Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Time out for visiting family in Southern California

May 21-28, Yorba Linda, California

About three months ago, my step-daughter and her family moved to this area so our major destination here is their home; proximity to them is our main priority. With some sleuthing on her part, we chose to stay at the Canyon RV Park in Anaheim, a brief five miles from their home. It's a little bit challenging to find a reasonably priced RV park in this area that has the usual amenities we love: nice big sites, fire rings, attractive landscaping or nature's own beauty, and good proximity to local destinations. The park used to be a county park, now private, and has an amazingly rural feeling, considering its urban proximity, and meets all of the criteria listed above, with one major exception: it is tucked into the armpit of a freeway and the roar of cars is omnipresent 24-7 no matter what site you choose. Welcome to life in Southern California.

Our time here involves virtually no sightseeing, so my blogging for the next couple weeks is going to be minimal. We are enjoying visiting our grandsons (aged 3, 5, and 8) at their home, school, Taekwondo classes, and their community parks and pools.  Having lived at least a day's drive away from them all of their lives, it is a luxury to be able to be near them for more than a long weekend or a short stint while I was still teaching school. Of course, right now they are still in school but the bonus with this reality is that we were able to visit their new elementary school, go to a kindergarten musical performance, and see the two older boys receive their orange belts in Taekwondo. We feel lucky to be here experiencing their daily life adventures as our typical time with them is a week camping at the Oregon Coast--which is great but different than being a part of their lives at home.

Another bonus for being here is that two of our closest friends from Oregon happened to be in the area at the same time. We couldn't wait to see them in Oregon next month, so we made a little trip to Encinitas one day to see our friends and their five-week-old granddaughter--so precious. After a fantastic lunch at the Union Kitchen and Tap, a neighborhood restaurant and tavern, we took a lovely walk through the Encinitas Self-Realization Fellowship and Meditation Gardens. The gardens are part of a temple built by Paramahansa Yogananda in 1937, an Indian guru whose autobiography was pretty popular in the 70s--I was a devotee back then. The original temple itself was destroyed by erosion so the grounds were made into a peaceful retreat area with koi ponds, amazing flowers and trees, and a terrific view of the Pacific Ocean. We had not seen the Pacific Ocean for almost a year, so this was a good way to pay homage to it from the vantage point of this spiritual place. On the way to the gardens, I saw a great looking local coffee place in an old home painted the color of sunflowers called Pannikin Coffee and Tea. A late afternoon stop here rounded out a perfect day visiting with our friends Ann and Don, and their daughter, son-in-law, and new grandbaby.  (I accidentally deleted most of the photos of our friends and new baby--so frustrating!)

Yesterday we had a surprise visit from our friend Sharon who is in the area for less joyful reasons as her mother is in the hospital.  She and her sister Diane drove about seventy miles to have lunch with us at our noisy RV park. Her home is in Mexico and we manage to talk all the time on the phone, but nothing is as good as a big hug from someone who knows all your challenges and aspirations.  It wasn't hard to fill up about four hours with constant chatter and laughter. 
We sure look forward to reuniting again with these friends in Oregon and enjoying our week of camping at the Oregon Coast with the grandsons and family in July. Being on the road has been a wonderful adventure, but we have missed our connections with loved ones and feel grateful to be able to include these visits in our new lifestyle.

1 comment:

  1. BJ and Mike are here! It is a blast seeing them!


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