Sunday, July 8, 2012

Where in the World is Seattle Pastry Girl ?

Sherman & Kathy & Jim & Homer aka Ruby

Oh I've been a bad blogger,no posts since June 26. But I have a good excuse-honest-I've been away from the kitchen for a bit ,planning our retirement.  Guess I'm not so good at multi tasking! But this  planning also involved some activity which resulted in me being in WiFi dead zones for a bit and once I got home I was so excited about what was going on that ,GASP ,baking took a back seat. So what could be so distracting ?  Well for the past 7 months J and I have gotten very serious about how and where we want to spend our retirement and we narrowed it down to exotic living in Costa Rica or Belize or buying some type of RV to travel the country in for at least a year. And while I can definitely envision myself sitting on a beach in a tropical location with a mojito in one hand and my Kindle in the other, I cannot envision myself being so far away from my family and loved ones. So guess which of the 3 finalists won out-yes it was the RV. Or as one of my loving and funny friends referred to it as the "Westin on Wheels".

Stopping for breakfast along Monterey's 17 Mile Drive

J and I have always love traveling around the country and camping out.  It was after a very wet 3 days of tent camping at Wells Grey Park in Canada when I crawled out of the tent and  said please no more tent camping. So J indulged me and we bought one of those little pop up campers-we've lived with that for10-15years now and have been quite happy.  But I've been so envious of the folks that just pull into the campsite, open the door and voila they have set up camp.

"I like mine with lettuce and tomato
Heinz 57 and french fried potatoes
Big kosher pickle and a cold draft beer
Well good god almighty which way do I steer for my cheeseburger in paradise
Makin' the best of every virtue and vice "-Jimmy Buffett

We knew we didn't want some giant 45ft bus and we started looking at VW Camper vans but didn't know how long the marriage would last in such a small amount of space. Then we discovered Sprinter camping vans through Roadtrek and the bells and whistles started ringing all over the place. We found our home. For the last 7 months we have been searching Craiglist all over the country and tons of other sites until we found Ruby. Ruby was living in Santa Barbara so we flew down to bring her back home with us. We changed her name-she used to be Homer-not Simpson, but Homer the ancient Greek poet of the Iliad and the Odyssey . A beautiful name  and lovely name but we had to make her our own.

There's no place like home

And we liked Ruby, as in the Wizard of Oz Ruby Slippers,as in Glinda the Good Witch telling Dorothy  that she always had the power to return home, but that she needed to learn for herself that she didn't have to run away to find her heart's desire. Click your heels together 3 times and repeat  "There's no place like home, there's no place like home". We both loved the notion that with Ruby we could return home anytime we wanted and that in fact Ruby would be home for us !

One year on the road crossing the country -that's our plan-always taking the road less traveled !

We aren't officially retiring until next year but we will be doing lots of shakedown trips to get very familiar with Ruby because once we sell the house we are off for at least a year of exploring this beautiful country,Canada and Mexico. And I will be challenging myself to see what I can bake and cook in my little kitchen and share both the travel and cooking adventures with you.

My galley kitchen with refrigerator,propane stove,sink and oven that is convection,conventional and microwave !

Here's a little more pictures of our first road trip with Ruby, if I haven't bored you to death with these already !  We left Santa Barbara late evening about 5pm so our first stop wasn't too far north in Morro Bay. Next day we took our time and really enjoyed the winding road up through Big Sur-stopped and camped at Pfeiffer Big Sur Camp Ground. Took off for Monterey and absolutely had to drive the gorgeous 17 Mile Drive and oh and ah over the homes along the way. We made a little detour through Wine Country and stopped at Starlite Vineyards in Geyserville-stop by if you are anywhere near Geyersville-their wines are absolutely deliciously incredible,especially the Cabernet ! Heading further north,we entered Redwood country and stayed at Richardson Grove State Park. Then onto the Oregon Coast,where boo hoo, the first time we hit rain. It was still incredibly beautiful and we stopped at one of our favorite campgrounds-Beachside, just outside of Yachats. We used to tent camp there all the time and the pop up camper saw it's share of fun there too.  We headed home to Seattle .  We can't believe our good fortune and our so grateful for the blessings we continue to experience.