Malibu

Malibu! Where’s that? California. Let’s go. Okay.

It actually went more like ~ it’s time to leave Prescott. Debbie and Miguel will eventually get sick of feeding us and we don’t wanna burn that bridge.

When we left Prescott, we were kinda heading back towards Issaquah, WA and closing in on a year on the road ~ the expenses were eating up what we had. So we spent like crazy people in Malibu ~ fear, stupidity, frustration, giving up, passionate about not giving up ~ this is where Jenn got her digital camera for Mothers Day.

This is also a very expensive place to live. The RV park gives you a dirt parking spot with water, sewer, and electric for about $1200/month. But the view is amazing and you can feel the waves below.

We stayed in a waterfront spot for a night or two (maybe a week, we did spend way too much money this month), and the back of the RV hangs over the edge ~ pretty tricky to hook up the utils but it’s way cool looking out the back window and only seeing water. The hillside behind the waterfront sites actually drops at a steep angle to PCH (hwy 1) about 150 feet below then the beach another 50 or so feet. Apparently Malibu means ‘loud surf’ and if it does, it lives up to its name. When the waves come in, they crash with such intensity that you can feel them in your RV.

We chose the ‘mountain view’ site instead of waterfront for monthly ~ that means good luck with the mud slides o ye of too cheap to pay for the great spot… Our home is above across from the bathrooms next to the fifth wheel in the foreground. The cool looking motor home in the foreground is Tom and Donna’s home. They changed our lives.

Tom is a really cool guru. We actually didn’t meet him until after living there for a few weeks. We have since become close. He has done lots of cool things in his life and met lots of interesting people ~ he knows Michael Jackson and shame on you for judging someone you don’t know from media propaganda (if you have). We suffer the same judgment bug… But anyway, Tom introduced us to Eastern Philosophies that we hadn’t yet heard. He also hooked us up with some great reading that has taught us a lot ~ Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda; The Four Agreements and Mastery of Love, Don Miguel Ruiz… Suggested reading. More later.

1) Don’t make assumptions. 2) Don’t take anything personally. 3) Be impeccable with your word. 4) Do your best.

Greg was doing his best to talk with everyone that would talk with him one day and ran into Jay. They talked about cars, and buses, and boats, and motorcycles, and suspension, and motors, and horsepower, and patching roofs, and… All those things guys find so interesting and pisses off moms and kids cause he’s out there talking, AGAIN! And he was late for dinner.

Jay and his girlfriend, Rebecca, had sold their home in Vermont and bought a bus to pursue Rebecca’s singing career in L.A. They have since parted ways and Jay went back east to Jersey and Rebecca stayed in L.A. pursuing her music career. We have kept in touch with both of them and stay with Rebecca in her apt when we visit L.A. and Jay stayed with us in Salem and treated us to a cool Boston tour.

Benny stayed with Rebecca in L.A. because that’s more his doggy style.

And ‘killer’ Tosh went with Jay.

Tosh seriously bit Austin.

But loves Jenn cause she doesn’t scream in her face.

We also met porn stars in the park. These guys were filming ‘The Osporns’ in a nearby mansion funded by Playboy pictures.

And these guys (Annie Body and Marcus) weren’t funded but had an old ‘Bounder’ RV that they lived in and used as a studio in the RV park. Jay and Rebecca had introduced us to them and they brought us all strawberries from the market. We had dinner with them and the women made fun of the men talking about how hard audio is to capture on video. Ron Jeremy lived in a mobile home park that was shut down in San Diego next to Campland where we stay.

Oh brother.

Where art thou?

Makin’ bacon with the momster.

Moves things along.

That’s just gross. Or I’m farting.

While in the park, we also met Zuma…

And Venice. And their parents Amy and Scott. They live in a converted MCI bus ~ whenever we pass a Greyhound, the kids yell ‘that’s like Zuma and Venices house!’ These guys are great ~ we spent lots of time in their Greyhound, um, MCI, uh, house. Scott took various construction jobs so Amy could stay home with the kids in Malibu. They are a great example of the art of living.

So we went to the beach. Many beaches actually.

Jenn loves the beach.

And so do the girls.

Love the beach, but know the dangers ~ this lifeguard is teaching us to stay out of the water that is running from the inland into the beach as it is contaminated. With what? Sewage. The multi million dollar mansions septic tanks suck.

And they eventually make it into the ocean. Turns out most of the beaches near metro areas (L.A., San Diego, San Francisco…) are contaminated with high levels of bacteria. They only close them when these levels are ‘excessive’. Gross.

Our septic systems in the park were probably leaky too. They were always working on them. Sunny really doesn’t use a sucky and hasn’t for many years. This was a disciplinary tactic gone wrong. They liked ’em.

So we got ’em to walk the neighbors dogs and pick up their poo. This is Benny again. He’s so L.A.

Dallas was our neighbors dog that the girls absolutely fell in love with. We would baby sit Dallas just because. Dallas’ dad also lived in the park full time ~ he is a personal trainer. The man, not dog. Although the dog did train the girls pretty good…

and Kiki trained the dog. We miss Kiki.

Not really our tour bus

And our Prevost tour bus (and someday we may actually have one to miss).

Cher's Malibu Mansion

We saw this limo outside our neighbors mansion one day. Cher had to go to the Divas live performance in Vegas and we waited near her gate to wish her well. We never got to see her cause that jerk with the badge had other plans for us…

Demi's Malibu house

So we stalked, uh, waited outside our other neighbors house with Ashton long before they met. Never saw her or Bruce either.

Southwest ’02

Yep, we really didn’t leave Prescott on the last page, but life really isn’t chronological, nor logical, or sometimes even legitimate or contrived. But one thing for sure, life is.

These southwest pictures were taken from our excursions around Prescott during our time there ~ if you were paying attention, you’d remember that we mentioned having ‘friends’ up when we were staying at the apt in Prescott. This page has some random wanderings while we were there and may or may not be accurate or honest, after all it is our site and your mother dresses you funny.

But that’s okay because Greg’s mother really likes four legged hoofed animals so much that she was excited to see this sign!?!

Being on the edge of the Grand Canyon seeing the world famous mules that risk their lives everyday to take unsuspecting tourists into Dr. Evils lair had something to do with the excitement behind seeing the sign. That’s a crazy trail where you ride the mules into the canyon and sometimes they fall.

Not really ~ apparently there’s never been a mule accident. But that’s not true either and we have a pair of shoes to prove it. And here’s some more of those pictures everyone loves to take ~ including us. And you have to live with it because, well, you’re here and don’t wanna miss what’s on the bottom of this page ~ AND DON’T SKIP AHEAD ~ stop right there.

You have to look at the lovely Family pictures with the Grand Canyon background ~ everyone now ~ oooohhhhh!!! aaaahhhhhh!!!

Who’s that creepy guy looking at Greg’s Mom? I’d be scared if I met him in a dark alley ~ but he’s really a sweet kid…

Now this is an important picture, so pay attention or just leave us alone because you don’t care anyway…

That’s Greg and Jenn under the bell at Hermits Rest.

Oh, and the story goes something like this ~ our first trip together in April ’92 was flying from San Antonio to Los Angeles to drive a friends truck back to San Antonio. We were very broke so we camped along the way but still took time to see the sites we could. When we got to the Grand Canyon expecting to tent camp, we were told we could not. So we drove to the end of the tourist road and setup our tent at night anyway. When we were woken early the next morning by hikers, we realized we were too close to the edge of the canyon (illegally) and also at the head of this popular hiking trail ~ originating at Hermits Rest. So here we are almost ten years later. Awwwwwww. Now get in the car, woman.

We also took Mom around the Prescott area where there exists strange rows of mailboxes without a house in sight. It was such an eyesore we removed all the mail, ran over the boxes, and used the sticks for firewood. And that’s why you should never mail cash.

We sure enjoyed having Mom visit Arizona with us but we never quite figured out why we put her next to a Saguaro (suh-wah-row) Cactus alone for a picture (pik-ch-rrrr).

Mandy is Jenn’s cousin that lives in Texas ~ at the time she was living with Jenn’s parents and we were blessed enough to be able to bring her up to Arizona to visit with us (never mail cash).

Since we had all this cash, we couldn’t think of a better place to take a teenager that had never been out of Texas. Our RV had been sitting in Debbie and Miguels backyard while we were chilling in the Prescott apt, so we took it for a little road trip…

and the kids found some new Mommy’s (that might be a Daddy on the left though). Maybe they’re both Daddies…

boo ya. Everyone shoot the transvestites…

Vegas is really a cool place to visit with Family ~ it’s also a cool place to leave as in enough is enough. They (we still don’t know who ‘they’ are), but they have taken an empty desert valley and man made anything interesting ~ although we think the natural desert is interesting, but ‘they’ don’t seem to care, ‘they’ decided flattening and clearing the desert and putting buildings up was better. Then ‘they’ power it all by Hoover Dam and allow many guilty pleasures to happen relatively legally but get Families there by creating interesting things and activities for the kids. So… be careful in Vegas, because ‘they’ say whatever happens here stays here ~ but it’s not true at all. The conscience is an amazing thing.

We took Mandy with us to our next adventure anyway…

Zion is in the bottom corner of Utah and is really, really, really cool.

Actually, the whole area is way cool ~ I-15 through this area is easily one of the most scenic drives we’ve ever been on. But we’re not on I-15 here, we are in Zion wandering around.

We camped in Zion and the kids were ‘excited’ to find other kids their age. Excited can sometimes mean retarded if you know what we mean…

This was our front yard view out the door during this stay. The coyotes would echo off the canyon walls at night. mmmmmm.

After Zion, we cruised to Page, AZ where there’s a really big lake and Navajo’s. Those rocks are a trail to a slot in the ground ~ The Slot Canyons! $20/person cash to a Navajo sitting on a lawn chair in the desert with absolutely nothing else around. Weird.

Even weirder ~ we were told an interesting story right before we dropped into the canyon and it’s why the sign above exists. A group of German tourists showed up at this Slot Canyon one sunny afternoon and right before going in were told to wait because there was a call about a storm in the area. The Navajo attendant went to the slot canyon nearby that was higher than this one to figure out if there was any water or flooding. When he got there it was taking water from the storm off in the distance ~ the storm that couldn’t even be seen from where they were. He went back to the above canyon to tell the German tourists not to go in because of the risk of flooding and they were nowhere to be found. Just after his return, a wall of water came over the horizon towards the canyon and there was nothing he could do but watch the wall of water disappear into the Slot above. twenty some odd people lost their lives that day and it took weeks to find and recover all the bodies downstream. The few that survived told how the group decided to go into the canyon despite their warning because there were no signs of a storm or water.

So we decided to go in. The canyon itself is somewhat inverted in that it drops down from the desert floor and is only visible above through a slot just a couple of feet wide at most. From the rim, it drops up to 120 feet deep and widens at the bottom up to 15-20 feet in places. This canyon was created by the sandstone being carved out by flash floods just like the one described above. The tourists described is why they put the sign in the middle of the desert near the lawn chair that the Navajo sits on charging $20/person. Wonder what happens if he’s not there?

They also had these stairs installed after this incident. Before, it was much more difficult of a climb and even still there is only this way in and an exit about a quarter mile on the other side. Otherwise, you’re in the slot. Going down these stairs into the slot at the top is so narrow that you have to go in sideways. It’s a pretty tight squeeze, long climb, and long hike. If you go make sure you’re in decent shape and okay with paying cash to a Navajo sitting in a lawn chair in the desert. Check the weather too.

These canyons are photogenically famous and have been featured in Valtrex commercials (genital herpes) and Britney’s video. Coincidence?

I think not.

How ’bout we just talk about Britney’s video and forget about the other thing…

Mandy thinks that idea is hot. Wait. That’s Paris.

And here’s the release on the other side. The canyon floor is covered in a deep layer of sand and is a relatively flat walk. The sides of the canyon are easy to whittle away from just rubbing with your fingers so we tagged it and our junior ranger kids arrested us. This is one of the most awe inspiring sites we’ve seen and we highly recommend visiting the slot canyons if you can. Page, AZ is a pretty cool little town too.

Coming out the other side opens up into more of a hillside with a great view.

We chilled here for quite a while and enjoyed the view and beautiful weather and clean air.

Back on the road we found a little place on a map somewhere that talked about a cool overlook. We had to park and hike in…

But we know we’ve seen this view before somewhere on TV or a publication ~ it’s a bend in the river that you look down on from probably 500+ feet up. It’s really hard to capture on film and we can’t find the video capture from our wide lens ~ so you’ll just have to use your imagination and recreate the above picture with the same to the left and a really cool horizon. Now aren’t you glad you made it to the bottom of the page to use your imagination?

This was a fantastic time in our life ~ we were financially able to get Mandy there and show her the Southwest and even left her with a great video of the entire experience. We also got to host Greg’s Mom and take her to the Grand Canyon and touring around Prescott. We had the ability to help Debbie and Miguel make some Salsa and we rented an apt learning that space (out of the RV) was a perceived luxury and really didn’t do us all that good. We really like the Southwest but missed being around an ocean.

COMMENTS??

Prescott, AZ

After the duck died in Texas, we thought it would be best to leave. We once again had no plan but had been blamed for yet another death ~ on the run again…

(the duck really didn’t die, so it technically wasn’t our fault again)

We left Texas through Abilene (where Greg went to college for two semesters too long); then went to Albuquerque to miss the big balloon festival, also Sant Fe, then Phoenix, then Prescott where we sidebar’d to the Grand Canyon… more on those later. We start this saga in Albuquerque and ended up in the parking lot of the…

parking in rear ~ he he… We didn’t really go in. Looks like we did though. Museums really do get boring (which is how we end up on poo tours). After deciding Albuquerque isn’t really happening in January without the balloons, we taught all the kids how to spell it and left.

…to Santa Fe in January and paid for a week to save money so we had to stay, frozen ~ because we paid (those idiots). We pulled the RV on top of the snow and proceeded to freeze. All the in and out pipes. We were able to thaw the hose coming in during the day, but the sink pipe never thawed so when it backed up Greg climbed under the RV with a heating pad, blow dryer, and pipe insulation. We finally earned draining water again. The poo water didn’t freeze, maybe the pipes are too big.

The place above shows up on the Travel channel shows. It is a wicked cool little motel in Sante Fe, New Mexico and is decorated with all kinds of stuff.  The whole place makes you stare for awhile.  Love it!

During our stay in Santa Fe, we rented a Hyundai Santa Fe (he he) and drove this way cool road through bohemian artsy fartsy towns and climbed Sandia Peak mountain with another overlook of another beautiful view (climb means drive most of the way with a little bit of walking on the top with hot chocolate and M&M’s while Sunny stayed in the car too cold and pouting).

It was really cold up there and we didn’t stay long.  The threat of being hit by lighting didn’t help either.

While in Santa Fe driving our Santa Fe and really looking like those idiot tourists in Santa Fe in January ~ we visited San Ildefonso Pueblo on an Indian Reservation where we had to pay to take photos on their land.  They charged ten dollars for taking photos and twenty dollars for taking video. Fortunately we caught this prone to lightning strike killing chickens on film (or spirit warning us to leave?!?) ~ we don’t have no $20 video from here.

See.

We reached a point where money wouldn’t even buy our way in.  They are tough.

Tooling around the Southwest, you end up on Route 66 quite often. It’s always beautiful anywhere you go and it makes you feel really cool! After all, JCPenney sold jeans from this popular road… Route 66 was the original highway from Chicago, IL to Los Angeles, CA and was filled with several Mom and Pop shops along the way.  Most of the little shops along Route 66 disappeared when the conventional highway system fell into place, but there are still some hardcore little places left.

After freezing in Santa Fe (got our moneys worth out of that week), we stopped at one of our favorite places to visit in New Mexico.  The Very Large Array, VLA, has been featured in the movie Contact where Jodie Foster searched for extraterrestrial life with radio telescopes.  It is situated in a remote area surrounded by mountains at an elevation of around 7,000 feet.  It consists of twenty seven radio telescopes that are linked together to make one ginormous telescope pointing towards the sky looking for that one special signal.  It is an amazing place to sit and watch technology at work. We came back and got a ‘special’ tour of the place in Dec ’02 ~ check it out ~ but don’t forget to come back and finish what ya started, punk.

Because you won’t want to miss Meteor Crater in Arizona. This thing was created by a rock about the size of your head ~ well, maybe Greg’s head ~ and is 10 miles in diameter. Yep, 10 miles. Wow. It’s hard to tell when you’re standing on the rim too. Definitely worth seeing but you should know it’s as exciting as the Grand Canyon or watching snails.

One of our favorite pictures in the world and Jenn took it (which makes us partial ~ but we’ll sell you a print… you buy the ink).

After New Mexico and Meteor Crater we went to Phoenix, AZ thinking it would be the ultimate place to be in the wintertime for RV’ers. Phoenix has like a bazillion RV sites cheap and luxurious with pools and spas and golf courses with grills and firepits in oversized sites ~ all for seniors without kids or pets! Seriously, we were totally discriminated against and we’d sue if judges weren’t all old people too. The Woodalls camping guide is the size of a big city phone book and nearly half of it is Phoenix RV resorts ~ after calling about 50 of them and being denied because we’re under 50, and have kids, AND have pets (as in what the hell are you punks doing in Phoenix in an RV???), we ended up in a trailer park ~ and believe us when we say there is a huge difference between an RV resort and trailer park. Phoenix wasn’t a total waste… in addition to finding California Pizza Kitchen and becoming hopelessly addicted, we also got to see our old San Antonio friend, Ron, and went with him to the super-cross (crazy dirt bike guys), and we visited yet another museum ~ we had some ASTC passes for these things (thanks a lot Ed) and felt we needed to get our moneys worth ~ never did. Maybe you could.

Phoenix was another crossroads for us ~ not sure where to go and what to do. We were nearly a year into the RV life and just as far into our savings, working was definitely on our minds and we were popping out ideas like selling popcorn, or hot dogs, or the kids… but we ended up going to Prescott because we have a friend we met in Issaquah that persisted that we need to meet her parents Debbie and Miguel.

We finally arrived in Prescott, AZ where Kerrie insisted that we meet her parents Debbie and Miguel.  It was kind of weird to show up at their place and say hi, we are Kerrie’s friends!  Apparently it wasn’t for them because they took us right in and cooked for us the entire time we were there.  By the way, they are both amazing chefs and know how to entertain!

We ended up spending more time here than we thought we would, about three months!  We helped them cater an annual fundraising event based around chocolate that they do every year.  Debbie and Miguel made some awesome desserts and our job was to keep the table full as the plates were emptied.  We felt fancy.

At Debbie and Miguel’s house we weren’t required to do anything but eat.  They made us so many great dinners and desserts and made cooking look so fun that Jenn started finding a passion in learning from the pros.  Little by little, Jenn picked up some awesome recipes and tips and now can’t stop cooking!

After about a month in Prescott (being fed really well and feeling at home) we decided to rent a place to spread out and start thinking about our working future ~ fulfilling our goal of working together as a Family. We actually considered (briefly) purchasing a fixer upper house and renovating it, but decided we were too unsure about what we wanted to do and the risk of savings was too great at this point in our life. So we threw probably the same amount of money into rent (hindsight oops) ~ This is our apartment in Prescott where we rented a couch, loveseat, and TV.  The rest of the apartment was furnished with stuff borrowed from Debbie and Miguel.  This was really cool for us and we got to bring family members here to see us.  Kiki is hanging out in the window.  We miss her.

We spent lots of time at  Miguel’s tasting room where he gave us home schooling lessons about food safety and handling.  Miguel teaches these same classes at the local college for people working with food and paying big bucks to take his classes.  He also uses this commercial grade, food manufacturing approved kitchen for his very own salsa and habanero recipes that he has been making for twenty something years.  People beg him to make it and order it by the cases.

As a home schooling lesson Miguel taught us how to make his special salsa and habanero sauces.  This was a three day process that started with nothing but fresh ingredients chopped up finely.  Austin wore the goggles because the onions were so strong it made all of our eyes water.

The fresh ingredients were then taken to the big cooking pot where it was stirred and cooked for quite awhile.  It required someone to stay with it the whole time and had to get to a certain temperature.  The kids took turns stirring the billion gallons of salsa and washing their hands incessantly.

After several hours of salsa cooking and stirring we poured the steaming hot salsa into the bottles which allowed the bottle to become sterilized from the heat.  The bottle is then turned upside down which helps create an airtight seal and is left to cool for a day.

The next day we labeled all the bottles by hand and boxed them up.  Then they were ready for delivery to some local restaurants and were available for pickup from the loyal salsa lovers.

We bottled 148 bottles of salsa that we handmade over three days.  Miguel was a great teacher and not only allowed the kids to be hands on, he demanded it and handcuffed them to their manufacturing stations and made them work 22 hours a day with only roaches and stagnant water to keep them going…  It made the kids feel great that Miguel shared his special recipe with them.  They loved every minute of the salsa making!  We think he did too! Then he did La Cucaracha.

Miguel made the habanero sauce on a separate day and did it by himself.  He said that the smell was so strong that it was really hard for others to be around it.

We took his word for it and came in to do the bottling and labeling.  Miguel warned us that his habanero was hotter than most and when Austin spilled a little on the side of the bottle he learned first hand just how hot it was. His ear grew back eventually.

As you can see Sunny learned as well and regained her sight within the month.

We put these black tops on the habanero bottles and then shrink wrapped then with a heat gun.  Makes them look cool! Habanero and Rock n Roll… hmmm.

After we shrink wrapped the bottles they were labeled and boxed and ready for purchase.  After all the salsa making we shipped tons of salsa and habanero to friends and family all over! We’re still waiting to hear who got Kesley’s finger.

Then we took some time off to explore the area and found a cool primitive, low risk, dirt road and later found out that the VW doesn’t off road as well as we’d like it to (see Canyon de Chelly).  We went into the forest and saw some old mining places and even found a cave that we really probably should not have been in.

So what ~ nobody knows where we were…

We made it to the top of a mountain on another dirt road and had a great view!  It is such a different area of Arizona with all the trees and mountains.

Primitive and risky dirt road with no maintenance and a great view. Sounds like the typical American Family don’t ya think? If we fall off ~ fall together.

Debbie and Miguel took us on a tour through some local little cities and Ghost towns.

Jerome is a must see!  It’s an artsy little former mining town on the side of a mountain filled with all kinds of cool shops.  You have to take this crazy windy road up the mountain to the town and when you get there drive on a tiny little road through the town.  The buildings are hanging off the sides of the mountain and are creatively held together.   This place is literally in the middle of nowhere! somewhere in Arizona.

Why do we take pictures like this?  Does anyone else have this problem?  Gahhh…

Sunny celebrated her fifth birthday in Prescott!

We ended up spending three months in Prescott before hitting the road.  We loved staying with Debbie and Miguel, they are now more like family.  They taught us so much while we were there and we sure loved their home cooking (although that’s our Betty Crocker in a throw away tin pan above).  We love you guys. See ya next time.