A really nice long visit.

Trip Start May 21, 2008
Trip End Dec 31, 2008

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Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Upon arrival in Bakersfield, we spent the first night at a WalMart parking lot and met with our great friends Jeff and Linda for dinner. The next day we moved over to park in front of their son's house for a few days. Jarrod, his wife Audrey and their almost 1 year old Brooklyn, have a nice house in a quiet neighborhood, however, RV parking is restricted to only a few days. We hadn't planned to stay any great length of time in Bakersfield, but Jeff and Linda are like family and we really enjoy being together. They asked us to stay for as long as we could and that we could even help them with their business, too.

While we were there, just after Father's Day, Carlos, Tracy, Bella and Savannah, too, stopped by the Bakersfield shop for a quick visit. They had been up at Lake Tahoe and Sacramento visiting Tracy's parents and were driving back down to Oxnard. It made for a really nice visit and for the two toddlers to intermingle a bit, too.

Linda, Jeff and Jarrod operate two shops, one in Bakersfield, one in Tehachapi (about 45 min. away), and they sell and install fireplaces, stoves, and BBQs. We got to learn a lot about the many different kinds (gas, pellet or wood burning) that they sell...very interesting.

We went up to the Tehachapi shop a few times and sometimes got to connect with our cousin Suzi, who lives in a sort of suburb of Tehachapi called Bear Valley Springs. Unfortunately, not as much as I would have liked, partly because we  enjoy Suzi a lot and also I would have liked to have been able to do more horseback riding with her. Bear Valley Springs is a gated community with a golf course and other amenities, and lots of horse properties and trails.

We also drove down to Jeff and Linda's house in Glen Ivy (near Corona) three times. Once, Jeff, Linda, Terry and I went just to relax for a weekend. Another time just Linda and I went so we could pack a lot of their stuff in boxes, in anticipation of the house selling. The third time, we all went, including Jarrod, Audrey and Brooklyn for the long 4th of July weekend. The trip between Bakersfield and Glen Ivy is usually about a two and a half hour drive (at speeds of 75-85 mph or more).

Part of the time in Bakersfield, we were able to park behind the shop and plug into the electric there, but eventually, we were told to move, so we moved to a nearby RV Park for the last three weeks.

We got to know all the employees, including Mike, who is Audrey's dad and Geoffrey, who ran the Tehachapi shop and goes to Hawaii every year, so we could often talk about Maui and other islands. We also did a couple of BBQ demos at the Tehachapi shop on a couple of weekends.

All during our time there, we would get together at Jarrod and Audrey's or Jeff and Linda's for dinners, mostly BBQs, and at Jeff and Linda's we'd also play cards, although, I didn't play very often because they liked to play Pinochle which I don't play and would not be good at learning it either.

We also had fun putting together Brooklyn's 1st Birthday Party. We had it in the Rec room at Jeff and Linda's complex and about 20 people attended, mostly adults, but it was fun.

Wouldn't you know it, we were having such a good time, I almost forgot to take pictures. I wish I had taken some of the shops, the showrooms and their houses, and I only got one group photo of Jeff, Linda, Jarrod, Mike and another employee Paul on our last day.

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Where I stayed
Jarrod & Audrey's, Fire It Up! and River Run RV park
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