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Cross-Country Journal -- November 2002


Friday, November 1 -- 

We saw The Ring at the movies.  A very scary movie!

Saturday, November 2 -- 

We drove to Jaimie and Mario's.  Mario made fresh pasta for all and then we had the top of the wedding cake.  The cake had been wrapped well by Tom and tasted great.  We had a campfire on the beach.  A great day.

Sunday, November 3 -- 

Football Sunday.  Not a good day for the Bills.  

Monday, November 4 -- 

Started cleaning the outside of the motor home.  

Tuesday, November 5 -- 

We drove to a big new Safeway in search of a better produce department.  It's not like Wegmans or Publix.  

Wednesday, November 6 -- 

We continued waxing.  Finished the driver side and the rear.  Very shiny and slick! Tom's night to cook and it was the best meal!  It's always great when it's not your night to cook but Tom set the bar very high to top.

Thursday, November 7 --

The rainy season that we had been hearing about started!   It had rained during the night and this morning it rained more.  A river seemed to be flowing through the campground and ended up in the drain in our backyard.  We saw The Truth About Charlie at the movies.

Friday, November 8 -- The rain continued much of today.  Boy, when CA gets rain, they get rain.  We hadn't gone to many movie theaters since June so we knew that these two months in SF would include several trips to the movies.  Today we saw the opening of the Eminem movie "8 Mile".  Seems a little strange that we would see it but we had read that it was based on the true story of Eminem's life.  The movie was very good.  It showed how Eminem had learned to survive the tough street life of Detroit.  It also gave me an appreciation for RAP music.  The movie portrayed RAP as an alternative to fighting and showed competitions between RAPers who were otherwise enemies on the streets.  It was good.

Saturday, November 9 -- After catching the Penn State game we headed to Jaimie's place to deliver our camera memory stick for them to take to Australia and to share dinner before their 10 PM flight.  We had dinner at a really good Chinese restaurant.

Sunday, November 10 -- The weather has turned back to sunny.  We watched some football but not the normal amount because Buffalo has a bye week.  Enjoyed the sunshine.

Monday, November 11 -- We finished waxing the motor home today.  It's very clean and very shiny.

Tuesday, November 12 -- Today we made our first visit to Jaimie's apartment to see Cal.  It was a beautiful day so it made the one hour drive down enjoyable.  Cal was happy to see us but she was doing fine.  After returning to Petaluma we went grocery shopping.  At a warehouse-type discount grocery store we had spotted a few days ago.

Wednesday, November 13 -- The phone rang at 6:00 AM this morning.  Since the phone had been left in the living room it had gone to voice mail before we got to it.  The message was from Jaimie and Mario.  They wanted us to make a call to cancel their Budget rental car.  We did that.  It was midnight, Wednesday (they are 18  hours ahead of us) for them.  We let them sleep for 8 hours before we called them at 2:00 PM our time.  They are doing fine.

Thursday, November 14 -- Today we made our second visit to Cal this week.  We took Pepper with us and Cal loved having Pepper visit.  We stayed for several hours.  Another beautiful day today.

Friday, November 15 -- Today, after coffee and reading the morning papers, we went to the movie theater to try to catch the first (10:30 AM) showing of the new Harry Potter movie.  When we arrived there were several yellow school buses in the parking lot.  Since we did want to sit in a theater full of elementary school kids, we drove over to Home Depot to get some sealer for the new countertop.  We returned for the 11:00 AM show and this time we did see the movie.  It was pretty good, but I tend to lose interest now and then during the 2 1/2 hour movie.

Saturday, November 16 -- The sun did not cut through the fog until noon today.  Watched some college football and did some reading.  I am reading the second book of the Lord of the Rings in preparation for the movie to be released around Christmas.

Sunday, November 17 --  We watched the Bill's.  We decided the outside TV was a very good idea since it gives us the freedom to go outside and enjoy the sunshine and watch the game at the same time!  Similar to the TV on the sun porch we had in Penfield.  We did some Sunday family calls.   Pepper went over to see the big beef cows.  She doesn't get all upset when she sees them.  She just wags her tail. 

Monday, November 18 --  We enjoyed some very sunny warm weather.  I decided to see if I could fix our kitchen rug.  The rug had an adventure last week.  I had washed it and wanted to not subject it to dryer heat, I put it on the back of the Jeep to dry.  The next day, we got in the car and drove to San Fran to visit Cali and later realized I had forgot about rug.  It was gone.  We retraced a few of our miles the next morning and didn't find the rug.  Two days later on the way back from our next visit to Cali ,on the road leading to our campground, there was the rug.  It was very dirty, torn, covered with multi tire tracks.  It got rinsed in the sink and hung out to dry ( not on the back Jeep)  So today it got sewn up and it got put back in it's spot in the kitchen. 

We watched Monday night football and I talked to Susie, a college friend and we agreed to get together early December

Tuesday, November 19 --  We woke up to a new problem.  Condensation.  It had been very cold during the night  and there were water stains on the edge of the bedroom ceiling in a few places.  I thought it might be a roof leak.  Tom went up on the roof.  It wasn't an obvious leak.  We talked to someone in the KOA store who turned out to own the See Ya  like ours.  He had lots of water condensed on his windows.  We compared notes about the SeeYa.  He told us that on his first drive with the motor home he stopped to get fuel.  He didn't turn wide enough at the pumps and scraped the side on a post by the pumps.  Over $2000 in damage.  We stopped in at an RV dealer and he gave us an article on condensation. It is different to live in a very close environment at times.  We opened up vents, ran fans and used the heat pump.  

Wednesday, November 20 --  We woke to no condensation but it had not been as cold during the night.  We spent the day outside doing projects, cleaning. etc.  The everyday, mundane stuff doesn't seem that way at all when it can be done in the glorious sunshine.

Thursday, November 21 --  It was pretty foggy in Petaluma today so we decided to drive to Fairfield about 30 miles east of here to visit the Camping World store.  As expected the sun started shining as soon as we got 3 miles east.  We purchased tire covers.  These are white vinyl covers that protect the tires from the sun when you are stopped for an extended time.  About one month ago I had made some tire covers out of an old plastic table cloth.  These home made ones did the job but they didn't look very good so we decided to spring for the $25 to buy a real pair.  We actually went to Camping World to purchase roof vent covers that will allow us to keep the vents open in the rain and while moving.  The solution to the inside air moisture build-up is to keep the vents open and run the fans often.  After returning I installed one of the vent covers before dark.  We started a campfire around 4 PM and sat outside until 7 PM.  It starts to get cool around 5 PM, so the campfire helps extend the outside time.

Friday, November 22 --  We saw the new James Bond movie today and then went grocery shopping.  Relaxed the rest of the day.  I'm reading the Lord of The Rings over again in preparation for the second movie release in December.  I installed the tire covers.

Saturday, November 23 --  Watched some college football today.  Ohio State game and then Penn Sate.

Sunday, November 24 --  We watched the Bills and Jaimie and Mario showed up later in the afternoon.  We visited, drank wine and enjoyed a campfire for several hours and then cooked a Thai dinner.

Jaimie and Mario came to visit.  We sat around a campfire in the afternoon, saw their pictures from Australia, had dinner.  They gave us a boomerang which we hung on the wall.

Monday, November 25 --  Small projects today.  Repaired paper cup holder, installed two more vent covers on the roof and repaired a loose valence on the bedroom window which had loosened with the vibration.  Basically every screw in the motor home will come loose and fall out as time goes by.  One full time traveler told me that he had pulled out every screw and put it back in with a squirt of silicone.  The silicone hardens to a rubbery consistency and keeps the screws in.

The weather for the beginning of the week was for milder than normal.  

Tuesday, November 26 --  This morning I worked some with Tommy on his mortgage refinance.  The best deal came from his own bank, Washington Mutual, so he decided to set up an appointment to apply.  WM will not require that he have an escrow account so he will be able to handle that himself.  Even though we are on opposite sides of the country, we were able to work through all the numbers over the phone and we even had a three-way conference call with one of the lenders in New Jersey.

It was very sunny early on and we decided to go to Larkspur and take the ferry to San Fran.  We forgot the camera so we will have to go again.  We got the fast ferry which takes about 30 minutes.  We tried to reach Mario but he didn't answer his phone  We walked up Market street to the beginning of the Market Hyde cable car run.  We got in the front in the open air seats.  At times a few people took the hang on spots in front of us.  Mostly we had a great view through the city.  We walked up to Fisherman's Wharf and had clam chowder.  Over to Pier 39 and we watched the sea lions.  Very entertaining.  We rode the F car back to the pier to catch the ferry.  We decided the ferry was very easy and the public transportation in the city makes it so fun to get around the city.

Wednesday, November 27 --  A lot of work around the motor home today.  I installed window covers on the windshield and the driver and passenger side windows.  These covers mount on twist lock studs that I had to screw into the side of the motor home.  Drilling holes into the siding was scary but it turned out to be pretty easy.  These covers are made of a white vinyl screen material that reflects 90% of UV from the sun.  They prevent heat build up through the glass.  Also you can see out but not in and they are "cleaner" looking.  The second project for me was to replace an assembly from the bedroom ceiling fan which had failed.  The manufacturer sent the replacement parts under warranty, including several that I didn't need and now have in stock for the future. Now that fan is working again.

Early morning sunshine and ambition to so some projects.  Tom worked on installing the windshield/window covers.  These go on the outside and keep the sun off the glass.  You can see out but not in.  He had to drill holes for the fasteners.  Since he had once cut a hole in the top of a car for a sunroof I wasn't too worried about the holes in the motor home.  I decided to wash and wax the Jeep.  Much easier than the motor home job.  Pepper got a bath too.  We made a few things for our contribution towards the Thanksgiving dinner.  Pumpkin pie.

Thursday, November 28 --  Got up and made Cranberry bread and home-made dressing.  Then we got dressed up for the first time in 6 months and drove the hour to Jaimie's for Thanksgiving dinner.  Watched a little football too.  Erica T. came from Sacramento.

Friday, November 29 -- Well, today was movie day.  We went to see Solaris at the movie theater.  Also DirecTV is showing HBO and Cinemax this weekend so we watched four other movies this afternoon and evening.  Cooked leftovers for dinner and talked to Tommy on the telephone.

Saturday, November 30 -- Last day of the month which means we have to make a decision about whether to stay here in this campground for another month.  If the answer is yes we have to pay for it tomorrow morning.  We called the only other campground that we had not looked at but they had no sites for a full month.  With that we have checked out every campground within 50 miles of Jaimie's place.  None are as nice as the one we are in.  It would be nice to be a little closer for the Christmas holidays but the hour drive isn't too bad.  At least it's scenic as we drive along the north bay and then approach and cross the Golden Gate Bridge with SF in the background.  Watched Syracuse get crushed by Syracuse.