10.01.15 The Chauvins are High Rollers!

high roller 2 Thursday, October 1, 2015 –  Oh my goodness – what an amazing place the Las Vegas Strip is!  We did and saw soooooo much today! I know it’s known as Sin City but I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be if you choose to not do all that.

We went to the Bellagio, Mirage, Flamingo, Harrah’s, Ceasars Palace, Paris, Venetian and finished the day up by eating and watching a Circus Act at Circus Circus!! We started early and ended late and took our time so we could enjoy all we saw.

We easily walked 5 miles today since these casinos are huge and the high roller 3space between is sometimes great.  A couple of days ago we went to the MGM Grand and New York New York casinos so I think we’ve covered a lot of what Vegas has to offer. I am a happy girl!

The absolute highlight of our day was not one of the casinos or even the strip.  It was a new attraction here called High Roller!

Here’s a bit about High Roller from the internet:

High Roller is a 550-foot tall, 520-foot diameter giant Ferris wheel on the Las Vegas Strip.  It takes 30 minutes to make one complete rotations.  It opened to the public on March 31, 2014, and is the world’s tallest Ferris wheel. It is 9 ft taller than its predecessor, the 541-foot Singapore Flyer.

night high rollersThe passenger cabins (or capsules) are mounted on the wheel’s outboard rim and are individually rotated by electric motors to smoothly maintain a horizontal cabin floor throughout each full rotation. There are 28 passenger cabins, each with a 40 passenger capacity for a total capacity of 1,120 passengers. Each 225-square-foot cabin weighs 44,000 pounds, has a diameter of 22 feet, includes 300 square feet of glass, and is equipped with eight flat-screen televisions and an iPod dock. At night the wheel is illuminated by a 2,000-LEDhr1 (Medium) system which can display a single solid color, differently colored sections, multiple colors moving around the rim, and custom displays for special events and holidays.

Due to High Roller’s size you can see it from everywhere in Las Vegas,  however from a distance it looks like it is standing still, no rotation seen. As we got closer to it hr3 (Medium)throughout the day we realized it is moving just very very slowly. That caught our interest and Roy agreed to splurge a bit and ride it!!!  I am normally uneasy with heights but this felt so stable and went so slow there was none of that!

Even though the cabin can hold 40 people there were only four in ours!  Two really nice guys, dad and son, from Texas took the ride with us!  They were so nice and took pictures of Roy and I for us!

As we went higher and higher the city belowhr2 (Medium) looked more and more different!  This is so very worth doing if you’re in Las Vegas.  Not really cheap, but worth doing! The pictures below are from various elevations throughout the thirty minute ride.

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I always think videos show so much more than a photo could ever show so here’s 5 videos showing various aspects of the High Roller experience.

I’ll share about the casinos in the next few blogs.  We took so many pictures (both of us) that sifting through them and uploading them will take a while!

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09.30.15 Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate and more!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 –  We rested all morning and took a ride hersheys onto the Las Vegas Strip to visit Hershey’s Chocolate World, M&M’s World, MGM Grand Casino and Hotel and New York New York Casino and Hotel.

They are all on the same block so it made for a good first outing! This will probably be one of the most colorful posts with all the colorful chocolates we saw!

mmmmmmWe parked at New York New York and walked through the casino in search of Hershey’s Chocolate World which is a two story amazing world of chocolates!

First pictures from New York New York

mm6 (Medium) mm28 (Medium) mm26 (Medium) mm7 (Medium) mm10 (Medium)Hershey’s Chocolate World pictures.  Yes Roy did get his 5 pound bar of chocolate, I got an assortment of Kisses, Reeses and Jolly Ranchers. Madisyn got stuff also!  First is the Hershey’s store sign seen from within New York New York Casino and Hotel!

mm11 (Medium)The Chocolate Bar in New York New York, just outside Hershey’s.

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Various flavors of Hershey’s Kisses – this is where I spent time!!mm18 (Medium)

mm19 (Medium)Jolly Rancher’s area!mm25 (Medium)   mm21 (Medium)Roy’s giant super duper 5 pound Hershey’s Chocolate Bar!  We’ll be using some of it to make more of our homemade caramel, pecan and chocolate turtles! I’m thinking Madisyn may want a big bite out of it when we get home!

mm51 (Medium) mm54 (Medium)mm17 (Medium) mm5 (Medium)  The wonderful young ladies who checked us out and saw us spent a fortune on chocolates!! Ya’ll were great ladies!mm52 (Medium)  The Reese’s Floor

mm22 (Medium) mm23 (Medium)mm24 (Medium)Giant size Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and York Mint Patties!mm15 (Medium)

mm16 (Medium) We went through the Hershey’s store twice before making our purchases.

MGM Grand was cool too! It’s a huge place and I’m pretty sure we only saw a bit of it.

mm43 (Medium)mm44 (Medium) mm45 (Medium) MGM_Casino_in_Las_Vegas mgmall mm1 (Medium)We stopped in the Coca Cola store where we took photos with the Coke Bear.  We bought the photos and when they are scanned we’ll share.

mm30 (Medium)These are ones someone took with our camera.

mm61 (Medium) mm60 (Medium)We ended our time with a visit to M&M’s World where we were treated to a 3D movie, got to see Ms. Green M&M, picked up several gifts for Madisyn and really were like two kids in a candy shop here. It is a four floor M&M chocolate heaven!!

mm32 (Medium) mm62 (Medium) mm34 (Medium) mm48 (2) (Medium) mm35 (Medium) mm38 (Medium) mm33 (Medium)  mm39 (Medium)Do you see a trend towards loving the Chocolate stores and just going through the casinos!!!  What a wonderful chocolate day with a couple of casinos thrown in.

Below are some random outdoor Las Vegas Strip photos from high up and from street level.  It’s a lot classier place than I thought it would be.  It’s clean and very attractive, people aren’t wandering round obviously inebriated and the temperatures weren’t overwhelmingly hot.  It is 100 plus degrees here right now but the city didn’t feel like it.

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Here’s another of the Oxygen Bars.  Maybe one day we’ll find out what they are about. mm31 (Medium)We’re resting today which is Tuesday and will go back to the strip on Wednesday!

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09.29.15 Hoover Dam in Boulder, Nevada

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 – Hoover Dam is a testimony to this country’s ability to construct monolithic projects in the midst of adverse conditions. Built during the Depression; thousands of men and their families came to Black Canyon to tame the Colorado River. It took less than five years, in a harsh and barren land, to build the largest dam of its time. Now, years later, Hoover Dam still stands as a world-renowned structure.  Hoover Dam, once known as Boulder Dam, is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between the U.S. states of Arizona and Nevada.

Okay, that’s what I found on the internet.  I have to admit I don’t know much other than that but what we saw was really cool!!

We saw some nice scenery on the way there as we got into a very mountainous area.

hd2 (Medium)hd3 (Medium)hd1 (Medium)We stopped along the highway at a place where we could walk along the highway over the area where the dam is located.  You could see a lot from there and it was extremely windy walking across.  This bridge goes across the Nevada / Arizona border which is also where the time change from Mountain Time to Pacific Time.

First the walk up to and from the bridge.

hd4 (Medium)hd5 (Medium)Look at the bridge and the beautiful scenery!  This was the  Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge built in 2010.

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Nevada and Arizona welcome signs!  We lost and gain hour in the matter of minutes!

hd20 (Medium)20150927_161802 (Medium)The Hoover Dam

hd29 (Medium)hd19 (Medium)hd13 (Medium)hd24 (Medium)hd27 (Medium)20150927_164001 (Medium)This one is a panoramic photo of the Hoover Dam! Click to open it!20150927_164310 (Medium)Lake Mead National Recreation Area which is nearby.

hd30a (Medium)This was the  best part – people throw change over the side and we discovered where by looking over the ledge.  Here’s a bunch of coins and the second picture is Roy checking it out and trying to figure out how he could get to it!!

hd25 (Medium)hd26 (Medium)We’ll be  heading to the Las Vegas strip the next couple of days. You can imagine how much gawking we’ll do and how many pictures we’ll take.  Hopefully it will not take long to process all those pictures before we can share them with you guys!!

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09.28.15 Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas, Nevada

Monday, September 28, 2015 – We went to the Fremont Street Experience Saturday evening. The light shows there start fs13 (Medium)at 7 pm and a different one is presented every hour between 7 and midnight. We left home early enough to be there for the 7 pm light show and we stayed around till the 8 pm show.

All of the parking lots around Fremont Street displayed a sign that said Event Parking $20…… There is a Life is Beautiful event in town which we weren’t going to but it affected the parking price. We saw the Binion Casino which I read allowed you to fs7 (Medium)take your picture with a million dollars in cash. We pulled in there and the attendant said that if we gambled, ate or drank any casino would validate your parking and it would be free! We took the elevator down to Binion’s Casino with a nice man who lived in the area and gave us some guidance as to where Fremont was from where in the middle of the Casino.

I compare Fremont Street to sort of the French Quarter. Some sights were blushable, but it was overall a big street party for adults with doors leading into some casinos, some restaurants, lots of stores and a flying zip line going overhead. If the zip line hadn’t been $40 each I’d love to have done it! In the pictures of the ceiling canopy you can see the zip lines.

We went into one of the casinos and Roy put a dollar into a slot fs1a (Medium)machine. He made 15 cent and lost it quickly, but that got our parking ticket validated!!!

We saw several entertainment spots along the walk through the several blocks that make up Fremont Street. Some singers, dancers, dancing indian puppets, balloon makers and others. It is closed to traffic mostly which made strolling through it nice. Music played and there was some street dancing. The place probably gets louder and rowdier later but we stayed from 7 – 8:30 and headed home!!

There are several videos near the end that I hope you’ll enjoy!!!

First picture is of an Oxygen Bar. Don’t have a clue what this is about but it was picture worthy! These people had little tubes going into their noses from the colored bottles in front of them.

fs12 (Medium)fs3 (Medium) fs6 (Medium) fs10 (Medium) fs9 (Medium) fs11 (Medium) fs4 (Medium) fs14 (Medium) fs16 (Medium) fs5 (Medium) fs8 (Medium)We had our pictures taken in Binion’s Casino behind a million dollars in cash. It was free and we had two pictures taken. One where we’re normal and one where we are attacking the money. I took a couple of pictures of the money before our pictures were taken and those are first.

fs2 (Medium)fs1 (Medium)Million Dollar 1 Million Dollar 2

We can now check Fremont Street off our Vegas checklist and head for Hoover Dam tomorrow!

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09.27.15 Getting settled in Las Vegas, Nevada!

Sunday, September 27, 2015 – On Friday we arrived in Las Vegas Nevada and are staying in Las-Vegas-Strip-map.mediumthumb Riviera RV Park. Wikipedia says “The Las Vegas Strip is a stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard South in Nevada. The Strip is approximately 4.2 miles in length, located immediately south of the Las Vegas city limits in the unincorporated towns of Paradise and Winchester (however, the Strip is often referred to as being “in Las Vegas”). ” I did not know that the Vegas Strip is not in Las Vegas, did you??

locationMap_smallNow that we’ve had our educational update, let’s go on to cooler things! Not cooler as in the weather, which by the way here is hot as Hades at 102 today (Friday) but cool as in Vegas things that are cool.

Our RV air conditioners are both running but the one in the front has only cooled us down to 79 degrees and the bedroom one is at 81 degrees and it is almost 7 pm and dark here…….. Sure hope the casinos open their doors and cool down the strip for us while we’re here.

Our plans for today are to do my RVillage work, then around 6 pm to head to Freemont street where they have a nighttime light show – a different one each hour! Sunday we will go to the Hoover Dam which is only 20 minutes from here after doing my RVillage work.

It is absolutely a blessing from God to have this job with RVillage. I’m working right now in my pajamas and took a bit of time off to finish this up and blanch the remainder of the tomatoes. We can still see a little of the area we’re in during the day as long as I get my hours in and take care of my responsibilities.

During the upcoming week we will go to the Vegas Strip to see several casinos, eat at a couple of buffets, and see all the free things we can see.

Now back to the tomatoes we scooped up on the side of the interstate on our way here!

I soaked all the road dirt off of them overnight. Friday evening I blanched them, soaked in ice water and peeled about half of them. I did the same this morning (Saturday). I chopped and squshed them up and put them into three quart size ziploc bags and froze them. That’s a bag for chili, a bag for spaghetti sauce and a bag for Chicken Geraldine!! I ate several of them throughout the process and roadside tomatoes are really good!! Here’s the first batch ready for bagging.

tomato sauce

Now on to the pomegranates. I ate the one pomegranate that I purchased at the farmer’s market to find out about the process of eating them. They are unlike any other fruit I’ve eaten and am enjoying the bowl of shiny seeds I got out of the one I opened. I’ve read you can use them in salads and other things. I have eight of them so I’ll find out what I like them in once I get time to cut all those open!

My pictures are not cooperating so I’ll deal with them and share Fremont Street and the Hoover Dam with ya’ll next time!

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09.26.15 Bakersfield, CA to Las Vegas, NV

Saturday, September 26, 2015 – I believe the journey is as important as the destination.  When we arrived in Las Vegas last evening I started writing about being here.  When I looked at the 50 photos I’d taken between Bakersfield, CA and Las Vegas, NV I realized this journey should be shared so here it is!

The scenery changed dramatically as we drove along.  The multitude of mountains in the parts of California we’ve been in gave way to open deserts with NOTHING to see for miles!!!  Not necessarily an interesting ride through the desert so I’ve picked out 10+ photos that depict the drive and will share them in order below, starting with the RV Park in Bakersfield where we spent the night.

desert palms in bakersfield (Small)desert palms in bakersfield 3 (Small)desert palms in bakerfield 2 (Small) The next two are just a tiny bit of the solar wind mills we saw along the way.  The first up close one has something attached we didn’t see on any others.  If you know what that is let me know!

bctlv5 (Small)bctlv4a (Small)This is what creeks look like all over – bone dry.  Look at the bottom part of the picture.

bctlv6 (Small)Now the unidentified rest of the trip!bctlv2 (Small)bctlv1 (Small) bctlv14 (Small)bctlv7 (2) (Small) bcltv12 (Small) (Small) bctlv9 (Small) bctlv11 (Small) bctlv8 (Small) bctlv10 (Small) bctlv7 (Small) We thought about going to Death Valley but learned the high temp there today was 114 so probably not going to make the list this time!

bctlv death valley sign (Small)I got a little excited when Las Vegas was in sight.  As soon as you hit the California/Nevada border you start seeing casinos and big things!!  The first was a huge roller coaster ride that wrapped around Buffalo Bill’s Casino!

lv1 (Small)lv3 (Small)lv2 (Small)lv5 (Small)lv7 (Small) lv8 (Small) lv6 (Small) lv10 (Small) lv9 (Small)lv11 (Small)That brings us to Riviera RV Park in Las Vegas, Nevada where we’ll be living for a week.  It is an odd established park with some of the oldest RVs we’ve seen.  Most of the park seems to be permanent park residents.  It is neat and clean.  The laundry area is right next to us so our view out our door is laundry hanging on lines!!  That’s a first!  We’re very close to Fremont Street which leads to the Vegas Strip so the convenience of its location makes it a good part!  The people who run the place are extremely nice and answered all my questions about the strip which helped us know what to plan to see!

Next time we’ll share about Las Vegas and our evening at Fremont Street!

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09.24.15 Onward towards Las Vegas, Nevada!!

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By the always wonderful RVillage!

Thursday, September 24, 2015 –  We left Isleton, California this morning headed towards Las Vegas, Nevada.  It’s a pretty long drive so we are stopping about the half way point for a one night stay in Desert Palms RV Park in Bakersfield, California.

We’ll arrive in Las Vegas Friday afternoon just in time to do the Vegas Strip Friday evening.  Not…..  We’ll put off seeing a lot until Monday since I work on the weekend but depending on how things go on and catch some sights!!!

Thanks to helpful friends we have a list of Must See places in Las Veagas.  Found out there is a Hershey’s Chocolate World and an M&M Chocolate World there.  Both are near the MGM Hotel.  Roy’s hoping the price of one of Hershey’s giant bars isn’t too exorbitant  so he can get one.  I bought him and a friend of ours one several years ago for Christmas and they were $25 each then.  I can’t imagine what they are asking for them now!

Just passed a gas station that is selling Diesel for $2.67 a gallon.  That’s probably the lowest we’ve seen. It certainly makes our traveling more affordable!  Better yet, we just filled Dora with Diesel at $2.39 a gallon!!!!!

Along our drive we’re still seeing many grape vineyards and fruit orchards.  The hills and hillsides are just covered with fruit trees! Just pasted a grove of cacti growing in rows!  That’s a first for us!

09249246 Several large bins of fresh tomatoes have passed us along the way filled to overflowing!  Some have overflowed onto the side of the road even! 9245 9243

Wish I could have gotten some………….  Oh my goodness we just stopped where a bunch landed and I got a whole boat load of tomatoes!   Okay I’m going to share with you what it looked like when I picked them up.   Perhaps not my best photo op but if you know me you know I would try dumpster diving if Roy would let me.  I love free food that would go to waste if not gotten by someone!  Might as well be me!  I was  very selective and only picked out the biggest and best!  There’s plenty left for other pickers.

tomato 1tomato 2I have a full freezer shelf  from all the onions we got last trip and now I’ll have a shelf of frozen tomatoes!!  Pomegranate1We got off the interstate to mail a couple of things and on the way saw some big bushes heavy with pomegranates.  A tiny handwritten sign said Pick for Free.  So we pulled off the road and I picked 8 pomegranates.   I still haven’t eaten the one that I bought at the Farmer’s Market, so I don’t know yet if I like them,  but I’ll for sure have my fill of them if I do!!

That’s enough roadside produce picking for one day!!  Roy came out with his camera and snapped a shot of me pomegranate picking!  This is just crazy!!

rosalyn and pomegranates (Small)

After probably 100 miles plus of grape vines and fruit trees we entered an area that looks more like desert than we’ve been seeing.  Everything is dry dry and there is no green bushes to be seen.  This must be a region in more of a drought than where we’ve been.

We just pulled into Desert Palms RV Park in Bakersfield, CA for the night.  We cannot boon dock in this area as it is in the 90s so we’re connected to electricity for the night!  On to the bright lights of Las Vegas tomorrow morning!  Can’t wait to get my gawking on!!

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09.23.15 – Tuesday was “Meet the Boss Day”!!

rvillage soap
RVillage has it’s own soap!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 – Roy and I finally got to meet my RVillage boss Hillary on Tuesday!  We also got to meet Cam who works for RVillage as well!!!  I’ve worked for them since a year and a half ago and are just now getting to meet them in person!!

When I went to sleep last night I thanked God for all the blessings in our life.  I can now add meeting Hillary and Cam to the blessings God has placed in our lives.  Hillary is young enough to be my daughter and if I had a daughter I’d love for her to be just like Hillary.   I’m so proud of this young lady and the amazing work she does for RVillage.  She’s accomplished so much in her short years!  Getting to meet Cam and learn more about him was a big plus to the evening.  They grilled steaks for us and get this – you know how I don’t ever fix Roy real mashed potatoes – well Hillary did and Roy gobbled them up!!!

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Rosalyn, Hillary, Roy
rosalyn hillary roy
Rosalyn, Hillary, Roy

Getting to their home took us up a hill, passing by many hillary ahouses hanging onto hills above and below us as we drove.  All you see from the ones below the road are their roof tops and they look like they are built in the air.  We saw one being built and the reinforcements are over the top.  I think when you buy there to build you buy a little dirt and a lot of air to build in.  That’s the only way I can describe it.  These are definitely the houses that would slide off the hill which hillary 2we’ve seen happen on TV.

Their home has so much character and obviously so much love and attention paid to it.  We enjoyed appetizers outside in this neat area they have furnished for outdoor enjoyment, all while enjoying the delicious smells of Cam’s grilling! We ate in the dining room inside and really enjoyed having a dinner at a table with them!  That’s unusual for RVers, at least it is for us!

I left feeling happier than ever to work for Hillary and Cam.  Knowing they really are good people is important to me, and tonight proved that!  They were absolutely gracious hosts and I wish them much happiness in their lives.

rosalyn cam hillary
Rosalyn, Cam and Hillary

After getting home and thinking back to the things we shared with them about our younger years I thought a lot about it.  I believe our lives have been one change after another.  It’s made us the people we are now and I wouldn’t change one thing about the wild, hairy, ups and downs of our life if I could.  Well maybe one or two things!

rosalyn and hillary
Rosalyn and Hillary!

The thing, is life isn’t always going to be what it is at the present, be ready to change and grow with each up and down that comes along.  Don’t be afraid to take a big chance in life like getting married, having kids, changing careers if need be, moving, building a new home, or best yet, living in an RV.  All those things, when you can look back on them like we can now, are important elements in our life history.   Being cautious is not bad but be willing to take the step that kind of speaks to you.  Above all, seek God’s guidance in each decision but don’t be afraid to take that step if He doesn’t stop it.

Before we left yesterday evening, we all quickly Skyped with RVillage’s Founder Curtis Coleman and that just topped off the great night!  We’ll meet Curtis in person in a couple of weeks which is another Bucket List experience we will get to check off the list!!

Since my last post we’ve been picking blackberries, going to church, going to the Farmer’s Market where we got a giant watermelon and a giant peach and other normal sized foods including a pomegranate to try out! I’m drinking pomegranate/cranberry juice now for my brain and if I like the taste of fresh pomegranate that may get added to my grocery list as well.  We will pick berries one more time before we leave for Las Vegas on Thursday morning!!

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09.19.15 San Francisco – Part 3 – Golden Gate Park and Golden Gate Bridge

ggbvp5 (Medium)Saturday, September 19, 2015 – On Thursday we also drove to Golden Gate Park which is a beautiful big park with palms, flowers, walking paths, bicycle paths and more. We picked out a nice spot and ate our picnic lunch.

This is a map of the park.

ggp1aOne of the many entrances to the park.

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ggp1 ggp4 ggp5ggpa4 (Medium) ggpa2 (Medium) ggpa1 (Medium)ggpa8 (Medium)Across the street was the Conservatory of Flowers.

ggpa7 (Medium) ggpa9 (Medium) ggpa10 (Medium) ggpa6 (Medium) ggpa5 (Medium) ggpa3 (Medium)Other groups of flowers and plants.

ggpb5 (Medium) ggpb4 (Medium) ggpb3 (Medium) ggpb2 (Medium) ggpb1 (Medium)After enjoying more of the Park we headed for the Golden Gate Bridge. We got to see more of San Francisco on the way to the Bridge. I thought the bridge would be gold but it is actually rusty red colored.

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A video we took during the drive over the bridge.

Even though it is not gold it is a beautiful sight.

There is a Vista Point on the other side where we stopped to take more pictures of the bridge and the bay.

ggbvp11 (Medium) ggbvp10 (Medium) ggbvp9 (Medium) ggbvp8 (Medium) ggbvp7 (Medium) ggbvp6 (Medium) ggbvp5 (Medium) ggbvp4 (Medium) ggbvp2 (Medium) ggbvp3 (Medium)A video of the bay and the bridge from Visa Point

I couldn’t imagine living there or anywhere in San Francisco for that matter. Trying to walk across a street that is a steep hill is crazy difficult. Drunk people couldn’t survive walking around there!

We took a different route home allowing us to see more of the area. This is our last outing into San Francisco. It’s a unique amazing city. We have seen a lot and enjoyed all of it!

We will go to Oakland next week to meet and visit with my RVILLAGE boss Hillary!!! We have talked and Skype dozens of times but never met face to face. Yay, finally!!

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