|Since spending the months of February and March in Mesa, visitng with several friends who were also there for some warm weather and longtime friends Bob and Emma who now live in the area, we have traveled a few miles! Heading southwest to Yuma the end of March we stayed in some fancy RV resort where the FMA (Fleetwood Motorhome Association)held it's area Rally. It was a beautiful property and sure not something we would normally stay in...got to see how the rich and famous spend their winters! Flowers were all in bloom but we missed the strawberry season and much of the winter vegetable harvest. Everything you could think of to while away your winter days in the sun as lots of Snowbirds do in the area. Since we were there for a rally, of course it didn't allow us any extra time to enjoy those things. We did get to have lunch with my cousin Larry and Donna one day and had to end up spending an extra day huddled in the motor home with all hatches battened down as they had a true Arizona sandstorm with wind gusts up to 70 MPH. Thankfully it only lasted that one day and we headed back to California on our way to meet our daughter Nicole and family, at Disneyland. Before meeting them, we spent a few days in the Temecula-Menifee area (one of our favorites) where the avocados and strawberries were ready and boy did we eat as many as we could while there. One day we drove up to the old mining town of Julian where gold had been discovered many years ago and had some of their famous pie and a ride up to an old gold mine in the cars they hauled ore out on...a fun day and beautiful trip up in the mountains. Then it was off to Anaheim to meet the kids and several days at Disneyland and Universal Studios. Such fun we all had. We hadn't been since 1978 and boy had it all changed. I remember Universal being my favorite back then but sure not now...we all found it disappointing. So fun to spend time with the kids and grandkids and see the excitement on their faces riding all the rides. We (Mike & I) decided standing in the long lines was not for us so we have probably been there for the last time. Long, sad and teary goodbyes to the kids we headed north. Mike had never been to Sequoia or Yosemite National Parks so we spent a day driving through and sightseeing in Sequoia National Park where the General Sherman (the largest tree in the world at 275 feet) and one of the oldest...believed to be between 2300-2700 years old. There are several other large groves of Sequoia's in the park and the scenery was gorgeous. Then it was on to Fresno to see Uncle Harry and the California family. Of course that stop meant making him a rhubarb pie (love spoiling him), lots of good visiting and food with family. Once again long, sad goodbyes with promises to return on our next trip through with a good stock of rhubarb in the freezer. Arriving a couple days early in Lodi for our next rally, we spent a day driving through Yosemite which is so gorgeous but sadly very dry and very little snow which California so desperately needs but a beautiful trip none the less. Bridal Veil Falls is gorgeous but our favorite was Yosemite Falls which has an upper and lower falls. While in Fresno, we made plans to meet Tom and Martha in Placerville and were treated to an exciting Sprint Car Race where their son, Tommy Tarlton, took 3rd after starting 17th in his race. We both came away deciding we could be race car "junkies" and follow Tommy from one race track to another if we lived in the area but we'd both end up on tranquilizers as it was so scary when you would see several of them pile into one another. Thankfully no one got hurt but you'd find yourself holding your breath until they all got unscrambled! Boy can that guy race and is so fun to watch. Back to Lodi for the Good Sam Sambroee and such fun to visit with those we had met at the rally there in 2012 and meet lots of new faces. Once it was over, we started the long trek back to the Seattle area to spend some time with family and friends. Got to watch some softball for the grandkids and a wonderful Mother's Day and celebration for Mike's birthday with an amazing BBQ at Kim and Elizabeth's, a tour of our oldest granddaughter's new house, and lunch with several friends and to replenish our supply of rhubarb from friends Jim and Joyce who made a yummy lunch for us before raiding the rhubarb patch...a great visit but too short as we then headed to Moses Lake, WA for the Good Sam Sambroee. Once again it was so fun to see friends that we had met at the Sambroee the year before and a real treat as our friends John and Marilu were on their way back to the Seattle area after wintering in Florida so we got to have a great (but much too short) visit and brunch with them too. It was back to Seattle for a couple of weeks to finish doctoring and dental appointments before heading out to Gillette, WY for 2 rallies. On our way through Montana, we stopped at one of our favorite campgrounds in Big Timber, MT and had a short visit with friends who are camp hosting there. The FMCA (Family Motor Coach Association) National Rally was the biggest we had ever attended...over 2300 rigs and we met some wonderful people and had a great rally. There was a week before the Escapade Rally was to begin so our plans were to drive through the Black Hills and see some of the sights around Gillette but wouldn't you know, as we were packing and taking inventory, I hurt my back so the week was spent babying it along so I could be in shape for the Escapade National Rally with about 600 rigs. Since we had been to the Escapade last fall in Sedelia, Missouri, we got to see and visit with lots of friends we had made the previous year. A wonderful trip for us except poor Mike was left to pack everything back in the motorhome so we could head out the next morning. I will post some of the best photos of our travels up to this point. And in the next day or two will post what we have been doing since July 3rd.