Little Ol’ Lady in Pasadena

Pasadena is famous for the tiny cottages ‘grandfathered’ into the back of properties in neighborhoods reserved for single-family dwellings. My daughter and son-in-law do not have one of those cottages, which is why I visit in Ramsey. This time I upgraded from parking him on the street to shimmying my way up the driveway to park in the backyard. It was a tight squeeze, but worth it — quieter and a safer walk to my front door for my tiny grandsons.

Muir Woods National Monument

While my daughter and her two boys visited me in August, we took a walk through the Muir Woods National Monument, which is 30 minutes on a super-curvy road over the hill from my house. My third grandson, who is four months old, pushed in his stroller by his mother, joined us.

Important to my quest to see the National Parks, I obtained some useful items from the Visitor Center.

1) A Senior Pass. Cost for my lifetime: $10 (going up to $80 in October!) Three adults can accompany me on this pass. The children are free.


2. My National Parks Service Passport. I bought one for each of my grandsons, too.

3. A stamp on my passport. Muir Woods isn’t a National Park, so this doesn’t count for my quest, but the passport is a start.


The trail loops up one side of the narrow valley of tall trees and back the other. The loop is connected by frequent bridges across the valley. There are also trails heading out from the loop, but we stuck close to the entrance. There isn’t much more to say about the woods that you can’t see in the photos.







RVing with the Grandkids

As expected, Hurricane James loves Ramsey the RV. James and his brother, Felix, their mom, and I took a trip together a few weeks ago. Destination: the Paso Robles Ranch and RV Park, which is roughly half way between my daughter’s home in the LA area and mine in the SF area. We slowly made our way up Highway 101 with frequent stops. Felix needed nursing and James needed to run around.

We made it to Paso Robles a bit after 5:00 pm. Even though it was officially dinner time, Mom consented to a swim in the Park’s pool, which, for the boys, was the best part of the whole “camping trip.”

Dinner consisted of hot-dogs grilled on my new mini-Weber and string beans I had marinated with dill ahead of time. We called them pickle beans so James, who loves pickles, would eat them. He ate a couple.


We had bought ingredients for smores, but didn’t have an open fire. Besides, it was getting late and the last thing James needed was sugar. It was hard enough calming him down for the night as it was, he was so excited. For Felix, who isn’t crawling yet, Amy and I had built a bed from a cardboard box which fit on the floor in the front part of the cabin without blocking the door to the bathroom. We cut the mattress from an exercise mat – something like a yoga mat, but thicker. We used two thicknesses covered with a cotton blanket and a crib sheet. (Obviously, this photo wasn’t taken inside Ramsey.)


Eventually morning came. Amy and I enjoyed our café lattes while James watched Netflix on the iPad (Wifi provided by the Park). Felix kept busy playing with Ramsey’s measuring spoons and cups.


In Gilroy, on the final stretch to the Bay Area, Ramsey provided an private dining room when we stopped at In-N-Out for lunch.


 James is hiding under the table.

The great thing about this PleasureWay Lexor is that it can fit in most parking spots.


After a week’s visit, including a walk through the Muir Woods (subject of next blog), I delivered Amy and her boys back to the LA area in my regular car. We left my house after lunch and drove during the boys’ naps to Livermore, where James could wear himself out on the Lost World Adventure play gym.


After sharing a plate of nachos at Chili’s for dinner, we completed the 5-hour drive down I-5 while the boys slept quietly.

Camping was fun, but I think we’ll wait until the boys are a tad older before taking any more long trips. An hour out of town, maybe, but not an eight-hour drive that took us sixteen-hours to make.