to see what was available and look at some open houses. I should explain the Steve (rootbeer1) and I are beginning to explore getting a second home, for vacation use and eventual retirement, and Palm Springs is our primary destination. Well, we looked at condos and houses, in a variety of price ranges, and saw a few we really liked. We also met a plethora of realtors, all friendly and eager to assist us, of course.

We ate out a lot and had plenty of downtime, and also saw a lot of Keith and his magnificent show Boxer CJ, who is 16 months old and the friendliest dog of that breed I've ever met. Keith was busy bringing him to training and scoring events--he's only five points away from his championship, at which time he can enter a lot more shows. He's quite beautiful and a real chick magnet too--women were coming up to us all weekend to fawn over him.

On Tuesday we headed east to Tuscon to visit Steve's brother David and his wife Andrea for a few days. We helped them select and install a new 52" LCD television, and I was wowed by all its features, especially the built-in Internet connectivity. I helped David get his wireless router back online, and we then watched some YouTube directly off the net. Hooray for technology!

Wednesday we hung out at the pool, went out to lunch, and D&A hosted a little cocktail party in the evening to introduce us to the neighbors. There were three couples and the widow next door, as well as the four of us, and we had a very nice time chatting about the climate, living in the desert, and the joys and woes of retirement in Arizona. We were the youngest ones there by far--Tuscon is known for its retired snowbirds. Most of the elderly neighbors felt the desert was nice, but too hot, so they traveled a lot to avoid the intense heat in the middle of summer.

It was great spending time with family (I wish mine weren't so far away), but on Thursday we needed to move along back to Palm Springs. We were staying with John and Frank (sunbeam_bears) this time, our first stay in their new Mid-Century Modern Alexander home. We've been friends with these guys for at least ten years, and they've hosted us so many times. We caught up, cooked, sunned, and relaxed. We also checked out a few more houses, and found a few that were very interesting. More on that to come---anyway, on Sunday we drove back west to the Disney resort complex in Anaheim to stay a couple of days at Frank and John's vacation club villa at the Grand Californian. What a beautiful place! The food and wine festival was going on too, so we explored that in the parks, and since the villa has a full kitchen, we brought a ton of groceries and cooked all our meals the two days we were there. We were glad to see the recent and ongoing changes at California Adventure, and it was nice to be in Disneyland without holiday decorations for the first time in many years.

Tuesday we made breakfast out of leftovers (jambalaya omelets!) and headed back to San Francisco. It was a great, relaxing vacation, and also productive. We did a little shopping, a little exploring, a lot of relaxing, and best of all a lot of time with our dear friends and family, whom we're very blessed to have in our lives. Thanks everybody for having us!!!





Ray, Jason, Dave, Brad, Jack


Steve, Reid, Tim, Richard


Keith, CJ


Dick, Randy


Sparky (or Buddy, they're identical)


One of the first houses we saw


Steve by the pool


Grand opening of SHAG gallery


Jack, Rick, Dave, Cal


Steve's brother David and the new TV


David and Andrea


The Brothers Freitag


Frank and John in their new living room


Steve made pizza!


One of the houses we really like


Another house we really like


Grand Californian pools


Jack made pineapple upside-down cake!


Tshirt and poster


The actual Disney Matterhorn


Steve


Paradise Pier

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
qbear
May. 21st, 2010 02:51 pm (UTC)
We saw a lot of places, and learned you can get a great 3-4 bedroom house with pool for under $400K. Condos are even less. The aquifer apparently isn't a problem--it's fed from the mountain snowfall and there's a backup system in case of water shortage.
(Deleted comment)
qbear
May. 21st, 2010 02:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks--it really was a great trip. And we love going to open houses.
mrdreamjeans
May. 20th, 2010 02:25 am (UTC)
What a wonderful trip!! It's really good to see ricksf and others in the photos! Hope you find just the right home.
qbear
May. 21st, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC)
It was a nice surprise seeing Rick--he was in town for the day and hanging out with Dave and Cal. We saw them earlier, and they were out looking at a condo we had previously seen.
sunbeam_bears
May. 20th, 2010 07:49 am (UTC)
We had a great time too! I'm sorry the 57 Chevy wasn't running well. I didn't mention to you that I had planned to take us all for a cruise downtown in it. Next time.
qbear
May. 21st, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC)
And next time should be a lot sooner than the last gap! My calves are sore from all the Disney hiking, but it got my psyched to increase my exercise levels. Thanks again!
blt4success66
May. 20th, 2010 01:35 pm (UTC)
What a wonderful trip! Thanks for sharing your pictures!
qbear
May. 21st, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks--couldn't wait to post!
inbhirnis
May. 20th, 2010 02:44 pm (UTC)
Wow - that first home in PS looks FAB!
qbear
May. 21st, 2010 02:57 pm (UTC)
We could picture Rock Hudson around the pool with his boys. It really was beautiful, though a little bit out of our range.
sunbeam_bears
May. 21st, 2010 10:36 am (UTC)
John here.... Our pleasure to have you guys as our FIRST overnight guests at our P.S. home. Also our pleasure to share our DVC Villa with people we KNEW would "get off" on it! Hope we're neighbors soon!
qbear
May. 21st, 2010 02:59 pm (UTC)
It was an honor, and so relaxing. We're still waiting to hear on the Gem house--I've been talking to the realtor. If we don't get news today, we're going to pursue the Mayan Princess, as Steve keeps calling it. Either way, we'll be in the neighborhood, if it's meant to be.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )