Posted by on Feb 13, 2018 in Arizona, California, Gallery, Travel | 32 comments

Bidding farewell to the Central Coast, our travels from San Diego to Tucson were a whirlwind tour of time with family and friends.

We were looking forward to seeing family in San Diego; when we discovered that no less than four of our favorite full-time RVing buddies were also in the area, our dance card filled up immediately. A week later, when we moved on to Tucson, we serendipitously met up with another favorite RVing duo and their trusty side-kick.

Four-and-a-half years ago, I never imagined the friendships that would blossom in our travels. Honestly, I secretly feared we might be lonely as we roamed the country. As it turns out, we’ve made many wonderful friends through our blog, as well as through fortuitous encounters on trails, in campgrounds, and during our yearly camp hosting gig on Lopez Island. One thing is for sure, meeting up with friends adds depth and camaraderie and a whole heck of a lot of fun to our travels.

We gathered with our RVing buddies for a delightful evening at Stone Brewing at Liberty Station in San Diego. What a great group of friends and fellow travelers! Hans and Lisa (Metamorphosis Road), Pam and John (Oh, the Places They Go!), LuAnn and Terry (Paint Your Landscape) and MonaLiza and Steve (Lowe’s Travels) showed up for an evening of reconnecting, sharing stories, and plenty of laughter. We didn’t get kicked out of the restaurant, so we apparently showed some restraint.

Liberty Station all decked out for the holidays (yep, this blog is far behind)

A very fun gathering of RVing friends and fellow bloggers at Stone Brewing, Liberty Station. Clockwise around the table: Hans, Eric, John, Steve, MonaLiza, Pam, Laurel, Lisa, LuAnn, Terry.

Dos Picos County Park, our home for the week while visiting San Diego

We always enjoy our time with Eric’s family in Poway (sister Penny, brother-in-law Tom, nephews, and families)

A great day of biking and fun with Pam and John along Mission Bay

Time for a lunch break on our bike ride

Meeting up with Terry and LuAnn for a beautiful day of hiking at Lake Poway

A delicious lunch and catching up at Stone Brewing in Escondido

At the top of Iron Mountain in Poway with Steve and MonaLiza

Lunch at Marinade on Main in Ramona; MonaLiza is happily anticipating that beer tasting

Moving on to Catalina State Park, a Tucson favorite

We’ve spent quite a bit of time in Tucson on previous visits. This visit was short, but we still managed to hike every day in Catalina State Park (one of the benefits of staying in the park). Fortuitously, just a few sites down were Sue, Dave, and Lewis (Beluga’s Excellent Adventure) and we had a great time sharing a happy hour, a birding hike, and a wonderful dinner out with them. More good times with good friends.

A very rude saguaro cactus

Happy hour with Sue and Dave—and Lewis, the butler

On the birding trail with Dave and Sue

A fabulous dinner at Vivace in Tucson. Go here if you find yourself in Tucson.

And of course, a few of our feathered friends:

A Phainopepla (what kind of a name is that? I liked it better when they were called “Silky Flycatchers”)

A Cactus Wren, always one of our favorites with their very big personalities

A Roadrunner, another of our perennial favorites

We saw a coatimundi on the trails at Catalina State Park! That was a surprise.

A Northern Flicker, isn’t that feather pattern gorgeous?

A sweet little Verdin, the first to show up when we put out our hummingbird feeder

A beautiful Broad-billed Hummingbird stops by for a drink

A Cooper’s Hawk on our picnic table; probably eyeing the little birds at our feeder :-(

Next Up: Hiking The Chiricahuas