Sunday, November 20, 2016

Reno, again

Post covers Oct 30 to Nov 11, 2016

So we find ourselves back in Reno for Alan's medical follow up and he also had a class to teach over the weekend of the 5th and 6th. We decided to stay back at Gold Ranch RV park as we had a nice stay there last time. Staff is friendly, spaces are adequate size. Not the largest but okay for us and the babies and that they allow us to put up the fences for the babies to sit outside with us is huge, as I always mention. There are some full-time residents but their spots are kept up nice and neat and it is hard to tell they live there.

On this trip to Gold Ranch, we met a new neighbor. Emmitt is a pot belly pig who lives with his family in a 5th wheel. Emmitt is the sweetest kid and so very friendly. He is tolerant of dogs and seems to care more about having a snack of grass then worrying about anyone else. His family has a ramp for him to walk up into his RV. We didn't get a chance to get his picture but will try on our next trip to Reno. He also has a parrot for a friend and they would both hang out with mom on warm days outside.

The babies got in some nice walks while we were in Reno. We got in one trip to Lake Tahoe and got the babies out to play in the water for a bit. It was on the cool side so they didn't spend a lot of time in the water. While at Gold Ranch, there was mountain lion sighting in the hills north of the park so for a few days we were careful of where and when the babies went for a walk. We aren't sure what happened to him but after a few days the warning signs were taken down. Hopefully he just moved on.

Kim had a weekend alone with just the babies while Alan went to Portland to teach a class. She got to have some extra time with family during this time. As I mentioned before, the main reason for being in Reno was for Alan to have a follow up MRI and appointment with the neurosurgeon. This past summer they found a couple spinal lesions in Alan's lower back. After getting a second opinion from this neurosurgeon and his opinion being the same as the one Alan saw in Medford, Alan is going to have the lesions removed by the neurosurgeon in Reno. This will mean yet another trip back to Reno as the neurosurgeon's schedule wasn't conducive to having the surgery done before Thanksgiving. We had already had plans to spend Thanksgiving with our daughter in San Diego and their only opening before Thanksgiving wouldn't allow enough recovery time to go to San Diego. So the surgery will be Nov 28th after we spend Thanksgiving in San Diego. They predict about 2 weeks of initial recovery and then we will be off for Christmas in North Carolina with the other daughter and then spending the rest of the winter in the south somewhere. So we left for warmer weather for a couple weeks!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Another week in Nevada City

Post covers Oct 23 to Oct 29, 2016

After all the adventures in Reno we decided it was time to get away from there even though we knew we had to be back the first week of November for Alan's MRI and follow up with the neurosurgeon. Since we didn't want to go too far and saving money is always good we headed off to use our membership at Harmony Ridge Resort. We also noticed that babies were getting a bit stir crazy and while staying at Kim's mom's house allowed them to have a small yard again, they didn't enjoy it like their own place so it was time to get them a break as well.

We actually ended up in a different spot then we normally stay in but even though it is only a few spaces away it turned out to have a better view through the trees and we were able to get the Dish satellite to work on all channels! This was also our first chance to try out the cell booster we bought. Alan did a bunch of reading on options and after comparing reviews with cost ended up buying a refurbished WeBoost 4GM from Amazon. We couldn't see much difference between it and the newer 4GX and the savings buying a refurbished unit was significant. For this first trial, I just put the outside antenna on the front bumper (the only easy to access magnetic surface) and we noticed a difference in making phone calls and getting iMessages through. In the past we often would lose a call if we moved very much and had to be in just the right spot. On this trip we didn't have this issue, so far so good. I didn't get much chance to check it out with data as the wifi was working pretty well at the campground. It helps that there were only a handful of others in the park.

So one of the plans was to be able to get out and do more while here, especially getting the babies out for more walks and short hikes. As it turned out the first couple of days there were rainy so the walks turned into short walks between the raindrops and lots of letting them out to go potty under the awning. What we have learned helps with getting them tired and not as stir crazy is to go for some long drives with all of them. Even if we aren't able to get them out for a hike just the drive and a short potty stop somewhere wears them out (of course the burger they usually get as a treat to share doesn't hurt their feelings either).

We did a nice afternoon drive with them one day to Loomis and got lucky enough to have a break in the rain for an hour or so. We found a large park, Loomis Basin Community Park, that was all dog friendly and we all got a nice long walk around the area. Prada found it to be to her liking as there are lots of squirrels there with big bushy tails. She has an attraction to squirrels even though we are sure she wouldn't know what to do with one if she actually got close enough to catch one.

By mid-week the weather had cleared up and we decided to take a day trip to San Francisco. It is about a 2-1/2 to 3 hour drive. The weather in San Francisco was some of the best we have ever had there. Sunny and in the high 60s. The babies got to play at Crissy Field for a while and even dipped their paws in the bay. They haven't gotten to see the ocean since August so it was good treat. As you can see they liked playing in the thick grass more than anything.

 If you go to Crissy Field, they have an off leash dog area by the water but as in most of these areas you have to watch out for the large dogs that run up to the little ones. Spella with all her issues is especially frightful when a large dog runs up to her even when they are friendly. One of the frustrating things at these areas is that even when you tell the dog's human that your dog has issues they almost always say the same thing "but my dog is friendly." For some reason they don't listen  to us anget that ours is a little special and isn't initially friendly when scared by a large dog.

After a romp at Crissy Field, we headed downtown for lunch and some shopping. We found a nice corner Italian restaurant with outdoor seating that was fine with the babies sitting with us. We always get a kick out of sitting out eating with the kids as the looks we get are precious. The babies are spoiled of course so not everyone gets us having one in the stroller, usually Vinnie, and the other two either on their own chairs or in a lap. Oh well, we have always felt there is something wrong with a person who doesn't like animals. After lunch, we stopped at two of our favorite places for snacks to take back, Molinari Deli on Columbus Ave for some of their salamis and cheeses and then on to Stella Pastry and Cafe also on Columbus for their fresh made cannolis and whatever other sweets look good.

We then headed back towards Nevada City but our timing was awful so we got to experience the great bay area traffic and it took a bit longer to get back. Even with that we couldn't argue with the day. The weather was as good as you could ask for, we found great food and the babies got to play and were tired campers by the time we made it back to the motorhome.

The rest of the week was some time around the campground and short walks in the area. Towards the end of the week, we noticed that another weather front was headed in with the forecast showing snow over Donner Pass that we would be driving over to get back to Reno. After two days of this forecast staying the same including a winter weather watch, we decided that it would be safer to leave for Reno a couple of days early rather than chance that the pass would be clear by the time we needed to leave. Since Alan had his MRI appointment scheduled, there wasn't an option to delay leaving for Reno. Next update from back in Reno.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Back in Reno - Gold Ranch RV

Post covers Sep 11 to Oct 22, 2016

After some time in the trees in Nevada City, we needed to head to Reno to get Kim ready for her girls trip. She is heading to North Carolina to visit our younger daughter and then head to Disney World. Our older daughter is going to meet her in Reno and then they will be driving to North Carolina (Kim doesn't fly). To top off the trip, Kim's mom will be flying to Orlando to meet up with everyone and then she and Kim will drive home together. Wow, that made me tired just trying to describe all of that 😅.

So Alan got to spend a week with the babies at Gold Ranch RV park and then went to the mother-in-law's house to dog sit her babies as well as ours. Living in Reno, I've seen Gold Ranch and even been in it for work but of course we have never stayed there. The park sits on the west side of Reno in Verdi by the California border. While it sits right off of I80 the traffic noise while noticeable isn't overwhelming and sitting outside is not an issue. The spaces are decent size with plenty of room for the babies pen. We did ask about putting up their pen and were told that the main issue is having it on the grass when they mow. We also saw that several others had pens up so we put ours up and watched for the days they mow and didn't have any issue with the park staff complaining about the pen. The staff here was friendly and helpful throughout our stay including when extending the stay by a couple of days, though we did have to move spaces for the last few days.

We took this opportunity take the motorhome in for some needed work. One of the slides has been acting up and the other needed the seal replaced. We were able to get some of the work completed but the shop wasn't able to completely fix the one slide as it will require them taking the slide out and they didn't have the availability in their schedule to dedicate the time. Guess we will have to find a shop somewhere else in our travels. It still works but we are worried about it leaking. Also had to take the motorhome to an engine shop as it was been running hot on hills. We've had issues in the past with this and have had a couple items fixed. Ended up taking it to Wayne's Automotive in Sparks. They were great and spent a lot of time diagnosing the issue and seem to have found the problems (they replaced both the fan clutch and radiator, seems the radiator that was put in a couple of years ago was an aftermarket one that doesn't work as well as an original manufacturer one, who knew). We are now keeping fingers crossed that we won't have any further issues with the engine cooling system.

Alan had time on several of the days to get the babies out into the desert for some exploring. They grew up in the high desert so they had fun running around in the dirt again but I think they have gotten use to the beach for the last year and like that better.

It was also a good time for Alan to do some teaching with one of his friends and get all his medical certifications up to date and catch up on some of his consulting work.

The day Kim came back, Alan got the motorhome back out to Gold Ranch for a short stay there. Alan had an appointment with a neurosurgeon that following week. As it turned out after the appointment, Alan needs to have some more MRIs done along with probable surgery but in the meantime it's off for a week before that.