Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Heading Home, after Breakfast with my Children and Others

Near Harris Ranch, Coalinga, CA

Patti, Shelley, Michael, Ryan, Stephanie, Al, Dorothy, Marcia and Sandy

Had breakfast at a Mimi’s Restaurant in Sacramento with my children (Michael, Stephanie and Ryan), and invited their mother Shelley who was also in town (she too has remarried but he stayed back in Arkansas to work and take care of their kids, at least the two or three still living at home), and my sister’s Patti and Sandy, and of course, Mom, Dad and Marcia.  They put us in a back area which is not used until they are busy, and it was quiet, and we all enjoyed talking and visiting and eating. 

Michael, Ryan and Stephanie
ALWAYS good to see the kids, which we do each year…but rarely together.  With Michael (far left and the oldest) living in Sacramento now, the others came to town for Christmas.  Ryan (in the middle and the youngest) drove out from Kansas City, visiting a number of National and State Parks along the way, including the Grand Canyon, Zion and Yosemite, just to name a few.  Stephanie (my only girl and the middle child) flew in from Salt Lake City.  Shelley (their mother and my first wife), flew in from Little Rock on Christmas day.  So NICE to see them together again…it has been a long time…Ryan’s graduation from the University of Arkansas, since my kids and first wife and I had been together. 

Stephanie, Ryan, Michael, Dorothy and All

After we ate, I got this group shot of the kids with their Grandma and Grandpa.  From left to right, Stephanie, Ryan, Michael, Dorothy and Al.  Dad turns 90 next year, and it's also their 70 wedding anniversary too! Don’t know if all the kids will make the birthday and/or the anniversary…just so happy we got together over the Christmas time this year, and wish Anna (Michael's Fiance) didn't have to work so that she could have joined us!

San Joaquin Valley to Coast Range, from California Aqueduct Vista Point, I-5

Around 1:00 pm we were headed out from Sandy and Arny’s house.  First stop, Lodi’s Flying J for gas and especially for propane.  Had some horrific traffic in various areas…looks like a bunch of folks are headed somewhere the day after Christmas.  As we got past Tracy, but before we got to Andersons Soup Restaurant (great Pea Soup at Andersons, although we did not stop this time), there is the California Aqueduct Vista Point that overlooks the San Joaquin Valley to the east, and the coastal range mountains to the west.  Nearing sunset, I just had to stop at this vista…mistake which ended up good.  The mistake, only way to turn around, due to two large semi’s in the circle, was to unhook the car.  The good…well, the view was awesome.  Above is a panoramic of the east, to south, to west.

San Joaquin Valley, from California Aqueduct Vista Point, I-5

To the east (above) you can see the inversion layer over the valley.  It looks like mountain in the horizon, under that layer of pink…but it was really smog mix with a small bit of fog. 

Sunset over the Coastal Range, from California Aqueduct Vista Point, I-5

To the west was the last of the sun…what a wonderful sunset it was.

Sunset over the Coastal Range, from California Aqueduct Vista Point, I-5

It had been a long time since we caught a sunset, and even the motorhome seemed to enjoy it. 

Should have taken a picture of Bubba as I entered the house to say goodbye to the folks, who came over to my sister’s after breakfast, and Arny’s mother Euleda, AFTER I had backed the motorhome out of the backyard, and hooked up the car.  Bubba was right there looking at the empty RV pad…he saw me, turned around and headed for his chair.  He is going to LOVE staying at Sandy and Arny’s, no doubt about it.

Tonight we are staying in a large dirt lot, partially filled with trucks and few RVs, near the Harris Ranch Inn & Restaurant near Coalinga, CA…200 miles down, 2,800 miles to go.  Tomorrow, perhaps we will make Kingman Arizona, 425 miles away.  


  1. Take your time and enjoy the trip! Gorgeous pictures!!

    1. Marcia has a few doctor appointments, so we can't take our time too much....darn

  2. Looks like a great time with friends and family over the holidays!

  3. Have a good trip home! I always get a chuckle over our vastly different traveling styles - it would take us two weeks to go as far as you go in two days. :-D

    1. Well, we have to get to Florida for a few doctor appointments for Marcia in January. We will be in Phoenix for two nights, so we kinda put a long travel day between two shorter ones. (shorter for us, that is)


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