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Sunday, March 31, 2013


How amazing it has been to share these past few weeks about our

Great Retirement Adventure.  

One of my favorite...just happened photos.
The shadow of the Cross.

Today I want to share our pictures from 

If it's your first visit feel free to browse back and start at
the beginning of the trip.
One of the "weird" things I have decided to do is to photograph the welcome sign to each state we visit.  Sometimes my honey has to  exit the highway, and go back so I can get the picture.  Just one more way he shows how much he loves me.
Who knows maybe I will be able to get all 50 states!

We have some friends from church who winter in  Tucson.  They opened their home and hearts for us to spend several days with them.  The retirement community they live in, is an upscale trailer park.  They have something going every day from line dance class to hiking clubs and ice cream parties, swimming pool, hot tub, laundry mat... Temptation really was strong to buy the second trailer they owned, but alas, it was not in the part of the park that I could take our big girl Jasmine.  Maybe someday...

The picture above was taken when we arrived.

While in Tucson we visited the Saguaro National Park.
 I was totally taken with the size of this cactus.  Later I learned it takes 75 years before it puts on it's first little nub.  

The Saguaro Cactus is the symbol for the state.   If you transplant one you have all kinds of rules including which direction is facing the sun!     Oh and if you were thinking of transplanting one, there is a $10,000 fine for taking them.

There were several types of cactus and the one to your left was so interesting. 

 Especially when our friend told us it's name: 
Teddy Bear Cactus 

Doesn't look too cuddly to me!

In case you didn't know, when you turn 62 in the USA you can purchase a lifetime pass for all the National parks for $10!

We hiked on the Babad Doag Trail.  For the last 6 years I have had to have spinal injections for degenerative disks every 6 months just to get through the pain.   After a prayer service, and healing, I have been completely released from the pain clinic and am having a wonderful time being able to be out and about again.  I plan on sharing the story on my sisters and my blog called Not Accidentally.

We hiked back down to our car 
then enjoyed the sunset.

After a wonderful meal with S+D and K+J, another couple from our home church who also winter there,  we headed to the hot tub then to their second trailer and had a great nights sleep to be ready for another sightseeing day.

Our second day took us to area called Tubac.  There was some amazing art and fun shopping. I actually wish I had known the history of the area, I think I would have enjoyed it more.   We didn't take many pictures there but I linked the town if you are interested.

We also visited a BEAUTIFUL Spanish Mission  called the White Dove of the Desert  or Mission San Xavier del Bac.

This mission was founded in 1692 and construction on the building was started in1783.
  It is filled with original murals and architecture.

What was it like 300 years ago to find this  haven of peace in the middle of the desert?

It seems impossible to add more to the day but we did.  A true oasis in the desert.

Have you ever heard of a Hoodoo?
We drove up to see these strange rock formations, a must if you are in the Tucson area.

On down the road or I should say up the road to another vista point.

My imagination runs wild when I see something like this gnarled tree trunk.  What strong force could cause such a twisted remains?

It was such a beautiful view of range upon range of mountains.
I am typing this on Easter Sunday evening. I pray you find the peace of the Risen Christ.

Blessings, Debbie

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Monday, March 25, 2013

San Simeon California

Our retirement adventure took us to 
San Simeon, California where the Hearst Castle sits majestically  on the top of a small mountain overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

In 1865 George Hearst, a wealthy miner, purchased 40,000 acres of California ranch land that included the Mexican Ranchos of Piedras Blancas, San Simeon and Santa Rosa.  In 1919, his only son, William Randolph Hearst, inherited the land from his mother.  By then the ranch had grown to encompass 250,000 acres.  
Originally known as "camp hill" its wilderness offered a place for family members to camp.  
In 1919 Hearst hired famed San Francisco architect Julia Morgan to "build a little something."

Hearst and Morgan's collaboration became one of the worlds greatest attractions and showplaces.  It was renamed The Enchanted Hill.

During the war Hearst would travel to Europe and buy European and Mediterranean art and artifacts from Cathedrals for pennies on the dollar.

Hearst lived a lavish life with his mistress while his family lived in New York.  When he died he left it all to the mistress who was a famous actress. She felt so bad she sold it back to his wife and family for $1.00

Enjoy the tour
Our first view from San Simeon

I love this photo.  Such a perfect setting for this sweet little church.
What a beautiful day we had for our tour.

A closer view of the Hearst Castle

The grounds

The tour guide said if it looks like gold it is!

Take note of all beautiful architectural details that were brought back from

 Europe then worked into the design.

Stepping inside you really don't know which way to look.  

A Roman mosaic in the entry hall.

We were there before they took down the Christmas decorations. 
 I felt they actually took away from the beauty of the building.

Looking up in the grand waiting room, where Hearst guests enjoyed a before dinner drink and visited.
These ceilings were beautiful carved Saints and were in both the entry room and dinning room.

Ready for a game of pool after dinner?

They are in the process of refinishing this ceiling, tedious detail with q-tips!  I think it will take awhile.

One of many beautiful fireplaces.  Look at the arch to the right just breathtaking.

Back outside to view the guest house and pools. 

Tennis courts.  Notice the lights? Remember this was built in the early 1900s
Walk down the grand stairs to the left of the tennis courts you enter the indoor pool.  
Such amazing tile work.  It and the outdoor pool were also heated.

First view of the outdoor Neptune pool.

We didn't take the extra tours of the bedrooms and kitchen areas but if we ever get back I want too.  Until then, I can always have it at my fingertips and take a virtual tour.

Pray you enjoyed yours!  

Blessings, Debbie
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March? Spring? More like out with the lion... my place today

Monday, March 18, 2013

17 Mile Drive

17 Mile Drive
another stop on our great adventure

17-Mile Drive is a scenic road through Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach on the Monterey Peninsula in California, much of which hugs the Pacific coastline and passes famous golf courses and mansions. Part of it serves as the main road through the gated community of Pebble Beach. Inside this community, nonresidents have to pay a toll to use the road  Like the community, the majority of 17-Mile Drive is owned and operated by the Pebble Beach Corporation. The 17-Mile Drive is a 17-mile (27 km)-long scenic loop having five entrances, including one at California State Route 1 and one at Pacific Grove off Sunset Drive.

We had wanted to drive this years ago when 
we were stationed in Monterey,
 but as military couldn't afford the luxury. 
It was actually less than we remembered and we really enjoyed seeing the beautiful homes, golf course and of course
 the coast line.

Enjoy your week and strolling through other blogs.  
Thanks for visiting.  
Blessings, Debbie

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