Lots of news!

Putah Creek that runs through the campground

I know its been awhile but our internet has been a challenge. I can get on through our managers wifi (he’s connected directly to the parks satellite internet) but we know they have a pretty limited data contract and so we try not to abuse it. Its actually hard to abuse it because the signal is not very strong and disappears completely on a regular basis. I’ve learned that when I do have a signal I get my email right away then if it stays up I check Facebook so I can catch up on family. Once in awhile, usually late at night I can get on Pinterest or sometimes a blog or two. Before we came here I use to spend a couple hours in the morning cruising through the blogs I follow, now I try to get to a few when I get in town and find a wifi. The cafe we were using for wifi has a new owner and the last time we were there the internet wasn’t working and the owner said he was having issues with AT&T. Our guess is they raised his rate and he doesn’t want to pay it. We will return to check on it eventually. The library here has wifi and that is where I try to go now. I just wished they served coffee - the internet and coffee just go together for me.

We have been keeping busy. John continues to work on lots of projects around the park and I am doing lots of knitting. I’ve learned to knit some hats and I really enjoy it. I want to learn some more things so I will go back to my class next week, the instructor took a couple weeks off but we start in again next week. I have a special project I want to do - a baby blanket. Do you want to know why???? 

John and Mitch
Here’s the biggest news we want to share. We are going to be grandparents!!!!!! Our youngest son Mitch and Emily are expecting a baby May 12th. They have been together almost 3 years and while this wasn’t exactly planned, they are excited about the baby. We are too! We got to see Mitch shortly after we heard the news. He was on a business trip to Livermore, CA, which is about 2 hours from us so we drove down to meet him for dinner. It was good to spend some time with him and be able to give him a big hug.
Janie & Mitch

So this May 12th date has made us switch up our plans a little bit. We had planned to spend the spring/summer in the NW and then head back to Iowa but now we are headed back late April because I want to be there when the baby is born. That makes for an interesting spring. Our plan is to leave here February 1st and start heading up the coast. We want to visit John’s brother in Bellingham WA before we head back. We know this is not the best time of the year to travel north as it rains a lot but we’ll just take it slow. We have a couple months to get there and our plan is to get to Washington around the first of April. 

Ed and Jan, fellow work campers
We are finally getting out and seeing a few things. Besides the trip to Livermore we also went with our fellow work campers, Ed and Jan, to San Jose to see the Winchester Mansion. This house was built by the widow of the Winchester fortune (Winchester rifles). After her daughter and husband died she was sure she was being haunted by the spirits of all the people who died from being shot by a Winchester rifle. She contacted a psychic who convinced her she needed to build a house to appease the spirits and so she did. Everyday she had a seance to find out what they were to build that day and let me tell you they (the spirits) had her build the strangest house you have ever seen. It is sprawling and has hallways and doors that go nowhere or one staircase that actually just takes you up to the ceiling. It is definitely the strangest house I’ve ever seen and what I learned is this lady was certifiably nuts! Sorry no photos of the house are allowed. The tour only takes about an hour so we found a mission nearby, Santa Clara Mission, at Santa Clara College. It is actually the 5th building for the mission, as several times it burned to the ground and there were a couple temporary sites along the way. It is a beautiful church and as a benefit it has lovely gardens surrounding it. Its hard to believe that roses are blooming in November but they sure are. 
Inside the Mission Santa Lara

Thanksgiving here at the park, the owners host a dinner for everyone. There were about 100 people attending. It was a nice easy way to have thanksgiving. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend.

We have a weekend trip planned to Sonoma in a December. A little vacation as a treat for Christmas. It is close enough we could drive there and back in a day but I would like to do a little more exploring than that so we are staying 2 nights. That will give us time to go to a few wineries and drive to the coast too. We have heard a drive to Bodega Bay is worthwhile.  Don’t know if I’ll get to post agin before then but I will definitely share that trip with you too. So until then, a few flower photos from the gardens at Santa Clara Mission and..

Happy Trails..........................


  1. How exciting that you will become grandparents. I would also change my plans to be there when the baby comes. Congratulations to all of you!! I sure hope someday I'll get to be a grandma, too. We went to the Winchester house several years ago when we took a trip to San Francisco with our family. It sure was a strange house, but very interesting. Sounds like you guys are having a great time. I wonder how I would do with limited internet. I confess I've become a bit of a junkie :) Enjoy your trip to Sonoma!

  2. Congratulations gramma & grampa :) Exciting times for both of you. Sounds like you are still enjoying your workcamping job. We are looking forward to getting to CA, probably by 12/17. I want to be able to sit still for awhile :)

  3. Congratulations on becoming grandparents. Glad to hear you're still liking your workcamping job too.

  4. Remember when you go to Sonoma: Sonoma makes wine! Napa makes auto parts! I know you'll love Sonoma, esp the kitchen shop on the west side of the square, Janie. John, there's a coffee and sweets shop on the opposite side of the square that will be calling your name. Have fun: John and Gayle

  5. Congratulations! We just had our sixth Great grandchild. I know you will love being grandparents.

  6. Congrats on the Grandparent news. We have two grandsons and can say from experience they are a bundle of joy. Blessings to you as your family grows.

  7. Congratulations on the news! Since I married an "old guy" I've been a grandma for some time. Of course this has nothing to do with the fact that I am indeed old enough to be a grandma (lol). Glad to hear you are stilling enjoying your time in No Cal.


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