Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Our revisiting places we've worked tour -Santa Barbara

When we started our traveling, I never thought there would be time to return to many of the places we had visited. Looks like I was wrong. It is fun to be returning now and reminiscing.

This is an old ranch that was built as a hunting lodge and weekend retreat. During the years 1910-1920, Santa Barbara, not Hollywood, was the center of California’s growing silent film industry. The famous Flying A Studios were located in Santa Barbara. Many silent film stars such as Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton were regular visitors to the E.W. Ranch, where they lounged at the pool, ate steaks in the Stone Lodge, and put on impromptu skits by the Pavilion.  high in the Santa Inez mountains along the river.
That would have been quite a sight.

When we lived in Santa Barbara in the spring of 2007, our morning bike rides were pretty chilly. That hadn't changed. We waited until after lunch to venture out.

The winds were blowing but the surfers were still out there with a couple of swimmers in wetsuits.

Another place that I worked briefly. This was not a favorite.

Do we look like we are pondering our lives.

We always enjoyed the bike ride through Montecito to Carpenteria but the winds were pretty rough this time. The gusts were 40 mph. We should have gone to Goleta and let the winds push us back. NOoooo we went the easy way first. My calves were pretty sore when I woke at night.

Santa Barbara Harbor


In 1868 this tavern was known as "Cold Springs Relay Station". It was the half way stop between "Mattel's Tavern" to the north, and Patrick Kinevan's "Summit House" to the south.

In those days sturdy stagecoaches know as "mudwagons" traveled the rugged San Marcos Pass. It was here horses were changed and passengers rested and enjoyed the noon day meal.

The Ojai Jail which was built by Andrew Van Curen in 1873.  Mr. Van Curen was the sheriff in Ojai for a very long time.  When he retired he offered his jail (which he built on his property) to the city of Ojai at least three times but, for whatever reason, they did not accept his offer.  Audrey, on the other hand, accepted the first time! 

The prices seemed reasonable. This is California.

               Thee old "Road Gang House" where the Chinese Road Gang bunked when they built the Toll Road through the rugged San Marcos Pass in 1868. 

Love the old cash register.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Changing our plans. Heading to California

We had decided that I was not going to do the traveling critical care nurse job anymore and made plans for a different life. Tuesday morning I woke up and told Mike I felt I needed to get a contract for the summer and was not comfortable with giving up the job. I contacted Julie, my recruiter and had her send over my file to a hospital in Washington state. We will see how that pans out. All of the best laid plans were set aside and we headed to California. I am glad he is flexible, we went about changing our plans again.

Price of gas $2.79 a gallon, Driving in Los Angeles on Easter Sunday Priceless
When we left Arizona, the dust storms were not too pretty off in the distance. Not too much sandblasting for us though.
The moisture in the air felt so good. My skin started to plump up and not feel so dry.

Entire sides of mountain in the Los Padre National Forest were covered with these flowers.

We are staying at Rancho Oso, a horse ranch, for a couple of days.

There are multiple accommodation options, even covered wagons. 

We took their little waterfall hike to stretch our legs. The mountains are always so abrupt and steep leaving the coast. Every hike is an up hill climb.

We heard a turkey scuffle outside our camp site and found two male turkeys arguing over a female.


We have been trying to figure out the best way to live this nomadic life. Starting 14 years ago taking contract jobs as a traveling nurse and Mike would often find jobs in bike or ski shops. In Alaska he worked at the mall as a maintenance person.  The company provided furnished apartments until we moved on. We tried returning to our home base a few times in Woodland Park and then Colorado Springs until the "itch" returned.
Since full time work wasn't necessary now, I tried part time which did not allow for extended time away. We are now trying 3 months on and 3 off living in our travel trailer and weren't sure how all of that closeness would go over. Actually, we haven't minded the small area as long as we can continue having new experiences.I bet we change our minds once again.

Now that we have been in Arizona for 6  months, it is time to go. This is the first time to spend this much time in one area.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Kitt Observatory and time with my family

Before leaving Tucson, we had a few things we needed to do. The night viewing of the stars and planets at Kitt Peak was one of them. It is still an active observatory with several universities with grad students working here.

The eleven miles up the mountain to the observatory way up there at 7000 ft.

We arrived by 5:10 which is the time set depending on the sunset. After feeding us a pitiful turkey sandwich, we headed out to watch the sunset and moonrise.

The sunset actually sets 8 minutes before we see it. The dust and clouds in the sky made a very nice sunset.

The sunset in front then we turned around to see the moon coming up.

These were actually the telescopes we looked through.

They shared with us about how the stars were used as the first calendars and the ancient Greeks and Romans would forecast the monsoons arriving with the stars. Also how binary stars rotate and those of greater mass burn out more quickly than those of less mass.  Much was pretty basic but that was a good start for us.

We returned to the visitor's center and split into groups. Half went to the telescopes and half to learn about identifying the 88 constellations. We learned how to use a viewing wheel and then went outside with binoculars. I think that was my favorite part. Then we switched places and went into use the telescopes.

It was quite chilly on the mountain with the wind blowing after dark. Then we went in to the big telescope and looked at Jupiter and it's moons and rings, the moon and its craters and other blue and red stars.

You hear how the lighting changes the pictures a person takes and different times of the day provides a different picture. I can see how true that is with the progression of the photos we took throughout the evening.

Our headlights had to be covered for the first mile down the mountain to prevent  light pollution when we left at 10 pm since this is an active observatory.

The next thing on the to do list was to spend some family time since Krista and Luke were in Arizona. 
Kyle above and Tyler in the pool.

I haven't had a lot of time to spend with Sandy and her family over the years. We got together several time over the past few weeks.

We have been in the desert for several months and are looking forward to our next adventures. Often when we think we have everything planned out something changes. That is part of what makes this nomadic life so interesting. We will keep you posted as plans unfold.

Cuenca, Ecuador

An Expat Destination The morning after returning to Quito we boarded an hour-long flight to Cuenca. Driving up the winding roads would have ...