Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Another Day in "Paradise"

What is Paradise one might wonder?  Paradise or feeling like one is "in Paradise" is so different for each and every one of us, isn't it?  Yesterday we all "scored"!

Buddie and his partner Linnea in the sport of agility, were off to a big event near Monterey and Seaside.  Buddie did Qualify in two runs!  Both he and Linnea were in heaven.  When that happens Maria is too.

While Buddie was at his agility trial Mister Kitty took the opportunity to sneak into Buddies bed :-)... a snooze in the forbidden place!   Now THAT too is "Paradise".

We took Ralle for a walk along the seaside in the quaint coastal town.  He was greeted, petted, photographed by tourists and had a full mornings  worth of sniffing where so many dogs had gone before. Ralle was in paradise!

David picked up a new updated GPS CD for our car at the Monterey dealership so he was a happy man.

I went to Whole Foods in Monterey to purchase scallops for dinner.  Going to any Whole Foods Market is Paradise to me!  Then of course cooking Seared Sea Scallops with Lemon Orzo and having Linnea with me in the kitchen preparing a salad, well what more needs to be said.........

 Ray picked fresh peaches from the totally LOADED peach tree in their back yard, for us to use making  a Peach Crumble... to be served with a dollop of whipped cream for dessert, WELL!

Sharing this great meal with my  family gathered around the table, dogs waiting their turn, curled up nearby.  What could be better!

Some pictures for you to enjoy.  The pictures will just affirm my day, my feelings of "Paradise".

How was your day?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Riding Out to and Up "Lone Tree Road"

Santa Ana Mountain and Three Sisters Peaks

I decided to go for a bicycle ride up towards the peaks on Lone Tree Road.

It was a nice mentally relaxing and exploring ride taking in all the views.

It was a steady climb with the road becoming steadily worse.  The downhill return will need to be very careful.

I knew I wasn't quite ready to do a climb like this. But, I thought, "What the heck".

I took plenty of water and two apples (I didn't have any bananas).

Dos Picachos Ranch

When I came to this fancy ranch gate with the initials DP on it I briefly thought that I came upon a long lost rich twin brother.  But, on closer inspection it was Spanish for the two big peaks in the background.

Two Peak Ranch

The driveway or road from the gates to the large estate ranch house complex in the distance was all paved.  I would guesstimate it to be about 2 miles.

I came upon this other cattle ranch entrance with a sign on it that said, "Smile you're on camera".  I walked up took a bow and smiled.

The eleven mile climb to the end of the road was beginning to give my "not yet ready" legs some problems.

Shady areas were far apart and few on this road.

Reaching a point where I thought I was at the top gave me hope that I was nearing the end of the road and the end of the climb.

It was a false hope.  The road started to descend into a little valley between the hills and then it started to climb up again.  There are some very steep short inclines in the road that began to turn my legs into jelly.

"Las Cimas" ranch.  The summit or Top

I came upon this other ranch sign whose name in Spanish meant the summit.  I thought I was at the end of the road.  The sign lied.  There were a few more steep bends in the road.  I had to get off the bike and walk the last couple of bends.  Walking wasn't much easier at this point, but it was better than losing control of the bike and falling off.  I must admit that I was beginning to think of turning back.  But, I felt that I must be close to the end and would hate myself if I didn't finish the task at hand.

Around the last bend I saw a valley and a 10 mile road marker.  I could see the road in the distance and what appeared to be a barn.  I thought that the end of the road must be there one mile away.

The end of the road

It was.  The road ended at someones ranch.  I sat down and ate my last apple.

The ride back was for the most part downhill.  I met two PGE trucks on the way back.
It was a nice day.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Surviving the 4th of July

There was a lot of "horsing around" lately.  We tagged along while some of Maria and Linnea's friends went on a Sunday trail ride.
 In addition I want to mention that Linnea has been working with Merlin a lot lately. Merlin is a quarter horse who is shy and insecure. In making him more confident she is taking him out to walk around the block, or she rides him almost daily. Getting him ready for a day ride soon..

We hiked for three hours up and down the hills in Harvey Bear Park.  Ralle was a "champ"!  Talk about staying power he just keeps going.  Ultimately we were all tired let me tell you.

Another so typical American West kind of outing was to the San Benito County Saddle Horse Show.  Typically Linnea rides in the parade but did not this year.  She was there every day during the eventful week end however.  We too had an opportunity for some excellent tickets.

There was the customary calf roping........

as well as children (of all ages, between five to eighty-five) showing off they're riding skills.

Not to forget their "outfits".

There was bronc riding

with several brave souls trying

to "hang on" for dear life!

There was barrel racing

and bull riding!

There was Tri Tip Sandwiches and beer, Nachos and Ice Cream!

You too would be hungry after a ride like this.  We felt starved just watching.  Team Penning is yet another popular event.

Now the 4th of July is past.  Celebrated here with a back yard BBQ consisting of steaks, corn on the cob, JalapeƱo peppers, zucchini on the grill along with cole slaw and the quintessential dessert of blueberry-strawberry shortcake with a big dollop of whipped cream to include all the colors of the American flag.  Traditional ending of the day fireworks!  Not much to Ralles liking obviously, but he survived it.  With the cherry orchards around here using mock gunshots regularly, for weeks on end, in an effort to scare off the birds, he has gotten used to the sounds of gunshots believe it or not.  Yea, only in America!  Right.  What can I say...... Happy summer to you all!
Cherry season pretty well done.  Apricots now.  Peaches next!  A delicious time.