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Visiting Joanie and Eric

Hank – We spent a great couple of days with our friends Joanie and Eric. Joanie is the youngest sister of Patty, our long-time family friend back in Spokane. We haven’t seen Joanie and Eric as much over the years but the time spent with them is always fun and memorable.

We got to check out the Sutter Mill site at the Marshall Gold Discovery State Park in Coloma, CA and caught up on our history there. I don’t remember James Marshall being in the history I learned about gold being discovered at Sutter’s Mill. Nor did I notice that the gold was discovered a little over a week before the southwest part of our country was acquired from Mexico. And there’s much more to the history of that time, including the Mormon Battalian. We also walked around the old town of Placerville, also known as Old Hangtown. Who knew that John Studebaker of Studebaker Corporation fame got his start making wheel barrows in Placerville?

On Sunday we spent a large part of the day with Joanie and Patty’s mom, Marcia. We started with a St Patrick’s Day brunch where we also met her friends, Jim and Helen. Jim’s wife was feeling under the weather so we missed out on meeting her. Jim is in his early 80’s and is a retired electrical engineer who has done a lot of cycling over the years. The weather hasn’t allowed him to ride much lately but he still gets out on the bike every once in a while. He’s looking forward to riding more in the future. Helen is a spunky little lady, quick-witted with a bright smile. I hope I’m as fun as they are when I’m in my eighties and nineties. After brunch we spent time catching up with Marcia.

We spent a very pleasant Sunday evening with Joanie and Eric. And we got our laundry done. Sadly, on Monday we must move on.

Kathy – Before arriving at Joanie and Eric’s, we stopped by the Robert Mondavi Winery which are some of my favorite wines. Let’s just say I was not disappointed in the wine tasting or selections available for purchase. We sat out in the sunshine with grape vines surrounding us as we tasted the wines and enjoyed this magnificent place. It was so beautiful. We did purchase a few bottles before we left…just because you have to. 😉

We arrived to Joanie and Eric’s with a warm welcome to greet us. We absolutely love our friends Patty and Mike in Spokane and they are simply amazing people. Patty’s sister Joanie and her husband Eric are just as wonderful. We spent a lot of time talking and getting to know each other better. Lots of laughter and delicious meals were shared. As with so many friends and family we have visited so far, they also went way above and beyond to ensure we were comfortable and all our needs were met. We are thankful.

We really enjoyed hanging out with Joany and Eric and our time out and about with them seeing the different sites. Hank has included links above for the Marshall Gold Discovery Park and Placerville. Both of these places were super interesting. Walking around this past few days in the beautiful Northern California countryside with 70 degree sunny weather has made it even better.

Our time spent with Marcie (Patty and Joanie’s mom) was such a joy. Marcie is in her 80’s and lives in an assisted living community. She has her own apartment and walks a short distance away to the community area. This is where everyone can meet and participate in different activities, exercises, games, parties, and also share meals together.

We met Marcie for a lovely Sunday brunch with two of her friends Jim and Helen. What a hoot! I love being around older people. They have so much wisdom and stories to share…and they are so funny. We laughed and enjoyed our time together.

Marcie raised four girls and had a real estate business in Placerville for many years before retiring. She has been very successful in her personal and professional life and I am so pleased that she has this great community of people for her to enjoy now. She’s got a pretty sweet deal going on at this assisted living place. Hank and I hope when the time comes that we can find an assisted living place just like Marcie’s place.

We really enjoyed our time with Marcie, Jim, and her sweet and sassy retired nurse friend Helen. I believe Helen is 93 years old and she is pretty spunky for her age. She is a petite little lady and only about 4.5 feet tall. I have a feeling I might be a little like Helen when I am older. She was telling me about a male resident that is interested in her and keeps trying to talk to her a little too much…she’s not interested and just brushes him off. 😄 Helen’s daughter joined us for brunch too. It was fun to listen to all the stories from these three amazing people. They all led very rich lives and they continue to now in their community. We were happy Joanie and Eric offered us to join them for brunch with these great people. Lucky for us to have time with Marcie, Jim and Helen!

After a wonderful weekend of relaxing and good times with Joanie and Eric we had to say our goodbyes. Before departing, I left a packet of flowers with Joanie to plant in her yard. That is state 36 – California flowers are set to be planted as I spread flower seeds in every state we visit. Thank you Joany and Eric for all your fantastic hospitality! You two are amazing. We really appreciate everything you have done to help make our journey more comfortable and enjoyable. Looking forward to seeing you again sometime soon…and having a Patty and Mike there too as we missed having them join us.

We are so blessed to take this trip. We are seeing so many beautiful places, meeting so many wonderful people, and enjoying so many special times with our extended network of family and friends. We really are grateful for this time in our lives. Riding bicycles around the country is pretty cool. 💗 🚴‍♀️🚴‍♂️ 💗

A couple of notes…

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Northern California

Hank – We woke up to a sunny morning at the base campground. The inside surfaces of the windows were covered with condensation that slowly burned off as the sun warmed the van. After tea we went over to the dining facility–not the chow hall–where we had an early lunch. Then we drove north to Berkeley. On the way we stopped by a winery to pick up a bottle of wine for Geoff for his upcoming birthday.

It was great to see Geoff and hang out with him. He’s such a good kid–a 34 year old kid come Sunday. We had a very good dinner with drinks.

Kathy – We continued to head north up the California coast area. The landscapes are absolutely beautiful. It was a mix of tall green mountains, ocean views, farm lands, and of course miles and miles of perfectly distributed rows of grapevines. Telling myself I must come back to this spectacular area and spend more time exploring.

While in wine country you do have to follow others leads…and sample some of the local wineries, right? 😄 I’m normally a leader, but I can be a follower today. So, a little wine tasting it is. Cheers!🍷 The wines are delicious. We also made a few purchases because it is easier to carry those heavy bottles in the rental van than on our bikes. Smart thinking. 🤓

Crazy to think, but what I enjoyed more today than the wines was just walking about in the vineyards. Not only is it simply beautiful but it is also very peaceful. Again, I must come back to this part of the U.S. to immerse myself more so into this tranquil place.

We continued north until we arrived in Berkeley, California were we are spending the night at our eldest son Geoff’s place. As always, it is so wonderful to see Geoff and spend time with him. I love him and I’m so proud of him. He is brilliant and very successful with his career, but what I love most about him is that he is a good person. As parents of a firstborn we attempted to raise him right, but obviously his good life choices contributed to the fine gentleman he is today. We walked to a local restaurant where we enjoyed a fabulous vegetarian meal, drinks and great conversations. Feeling super blessed to have this time with Geoff. 💗

A couple of notes…

If you would like to view older blog entries please click on the months below:

  • May 2018
  • June 2018
  • July 2018
  • August 2018
  • September 2018
  • October 2018
  • November 2018
  • December 2018
  • January 2019
  • February 2019
  • If you would like to comment on a blog post, please click on the post title (or header), scroll to the bottom and you will then see the comments section where you can add your thoughts. We look forward to your comment and encouraging words. Thank you!
  • If you would like to see our current location click here: Current Locationwhere you can see our daily travels.
  • To see all the photos related to a blog post, simply click on one of the photos and it will move over (either to the left or right) to the next photo.
  • If you would like to “follow” our blog, please click here: Home Page and look in the bottom right corner on your computer where you will see a “+Follow” link (If you are viewing our blog on your cell phone, the location may vary depending on cell phones. Please look around to find this area). Once you click on the “+Follow” link, just enter your email address there (only we can see it) and then go to your personal email to accept the ‘follow request email’ that you will receive. Once this is done, anytime we write a new blog post you will automatically get an email letting you know so you can read it at your leisure. Another option is to bookmark our site and view when you like: www.HankandKathyGreer.com