Bill and Kit’s 2018 Excellent Adventure, Journal #12

“This Year Marks Our 10th Winter RV Trip”

To travel is to take a journey into yourself.
Danny Kaye

 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018: Kit and I enjoyed a great camping vacation at Fiddlers Cove Marina and RV Park with the Pacific Ocean on one side of us, and San Diego Bay on the other. This thin strip of land known as The Silver Strand is very picturesque…we are going to miss views like this from out bayside campsite!

On the road at 1054 hours and made our way south to Imperial Beach. Then headed east to Interstate 805, which we traveled north until it merged with I-15 and our ultimate destination of San Diego’s Mission Valley and…our camping residence for the next few days, Admiral Baker Park.

We set up in a nicely sited spot in this very convenient military recreation facility, one we have visited many times in the past.

 

Sunday, March 25, through Wednesday, April 2th, 2018-Admiral Baker Park, San Diego, California: Kit and I enjoyed our time in this area, which is located just a few miles from where we grew up, then initially met back in 1963. We still have a number of family members and friends in the region who we try to see each trip. However, this year Kit suffered a pretty severe allergy attack and wasn’t really up to going much of anyplace or seeing much of anybody. But on her good days, we did get some touring and visiting in…here are some of the highlights during our stay in Mission Valley.

We managed to finally see Gloria when she and Rod came up from Tecate, Mexico to spend the day with us. After visiting around the campsite, we all decided to go a few miles down the valley to one of our favorite burger and beer joints…The Islands Restaurant.
Known for their specialty hamburgers and incredible seasoned fries, The Islands also features a variety of great beers on tap.

Established by two US Navy sailors that were stationed in Hawaii, The Islands has a distinctive tropical feel.

Kit and I had a great time reconnecting with Rod and Gloria and made tentative plans to host them at our Maine home later in the year.

When Kit was up to it, we took care of some family business, and then poked around the old neighborhood. Our childhood homes are still standing pretty much as they were when we left in June of 1965. Kit’s looked in a lot better shape than mine, which I believe has been a rental for a number of years.

My parents purchased this brand new home in the summer of 1957 for $12,500.00 ($111,011.57 in today’s dollars). Previously we were living a few blocks away in Cabrillo Navy housing so most every night, after dinner, mom, dad, brother Don, and I would walk over to see how progress was coming on our new home. Today that old flimsy track home is valued at $546.187.00! An example of the red hot Southern California real estate market!

After my dad bailed on the family, and my mom started working two jobs to ensure we didn’t lose the house, that place was my sanctuary…and the neighborhood hangout spot! The two-car garage, which never saw a car, would be the afterschool gathering place for myself, Kit, Rod, Billy, David, and Joanne. Below is a sketch I made in 1962 and used as a guide to draw a large mural on one wall of that garage.

I’ve often wondered if that mural still exists…what are the odds? One of these days, I’m going to knock on the door, and inquire!

In addition to painting the garage walls with beach scenes, we used the space to build and repair surfboards, move into and out of romantic relationships, build and ride skateboards, listen to Beach Boys music blaring from a portable record player and basically cause the prim and proper neighborhood folks to wonder what this new generation was coming to…fun times!

While out and about, Kit and I happened by a new lunch place and decided to give it a whirl.

The Grater Grilled Cheese specializes in the namesake sandwich. This high calorie comfort food we all grew up with has become high cuisine with the addition of a large election of meat and vegetable choices.

Who would have thought that the lowly old grilled cheese sandwich would be reinvented?! We thought the name was creative…or did they rip it off that political slogan: Make America Grate Again?

Kit and I spent one day visiting the National Veterans Memorial on top of La Jolla’s Mount Soledad.

This sacred spot contains memorial plaques with the names of many service members who have passed…most of them were Navy and Marine Corps, which one would expect in this Navy Town.

Mount Soledad is US Government property and the cross has adorned the summit since 1913. In the late 1980’s the cross was designated a National War Memorial, which gave it some exposure in the press…this resulted in a group of atheists, later joined by a Jewish organization, (yea, I know, strange bedfellows) to challenge the legality of a Christian Cross on Government property. They won their case in the United States Court of Appeals, and the government was faced with removing the cross under court order. Finally, after 25 years of litigation and controversy, some local folks banded together and raised over 1.5 million dollars to buy the 1/2 acre of land under the memorial from the government putting the issue to rest once and for all.

The views from 882-foot Mount Soledad, of La Jolla and the Pacific Ocean beyond, are incredible.

As is the solemnness of this memorial to past military heroes.

Rest in Peace Brothers!

Since Kit was under the weather, and relished some peace and quiet, I took the opportunity to take an excursion to areas of the beach communities that we used to haunt…or, what I like to call: My Childhood Playground! The first stop was South Mission Beach.

Even though this is spring break season, the beach was lightly populated, probably since this area is mostly residential with few motels, bars, or restaurants.  However, that did not deter this Spring Breaker!

One can always tell the birds that are on spring break by their white legs.

Next stop, a short distance away, was Mission Bay.

My mother would take my brother and I, along with any other neighborhood kids that we could pile into the Family Truckster, to this bay for swimming, boating and a picnicking. We always pleaded for her to take us to the real ocean once in a while, but since mom was not a good swimmer, and since the Lifeguard Service was a lot smaller then, she was too afraid to tempt fate in water that occasionally developed a strong undertow.

I then drove north up Mission Beach Boulevard toward Belmont Park…this place was absolutely packed! There was zero parking anywhere near this local amusement park that sits on the shores of Mission Beach, so I just kept going toward my next destination…the village of Pacific Beach.

This was place was crowded with Spring Breakers as well, but just a few blocks off the beach I was able to find street parking in a residential area.

PB, as we used to call it, was our local surf spot back in the 1960’s as it was very close to where we lived, and usually could be counted on for acceptable waves…especially with an offshore wind.

The anchor for PB was Crystal Pier…

… privately owned by the same family since 1961, Crystal Pier is open daily to the public and features cottages for nightly rental along each side.

Took a stroll toward another childhood play area…Tourmaline Canyon.

Situated on the far end of the beach, just where the cove turns west, is a great surf break. Back in the day, it took a climb down a narrow trail to reach the rocky beach…nowadays, there is a road down to it with a parking lot and bathroom/shower facility…times change.

The last beach I wanted to check out was a short distance, as the crow flies, from these others…but since it was on the other side of the inlet for Mission Bay, I had to go inland a bit to access the bridge.

In addition to checking out how the beach area had changed, I wanted to grab a late lunch at an institution in the area…Hodad’s.

But when I arrived the line was down the block…thanks, Spring Breakers!

However, the silver lining was that today is the weekly farmers market, where the main drag is closed off and local farmers sell their wares.

There were several food trucks in attendance to capitalize on the increased foot traffic, one of which catered to those of us who like Filipino food! So, I took my beef meat sticks, lumpia, and chicken adobo down to the pier to enjoy the best native Filipino food since my stent in the Philippines!

A great day exploring the coastal areas of San Diego, and Kit really appreciated the peace and quiet in the bargain!

 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018: Departed Admiral Baker RV Park mid-morning for the 18-mile trek east to our next camping destination…Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve. So, why go to the trouble to move such a short distance? Well, one of us will soon celebrate a milestone birthday…and she wants to celebrate in her favorite campground, with her best friend from the old neighborhood who will be entering the 7th decade as well…on the same date!

 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 through Tuesday, April 10, 2013-Santee, California: Kit and Joanne have been best of friends since junior high school days.

However, they lost track of each other for about 50 years, until a FaceBook search reconnected them in 2016.

A lot has transpired in their lives over that period of separation…including JoAnne’s bout with some very serious health issues. But now that they have reconnected, both of them are making up for lost time!

Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve is a municipal recreation and camping facility run by the Padre Dam Water District. Back in the mid 1950’s, the local water district began researching ways to effectively treat wastewater for reuse. In 1961 a seven-step wastewater treatment facility opened, and the output was sent down via a surface stream to the newly constructed Santee Lakes impoundment. Today the treatment plant is capable of processing over 2,000,000 gallons of wastewater a day into fresh water that is approved for recreation uses.

Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve consists of 7 lakes with fishing, picnicking, paddle-craft boating, bicycling, and camping available.

And a mecca for aquatic birds.

Since Kit and JoAnne wanted to spend their joint birthday’s together, and since Kit wanted to be at Santee Lakes for this major milestone event, I booked our reservation back in November 2017, so we would be assured of a site in her preferred “deluxe” section of the park.

JoAnne, and her husband Ron, were able to score a spot as well and parked their rig a few doors down from us.

And, as a pleasant surprise, JoAnne noticed that hidden around their campsite were a clutch of the famous Santee Rocks!

These works of art with information on the bottom as to date and origin, have been an outdoor pastime in this area for a few years…it’s always fun to discover a Santee Rock.

Before we got to the date of the Kit and JoAnne milestone…there was a lesser birthday to celebrate at a local Mexican Restaurant. Even though I knew that our meeting up with JoAnne and Ron was to recognize my 71st birthday…

…I was totally unprepared for them to cover our bill, and, as an added bonus, they had snuck a cake into the place!

After a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday, that the entire restaurant joined in on, we enjoyed the dessert before heading back to the campground. Thanks folks, for a great birthday surprise!

As mentioned, there are various paddle-craft to rent at Santee Lakes…some of which are peddle boats.

One afternoon, Kit and I decided to walk down and rent one for an hour. After a brief indoctrination, it was off we went.

There are numerous manmade islands that dot the lakes, and we circumnavigated all but one…being the island where Mother Goose was protecting her fledglings from any and all intruders.

The boat was interesting to propel…having bicycle like pedals it was pretty simple, but not having any way to adjust the seats I was forced to pedal from an unnatural and uncomfortable position. However, it was only an hour and we had fun on the water nonetheless!

Kit and I spent a few enjoyable afternoons at JoAnne and Ron’s place a short distance away. In addition of walking down memory lane to the era of 1960’s San Diego, JoAnne shared information about her father’s military career during WWII and his war souvenir.

Serving on a US Navy warship in the Pacific, he was assigned as a member of a landing party that went ashore moments after VJ day. Reportedly, the locals were very happy to see them, and most of the Japanese military had left their weapons and gone home…so there were plenty of these Arisaka rifles…enough for most every member of the crew.

One of our favorite breakfast joints is The Omelet Factory…where we met Ron and JoAnne on three separate occasions! The food is incredible, and the portions are substantial!

On one of these visits, they invited some friends to join us.

From the left; Ron, JoAnne #2, JoAnne #1, Paul, Gavin, and Kit. Paul was a retired Navy guy, so we had a lot to talk about…great meeting you folks!

Then, the BIG DAY arrived and was kicked off with a toast to the honored septuagenarian’s! Yep, these two wonderful ladies turn a very youthful 70 year’s old!

Then there was the exchanging of gifts…

…including this very nice ring that JoAnne gave to Kit.

As nice a gift that it was, the symbolism of the ring overshadowed the gift itself…you see, JoAnne had worn that ring for many years until her debilitating illness prevented her from continuing to enjoy it. What a magnificent and loving gift from one friend to another!

The meal was catered by Blundering Bill’s Babes, Beer and Barbeque of Brunswick…

…with all the fixings…

…also cocktails and this Rack of Cerveza provided by a secret admirer.

All this was followed by an appropriate dessert from Nothing Bundt Cakes!

Which resulted in a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday sang in four-part disharmony by the assembled guests.

Happy Birthday Kit and JoAnne, love you both!

A side note…there has been a tradition that Kit and I have fallen into for the birthday boy or girl to choose how to spend their special day. Kit’s wish was to spend it with JoAnne here at Santee Lakes…and my choice was to spend my day in Del Mar attending the Goodguys National Car Show. Since our stay here has more to do with Kit and Jo’s birthday, and since I’ll likely run over my self-imposed word limit, I’ve decided to defer writing about the sights and sounds of this national event put on by the world’s largest hotrod and custom car association to an upcoming issue…Stay tuned!

Kit’s Bit’s: Such a nice way to spend our 70th Birthday! Since JoAnne and I had lost contact with each other for 50+ years, it seems only fitting that we spend as much time as we can together to get caught up on how our lives have turned out. And, spending our 70th Birthday together was exactly what I wanted. We still have lots and lots of things to share about our 50 years but, I think we both expect to be able to get together as frequently as we can in the future to “catch up”! Thank you, JoAnne and Ron for sharing our birthday! Love you both!

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Bill and Kit’s 2018 Excellent Adventure, Journal #11

“This Year Marks Our 10th Winter RV Trip”

Never go too long without watching a sunset.
Atticus

Monday, March 12, 2018: This morning we depart Catalina State Park and head toward the coast…looking forward to visiting our childhood hometown of San Diego, but we are going to miss the desert and its incredible sunsets.

OK, full disclosure…I did not take this photo. It was lifted from the National Park Facebook page, profiling Tucson’s Saguaro National Park. However, it does represent sunsets in the region we camped, and I really like the image…so, sue me!

Departed the state park at 0900 hours and made our way through the Catalina Mountain foothills toward Interstate 10.

Cruising along the turnpike, we decided that since we departed before breakfast, and since a Cracker Barrell Restaurant was tantalizingly close, we could afford a stop and treat ourselves to a big country breakfast!

The place wasn’t very busy so our very efficient and friendly waitress, spent some time visiting with us. We noticed as she talked she was writing something on the back of our guest check, then left it on the table.

I flagged her down to compliment her on the neat desert themed doodle, and learned she was a double college major…one of them being art!

Returning to the camper Kit and I smiled when we noticed our camper had company…an old school bus that had been converted into a motorhome…

… pretty neat!

Back on the road, we quickly intersected Interstate 8 and made tracks for our traditional in-transit overnight camping opportunity at Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field in the middle of nowhere. This spot offers an inexpensive, bare bones, military campground, that we’ve profiled many times before in our journals.

Checked in, hooked up, enjoyed a meal and drinks, until the setting sun reflected off the side of our camper.

Goodnight!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018: Up to cloudy skies and temperatures in the low 80’s. Broke camp and headed toward Yuma to meet up with some long time RV’ing friends.

John Roger and Karen live in Bend, Oregon but winter over on BLM land outside Yuma. It was great meeting up with them and sharing stories of our lives over this past year.

Back on I-8 we meandered westerly until reaching the town of El Centro, California where we plan to spend a few days taking care of laundry and other chores. Pulling into the local Naval Air Facility RV park we noticed a number of open sites, unusual for this time of the year. Apparently, the mild winter in the Northeast encouraged many snowbirds to head home early.

Following dinner, and a cocktail, we sat outside as the setting sun bounced off some low hanging clouds.

Goodnight!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018-El Centro, California: Only planned to spend one night here, but a windstorm kept us pinned down today…a great day to stay indoors, get in some reading and journal writing, and basically just veg out!

Around 0800 hours, the wind was clocked at 40 MPH and the gusts exceeded 55 MPH!!

Yikes! Guess we made the right decision…not a good day to be on the road in a high-profile vehicle!

I disconnected our truck from the trailer, so we could get in some shopping and refill a depleted propane tank. With the strong winds, the nearby farm fields were losing a bit of their soil.

It looks like there will be a lull in the storm early tomorrow morning, so I reattached the truck and camper, disconnected all the utilities except power, and basically prepared for an early departure.

Thursday, March 15, 2018: On the road at 0705 hours under hazy skies and brisk winds.

Found our way to I-8 and headed west toward the Cuyamaca Mountains. The wind was predicted to increase from the southwest, accompanied by a rain squall, as a cold front came through. This portion of Interstate 8 can be very hazardous in high winds, and even more so if the roadway is wet. We figured that there was a fairly narrow weather window of opportunity to navigate the mountain highway, so we didn’t dally.

As I drove with both hands on the wheel, Kit was able to snap a photo with her iPhone of the sunlit highway and the rain clouds beyond…she even captured a rainbow that stretched from horizon to horizon!

What a great shot!!

We were actually making too good of time, and there was a concern that we may encounter very high winds and heavy rains at the summit. So, I reduced speed, put on the four-way-flashers, and crawled up the steep mountainside along with about a half dozen long haul truckers. The scheme worked, as we came to our offramp at the small town of Boulevard with minimal buffeting and only a few sprinkles.

Once leaving the interstate and heading south, we were in the lee of the mountains and the wind abated. At around 0930, Kit and I pulled into the village of Potrero, California and found our way to its namesake state park.

Then all heck broke loose…wind, rain, and a bit of surface flooding! So much so, that I didn’t bother to set up for our stay but rode out the storm from the safe and dry confines of our camper.

It rained throughout the afternoon, so we just sat inside, read, enjoyed dinner, and turned in early…goodnight.

Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17, 2018-Potrero State Park: Woke to a beautiful morning in one of our favorite county parks.

The rain stopped during the night, and the sunshine was quickly drying everything out. I was able to disconnect the rig and connect the utilities.

Potrero, California is in the Mountain Empire region of Southeast San Diego County and at 2,336 feet in elevation, the vegetation is lusher then in the coastal areas to the west. A rural and peaceful community, Potrero was embroiled in controversy a number of years ago when the quasi-military firm, Blackwater USA, of Bagdad atrocities fame, applied to purchase land and were approved to establish a weapons training facility for its employees…much to the displeasure of the locals. As a result, the citizens of Potrero launched a recall campaign that forced all five members of the local planning board out of office, and the Blackwater training facility was cancelled.

The park was lightly populated for a nice California weekend, so we were able to select a private and roomy site.

I love walking in the woods after a heavy rain…everything smells so fresh and the pungent odor of the vegetation is intoxicating. So, while Kit relaxed at camp, I struck out on one of the many trails that honeycomb the park.

All along the trail, I kept noticing these bushes covered with unique looking flower buds.

Not sure what they are, but the fragrance was incredible!

The walk was only a few miles long, but I thoroughly enjoyed getting out in the refreshing mountain air!

Our high school friend, Rod and his wife Gloria, live a few miles away in Tecate, Mexico. Gloria has just lost her 102-year-old mother a month ago. We met Minga on one of our earlier trips south of the border and found her to be a delightful woman.

So sorry for your loss, Gloria.

We invited Rod and Gloria to a barbeque at our campsite, but Gloria was battling a cold and wasn’t up to attending…however Rod did slip across the border for a few hours to join us.

After, a nice steak meal, we sat around enjoying a few beers and reminiscing about old times in the old neighborhood…and our various shenanigans to ditch school and go surfing. It was a much simpler time in 1960’s San Diego…the school officials let kids get away with some things, especially heading to the beach if the surf was up, because many of the teachers enjoyed the sport as well.

Speaking of sport, the winds were favorable coming across a large grassy field in the park, so I was able to introduce Rod to the sport of high performance kite flying! We started him out with a 1.5-meter parafoil kite which he was able to figure out in short order.

Then transitioned to one of the delta kite’s.

Which gave Rod a bit more trouble, however he figured out the basic maneuvers on that one as well! You may notice the two kite strings, known as a line-set, attached to the kite. Those allow the flyer to control the direction and speed of the kite and facilitate a number of aerial tricks. Rod seemed to have a great time flying the kites, and a few days later texted me that he had ordered a foil kite for himself…another kite flyer is born!

Sunday, March 18, 2018: Kit and I departed Potrero County park at noon and wound our way west on California Highway 94.

This narrow, winding road with little traffic is a prime magnet for sport bike riders to test their mettle. Piloting a large cumbersome vehicle as I do, I’m constantly aware of fellow travelers that I may be holding up and pull over to let others pass when it is safe to do so. Most wait patiently, but some tempt fate by passing when the road ahead is obstructed. Sadly, a few riders have met their demise on this stretch of road over the years.

We navigated through Imperial Beach and turned north up CA-75 toward the City of Coronado, and our destination for the next few days…Fiddlers Cove Marina and RV Park.

This is one of our favorite military RV parks in the system…it is also very popular with folks that reside near this Navy community, and therefore difficult to get into. Some campers reserve a year in advance, but that’s not our style, so we just call periodically and hope to score a site from a cancellation…as we did this time!

In addition to great RV sites, a large fleet of watercraft to rent, and close proximity to the resort city of Coronado, the park is situated to enjoy some very nice sunsets!

So, with cocktails in hand, we bid you all a goodnight!

Monday, March 19, through Saturday, March 24, 2018-Fiddelers Cove, Coronado, California: Kit and I have decided to use our six day stay in this area as our ‘vacation” from being on the road…seems odd that retirees would need a vacation, but we have learned that occasionally we need time to relax, recreate, and otherwise goof off.

We did enjoy a few meals in town, but for the most part, we cooked at the camper…illustrated by this fine breakfast made by Kit.

Which was even more enjoyable since we had views like this from our dining room table.

There are two rows of RV sites in the park, and even though a view can be enjoyed from any of the spots, the waterfront sites are the best…

…and that’s where we were!

There is a walking and biking path that goes by the RV park and leads right into Coronado, which is about 2 miles to the north.

Kit and I left early one morning and walked that path to town.

Along Glorietta Bay, there are vast lawns, picnic shelters, boat ramps, marinas, and a municipal boathouse that rents paddle and sail craft.

The landscaping is first rate, and at this point in the year there were many flowers blooming, such as the Bird of Paradise.

A new sculpture has been installed on the waterfront honoring the US Navy’s UDT and the Seals.

The card hanging around the statues neck has two numbers written on it…the top number notes the BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALS) class in session, and the bottom signifiers the number of students that have been dropped from that class. The drop statistics are updated frequently as the failure rate from BUD/S is near 80%.

Near the small boat launch I came across a young man unloading this piece of equipment.

Made by L3 Corporation, it is an autonomous submersible that can be programed by computer to dive to the sea floor and map contours…pretty neat!

While walking about downtown, we made a pilgrimage to the scene of our nuptials.

Almost 53 years ago, in this very building, Kit and I were married!

After a nice meal in our favorite Coronado Mexican Restaurant, we walked back to the RV park tired but pleased that we had a great day while amassing over 17,000 steps on our fitness app!

Being on the coast, the beach just south of the RV park is excellent for kite flying, so I spent a few days doing just that!

That kite is fairly large at 2.5 meters and the tail is 75 feet long! Had a great time in the sunshine on a secluded beach flying…and Kit equally liked the peace and quiet back at the camper!

Kit and I enjoyed a really nice vacation, but as we sat outside, watching the sun set over the RV park, we came to the realization it’s time to get back to the business of being a traveling retiree.

Goodnight!

Stay tuned for more of Bill and Kit’s adventures in their ancesteral hometown!

Kit’s Bit’s: I’ve decided that Potrero County Park and Fiddler’s Cove are my favorite parks while in San Diego. Potrero because it’s so remote and during the time of year we are there, it has very few campers. And, Fiddler’s Cove because it was where we got married and from the park, we can walk in to town for the day and, there are always cool breezes off the water. Plus, it’s nice to see the Coronado Bridge all lit up at night. It was not there when we got married in 1965, we had to ride the ferry to Coronado. The bridge was built in 1969.

And here is a night shot from our campsite across the marina with the Coronado bridge in the distance.

Looks like a string of pearls!

Bill

Bill and Kit’s 2018 Excellent Adventure, Special Edition

“This Year Marks Our 10th Winter RV Trip”

Dewey and Bea’s Birthday Celebration

We don’t stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing.

George Bernard Shaw

 

Saturday, March 10, 2018:  We are here to celebrate the “milestone” birthday of this young lady…

…and the “milestone” birthday of this slightly older young man!

Now, full disclosure…the photos above were taken in the distant past, but neither Dewey or Bea have changed that much!

In that they both possess the soul and spirit of much younger folks!

No successful party comes together without a lot of work and a lot of help…in Dew and Bea’s case they were helped by the “party girl militia”.

And were very capably supervised by Dew and Bea’s granddaughter Kaya.

Any party at the DewBea Ranch features lots of food and drink.

And, as a special treat, and surprise for Dew, there was a food truck hired.

Don’t be fooled by the sign…being Arizona, this particular food truck dispensed delicious Sonoran Hot Dogs.  And, what is a Sonoran Hot Dog?

A fat juicy La Salchicha wrapped in flavorful Tocino and smothered with, Cotija, Mexican sauces, veggies, and eleven herbs and spices…all stuffed into a soft chewy bollo!

You haven’t lived until you have experienced a Sonoran Hot Dog…in fact, the assembled birthday celebrants consumed over 100 of these calorie bombs and lived to tell about it!  And, what is the genesis of the name?  Well, after consuming a handful of Sonoran Hot Dogs, you will be a snoring in no time!

The morning of the party, Dewey and Bea’s backyard was transformed into a Mexican fiesta replete with colorful flags, decorations, and piñatas.

These effigies are works of art and were not used for the sport of piñata bashing…although I did witness a mysterious character, wearing a red ballcap, sticking a pin into one of these which elicited a yelp by the intended victim.  And, in keeping with the theme, the piñata that suffered abuse by the hand of the honorees, was the depiction of a politician.

The Democrats in the crowd were initially reluctant to whack a symbol of their party, until it was explained that the piñata was not a donkey, but a jackass, and represented all politicians.  That being settled in an impromptu caucus, Bea was up first and swung wildly in all directions scattering party goers to the furthest reaches of the yard.

Check out the look of determination on that girl!  However, it was all to no avail as the Political Jackass maintained its filibuster.

Next up, was Dead-Eye-Dewey…

… who used his superpowers of x-ray vision to take a bead and deliver a fatal blow to the placid political jackass.

Um, looks like the piñata wasn’t the only thing “busted”!

As the Piñata broke apart, many small liquor bottles bounced about the patio and most everyone dove into the melee to gather as many as they could.

Next up was a beautiful pájaro cantor with a golden voice who serenaded Dewey and Bea.

Using a karaoke application on her laptop, which provided the accompaniment, she kept the assembled crowd entertained with a selection of showtunes.

During the more rousing numbers, folks that lacked little inhibition, and a few who were sufficiently lubricated, moved furniture aside and started to dance the Fandango!

Next up was the unveiling of Dewey’s birthday gift.  As the assembled throng sang Happy Birthday…

…a pretty little thing jumped out of the box, much to the pleasure of the honored guest…

…then there was a lull in the festivities when Bea couldn’t figure out how to gracefully get out of that box…

…until a gallant gentleman came to her rescue!  As it is said…all’s well that ends well!

There were other activities and debauchery that occurred, but I should leave those to the imagination.  Meanwhile, here are a selection of folks that honored Dewey and Bea that day.

 

 

 

 

 

This celebration was one of the few times that Dewey’s family gathered in one place since their wedding five years ago…and I was fortunate to document the event!

Back row: Bea, Dewey, Rita, Jimmie, Dorie, Virginia, Bradley, Amy, and Rene.

Front row: Gail, Mike, Kaya, and Kevin.

Kit and I had a wonderful day and enjoyed the festivities and visiting with everyone…we especially want to thank Dewey and Bea for their hospitality these past few weeks.

Love you guys!

 

 

Kit’s Bit’s:  It was such a lovely day for Dewey& Bea, and all their family and friends!  We all gathered beforehand to make sure the house and yard were tidied up for the party.  We all had our assigned tasks.  Thanks, Dewey & Bea for organizing everything, it was a GREAT party!  Happy Birthday to both of you!