San Diego Wildlife Zoo Safari Park

2/9/17 Thursday in Menifee, CA (Wilderness Lakes-TT)

The past 3 weeks have been quiet, but I’ll catch you up now. I was concentrating on finishing my large compilation of 4 books by Christopher Paolini (Eregon, Eldest, Brysingr, and Inheritance). They are a true series, so since I was getting them from the library it seemed best to read the book that held all four large books, in about a month. These were excellent, well written with so many references to our human (and other creature’s) condition. Then I concentrated on “The News From Spain: Seven Variations on a Love Story” by Joan Wickersham. SO much shorter, yet also a very interesting read. It felt like more than 7 love stories. John was happy tackling his Louis L’Amour books. Once I finished my books I got involved in a “Painting Challenge” where I posted a painting a day for 7 days on Facebook. Then I started work on a portrait painting project. I got sidetracked organizing photos of my watercolor paintings in my new computer. Many had not been copied from the old computer.

The day after we arrived at Wilderness Lakes, our RV Flush technician came bright and early to clean out our black and gray tanks. Now they actually read empty. Our hope is that our probiotic (TankTechsRX) will keep the tanks clean and sensors reading accurately.

We’ve taken advantage of the campground’s Candy Bar bingo each Saturday where you get 4 bingo cards and with every bingo you get a large candy bar (you choose) and return that card. We’ve been playing Fast Track most nights with Lewis and Clark members, among them are: Carol/Darrel, Jerry/Ying, Scott/Lois and Loyce/Wendel. The last couple have a 2012 Journey 36M just like ours! We had a great time comparing notes and efficiency ideas.

This pretty much brings us up to Thursday (2/9) when we joined Jack/Jackie and Wendle/Loyce on a trip to the San Diego Wildlife Zoo Safari Park ($52/adult + $12/parking). John and I had been there about 5 years ago ( John wanted to see it again. I was amazed at how well all 6 of us navigated such a demanding day while maintaining our good humor. We were all truly tired by the end of the day, but felt it was so worth it. Some highlights:

Balloon Trip (this is a helium balloon tethered to the ground by a cable, so it was a very safe version):



View from balloon.


Left to right: Loyce, Wendle, Trish, John, Jackie and Jack at the back on the balloon.

Tram Ride:



Superb Starling


Northern Roller

That last bird is the smallest falcon, from South America I think.


Lemur, napping.


Momma gorilla and 3 1/2 month old baby eating veggies.



Tiger seen through waterfall.


We stayed to watch the Cheetahs (2 brothers) run (100 yards in 6.02 seconds for one), then headed home at 4pm, just in time for the commuter traffic. John and I got to ride with Jack/Jackie. They needed to stop at Costco for gas. Well, that became another adventure as the traffic slowed us and ate up our gas. It felt like we were running on fumes by the time we reached a pump. Jack had to stop the car at that moment, get out and get a breather!

Friday we all took a rest, which included a haircut for me. Jack baked an apple pie, offering slices to John and I. It was still piping hot. Such a treat!

Saturday Jack/Jackie and John and I (John drove this time) went to the Old Town Temecula Farmer’s Market. Wouldn’t you know, it rained the whole time we shopped there and stopped as soon as we were leaving! That night John and I watched Gonzaga win it’s 26th consecutive game. This one was against our arch rival, St. Mary’s, so it was a good one. Gonzaga is ranked #1 in the Western Division, #1 in all of college basketball , and#4 in the NCAA tournament.

We’re moving on Valentine’s Day, to higher ground. Brrrr.


About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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