Living full time in our motor home allows us to be Ready To Go. . .on to the next adventure!

Catalina Island off the coast of California

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

LaBrea Tar Pits right in the middle of Los Angeles

After seeing a special on NatGeo
I knew LaBrea Tar Pits were definitely on the
“must see” list while in Los Angeles. ..

LaBrea Tar Pits

as you walk up the big “tar pit” is front and center. . .
(behind a fence. . .of course)

The Tar - LaBrea Tar Pits

with floating tar (the lowest grade of crude oil)
visible on the surface of the water. . .
and the very distinct “smell of money” in the air. . .

I grew up in the big oil town of Sour Lake TX. . .
I know the smell of money in the air. . .yum!
nothin’ like it. . .

Methane Gas Bubbles - LaBrea Tar Pits

I’m sure the bubbles of methane gas
were contributing to the luscious smell. . .

puddles of Tar - LaBrea Tar PitsLaBrea Tar Pits

as were the numerous “puddles of tar”
bubbling up hither and yon. . .

a group of 10 year olds were gathered around one of these puddles. . .
you could tell they really, really wanted to put their hands or at least a  foot in it. . .
(guessing a teacher had told them “no dice”. . .LOL)

LaBrea Tar PitsLaBrea Tar Pits

LaBrea Tar Pits

in addition to several small pits like this
which are still being excavated. . .

Mastadon - LaBrea Tar PitsMastadon - LaBrea Tar Pits

replicas of Mastadons are scattered though out the property. . .
as bones have been found in the tar pits. . .

LaBrea Tar Pits

the site is a part of the “National Park Service”

Butterfly - LaBrea Tar Pits

and all the outside areas and gardens are free to the public. . .

LaBrea Tar Pits

however. . .if you would like to tour the museum
and check out the archeological discoveries,
there is a $9 pp charge for adults. . .

(with limited time, we bypassed the museum)

Entryway - Los Angeles Museum of Art @ LaBrea Tar Pits

heading back out to our “tour bus stop”
was the entry to the Los Angeles Art Museum

Levitated Mass - Los Angeles Museum of Art @ LaBrea Tar Pits

and several interesting sculptures. . .

Levitated Mass - LaBrea Tar Pits & Modern Art Museum

this is called “Levitated Mass
and you can go walk under it for free. . .
(we didn’t)  I figured we’d find the levitated masses
at Arches National Park much more interesting. . .

Urban Light Sculpture by Chris Burden -  Los Angeles Museum of Art @ LaBrea Tar Pits

this sculpture is called “Urban Light”. . .
it was somewhat interesting to wander through. . .
I think there are 150 lamp posts. . .

The story of how it came to be was somewhat interesting,
and there are pics of it lit up if you click the link. . .

LaBrea Tar Pits

Liz and I are waiting for the bus to show up. . .

LaBrea Tar Pits

until she discovered an app that gave the exact arrival times,
which allowed enough time to run across to the food trucks for a lunch snack. . .

Farmer's Market

the rest of us had lunch at the Los Angeles Farmer’s Market. . .
a fun place to explore. . .and EAT. . .

sure wish we had a cooler with us. . .
they had some beautiful sausage links
I would have loved to take home from the meat market. . .

but alas. . .lunch is all we can take away. . .
tacos for me. . .fish and chips for Dave. . .
checkerboard cake for Liz
(remember she already had lunch)
and a delicious healthy chocolate soda
with chocolate ice cream for Shorty. . .YUM!

Lots more ground to cover. . .
back on the bus. . .

see you next time at the Hollywood Walk of Fame. . .

’til then,
Janice and Dave




Madame Tussauds Wax Museum–Hollywood CA

Having Madame Tussauds tickets included in the
purchase price of our tour was a great perk. . .

since I’m not really into celebrities,
prolly wouldn’t have paid the $29.95 to go inside. . .

but since we’re here. . .let’s have some fun. . .

Meryl Streep - Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum

Meryl Streep – as with any wax museum
I’ve ever been in. . .very lifelike. . .

we just all acted like big goofs. . .
and most of these pics were taken by Liz and Shorty. . .
but we did have a lot of fun. . .enjoy!

Dave had to tell me the names of the characters. . .
hope we got them all correct. . .
(if you hold the cursor over each pic. . .there’s a tag)

LIZ striking a pose. . .

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum

Psycho - Alfred Hitchcock - Madame Tussaud's Wax MuseumMarlon Brando - The Godfather - Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum

Elvis - Madame Tussaud's Wax MuseumStar Trek - Madame Tussaud's Wax MuseumThe Terminator - Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum   Jack Nickolson - Bucket List - Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum  George Clooney - Madame Tussaud's Wax MuseumPierce Bronson - James Bond - Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum

SHORTY clownin’ around. . .

Marilyn Monroe - Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum                                      Steve McQueen - Madame Tussaud's Wax MuseumJack Nickolson - Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum

Lady Gaga - Madame Tussaud's Wax MuseumButch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum

John Wayne - Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum

Dave. . .not to be outdone. . .

Tom Hanks - Forrest Gump - Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum                                     John Wayne - Madame Tussaud's Wax MuseumJennifer Lawrence - Hunger Games - Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum

Raquel Welch - One Million BC - Madame Tussaud's Wax MuseumJackie Chan - Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum

These were the two I knew. . .
without reading the plaque. . .

Patrick Swayze - Dirty Dancing - Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum
Tiger Woods - Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum

what a fun time. . .you gotta go. . .

see you next time at LaBrea Tar Pits. . .

’til then,
Janice and Dave



Hopping On–Hopping Off in Los Angeles

Starline Hop On Hop Off Tour of Los AngelesStarline Hop On Hop Off Tour of Los Angeles

StarLine Tours in Los Angeles
$59 per person
with Madame Tussauds
$30 value included


as you know. . .we love, love, love guided tours. . .
especially hop on/hop off tours. . .

but. . .there are advantages and disadvantages

the disadvantage. . .you must take pics quick as you roll past. . .

California 2015, Los Angeles CA, Starline Hop On Hop Off, (53)

the major advantage. . .Dave gets to sit back and enjoy the ride and the scenery. . .
this particular tour furnished headsets,
which you plugged into a control box at each seat. . .very nice!

and you see things you would never see on your own. . .


California 2015, Los Angeles CA, Starline Hop On Hop Off,

like this lovely Hollywood Goddess Gazebo
listed in a Roadside America article as “gaudy”. . .

California 2015, Los Angeles CA, Starline Hop On Hop Off, (1)California 2015, Los Angeles CA, Starline Hop On Hop Off, (2)

well. . .all righty then. . .I will say. . .
you would never guess that was Marilyn Monroe
on top. . .unless they told you.

Beveryly Hills

you always get shots of random tourists in all your pics. . .

Beveryly HillsBeveryly Hills

you often get shots on the fly that don’t turn out so well. . .
and then you must decide. . .
is it really worth it to go back, and get a great shot?

Rodeo Drive. . .eh. . .not really. . .

California 2015, Los Angeles CA, Starline Hop On Hop Off, Marina Del Rey, Guptill, Shorty, Liz, Evans, Janice, David

Lizanne and Shorty are here in the same Thousand Trails Park with us,
so we decided taking the Jeep in and doing the tour together would be great. . .
and it was. . .here we all are at Marina Del Rey. . .

they look great in all their pics. . .
Dave and I are sucking in as much as we can y’all. . .
it ain’t helpin’. . .LOL! . . .but we are making progress. . .

Shorty and Liz at the front of the bus

Shorty and Liz liked the front of the bus
‘cause the windshield blocked the wind. . .

Starline Hop On Hop Off Tour of Los Angeles

we liked the back of the bus ‘cause the windshield
didn’t reflect back into our pics. . .
and we could take pics without standing up. . .

It was a great two days. . .
we saw a lot. . .
which I am going to break down into several posts. . .

Hollywood Sign

one of our final views from the bus on our first day. . .
the illustrious Hollywood Sign. . .gotta see that. . .

see you next time at the
Hollywood Walk of Fame and Madame Tussauds. . .

’til then,
Janice and Dave

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Funnest California Day Yet. . .in Ventura


Ventura Beach and the Ventura Beach Pier
I have decided that we simply MUST visit
Channel Island National Park while we are this close. . .
and
the best way to get information is to drive over to the
Channel Island National Park Information Center
located in Ventura California. . .
HEB Crew Girls

it just so happens that good friends, Janice (AJ) and Debi (and their hubs)
are staying not too terrible far away from Ventura. . .

perhaps we could meet for lunch. . .oh yes. . .of course we can!
Ventura Beach Pier - a great hike

since they need to pick up AJ & Rick’s truck
from the repair shop, we arrive a little ahead of them. . .

perfect way to take a hike. . .
Ventura Beach SurfersVentura Beach Surfer
Ventura Beach Surfers

glorious waves and surfers. . .
is there any more beautiful sound than waves crashing on the shore?
Ventura Beach SquirrelVentura Beach Squirrel

the rest of the beach wildlife was pretty entertaining too!HEB Crew at the Fish Taco Shack

and our party has arrived. . .
(guess I needed to use a flash with the bright windows, but you get the idea)
highly recommend the Fish Taco Shack located at the Ventura Pier. . .

so great to spend time together again. . .
we probably won’t see the Binns ‘til we arrive back in Texas. . .

but it does seem we will crisscross with the Hurlburts
for the rest of the summer, as we travel the West Coast. . .yaaa!

What a wonderful, wonderful day filled with sunshine, the ocean, and friends. . .
doesn’t get much better than that. . .
Pacific Coast

and afterwards, a quick drive down the Pacific Coast Highway
two miles worth of RV's Dry Camping
where we discovered about two miles of RV’s
dry camping, right on the edge of the road. . .

Who knew you could even do such a thing. . .
and how do you find out this information? ? ?

’til next time,
Janice and Dave

Addendum:  by asking on FB's RV Tips,
I've gotten an answer on how you can
"camp on the beach."

Here's the link: 
http://www.ventura.org/beach-front-parks/rincon-parkway

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Death Valley National Park–California–Loved IT


Death Valley National Park
The road goes on forever
we figured out very quickly that Death Valley,
much like Yellowstone,
has a lot of beautiful sights. . .

with a whole lot of nothing
but highway and desert in between. . .
Mountains surround the entire valley

but always, always beautiful views in every direction. . .
our first stop. . .
Dante’s View. . .1600 feet above the desert floor. . .
Dante's View

this scene to me. . .epitomizes Death Valley

the salt flats . .the desolation. . .the barrenness. . .
and yet. . .in all that. . .the beauty!
Dante's View Overlook

and in the distance. . .across the valley. . .
beautiful, snow covered,
Telescope Peak. . .summit 11,331 ft. . .

located in the
Panamint Range. . .just gorgeous
Dante's View Overlook - Hiking

several great hiking trails located at the top. . .

Furnace Creek was our next major stop. . .



this is the Furnace Creek Inn. . .
what I would consider an oasis in the desert. . .

also located at Furnace Creek is the Visitor Center. . .
several cafes. . .a grocery store (very ouchy prices)
restrooms. . .one of the three RV parks in the park
that have hookups (plan for in advance)

we didn’t plan well. . .and no reservations were available. . .

next planned stop. . .Scotty’s Castle. . .
only. . .we realized we had goofed off too long,
and that by the time we drove all the way there. . .
did the tour (2 hours) saw the surrounding area,
and drove back, we were going to be pushing dark
with a 70 mile trip back to the RV Park. . .

revamp. . .focus on the rest of the park,
and save Scotty’s Castle for next time. . .

you gotta do what’cha gotta do. . .

Mesquite Flat Dunes

the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are beautiful. . .
The Desert in Bloom

the desert in bloom overlooking the salt flats

The Desert in Bloom

was just gorgeous. . .

Everything about the 20 Mule Team Borax
mining operation was fascinating. . .

The Badlands at Zabrieske PointBorax Camp

from seeing the original Borax wagons. . .
20 Mule Team Canyon

to driving through the 20 Mule Team Canyon. . .
Borax Camp
to what’s left of the mining operation. . .
Borax Camp
to viewing the salt flats where the borax was harvested. . .
and
reading the story. . .

Devil's Golf Course - Salt Crystals form after a rainDevil's Golf Course - Salt Crystals form after a rainDevil's Golf Course - Salt Crystals form after a rain

then on to Devil’s Golf Course
where, after a bit of moisture, you can see
the salt crystals forming on the surface. . .

these little piles of salt are hard as rock
and sharp as glass. . .not a great place to be walking around. . .

Now. . .off to the lowest point in the United States. . .
Badwater Basin - lowest point below sea level in the United States - a highway of salt

The Badwater Basin

our Rand McNally GPS said we were –308 below sea level. . .
but I guess we’ll trust the engineers who determined
it to be –282 feet. . .and a very, very warm 88*

that “dry heat” felt like baking in an oven. . .LOL!
Badwater Basin - lowest point below sea level in the United States - a highway of salt

I called this the “Salt Highway”
Badwater Basin - lowest point below sea level in the United States - a highway of salt

100’s of folks out there walking on it. . .
Badwater Basin - lowest point below sea level in the United StatesBadwater Basin - lowest point below sea level in the United States

and amazing enough. . .a pool of water
Badwater Basin - lowest point below sea level in the United States
down amongst the salt flats
Artist Drive

entering Artist Drive. . .

I’m sure the entire area is even more beautiful
in the early morning or late afternoon sun. . .
Artist Palette

”Artist Palette”  aptly named. . .
so many different colors. . .

you need to see it for yourself
The Badlands at Zabrieske Point

and our last stop of the day. . .Zabriskie  Point. . .
the “Badlands” of Death Valley. . .
The Badlands at Zabrieske Point
The Badlands at Zabrieske Point

a really wonderful day. . .

another one of those amazing places
that pics do no justice . . .

We are so glad we saw it. . .
and must insist that you add it to your list. . .

See you next time in Los Angeles,
where we have no clue what we are actually going to do or see. . .

A Gray Line Hop On – Hop Off Bus Tour is on the agenda. . .
we’ll decide from there. . .should be interesting. . .

’til then,
Janice and Dave