Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Joy of Flexibility

One of the things every full time RVer comes to appreciate is the flexibility of life on the road. The freedom to take your home anywhere you want or need to be at a moments notice is fundamental to this lifestyle choice. 2016 is turning out to be a year where flexibility is coming in to play in a big way for us.

We'd already decided to spend most of 2016 in San Diego. My parents were planning a big RV trip to the east coast and we were going to house sit for them for several months. Then life started throwing us curve balls...

On January 1st Hans' stepdad broke his femur. Fortunately his recovery is progressing nicely and we are able to assist as needed to help his parents get through this trying time.

On January 8th my mom was admitted to the hospital and is currently being treated for multiple issues with an unknown recovery period. We're taking this day by day and hoping for the best outcome.

I read a book recently, Awakening Joy by James Baraz, that discusses how to acknowledge all the little moments of joy that happen each and every day beyond, or in spite of, the ups and downs of life. This book gives solid advice on how to change our focus from negative to positive and create new habits that recognize and acknowledge joy instead of dwelling on our sorrows. I can honestly say this book has made a big impact on my outlook on life and on my ability to handle the challenges of recent weeks.

We are immensely grateful to be retired and to have the freedom to dedicate as much time as necessary to assist our parents when they need it most. We intend to hop around between Mission Bay and our Poway driveway site and Santee Lakes for the next few months as things evolve in our families. Obviously blogging will continue to take a back seat to the more urgent issues facing us right now.

San Diego is most definitely not a bad place to be during trying times. One doesn't have to go far to experience some of those moments of joy I was talking about...

I wonder how long it took these seals to get all the way to the top of the rocks?



The Sand Devils rocked the Tower Bar!


Remember to welcome JOY into your life at every opportunity!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Wrapping up 2015 in Poway, CA

Our terrific month at Santee Lakes was followed by two weeks parked in Hans' brothers' driveway in Poway, a city in North San Diego County. Part of our stay was spent house and pet sitting while the family jetted off for their annual Christmas ski trip; the last few days of our stay included some good family time once they returned.

We were spoiled to have unlimited use of their big kitchen, washer and dryer, and a large shower with amazing water pressure! Oh, and a big, beautiful bathtub was a nice treat too!

We're tucked into a corner down a long driveway so you can hardly even see us from the street.
There's a small canyon behind us and a view of our hosts lovely back yard on the other side.

One of the extra special perks of house sitting!

Coyote in the back yard.

We still managed to get together with RV friends at a pre-Christmas gathering at Mission Bay RV Resort. Thanks Kate and Iain for putting together a fun evening in your lovely water front site!

We made new friends and reconnected with others over tasty appetizers and beautiful views.

Sunset from Kate and Iain's prime waterfront site at Mission Bay RV Resort.

Lake Hodges was just a few miles from our driveway site in Poway so we did some hiking there one day on the San Dieguito River Park trails.

Lake Hodges from the Piedras Pintadas Trail.

We also did some mountain biking at Lake Hodges.

Easy single track near the Lake Hodges dam.

RVing friends Rick and Trudy, whom we met in Red Lodge, MT this past summer, were staying in Oceanside. We met up with them in Del Mar for a nice five mile loop along the beach, up Crest Canyon, through fancy neighborhoods, and a delicious lunch at Board and Brew.

Hans and Trudy and Rick at Del Mar.

Hellhole Canyon Preserve is a remote north east San Diego County hiking destination. There are 13 miles of trails through the chaparral covered hills around Paradise Mountain and (currently dry) Paradise Creek. We hiked a strenuous eight mile lollipop loop that took us to the top of Paradise Mountain with impressive 360 degree views.

View of Paradise Mountain from the trailhead.
We had to drop several hundred feet to the creek bed before climbing to the summit...
lots of steep up and down on this hike!

Fantastic views for your efforts!

We had a delicious dinner and brews at Ballast Point Brewing on Miramar Rd. (they have several locations and this is the main brewery) along with Hans' brother Norm and wife Valerie. The Black Marlin Porter, Grunion Pale Ale and a unique kale salad were the highlights of our visit.

Ballast Point had a HUGE selection of beers on tap.
Our waiter even gifted us a dessert beer at the end of the evening,
a delicious orange/chocolate version of their Victory at Sea Imperial Porter.

Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve is a popular open space preserve running between Interstates 805 and 15 in San Diego. We hiked a very pretty four mile out and back up the lightly traveled Lopez Canyon arm of the preserve with Norm and Val and Bentley right before we hitched up for our move to Mission Bay.

One last hike with Norm and Val and Bentley before we left their very pleasant driveway site.

Our driveway stay was a perfect ending to a really fantastic year of travel. Many thanks to Norm and Val for their hospitality!

2016 is shaping up to be a little different for us...but the details will have to wait as our plans evolve in the coming weeks and months. Stay tuned for the continuing adventures of Metamorphosis Road!

A big Thank You for reading our blog and sharing the journey with us!