A 2-fer-1 Deal and Grocery Run #5

Day 1, Saturday, May 30, to Stockton

We had an invite from our granddaughter, Breanne, who lives near San Francisco, to come to her dad’s home in Stockton this past Saturday evening because she’d be there. And she wanted to see us, too. Sure! And when we called her dad for details, he invited us to spend the night with the coach! (Had he not asked, we’d have asked him!) We headed to Stockton aboard the coach about 1430 hours to spend the night.

Nope! We can’t avoid the endless warnings and advice about the Covid-19 pandemic – even when traveling.

2020-5-30b Rain comin'As we drove through Stockton, the skies threatened with rain and a chance of thunderstorms was in the forecast – and I sure hoped the weatherman was right!

2020-5-30c RainAnd… he was right! We had a pretty decent thunderstorm that afternoon while parked at Craig’s Castle. It boomed! It flashed! I was lovin’ it because we rarely get such real weather in the valley.

We drove just a bit over 20 miles to The Castle from our place, and arrived before the rain. Naturally, Craig whipped up margaritas for us, and we sure enjoyed them. Breanne arrived later in the afternoon, and soon preparations for dinner were underway.

2020-5-30d Big BlueBig Blue at rest at Craig’s Castle. Again. I love to park here and enjoy family in the plentiful room and comfort of the place, and still be at home anytime I wish!

During the afternoon we had time to visit and enjoy the beauty of the delta from Craig’s large and very scenic veranda. The view is lovely and the weather was mild – ’til the thunderstorm began, but it waited while we enjoyed our margaritas.2020-5-30f lunch overlooking deltaWe enjoyed dinner on the veranda overlooking the delta. The storm was pretty accommodating – it timed its visit between our margaritas and dinner! That’s (L-R) Craig, Laura, Breanne, and Lavonne. I was there, too, but was busy with the camera at the time.

While there were no hugs and we maintained our distances pretty well, it was a very pleasant family visit. Lavonne and I enjoyed a restful night in the coach. I always welcome the chance to spend some time aboard.


Day 2, Sunday, we returned home.

As I headed to the coach after our evening together, I advised everyone that the weather forecast for Sunday morning was mid 60s, light winds and a 90% chance of waffles! And sure enough…

Craig is known for his excellent waffles, which we have enjoyed many times over the years. But it had been a while since we’d gotten together for them, and it was a real treat to enjoy them together again. As usual, the meal included large sausages, fried eggs (for me), and Laura’s wonderful scrambled eggs with veggies, sausage, and more. It was a wonderful breakfast.

We headed home after breakfast and a bit of visiting. Craig and Laura had work lined up for themselves, and Breanne would be heading back to the Bay Area. We arrived back at our home about 1100 hours. I unloaded some of our stuff, but I left much because I had another grocery run planned the next day!


Monday, June 1, home to Gale and John’s near Gridley, CA via CA99, I-5

Yes, it was time for Grocery Run #5 to Gridley to bring a couple weeks of groceries to my sis, Gale, and brother-in-law, John’s home out in the country near Gridley. This trip I would pick up our Walmart orders at the relatively new Walmart in the Delta Shores shopping center in Sacramento. As it turned out, the place was much better located for our pick up as it was right on I-5.

We had placed our orders separately but for the same pick up time at 1100 hours. I loaded the few items onto the coach that morning that I would need for the trip, then bid my dear Wifey good-bye. It would be the usual two-day trip – I’d get to spend the time on the coach, my sis and John would have their groceries delivered, and we’d all be happy! When I returned, our shopping would be done for another couple of weeks, too.

I pulled out of our little gated community at 0945 hours. I had from 1100 hours to noon to arrive at the store for the grocery pick up. All went well for the drive and I arrived in plenty of time.

2020-5-30a Hiway signMore warning and advice.

Upon arrival I advised one of the associates that I was there for two orders, and in due time, they were rolled out to the coach.

Once the groceries were loaded aboard Big Blue, including absolutely stuffing the fridge and freezer, I continued my drive north.

I enjoyed the drive to Gridley, especially once I was beyond Sacramento and again driving in rice and orchard country along CA99. Once on the back roads after turning off CA99, I came to the farmer’s field where I like to park for a meal during these runs. It was the same as last time, among the beautiful, green rice paddies very near the Sutter Buttes.

Once parked, I fired up the generator to run the air conditioning, then zapped a frozen dinner I had brought along. While there, I noticed what appeared to be a snake like head peeking out of the rice paddy. It was a bird, and he (or she) seemed very curious about my parking nearby.

Click to enlarge and read the captions:

It turned out, after checking online for birds that nest in rice paddies, that my curious neighbor was an American Bittern, for what it’s worth. I did get a nice photo of him or her, above. Click the link to learn more about them.

2020-6-1h country lane near GridleyA view from Big Blue of the back roads I like to drive en route to Gale and John’s place. Lovely. I love the countryside.

When I arrived at Gale and John’s place at about 1400 hours, I set about hauling their groceries into the house first thing, as their frozen and refrigerated items were in a basement hold, insulated with blankets. They stayed cold, but I didn’t want them there any longer than necessary.

2020-6-1j at Gale and John'sThe obligatory photo of Big Blue at Gale and John’s lovely home in the country. 

I then went in and greeted my twin sis, Gale. She suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, and had a volunteer from their church with her, helping set up a hospital bed for her.

Hospice began helping Gale and John the day of my visit. Hospice doesn’t mean one is on death’s door as most folks believe, but for those in decline. She certainly qualifies because one day, that hideous disease will take her from us. She is in decline – but that day could be far off. Hospice’s help is most noticed by the care givers, which is John in their case. Since Hospice just began their service to Gale, it will be interesting to see how helpful they are. Our hopes are high as John has worked so very hard taking care of Gale.

After the gal who was helping left, Gale took a nap, and I headed to the coach for a couple hours to begin this travelogue and to shower, etc. John said dinner would be about 1800 hours, and Gale would be up by then.

When I returned to the house, John was preparing a rotisserie chicken he’d brought from town. He had whipped up a salad as well. I brought a frozen dinner along to zap for me, but John said there was plenty for all of us, and so there was. The least I could do was clean up the kitchen after dinner, and I did.

We visited a while after dinner, and I headed to the coach a bit after 1900 hours. I bid Gale good-bye for this trip, and would see John in the morning before I left.

I watched videos, wrote a bit more of this blog, and enjoyed a couple nice, relaxing, cool ones during the evening. I always enjoy life aboard the coach!


Tuesday, Day 3, Gridley to home via CA99, I-5: 248 miles the entire trip

I slept very well, as usual, out there in the countryside near Gridley. When I was up and around a bit before 0630, I had one thing on my mind, and that was to hit the road for home. The weather forecast called for 99° at home that afternoon, and I wanted to beat the worst of the heat. After an hour or so with the day’s first cup of coffee and the ‘net to stay up with comics and news, it was time to start moving.

I walked into the house to tell John thanks, and then bid him farewell ’til the next trip – probably in a couple weeks. I then set the coach up for the road, and pulled out about 0830 for home.

I stopped at the same farmer’s field as the day before, and zapped a breakfast sandwich. I added a couple small mandarin oranges, enjoyed the view, then continued the drive home.

2020-6-2a View from Dale's Diner at breakfastThe lovely view from the Dale’s Diner I stopped at for breakfast. 

The traffic was heavy, and it seemed the lighter traffic of the home sheltering days was behind us. Still, the drive was without any delays, and I arrived home about 1130 hours. And then the real work began.

I hauled in groceries and helped my dear Lavonne put them away ’til I was about ready to drop. When I was finished with the groceries, I had to unload the stuff I take for any trip. And I was pooped. I whipped up a sandwich for lunch, and relaxed a bit as I ate. And then it was time to idle the coach down to the RV lot.

I dumped the tanks, topped off the fresh water tank, and parked Big Blue in her covered space ’til the next trip. Perhaps that would include our annual June trip to Colorado. I sure hoped so!



About FishWisher

Over the years I have posted many exciting fishing and boating stories here, but now in my seventies, it was time to sell the boat and find less demanding pastimes. All the fishing stories are still here! I will now post my travels aboard the motorhome and other activities. I hope y'all will still enjoy the fishing and boating adventures and perhaps peek in on my post-boating activities on occasion. Thanks for dropping in and I hope you enjoy your visit.
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