Next Time I’ll Look More Closely . . .

Or Hot, Swollen, and Itchy!

I saw on Facebook last night that we were coming to the end of the line to see the Ramses exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the end of the line being May 23rd. So with our busy schedule, I decided to get us booked now.

Ramses Exhibit 1

We’re now scheduled for Tuesday, May 10th at 1:30 pm, with lunch beforehand at the Katz’s Deli up in Montrose, which is only about 10 minutes away.

Looking forward to it.

We would have gone next week but Jan is Landon/Dog sitting up in Katy at Brandi’s during that time. Brandi is having a girl’s week out up her long-time friend Shawna’s lake house with a bevy of other friends. So Karma and I will be batching for that week.

Jan and I headed out for lunch about 1pm, with lunch being at Los Ramirez once again,with Jan getting her Pechuga Rellena,

Los Ramirez Pechuga 1-05-20

and for me, my usual Beef Fajita Taco Salad.

Los Ramirez Beef Fajita Taco Salad 20220426

Then after our really good meal, we drove down FM517 to get gas at the Shell. GasBuddy showed it was the cheapest place nearby, except for the Sam’s and the Buc-ee’s on down the Interstate.

So parking at the pump, I opened the filler door and stuck my hand in to twist off the gas cap. And got what I initially thought was a bad shock on my right hand. But when I yanked my hand back out, a wasp came out with it and flew off.

Stung on my forefinger knuckle, my hand quickly started to swell up, heat up, and start to itch.

Wasp Sting 20220426

A lot!

The pain quickly faded, but the itching just got worse. And the swelling/heat started to extend up my forearm.

Jan quickly started asking me if I was having trouble swallowing/breathing, signs of a severe allergic reaction, I.e. anaphylactic shock. Which starts with severe itching. And can end with your tongue swelling up and your throat closing off. As well as a number of other symptoms.

None of which I had.

When I got home, I took a couple of allergy pills and Jan rolled on some anesthetic cream, which did help the itching a lot. Right now it’s not itching much, but it’s still hot, red and swollen all the way up to my elbow. And I can’t make a fist again yet.

Next time I’ll check carefully before I reach in for the gas cap.

Next up is our first visit to the Park of the Sierras at the base of Yosemite National Park.

April 26, 2010

Park of the Sierras

We left the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds about 9:30 am heading for the Park of the Sierras Escapees RV Park right outside Coarsegold, CA.

Our first leg was about 35 miles west on SR138 to hit I-5. That part of the trip went fine. Although the road was two lane, it was smooth and straight with no stoplights or stop signs, with just a few hills right before it joined I-5. And we were treated to more poppy fields along the way.


But it was a whole different story when we got on I-5 N. We immediately ran into a 5 mile long 6% downgrade. Normally that’s not a problem, but the road surface was awful. It was like driving thru a minefield and we had stuff falling everywhere.

In fact my laser printer was feeling so upset that it decided to “end it all” by leaping off the table to the floor below. In hindsight, it had been feeling depressed lately. The prognosis is unsure at this point.

But once we got to the bottom of the hill it was smooth sailing. And we had some more great scenery, including hillsides covered in purple flowers.


We stayed on I-5 until about 30 miles out of Bakersfield, when we got on SR99 heading toward Fresno.

99 turned out to be a really good road, four lane all the way to Fresno. Along the way we started seeing signs for Apple Annie’s Restaurant in Tulare, and thought we would check it out.  And we were in luck, as they had a large enough parking lot to accommodate us.

The food was good and we were on our way in about 45 minutes.

Unfortunately, it would have been better if we had been on our way in 35 minutes.

Coming into Fresno we split off onto SR41. SR41 is a good two lane road that got a little more hilly as we went along, but no real problems.

Until we got to the park.

We pulled in behind a 5th wheeler.and went in. And discovered that I been lied to.

I called the park earlier this week to see if they had an open site for us. They told me they had plenty of room and that I could make a reservation, but really didn’t need to.

And I believed them.

And then I found out that the 5th wheel in front of us had gotten the last site. They had had a lot of RV’s show up and there were was ‘no room at the inn” for us. If we had only spent 10 minutes less at lunch. Ah well.

They said they would have a site for us tomorrow and we could boondock in their dry camping area until then.

So here we are.


The park is really nice, with hills and trees, something we have not seen since February in Texas. Everything since then have basically been parking lots.

Here’s our most recent site in Lancaster..

AVRVPark 1

And here’s our site in Las Vegas.


And here’s our site in Laughlin.


And here’s our site in Tucson.


So hills and trees are nice…as long as they don’t block the satellite dish, of course.

Anyway, here’s some pictures of here.

Sierra 1

Sierra 2

Sierra 3

Not sure what we’re doing tomorrow yet. It depends on how early we can get into our full hookup site.

More later.

Today in 2015 we were in Las Vegas visiting the Lion Habitat Ranch,

April 26, 2015

Leo The Lion . . .

Jan and I left out on our latest lion safari about 10am this morning, heading for the The Lion Habitat Ranch down in Henderson at the bottom of the Strip.

The park doesn’t open until 11am, in fact, it’s only open from 11 to 3 Friday thru Monday, but we wanted to have enough time to grab a breakfast sandwich somewhere beforehand.

Getting down to the area, we double-checked the Ranch location and then drove another couple of miles down the St,. Rose Pkwy to the Jack in the Box located in the M Spa & Casino there.

Ironically, the location of the M Spa & Casino was what led me to the Lion Habitat Ranch in the first place.. While we were still down at the Verde Valley TT, I read an article online about a guy who had killed himself at the M Spa on Easter Sunday.

A guy named John Noble won a lifetime of free daily buffet meals from the M Casino in 2010, but then in 2013 was banned from the casino because he kept hitting on some of the waitresses and showering them with gifts.

So to get back at the casino, on April 5th, 2015, Easter Sunday, the Casino buffet’s biggest day, John Noble went into the buffet area and blew his brains out all over the buffet, and I mean ALL OVER the buffet.

So after reading the article and wondering where the M Casino was, I found it on Google. But I also notice a place called The Lion Habitat Ranch nearby, and made note to check it out when we were in Las Vegas.

And today was that day.

Lion Habitat Ranch 1

We got back to the park a little after 11am and found visitors already lining up. Our admission was $20 each with the $5 senior discount, about in line with other small family zoos.

Our first stop was at a picture area. Visitors can sit in a jeep mockup and have their picture taken in front of a glass wall with a large lion right behind you. The lion is up there because a guy is off to the side throwing little chunks of meat to him.

Lion Habitat Ranch 3

Lion Habitat Ranch 4

I guess this is the main reason to never tailgate a lion.

Lion Habitat Ranch 5

Later we saw an example of this when one male decided he wasn’t getting his share of the meat chunks so he whirled around and sprayed. Luckily we were all able to scatter.

This young lady had a lot of good information about the facility and the lions. All the 40 something lions are descendants of Leo, the original MGM lion whose roar you still hear in movie theaters to this day.

Lion Habitat Ranch 6

In fact, up until a few years ago, the MGM Grand Casino here in Vegas had a lion exhibit, using some of the lions from the ranch here. They actually were transported back and forth every day.

Recently they’ve started adding other animals, including giraffes, ostriches, emus, and a number of parrots, macaws, and cockatoos.

Lion Habitat Ranch 7

The handler here said that a giraffe’s tongue grows an inch for every foot of height, so a 20 foot tall giraffe will have a 20 inch long tongue. Yikes!

Lion Habitat Ranch 8

I was able to get a lot of good shots of these big cats.

Lion Habitat Ranch 9

Back in the corner of this den box, are 5 of the 6 lion cubs born 23 days ago. Unfortunately, the 6th cub died a couple of weeks ago. These six cubs are only the 3rd documented time that 6 cubs have been born alive.

About 12:30 the owners came out and personally fed many of the cats, including the mother of the cubs shown here.

Lion Habitat Ranch 10

These cub shots were take through a thick pane of glass and were heavily shaded so I had to enhance them somewhat.

Lion Habitat Ranch 11

Notice how the cubs at this age still have spots, for the same reason that fawns and other animals have them: camouflage in the brush.

Lion Habitat Ranch 12

Lion Habitat Ranch 13

Every cat knew what they needed to do to get their meat snacks and were happy to perform.

Lion Habitat Ranch 14

Lion Habitat Ranch 15

This is Angel, a 7 month old lion, who only wanted to play. She was just all over the owner

Lion Habitat Ranch 16

Lion Habitat Ranch 17

Lion Habitat Ranch 18

Having visited a lot of small zoos, we were both impressed with the cleanliness of the place and how good all the animals looked. So if zoos and like-places are your thing, the Lion Habitat Ranch should be on your list.

Leaving the area, we headed over to the Sunset Station area to have lunch at an El Pollo Loco, another of our favorite places. We love their marinated grilled chicken, and often buy extra to have later. And we plan on coming back later this week to do that before we leave here next Sunday.

El Pollo Loco LV

This was my 3 piece meal that was enough to have half to take home for dinner tonight. Yum!

Coming home, we stopped off for some Wal-Mart stuff, and then getting back to the park area, we stopped in at the Roadrunner RV Park right down the road to drop off some Gypsy Journals.

Tomorrow looks to be another nice stay-at-the-rig day.

Looking forward to it.

Finally, our last visit to LA.

April 26, 2017

This Date In History . . .

This morning we were once again out the door and on the road by10:15 heading down to LA for another day of eating and shopping, this time heading down the 405.

So what else is new?

Jan has always been a big fan of the reality show ‘Sweetie Pie’s. Robbie Montgomery had a long career as a backup singer with groups from Ike and Tina Turner to the Beatles. But after a long illness and asthma forced her to quit as a singer, she open a restaurant in St. Louis in 1998 called Sweetie Pies.

Rated the #1 Soul Food Restaurant in St. Louis for years, Sweetie Pie’s became a reality TV show on OWN TV in 2011, and quickly became a hit.  And recently Sweetie Pie’s started spreading out with other locations, including two in LA, and one in Houston.

We didn’t find out about the one in Houston until we were leaving last month, so Jan was determined to eat at the one down in Inglewood, so today was the day.

We got to the restaurant about 11:30 and found a corner location with plenty of on-street parking.

Sweetie Pie's 1

Inside it was high ceilings, a bright, open interior

Sweetie Pie's 2

and a delicious-looking cafeteria line.

Sweetie Pie's 3

Sweetie Pie's 4

Jan and I both went with the Fried Chicken and three sides.

Sweetie Pie's 5

We both doubled up with the Green Beans and Miss Robbie’s fabled Mac N Cheese, while we differed with Jan getting the Cornbread Dressing and Gravy, while I got the Collard Greens.

Everything was delicious, the service was great, and everyone was friendly, patiently answering Jan’s many questions about the show and Miss Robbie and her extended family.

This was great Soul Food, and Miss Robbie’s Mac N Cheese is fabled for a good reason.

Leaving Sweetie Pie’s we headed north on La Brea for about 10 miles to Larchmont Village, a shopping area near Beverly Hills where Landis General Store supposedly stocked Beekman Boys soaps and lotions.

Well, they used to, but that was before the store was flooded and closed by a plumbing problem and hasn’t yet reopened. But she did find several other things she liked, and we got Starbuck’s Cinnamon Dolce Lattes so it wasn’t all bad.

Heading back to the rig, we got on the 101N this time, and had a smooth trip back up to Acton with no real slowdowns. And being back by 3pm we had time for a nap.

Getting back, Jan took this shot of the view from near our site.

Soledad Canyon Mtn

Until you’re actually out here, most people don’t realize how hilly the LA area actually is.

And today, this day in history, April 26th, 2008, is the day we arrived in Fairbanks, AK during our 1st year on the road.

Leaving Tok that morning this is the view out the windshield.

Fairbanks Arrival 1

Jan said, “OMG we don’t have to drive OVER those, do we?”

Thankfully, No.

Two days after we got to Chena Marina RV Park in Fairbanks we had this.

Fairbanks Arrival 2

Fairbanks Arrival 3

And it was starting to snow again when we left on September 20th, five months later, chasing us all the way back to the US where we entered on Oct. 8th at Sweet Grass, MT. Jan said she wanted to get out and kiss the ground.

And then two days, in Billings, MT, the snow again caught up with us.

2008 Billings Snow

2008 Billings Snow 2

Tomorrow we’re once again heading back to the Hollywood area to take the TMZ Celebrity Tour that originates from the Hard Rock Café located next to the TCL, nee Grauman’s, Chinese Theater on Hollywood Blvd.

Thought for the Day:

Marriage is like putting your hand into a bag of snakes in the hope of pulling out an eel. – Leonardo da Vinci



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