January to March 2015

 

This year was filled with many great places but my desire to write just did not take over so I shall try to recap the year as best as I can.

January thru half of March was spent at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California.  We love this base as it has great places to walk and keeps you active.  Almost every day we would walk over to the Exchange and just walk around to see what was new.   Of course quite a few of those days we spent money on something we really did not need.  Travis Air Force Base was built in 1942 and is a very active base.  They handle more cargo and passengers than any other base in the states.  The campground on base has full hookups, patio, table, laundry, showers and 72 sites.  On base you have golf, commissary, exchange, theater, church, bowling alley, fitness center, library, pools, car wash and a post office.

Our stay in California was not supposed to be for so long but we had trouble with our 2012 truck.  Seems it had defective head gaskets and it took the dealership 49 days to fix it.  We were lucky that it was still covered under warranty and they gave us a loaner truck to drive, but annoying to wait so long.

While at Travis we got to spend a lot of time with our daughter and 3 grandchildren.  We were located about an hour away but made sure we got to spend lots of quality time together.

One day we took a ride to Oakland and went around the airport as I had never seen that before.  Onto Alameda where we came upon the Naval Air Station Alameda which the Navy closed back in 1997.  It looks like a deserted mine field – the government sure needs to find better ways to help the cities take over this land.  Three bases in the United States that really came out nice after the military left are Hamilton Air  Force Base in Novato, California, Presidio in San Francisco and Myrtle Beach Air Force Base in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

No trip to California would be complete without a trip to Napa.   We just love driving around and seeing all the beautiful vineyards and interesting buildings.  We had a nice lunch at Downtown Joe’s overlooking the river.  Great food, great waitress and Tim said great beer.  We did see a lot of the destruction from the earthquake that had hit here a few months back but they were hard at work fixing everything.

Muir Woods National Monument in Mill Valley was a real fun place to tour.  It became a National Monument back in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt.  We hike over 4 miles thru the redwood forest and enjoyed the peace and quiet of the area.  Some of the trees are 400 to 800 years old and are over 250 feet tall.  After our hike we went to the Cheesecake Factory for a great lunch in Corte Madera.  Love that restaurant but they give you way too much food.

Tim and I found a great park called Lynch Canyon Open Space Park.  It is a 1093  acres of rolling grasslands ranch with cows grazing as you walk by.  They have over 10 miles of trails which makes for great hiking and spectacular views.  We visited here a few times to get in a good hike as you have lots of flat land but then huge hills.

Chabot Space and Science Center is a hands on center geared to children but we enjoyed it as well.  We went with our daughter and 2 young grandchildren and enjoyed the huge telescopes, exhibits and planetarium.  The view of the bay was just beautiful.

My favorite place in the San Francisco area is the Presidio which used to be an Army Base for 219 years and now is a National Park.  I can remember going to the base hospital in 1975 and finding out that I would be having another baby.  In 1994 the Military turned the base over to the park system and they have done a wonderful job of fixing the buildings, using housing to rent to the locals and just beautiful grounds.  We enjoyed walking around and just enjoying the views of the ocean, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the beautiful homes.  After we left we had lunch at the Cliff House which overlooks Ocean Beach and has great food.  Then onto Fort Funston which was a former harbor defense installation.  It was inactivated back in 1963 and today its used as a premier hang gliding site plus a great place to walk.

One Sunday we had lunch with family at the Lake Chalet Seafood Bar and Grill located on Lake Merritt in Oakland.  The building is the former pumping station for the City of Oakland Fire Department.  We had a nice lunch and then walked around the grounds enjoying the warm sunshine.

Fort Baker in Sausalito used to be an Army Base until the mid 1990’s and is now used for many different purposes.  The Officer Housing has been turned into beautiful lodging for $500 a night, which is way out of my league.  Also they have an active Coast Guard Station and Travis Air Force Base Marina.  The reason we were there was to go to the Bay Area Discovery Museum with our grandchildren.  This is a really cool place with all kinds of playgrounds and different things for children to do.  The kids really enjoyed themselves.  The only complaint was their restaurant was horrid with really weird food that most children would not eat.  Great day

Mount Diablo State Park costs $9 for a car to drive up to the top with breathtaking views.  On a good day you can see over 200 miles and we hit a good day.

Oakland Zoo is a small zoo on 100 acres with 660 native and exotic animals.  We took a skyride in the chair lift and were able to see many animals.  The zoo opened back in 1922 and most animals are displayed in their natural habitat.  We got to see hyenas, zebras, giraffes, elephants, baboons, river otters and lemurs.  We had a great day but was it ever hot.

Old Sacramento was another of our trips.  We love walking and looking in the shops, walking along the river and visiting the old 1 room schoolhouse.  We have been here quite a few times and enjoy it each time.

Another really cool restaurant is Campo Di Bocce Restaurant in Livermore.  This place has wonderful food and drinks but you can play bocce right inside the restaurant.  I had never seen this before and it was fun watching people play while we ate.  Maybe the next time we will have to try it.

On the 16th of March we left Travis Air Force Base and headed south.  Stay tuned for more adventures.