Bagels and Stars . . .

Today was the day for our day trip down to Mesa to get an estimate on our cargo bay door damage and to pick up our prescriptions from Sam’s Club, so we were up at the awful hour of 7:30, a time of day that should be outlawed. The day should not start until 10 am.

Jan fixed us a great breakfast from Miss Terry’s latest culinary delight, Asiago Cheese Bagels, and toasted them with butter. Fantastic.

Then, about 8:30 Jan and I went outside to remove the cargo bay door to take to RV Renovators to get ready to leave, not an easy task, believe me. But we got it done somehow.

After dropping off the garbage at the dumpster, we headed out about 9 tam o make the 120 mile trip to Mesa.

We got there about 11, and were warmly greeted by ‘Cinda, who was all ready to take care of us. She turned us over to Levi, who looked over our door, and told us what else he needed to know to give us the estimate. He said he’ll email it when he’s done. RV Renovators certainly lived up to their reputation with us.

Leaving RV Renovators, we headed a couple of miles down the road to El Pollo Loco, our favorite grilled chicken place. Their chicken is fantastic and we always try to eat there when one is nearby.

After lunch, it was just another few miles to the Sam’s Club where we picked up our prescriptions, and a few other things. Between Wal-Mart and Sam’s we never have a problem with getting our prescriptions around the country.

Before heading back to Verde Valley, I decided to make a quick stopover at Roy’s Train World. Our faithful blog readers already know I’m crazy about model trains. (Of course, Jan says I’m just crazy, but that’s a topic for another blog.)

Ironically, I haven’t had a layout since I was 13 and we moved to Colombia, South America, but I still like to visit model train museums and train stores as we travel, and I read a couple of model train magazines each month.

As a side note, I’ve probably visited 20-30 train stores in the last 7- 8 years, and almost none of them had anything in the way of a decent train layout. And I think this is a big mistake. The layouts are what bring the young kids into the hobby. I know it was for me.

When I was a kid all the department stores had large layouts at Christmas time, just the thing to grab a kids interest. But now, nothing. Oh well, they didn’t ask me. As a matter of fact, no one asks me. Personally I think that’s a big mistake of their part, as I always have plenty of advice on just about any subject.

Just ask Jan.

On our way home we stopped at DQ for a cone for Jan and a Moo-latte for me, and then hit the road. We got home about 4:30 and got all the stuff unloaded before checking with Nick and Terry about supper.

Jan had been fighting a bad migraine on and off all day, so she decided to stay at the rig while we hit the local Chinese buffet again.

Getting back home about 6:30 my first job was to change out the 1003 bulb in one of our Smart Light’s. If you haven’t seen these, they’re great.

Smart Light 1000

They replace your patio light with a motion-detecting version that turns on when you approach the rig. Perfect when you come back at night and didn’t leave a light on.

Another thing I did after I got home is look up the mileage we traveled last year, which was about 9800 miles.

This took us from Dickinson, TX to Yuma, AZ, Las Vegas, Lancaster, CA, San Francisco, and then up US 101 to Westport, WA. Then over to Gillette, WY for the American Coach Rally, down thru Salt Lake City, to Show Low, AZ.

Next we headed east thru Amarillo and Abilene to Burnet, TX for our daughter’s wedding, down to San Marcos to visit a good friend, further east to Montgomery, AL, north to Louisville, KY for the big Good Sam Rally, then a zigzag northwest to Vandalia, IL to visit Jan’s sister and her family, then back east thru Cincinnati and Celina, OH to Elkhart, IN for Nick Russell’s Gypsy Journal Rally.

Our final leg took us from Elkhart to Dickinson, TX by way of Jackson, MS and Baton Rouge, LA.

All in all a pretty busy year. But with all the talk about high fuel prices, and Nick’s recent article called “Pay It or Park It”, I was curious to see what our numbers looked like.

Strangely enough, after traveling all over the country, sometimes together, but mostly separate, we came out within a couple of hundred mile of each other.

And as Nick said, if diesel goes from $3 to $4 a gallon, it’s about an extra $25 a week. And if, heaven forbid, it goes to $5 a gallon, that’s $50 a week extra.  Wallydock an extra night, don’t eat out, stay in an Elk’s or Moose lodge, it shouldn’t be enough to change your lifestyle for.

I’ve repost our tour of the star’s homes in Hollywood last April. Enjoy.


Thought for the Day:

To conserve energy, the light at the end of the tunnel has been permanently turned off.


Homes of the Stars…

Posted on April 21, 2010

We left the rig about 10 am headed for Hollywood and our Movie Star Home Tour.

We got there early enough to have lunch so we decided to try the Hooters across the street from Grauman’s Chinese Theater where our tour would start.

One thing we’ve noticed is the Hooter’s hot wings out west are not near as hot as the Hooters in Texas. We both had ours at “911” which is their hottest normal temp. (Some Hooters also have off the menu temps called “Bentley” and “Elvis” which are hotter still.) But “911” out here is only about equal to ‘Hot” in Texas.

Anyway we got with our group and were led to our tour bus.


Since rain was forecast and it was sprinkling on the way in from Lancaster, we were a little worried, seeing as how we didn’t have a roof. But our tour guide said not to worry, that if it rained, he had a backup plan. Jan asked what the backup plan was, he said “We get wet!”.

Oh boy!

But off we went. And it turned out fine. The rain held off and the sun even came out for a while.

And now, in no particular order, here are some of the homes we saw.

Bob Barker of “The Price is Right” fame


The mountain-top retreat, high above Beverly Hills, has been owned by both Steven Spielberg and Merv Griffin. It’s up for sale now.


This is the entrance to Bill Cosby’s home.


This one is newly-built by Richard and Kathy Hilton, the parents of Paris Hilton.


This home was used both in Will Smith’s “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and in “Mommy Dearest”, with Faye Dunaway.


This under-construction mansion is rumored to be the new home of Arnold Schwarzenegger, but it’s supposed to be a tight secret with a lot of security around it, even under construction.


This was Rosemary Clooney’s home.


This is one of the homes used in the Beverly Hillbillies.


This is the Beverly Hills Tower, home to Elton John, Cher, Sidney Poitier, and Matthew Perry, among others.


This is Nancy Reagan’s Nail Salon, where she has her nails done every Thursday.


This is all that remains of the location of “77 Sunset Strip”. It’s the valet parking area, and it’s not located at 77 Sunset Strip, anyway. It’s more like 4800.

77 Sunset Strip

This is the home of “Colombo’s” Peter Faulk.


And this is Helen Hunt’s home. And it’s up for sale, if you’re in the market.


This is the back of Johnny Weissmuller’s home. It has a quarter mile long swimming pool that winds thru the estate, with trees and vines so he could still play Tarzan. His family stills owns it.


This is the front gate of Michael Jackson’s home  where he died.

Michael 2

The balcony here leads into the bedroom where Michael’s body was found.

Michael 1

This was the home of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez.


And right next door was Jack Benny’s home. It’s now owned by Jon Lovitz.


And right next door to that is Carol Burnett’s home. That’s some neighborhood.


This is Dr. Phil’s home, also known as the “House that Oprah built”.


This is Tom Cruise’s home, or what you can see of it.


And this home, complete with gargoyles, was the home of Dracula’s, Bela Lugosi.


This is a shot of the LA skyline, as seen from the Hollywood sign view point.

Skyline 2

And, of course the Hollywood sign itself. It originally said “Hollywoodland” and was erected in 1923 as an advertisement for the Hollywood Land Co. The last four letters were removed in 1945, or destroyed by a rocket belt-wearing Nazi spy crashing into it in the movie “The Rocketeer”. Take your pick.


Back at Grauman’s Chinese Theater, there are always a bunch of movie characters in costumes for people to have their pictures taken with. We’ve seen Spiderman, The Hulk, Batman, Darth Vader, and Princess Leia, just to name a few. However, only in Hollywood would you find KFC’s Colonel Sanders and Jesus, walking and talking.


Seeing this made me want KFC for dinner, so we stopped and picked some up on our way home.

I wonder if I’ll want to go to church on Sunday, too.

Stopping at KFC, I finally got to try the new Double Down Chicken Chicken Sandwich.


It’s two strips of bacon, two slices of Monterey Jack and Pepper Jack cheese, and Colonel’s Sauce, between two chicken breasts. It’s messy to eat, unless you keep it in the wrapper, but it’s delicious.

And at 540 calories, it’s not bad calorie-wise, either. That’s 140 calories less than a Whopper and 160 calories less than a Big Mac.

And did I say it’s really, really good?