Dec. 26 - We arrived at TTPioPico about the middle of the day on Wednesday, 22nd. We were lucky again!! Went straight to the south side and found an open 50 AMP site!! Pulled right in! The weather was very nice during the day, but down into the twenties during the night! Burrr
We spent most of our time away from the campground. It was not until Tuesday, 26th that we took a drive around the campground. We could not believe how things have changed!!
Almost all of the sites in "E" and "L" sections (down near the Adult Pool and a favorite area for a lot of transit RVers) have been turned to Leased Sites, virtually eliminating those sections from use by travelling RVers. "!
But we were astounded when we drove over to the North side. Many of the sites on that side have also been turned to long-term sites. Many of the sites looked like the occupants have been there for years!! In other words, they look like "Squatters"! At the end of December when you think PioPico would be filled to capacity, the North side was nearly empty, except for the long-term campers! It was really sad!!
The pictures don't show the full impact. There's a lot of "stuff" behind the shrubbery.
A nice gazebo but lots of stuff accumulated along the fence.
This site wins the prize!!!
One thing that has not changed since we were last there in February 2011 is the Pickleball courts!! They are exactly as we left them!! The surface has not been cleaned; the nets are down; cracks are forming in the middle of the court. It is a real shame to let nice courts go unattended to deteriorate.
PS. No Pickleball court has been painted under the shelter at the family lodge!!
Dec. 24 - We moved to TTPioPico this week, down near Chula Vista, so that we could spend some time with Ken's son Richard during Christmas. The schedule in Richard's household was a bit hectic this year. We arrived at PioPico on Wednesday, 22nd, and discovered that plans had changed and Christmas dinner would be late that afternoon! We quickly put a Costco ham in the over, backed a pumpkin pie, and made sweet potatoes to carry over for dinner. Richard prepared the turkey, mashed potatoes and all the trimmings. Everything was delicious!!
Ken carving the ham; Richard in the background.
Richard has to boys, Russell and Jacob. His fiance Marlo has two children as well, Andrew and Emily. We were all together for dinner that evening, as well as Marlo's family who were visiting. I should have taken pictures during dinner because we were never all together again for Christmas pictures!
We visited again on Friday. I had promised Emily that I would show her how to make the wonderful Almond Rocha.
Emily stirring and stirring and stirring! (Sun shinning in my eye through the window.)
Spreading toffee in the cookie tin.
Sprinkling chopped nuts on top.
The project was finished the next day. We were not around for the eating!!
Merry Christmas Richard and family. It was good seeing you again, although all too briefly!
Dec. 21 - This afternoon, Gloria and I went over to Pam's Kitchen to learn to make Almond Rocha! Pam had us stirring a pound of butter and sugar until it became just the right consistency and color. Then we added slivered almonds to the mix. After a few more stirs, we poured the mixture into cookie tins and spread it evenly to all edges. While it was still very hot, we put chocolate chips on top. As the chips melted, we spread the chocolate all over. Next, sprinkles of minced walnuts.
Next, we had to wait overnight until the chocolate hardened. Then we would flip the entire candy over, spread more melted chocolate chips and minced nuts. Wait overnight for that to harden.
Next, I broke it into bite-size pieces and enjoyed!!! Tastes like Heath Bars!!
Thank you so much, Pam!! That was a fun experience!
Mon. Dec. 21 - We have been at TT Palm Springs for two weeks. Our site is quite large and the site next to ours is vacant. The weather has been perfect! It was time for a party!!
Last November I read an article about Beaujolais Nouveau wines, released only in November and is best if drunk within six months. As I mentioned at Thanksgiving, an acquaintance Alice told us that we could get the Nouveau wine at Trader Joe's during November. Not the from Beaujolais, France, but from the Napa Valley!! I bought about six bottles of "Two Buck Chuck" Nouveau and wanted to introduce it to the Pickleball players! Besides, we had to drink it within six months! Thus, a Wine and Cheese party at Ken and Faye's!!
Here we are ready to receive our guests!!
It was a great turnout! Everyone brought cheeses and snacks and a bottle of wine to go with the Nouveau! Here is the table spread. Diane checks out the food spread while Walt studies the wines!
Ken is opening the wine.
Here are the guests:
New Pickleball players this season Pam and Walt.
And Gloria and Bill. Pam (above) is going to show Gloria and me how she makes that wonderful Almond Rocha. Looking forward to that.
Jack and Diane just came back into the park. They are joined by her mother Mickey. What a cutie!!
Roger and Linda are currently at another campground but come over to TT Palm Springs to play.
Becky and Dick. Dick has a very interesting Blog - Becky & Richard's Journal. Their Blog is included in my list of Blogs in the right margin of our Blog.
Tom, Margie and Bob.
Bill and Pat. Bill is always a cut-up!!
Jim L. and his wife.
Friends Joe and Pam leased a site here for several years. Now they have bought a beautiful home in LaQuinta.
Our Pickleball coordinator Rick with Tom and Bob.
Margit and Ron.
We are enjoying the Nouveau!!! YUUMMMMMMY!! (Friend Brian's bike in the background.)
Surprise of surprises, our dear friends and our Pickleball mentors showed up unannounced. They totally surprised us!! Wayne and Nancy taught us Pickleball at Rancho Oso in April 2002, told us where to go to find other players, and took us under their huge Pickleball wings!! That literally changed our lives!!! So great to see you guys!! Welcome to the party!!!
As I mentioned earlier, Bill is always cutting up. He and I had been acting silly all week long. As they were leaving, Pat grabbed Ken and the two of them got back at us!! Good One guys!!
The Wine and Cheese Party was soooo much fun!! Thanks everyone for coming!!!
Wed. Dec. 14 - Ken's birthday today!! We started the day with me baking a coffee cake for Ken's breakfast!! When I measured the ingredients I prayed there was enough Bisquick for the cake AND the strudel topping! Just enough, with a Tablespoon to spare. Happy Birthday, Ken!!
Later, a few friends to joined us for Happy Hour at the Elephant Bar, a favorite haunt of ours. It was a fun time celebrating Ken's birthday.
Around the table: Bill, Pat, Tom, Hayden, Gloria, Ken, Faye, and Marion. Thanks, guys, for sharing this occasion with us.
We were surprised when our waiter, Alex, brought Ken an ice cream dessert with a candle on top!
Dec. 11 - Rick and Linda had another cook-out this afternoon -- tacos, burritos, and all the trimmings! Because of Linda's schedule as a park Ranger, we started at about 2 o'clock. It's a good thing, too, because it really gets toooocooooool later in the afternoon!!
Paulette and Larry.
Jim and Shirley.
Bill was complaining to me that his picture is never in our Blog! Well, here you are, Bill -- twice!! First, Gloria had to put up with his antics!!!
And then Bill is cutting up with Gloria's Bill (we call him Hayden because there is that other Bill!!)
Here is Ken giving Paul our best wishes for his scheduled jaunt to the hospital for heart surgery on Wednesday! Good Luck, Paul!!
Larry was standing up so I asked him to take my picture with Ken. He got the camera backwards!!! A self portrait!
But here is our picture at last!
Our hosts Linda and Rick.
Today is Linda's birthday! I wanted a full picture of her in her pretty new "Birthday Suit". Happy Birthday, Linda!!
Thanks Guys for another great gathering!! YUUUUMMMMM!
Saturday, Dec 10 - Today we drove over to watch some of the Welcome Back Pickleball Tournament at Catalina Spa. There were a lot of our friends and acquaintances playing in the various events.
The first people we ran into (pre-arranged) were our long-time friends Marion and Tom! Today Tom was cooking the sirloin burgers and brots!! Marion has consumed all of hers!! Good burgers, Tom!
Because of the way the courts are situated at Catalina, it was next to impossible to take pictures of the action, but I was really negligent because I didn't even take pictures of the teams off the court! We'll have to just send our congratulations to all the participants!!
December 05 - One day while at TT Wilderness Lakes, our neighbor told us about a Christmas House in Menifee, only about a half mile from the campground. He said the decorations were spectacular. Not only that, but beginning on Saturday, the owners, Chris and Mary, were having Open House and inviting visitors to come inside their home.
Ken and I drove over on Monday evening. The outside decorations were beautiful!! Not only the lights on the house -
but in front of the closed-off garage, they had created this beautiful village using miniature lighted houses that Mary had collected over the years. The Blog pictures appear to be paintings, but these are all individual houses! Amazing!!
And even more decorations inside!! (Note: Each venue has a small electric train running around the village, not always visible in the pictures.)
Our hosts invited us to enjoy a seafood chowder, cocktail wieners and mauled wine as we viewed the decorations.
This experience has put us in the Christmas spirit!! MERRY CHRISTMAS Mary and Chris! Thank you!!