Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Family Gathers

With the wedding only 3 days away, the family members who have arrived in Portland early got together for dinner on Wednesday night at the home of the bride.

Don chats with Ann McMahon, grandmother of the bride, while Carol McMahon Del Rosario, mother of the bride, works on her culinary creation for dinner. No, that’s not a cocktail in Don’s hand!DSCN4977

Don’s brother Jim Del Rosario, father of the bride, is happy to be gaining a son-in-law, Matt Seal.DSCN4979

The brothers chat with grandmother Ann and grandfather Richard McMahon.


The bride’s little brother Jackson (using a carrot as what – a cigar?) takes a break from exercising with the Wii Fit, and cuddles up with his Mom, Michelle Del Rosario, bridesmaid and wife of the bride’s father, while using the iPad. This is definitely a “Tech Kid.”DSCN4982

Caren Del Rosario, very photogenic, will be a beautiful bride!DSCN4983

Caren hugs her matron of honor and hubby, close friends who stopped by.DSCN4985

Dinner was delicious. Almost forgot to take a pic before it was totally eaten!


Mother of the bride and bridesmaid show off their new manicures.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Northward…In Winter?

Yes, that’s the reaction we got from most of our RVing friends when they learned that we were pointing the wheels northward in early February. But there’s a perfectly valid reason. Don’s niece Caren Del Rosario is marrying Matt Seal on Feb. 12 in Portland, Oregon. As patriarch of the Del Rosario family, Don would need to be present. Plus, after spending time with Caren and meeting Matt during the summer of 2009 while in the Pacific Northwest, we both wanted to be there for the special event.

Our first day on the road after leaving Quartzsite was spent driving to Edwards AFB in Southern California, so we were still in the desert for over 300 miles. From the FamCamp on base, we could see the main base in the distance (white buildings).


Once operated as a dude ranch, there’s an interesting history associated with this area. The primary purpose of this base is to test and evaluate new military aircraft and systems. For many years, Edwards AFB was the primary landing site for the space shuttle, prior to Kennedy Space Center, in Florida, taking over that responsibility in 1991. Rogers dry lake is used as a completely flat runway (called “level as a billiard table”), where hot rod drag races were conducted in the 1930’s. The base still serves as a backup to space shuttle landings whenever Florida weather interferes. The Air Force Flight Test Center is located on this base, which is vast, including more than 20,000 square miles for the flight test range.

As evidenced by the rainbow, we had a little rainfall during the day of driving, just enough to change the Quartzsite dust to mud on both the motorhome and car. So we spent two nights there to spend part of a day washing both vehicles. There was still enough time to take a tour of the base and here are a few pics for you.

Are these two called ‘Wart Hogs?’DSCN4957DSCN4958

The Blackbird is so long, it wouldn’t fit in my camera frame!DSCN4960

The Shuttle Carrier.DSCN4962

We next drove to Modesto where Don’s in-laws live. Dottie and Frank Azlin are really active 80-something folks who love life and still go RVing on occasion. Since my parents and Don’s are all gone from this world, Dottie and Frank have adopted me into their lives, and they still love Don as if he were their own son. We had beautiful weather and enjoyed a few days in the area.


With over 1300 miles to travel from Quartzsite to Portland, we were splitting up the trip into 300-mile or less segments. Modesto was almost halfway, so we had shorter distances to go. We spent one night at the Elks Lodge in Redding. Don was really enjoying the trees in this part of the state, and we knew we’d have more as we moved further north.

Timber Valley is the Escapees Co-op in Sutherlin, Oregon. We always enjoy visiting here, and we decided to stay two nights so we wouldn’t be traveling on Super Bowl Sunday. I’m not a football fan, but I was glad not to have 3 days of travel in a row. Don thought about seeing if there was a group watching the game in the clubhouse, but he preferred to see it in the comfort of his own chair, with a fairly big screen TV (37 inches, larger than the average RV has) and in High Definition. We made our own snacks which served as dinner (onion dip, steamed artichokes, salsa, and of course guacamole!).

Shadow wanted to go for a walk in a different direction than Don!DSCN4976

A neighbor has an interesting collection of birdhouses.DSCN4973

It was a short trip on Monday from Sutherlin to Portland. Overall, it seemed like an easy drive and we were lucky to have good weather, even while crossing the Tehachapi and Siskiyou Mountains. It has rained a bit since we arrived, but that was expected. We’re staying at the Columbia River RV Park, near the airport and close to downtown, where the wedding will take place on Saturday. Family is arriving and festivities will begin soon. Watch for a wedding report next week.