Ron & Elena's 2016 Travels travel blog

Spring at North Ranch - these agave plants get these huge shoots,...

The delicious praline cake that Elena made for the hamburger potluck.

It's one of my favorites!

Elena's friends enjoying their luncheon at Soup Plantation

(Ron Writing) We’ve been keeping very busy since the last blog update. Once we get settled into North Ranch for quite a period of time it takes awhile to get everything organized and ready for travel again. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

First a few highlights of what we’ve been doing the past few weeks. On April 1st we enjoyed a nice lunch and visit with friends Dick and Dot at Native Wings in Surprise, AZ. This was our first time eating at this restaurant and we would go back again – good chicken. This was our last get-together with Dick and Dot; they left on their summer travels on April 5th.

On April 5th we were invited to friends Betty and Don’s house for hamburgers and a potluck. It was a beautiful evening and we enjoyed good food and visiting with several of our other friends there.

On April 7th we went to the valley for the monthly Multiple Myeloma Support group meeting. After the meeting we went to the nearby Commodore Guadalajara Restaurant for another delicious Mexican lunch.

On April 10th we enjoyed the last Friends of Music concert of this season. Matt Beilis played piano an sang and wide variety of music from the 50’s through the 80’s. Two hours of top hits.

On April 14th we had breakfast with our friend Kay at Nichols West and enjoyed another nice visit with her.

On April 18th we went to the valley for my monthly blood tests. On the way we could feel a vibration in the truck and, as I suspected the we had another tire failure. I’ve usually had very good luck with Michelin tires but this set has really been a disappointment. All four tires have failed in the past year with around 45,000 to 55,000 miles. These were supposed to be the best Light Truck tires Michelin manufactures but they all failed due to delamination well before their 7-year / 70,000 mile warrantee period ended. So when we got to the valley we headed for Walmart and got this last one replaced with a warrantee adjustment.

The results of the blood tests showed that the new drug I’ve been taking for about 6 weeks has been very effective. There was a big improvement in my numbers, I’m feeling good, and haven’t experienced any of the negative side effects that this drug can cause. What a blessing. We are very grateful for all the researchers and doctors that develop these drugs, and patients that participate in clinical trials. There are so many people working very hard to improve the treatment of this disease.

On Aril 22nd I had my monthly consultation with my doctor. We discussed the great test results and then we asked about perhaps cutting back on the frequency of visits. The doctor agreed to monthly blood tests and waiting 3 months for the next visit. We can get the blood tests done at any lab so this will allow us to do some traveling this summer. After spending almost all of last summer in the heat of the valley this is very welcome news. After the appointment we met our friend Marcia, also an MM survivor, for lunch at Bread Crafters, a very nice little restaurant we hadn't experienced before. We had a nice visit and a great lunch.

And not to waste any time, we left North Ranch the next morning! We headed west on I-10 and made a stop in Indio, CA where we enjoyed an very nice lunch and visit with our friends Bill and Jeannee at Shields Date Garden. We need to go back there sometime to look around the gardens and the store – we spent all our time visiting and eating in the restaurant.

From there we continued on west to Garden Grove, CA to visit friends in Orange County. We are parked on our friend Barbara’s driveway. It’s always great to get back here to see our friends but I don’t like the traffic congestion – it seems to have gotten a lot worse since we lived here – or maybe it’s just our age!

On Sunday we attended the worship service at Shepherd’s Grove and then our Homebuilders Fellowship Group where we saw many of our friends. After church we went to lunch with Barbara at Chili Pepper – one of our favorite Mexican Restaurants in this area.

On Monday we met Patrick and Ken for breakfast. I used to work with both of these guys. We’ve gotten together with Patrick, from the Northwest, several times the past few years but this was the first time I’ve seen Ken since well before I retired. We had a nice leisurely breakfast and visit at Coco’s in Brea, CA.

Today Elena had lunch with about 10 gals she used to work with. She hadn’t seen some of them since she retired. They had a great time getting caught up with each other’s lives at the Soup Plantation in Fullerton.

It feels so good to get back on the road again. We hope our summer will be full of adventure and travel – and more blog updates!

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