Friday, June 30, 2006

I am a W-O-M-A-N

I can catch a trout, cook it up in a pan and clean up too!

Jeff andI do not fish and both of us get seasick in small boats. But we decided to go trout fishing and hired a guide, Pat, to take us out in Jackson Lake. Pat is formerly from NYC and has been a chef in addition to ace fisherman. This is a great mix because he helped us catch three trout and gave me a delicious recipe to cook them.

We had a fun time enjoying the lake and reeling in our trout each of which weighed about two pounds. Here's
the recipe:
Pat guts the fish and cuts their heads off, then packs in ice.
I wash the fish, season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Squeeze lemon inside and stuff the cavity with cream cheese.
Apply butter to skin (won't stick to foil) and add lemon slices. Wrap in foil.
Jeff cooks on grill for 14 minutes - no turning.
Voila! Bon Appetit!

The trout was delicious and very fresh. We made a roaring fire and called it a perfect night.

Baby Love

Thursday we discovered an osprey nest on a phone pole near the entrance to Teton NP. Ospreys are large birds similar to eagles, but they are fishermen. The female was in the nest and we saw the male approach with something large in his mouth. He landed in the nest and he and his mate busied themselves feeding the young'uns. Then we entered the park and drove along the scenic road to Jenny Lake. Took pictures of the mountains and proceeded into the town of Jackson.

Jackson is a cute town with tons of shopping and restaurants. All of the chains are here including
Orvis, Coldwater Creek and GAP. I had a great time having my hair cut and colored. We went back to our camp and I did laundry where I met and chatted with some nice women.

That night we went on a sunset cruise on Jackson Lake leaving from Coulter Bay. Our captain is a middle school science teacher from Boca Raton, FL. He comes up to Teton for the summer and gave us a terrific tour with lots of information about the mountains and how they were formed. One impressive mount is Mt. Moran which has several glaciers one of which has snow 300' deep. We also saw some deer and an eagle living on the islands that we passed.

On the way into the park that night we saw two black bear in a field and a moose with her calf. On the way home we had quite an adventure. Approaching the lookout where we saw elk the night before, we pulled over and saw a large herd of elk running. The herd was being chased by a grizzly and we were watching this drama unfold from a safe distance. The elk split into two groups and the bear took a second to decide which group to chase and lost precious time. When he/she stopped to rest several bull elks challenged the bear and outran him. The bear charged after the herds several times and eventually got too tired. At that point the elks started to bugle (a loud distress call) and the cows and calves came out from hiding in the trees to join the rest. There were so many and they formed a large circle to protect their young and vulnerable members.

It was amazing to watch this true test of survival. These animals are not fed by park rangers, they are wild and eat each other when hungry. I'm just glad that all the elks were safe while I was watching.


Wednesday in Yellowstone NP is a great day with lots of geysers and wildlife to see. We drove north through Teton to get to the south entrance to Yellowstone and immediately saw several waerfalls and cascades. At one stop we saw a playful beaver scurrying around the rocks. We arrived at Old Faithful and had time to walk around the geyser basin before the next eruption. This most famous geyser is not the showiest, but it is dependable.

We drove around the lower loop road and saw enough geysers and bubbling pools to satisfy ourselves. Along the way we saw several bison, moose, a coyote who was ambling alongside the road, mule deer, a white pelican, chipmunks and a bunch of young elk. Later we came upon hundreds of bison grazing along the road. They caused a huge traffic jam and it was very exciting to watch them from our cars as they are very dangerous and can run up to 30mph.

Took some photos at Yellowstone Lake and saw many acres of burned forest. The park service lets the fires burn themselves out as it is the natural way. The dead trees are on the ground for many years as the new grasses, shrubs and young pines begin to grow.

We stopped at the Lake House restaurant for a delightful dinner. I had grilled trout which was delicious in a rustic lodge setting.

It Stoned Me

Woke up at Bear Lake and Ziggy and I took a long walk around the camp and she got to play in the sprinklers . We packed up and drove off passing through Montpelier, Idaho where Butch Cassidy had robbed the bank years before.

We drove through some cute towns and one had the world's largest arch made of elk horns. Also passed through Jackson which we returned to visit a few days later. We arrived at our new home a few miles from Grand Teton National Park. The campground looked a little tired and the large number of ground squirrels popping up from their holes made me uneasy, but the place worked out fine. Ziggy stuck her nose down many a hole and never got bit and the squirrels went about their business without bothering us. We did not have internet service and that was disappointing, but the beauty of the area made up for everything.

After settling in we took a drive into Teton NP. We saw beavers and a herd of elk at one of the first lookouts. We headed up the road to the Jackson Lake Lodge for a late dinner. They have a fine dining room here, but we ate in the grill which is a large room with only counter seating and a lighter menu. The hot fudge sundaes are worth the calories.

San Francisco Bay Blues

Monday is a travel day and we leave Salt Lake City and choose a scenic route north to Idaho. We remembered Bear Lake from our previous trip as one of the most beautiful places we had seen and wanted to go back. We had an enjoyable time driving and saw some interesting things along the way.

Triple trucks are a fixture on the interstates. They are sooo long and you don't want to attempt to pass one. We also started to see corn fields and irrigation as we approached areas with lakes and rivers. A large yellow butterfly flew directly into our windshield and somehow safely landed near the wiper. He was gorgeous and I let a a shriek because I thought he was hurt. Somehow he gathered his strength and gently lifted off into space with all his beauty and grace intact. Wow!

We stopped at a rest area where the earth was parched and the lawns clearly marked - No Pets On Grass! Zig and I walked around and found a marker where the Donner Party had crossed this area. After all their hardships to get this far this place was tragic for them. Two men got into a fight and one was killed and the other ran off and later died. How sad to think they got such a distance and then were lost. Of course more hard times were to come for the survivors as we know from history.

At this stop Zig and I met the "Orange Cowboy." This gentlemen was of slight build with a gold earring and completely outfitted in orange - pants, western shirt and cowboy hat. He and a female companion were sitting in a supply room and came out to say hello to Ziggy. I think they are the cleaning crew and they couldn't have been nicer people. They told us a story of an abandoned pack rat at another area which they now care for and have named Ziggy. They were thrilled to meet another Ziggy.

We continued through pristine forest lands and unfortunately lots of road work and finally saw the lake below us looking just as gorgeous as we remembered. Our campground was on the other side of the lake and we crossed into Idaho on the way. The camp was pretty empty with only five or so sites occupied and no staff around until morning. We found our site and got settled. We had a lot of room here with a nice lake view and fresh air.

We decided to take a bike ride and went around the grounds. At one occupied site were a group of young people sitting at the picnic table passing around a rifle. I panicked since Idaho is what I call a "hate crime state" and they may be able to smell a Jew or east coast person. Luckily we did not see them again nor did we hear any gun shots.

Now you ask, what does this title mean, well Stealin' Stealin' is a line from this song and stealing wood is what Jeff and I did. I noticed a pile at an empty site and we went back and took armfuls. Now stealing is wrong and I was punished by getting a nasty rash on my left arm where I held the wood. All ended well as we enjoyed a blazing fire and my arm healed by morning. I highly recommend the night sky and star show in Idaho.

We survived!!!!!

Under the most difficult conditions imaginable, Judy & Jeff proved that they are true survivors. Yes - 5 days with no Internet connection!

OK. We knew one of these days was coming. Bear Lake State Park in Idaho is pretty basic. But the next 5 nights (thru Saturday night) we had arranged for an Internet connection. When we got there they informed us that had never been able to get it working. Figures - the one place we were staying the longest on the whole trip (5 nights) would not have Internet.

Right now we are sitting in the magnificent Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park where they have free wi-fi that we can access.

Judy is waiting to get on because we have to leave soon. We are (if you can believe this) going fishing today.

I am sure that Judy will have many more details to follow, so I will turn the computer over to her. We hope to get back up to blogging speed in a couple of days.

Monday, June 26, 2006


Runaway is what we did from our creepy campground and we drove all day on Interstate 80 to Salt Lake City. It was hot and brown with occasional lakes popping up. The trains out here are amazing with so many cars just moving along tracks going into the brown distance. Some trains seem color coded with black tanks, silver trucks mounted on flat cars, rusty red boxcars, coal haulers, blue and yellow freight too. The livestock cars are there too, but they aren't pretty. It's weird to see the Union Pacific yellow engines pulling these cars along the tracks.

We ended up in Salt Lake City which is very pretty and clean. Well kept buildings in the downtown area and all the Mormon office buildings and temples are impressive. We stayed at a KOA and it is one of our favorite campgrounds. Nice spots, refreshing pool and a superior nature area to walk Ziggy. Each space had a little plot of grass which they were cutting and sprinkling and colorful flower beds also.

Now we have a book called "Eccentric America" and it has weird places to visit and eat at across the country. So far it has been a valued resource. Well tonight was a total bust. The book says that Utah is a state that refuses to poke fun at itself and there were very few entries of weirdness. They did tout "The Mayan" restaurant which is the largest in the state seating 1000 people in a fake Mayan rain forest and cliff divers in Speedos. Sounded worth a visit. Wrong! Turned out to be a tacky Mexican fast food with good decor. Food was mediocre, service was bad and the divers were brave to go into such a small pool. You can't win them all.

Saturday Morning

This is the theme song from the movie The Sterile Cuckoo with Liza Minelli. It's a oldie, but goodie if you like tear jerkers. Well Saturday turned out to be a swell day. Another sunny, cloudless beauty with pleasant temperatures at our high altitude.

We packed up and drove east through Yosemite's high country on the Tioga Pass Road. We were a little wary about this drive and it turned out to be extremely pleasant and an easier drive than the switchbacks coming into the park from the west. We got to see some more gorgeous scenery in the Tuolumne Meadows and lots of snow once we hit 8000'. There were lakes and streams shimmering in the sunlight and wildflowers dotting the sides of the road.

Yosemite is such a special place. Aside from the famous rocks and waterfalls you can drive through burned areas and see the new growth. There are huge pine trees and tiny, delicate ferns. You can look into the sunlight and see thousands of bugs flying around and there are so many spectacular butterflies and moths that it makes your head spin. Yosemite is in Mariposa County and Mariposa is the Spanish word for butterfly. There was one at the pool and he was drinking from a drop of water on the sidewalk and I just watched him flutter his wings and found it amazing. Our ranger tour guide also had pointed out deer lying in the tall grasses of a meadow. We could see ears and antlers and knew that the timid deer would wait until dark to reveal themselves.

So we drove along and came to an area with lots of snow on the ground. Jeff and I made a few snowballs and Ziggy was totally confused, but it was fun. Later we found ourselves back in Nevada and had lunch at a rustic BBQ place. We saw some huge lakes and I wondered why some areas are so lucky to have water and wouldn't it be nice to even it out. We see hardly any farming out here it is all about the cattle.

By dinnertime we arrived in Lovelock, Nevada and stayed at a creepy campground. It will probably win our award for worst campground. It reminded me of the Bates Motel. We cooked dinner inside and I watched two DVD's. A great Saturday night.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The rest of the story

That was the sound of Judy and Jeff collapsing. Today was a day of rest.

After almost 5 weeks on the road, lots of running around and a lot of sun it all caught up with us. Neither of us wanted to get up today. I walked Ziggy about 8:00 AM and didn't leave the RV again until 6:30 PM. Judy spent most of the day asleep.

We have been doing a lot of mountain driving, and I think that took more out of us than we realized. Tomorrow is more of the same. Straight through Yosemite National Park and on through Tioga Pass at 9000+ feet. We keep telling ourselves to take it slow and easy.

We have 3 days to get up to Bear Lake, Idaho. We could do it in 2 if we had to, so we will try to enjoy the drive.

Don't be shocked if we don't post to the blog for a couple of days. We will be in a series of catch-as-catch-can campgrounds, and who knows what wi-fi availabiity will be.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Friday On My Mind

Today was our most laid back day so far. We did absolutely nothing. I woke up with a chill and sat outside in the sunlight to warm up. After that I slept most of the day and Jeff did too. Sometimes you just need a day to replenish yourself.

At dinnertime Jeff went for a swim and we returned to the Iron Door Saloon for supper. Later we took Ziggy for a walk and she got to visit the petting zoo here. They have llamas, goats, sheep and burros. Ziggy was able to peer through the fence and one llama went nose to nose with her. We also saw some bats flying around.

We leave tomorrow for points north.

The family that plays together...

As is my wont I will let Judy fill in the details of what we did today. I prefer to make observations. My observation today is about families.

At the national parks in general - and Yosemite in particular - we see lots of families traveling together. I mean families with kids - 2, 3, even 4 generations. I watch them interact and I know that these kids are going to grow up remembering this quality time for the rest of their lives.

The family unit can be almost anything. Kids carried in backpacks up though teens. Grandparents, aunts & uncles, brothers & sisters - everybody you can think of.

This is real quality time. Hiking together, taking pictures, swimming, rafting, horseback riding, and, yes, camping.

Yosemite is a perfect place for this kind of excursion (but make sure you stay in the park). There is every kind of accommodation you can imagine from a luxury hotel to tent cabins, RV sites to carry-in campsites.

You grandparents out there - you know who you are. Grab the kids and the grandkids (or just the grandkids!) and make reservations out here. If you are adventurous you can rent an RV from any one of several nationwide locations. Fly in. Pack up (they supply the linens, etc.). And come to Yosemite. It's a real growing closer experience sharing a 2 x 3' bathroom with the kids.

We would love to share some tips with you. You know where to find us.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Lazy Day

Today is Thursday and again the sun is shining and it is hot. We slept late and then decided to do laundry and hang out. The temperature is in the 90's and the campground has a beautiful pool which is conveniently near the laundry room. We are able to do a few loads while lounging in the shade and dipping in the pool.

For lunch we ventured into the nearby town of Groveland which has a cute cafe and a do it yourself car wash. After eating and cleaning the grime off our car we decided to drive into Yosemite and up to Glacier Point. This is one of the favorite viewing areas and now we know why. It's about an hour drive from the valley and the road went round and round through pine forests. You could stop often to look out at the scenery, but the prize is the view from the top. Our guidebook says that you are the lord (or lady) of the valley as you survey the land below. I must admit it was worth the drive.

From the parking lot at Glacier Point you walk out about a quarter mile for the best views. Here you can see Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, Vernal and Nevada Falls and many mountains in the distance. I should mention that these mountains have snow on the top. Several areas along the way up here had mounds of snow also. Several roads into the park only opened last week when the snow had melted. We did see some squirrels (they have stubby tails) and a Blue Grouse in the parking lot. Later we saw a mule deer so this was a good day for wildlife sightings.

After driving down we stopped at the Yosemite Lodge for a quick dinner and then headed back. It takes exactly the length of "The Fantasticks" CD to make the trip back to our campground. I was the driver today and enjoyed myself by going a little too fast around the curves and getting back safely.

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

It isn't raining here in Yosemite, but the spray from the Bridal Veil Falls completely soaked us. Let's say it was refreshing. We saw a Steller's Jay flitting in the trees. He was beautiful with a dark blue body and black face and tuft on his head.

We woke in our pine scented campground and drove into Yosemite. Soon after passing through the entrance we started seeing waterfalls, rivers, tall pine and oak trees, and gorgeous rock formations. As we went down into the valley more beautiful scenery appeared. Everywhere you look is mind boggling and there is so much to see. Many of the waterfalls are from melting snow and this year had lots of snow so the falls and rivers are flowing mightily.

When you look up at El Capitan and other rock formations you can find climbers hanging on hundreds of feet above you. Some of these folks are on their climbs for a few days and they sleep up there in slings. In Yosemite Village there are hikes, bike paths, sandy beaches and a free shuttle to take you around. There is so much to see and do and that is just the Valley which is a small fraction of the park.

Back at the campground we cooked dinner, made a fire and walked with Ziggy. It is such a wholesome lifestyle and the best comes after the sun goes down. The night sky here is so dark and full of stars. We are so lucky to be able to enjoy this beauty.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A rock by any other name...

Today it was Yosemite. If you have been here, you understand. If you haven't then no words or pictures can do it justice.

We took a guided tour of the valley today. The valley is where all the action is and is the best known part of the park. Our tour guide told us of a woman who came on her tour a few weeks ago and said, "What is there to do here? All you have are rocks, trees and waterfalls!"

The woman was right, you know. Yosemite National Park is just rocks, trees and waterfalls. And a sunset is just an orange light. And a diamond is just a lump of coal under pressure. And the Taj Mahal is just a tomb. And that is a picture of Judy with just some rocks, some trees and a waterfall.

Gilligan's Isle

Okay what has Gilligan got to do with us? Well, the Alperts just returned from Maui and we were listening to Brother Iz sing the theme song from the show and all of us Hawaii lovers enjoyed hearing that. And we spent this morning on the family boat which is docked at a nearby marina. Kudos to Barbara Jean who took us out and was an expert captain for our voyage returning us home much quicker than Gilligan's cruise.

BJ, Dori, Emily and her friend Mark, Jeff and I enjoyed a glorious morning on Lake Folsom. The boat is bitchin' and the activity today was tubing. This is a new sport for me and I had a great time getting pulled around and trying to hang on. Jeff took a turn also and found the hardest part was getting off the boat and into the tube. Emily and Mark rode tandem and made it look easy compared to the novices.

Reluctantly we had to pack up and take to the road again. We had such a good time in Eldorado Hills and enjoyed getting to know our cousins better. The gracious hospitality shown to us and Ziggy is so appreciated. I also love the area which is the foothills of the Sierra Nevada range. Everywhere you look is a magnificent scene with soaring hills and green valleys. Lots of cattle and crops growing and plenty of water too. There are little towns every few miles and they look right out of an old western movie. I just love it all and hope to return to do more exploring.

Jeff and I drove on narrow, curvy roads towards Yosemite. We passed through Calaveras County (home of Mark Twain's famous frog) and climbed up and up on a road that made the switchbacks in Bryce Canyon look like child's play. We arrived at our new campground just before dark and got set up. We are about 20 miles from Yosemite Valley and will have three days here to explore the park and surrounding areas. We went to an old saloon in a nearby town for a quick dinner and that is it for today.

OMIGOD!!! Ziggy's coming!

This is Bob, the Alpert's 14-year-old Bichon. He's a little feeble and he's almost blind, but he was a gracious host to Ziggy and her family. Unfortunately Bob's big sister, Madge, is not the hospitable type, so she was confined to other areas of the house. Ziggy still feels bad about that.

Bob was actually very funny. He wasn't at all afraid of Ziggy and he was perfectly willing to put her in her place when it was necessary.

The problem we are having now is that Ziggy has been spoiled by all the nice people that she has stayed with. She has had privileges of the house and has been treated like a queen (as if she expected anything else!).

So Ziggy (and her parents) would like to thank all the nice people and dogs that welcomed her into their home. It makes you think about how nice a dog's life can be.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Today is a great day as we have my laptop working again. It is another beautiful, sunny day and we are going to run errands and sightsee. Barbara Jean and Dori are our guides and we start off by visiting Best Buy where the local computer geek figured out that the battery was fried in my laptop. The computer works fine if you take the battery out and run off current. A great beginning to the day. Next we got some donuts to give us energy and headed to the hills.

The El Dorado area was part of the California Gold Rush and sentimental to our family because Jeff's dad, Hank, and Barbara Jean's dad, Mike, went gold mining in this area in 1931 along with Hank's brother Dan and another friend. We have all heard the stories and seen the photos, now Jeff and I get to see the place. We drove along some scenic areas and arrived at Sutter's Mill where the first gold was found. It is now a state park and quite green with a strong river flowing. It is amazing to stand there and try to imagine all the activity and high hopes that were centered on this site.

We drove on through several little towns that had been created to serve the miners. One town Placerville had been called Hangtown and I'm glad they changed the name as that is quite morbid. Another stop was to pick cherries. We went to an orchard and proceeded to the trees which were full of fruit. The Ranier cherries were ripe and sweet and delicious. We also picked Bing cherries. Cherries are easy to pick as we plucked them from the lower branches of the trees without bending or reaching. They taste great!

After more sightseeing and errands we arrived home and spent some quality time sitting on the deck, chatting and enjoying the view. A young deer was hanging around and came up right under the deck. Barbara is a terrific cook and she made a delicious dinner. Her assistant, Howard, was in charge of the grill and prepared a tritip roast. We easterners had never heard of this cut, but it is popular in the west. Jeff proclaimed it more tender than london broil and is determined to find it at home.

Pain in the gas

You'd think buying gas is easy, a no-brainer, an everyday chore. You'd be right - except in California. First of all - and this is true throughout the country - a gas pump operated by a credit card automatically shuts off at $50, $75, or sometimes $100. When you have a 60 gallon fuel tank this becomes an issue. Do the math.

Now in some - but not all - stations you can reinsert the credit card and off you go. But you don't always know which stations have this feature.

In California there are a couple of new wrinkles. First of all many stations charge extra for using a credit card. We think this violates their credit card agreement, but who am I to argue? OK, so it's a few cents a gallon more, right? Wrong! It is often 10-15-20 cents more. My personal favorite was a station in LA that charged a cash price of $3.35 a gallon (for regular) and - this is NOT a typo - $4.25 with a credit card. Needless to say we did not buy gas there.

My next favorite trick is the stations that don't take a credit card at all - and don't tell you until it's too late. It is always fun jockeying 50' of rig into position at a gas pump, getting out and unlocking the fuel filler door before you realize it.

But it's OK. Some of these stations accept ATM cards. I prefer the credit card because I get a 5% rebate, but what the heck. So I put in my ATM card. The station charges 45 cents to verify the ATM but I am here and I need gas. I start pumping, and the pump shuts off at $98.10. I don't mean the tank was full (it wasn't). It just shut off at that nice round number. OK - I'll re-insert the ATM card and fill up. Nope. It wouldn't accept the same card. You'd think that since they had charged me 45 cents to validate the card that it would know that I have more than $98.10 in the bank.

So here we are with 3/4 of a tank - enough to get moving but necessitating another gas stop sooner than I would like. But that's OK. Getting gas isn't such a big deal, is it?

Oh My Papa

It's Sunday and it is Father's Day. As we are traveling it is easy to lose track of time and I had completely forgotten. Luckily Brian called to wish Jeff a happy day and that reminded me. We've had some more mechanical problems. This time with our computers. First Jeff's laptop stopped working a few days ago. He has figured out the problem and needs to send the unit to HP to be repaired. Today my laptop stopped working. Again, Jeff thinks it has to do with the power supply, but it is mighty inconvenient. We've been dependent on our computers for e-mail, news and of course this blog. We feel totally cut off.

Well as luck would have it we arrived in Folsom at lunch time and headed directly to the Lake Forest Cafe. This charming eatery is owned by Jeff's cousin Barbara Jean Rubin Alpert and we are here to visit with her and her family. Barbara Jean's dad, Mike Rubin, was a first cousin and dear friend to Jeff's dad. Barbara Jean, husband Howard and daughters Emily and Dori live in Eldorado Hills which was an old gold mining area. BJ opened her cafe 26 years ago and serves breakfast and lunch. The menu is fantastic and it was hard to decide what to eat. I chose the Mike's potatoes which are cooked with tomatoes, avocados, onions and smothered with cheese and sour cream. Jeff enjoyed a thick hamburger. We started with delectable sweet cinnamon rolls and had to go for a hike in the nearby woods to work off some of the calories.

We took Ziggy on a walk around Lake Natoma and she got to go swimming in the cool water. Yes Marlene, Ziggy has decided that she is a water dog and she's becoming a good swimmer. Afterward Barbara Jean was done with work and led us up into the hills where she lives. The house sits on a hillside overlooking Folsom Lake and we had to park the RV on the street with quite a slant. We've decided to sleep inside tonight as we would probably slide out of bed in the RV.

Our whole group and Howard's mother, Bernice, went out for Japanese food and now after catching up on the blog it is time for bed.

The Chicken Dance

Saturday morning and we reluctantly leave our camp in Malibu. We stopped up the road a bit to go wading in the Pacific. I couldn't leave without getting my feet wet. We followed the ocean north and then took Route 101 to Santa Barbara and eventually Stockton.

It was an interesting drive and we passed from green lawns to brown patches of earth. We were often surrounded by mountains and saw some terrible smog that I thought was a forest fire. We cruised by vineyards, fields of olive trees and citrus orchards. One area had thousands of cows standing in holding pens. I got a sick feeling of what they were waiting for and it was so hot and it smelled bad for a long time.

We finally got to Stockton and found a nice campground. The friendly office staff recommended a few restaurants and we set out to have dinner. We had read that you should always eat at any place that has a cow on the roof. Well we found the Chicken Kitchen Family Restaurant with a huge chicken on top of their signpost. The food was very good, but everything was fried. We started out with fried vegetable appetizers and moved on to fried chicken with rice and gravy for Jeff. I had chicken soup and fried prawns & catfish with mashed potatoes and gravy. The funniest part was that we enjoyed this repast from our picnic table in a jail cell. We only sat there because the Conestoga Wagon was already occupied.

Food, Glorious Food

A great place for food is the LA Farmer's Market. We woke on Friday morning to yet another gorgeous day and saw a pod of dolphins swim by. We drove down the beach and headed to the Farmer's Market for lunch. The area is more built up than the last time we visited and many of the little vendors are gone, but the food choices are still great. There are butchers, bakers and produce merchants along with small gift shops, but most of the space is prepared food stalls. Jeff opted for Brazilian grilled meat, but there are plenty of other choices and lots of desserts and ice cream too. Shady tables are scattered around so you can eat and enjoy the surroundings.

We left and headed to Pan Pacific Park which is the location of the LA Holocaust Memorial. It is a fitting tribute for a large city and consists of six black granite columns which have the history of the war engraved on them. On the ground are the names of the death camps and around the edges were the countries in Europe and how many people were lost. The entire pavilion was fenced in and topped with barbed wire.

Our next stop was Rodeo Drive. I promised Jeff we would just look so we drove to Beverly Hills and cruised by. The traffic was getting heavy so we rode down Wilshire Boulevard through Westwood and Brentwood and made our way back to Santa Monica and finally Malibu. We grilled our dinner and enjoyed the quiet time to walk and look at the ocean.