Category Archives: California

Wanderlust Rekindled in the Millers with Thumper Jr.

“We travel because we need to, because distance and difference are the tonic to creativity. When we get home, home is still the same, but something in our minds has changed and that changes everything.”

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Tom Lindstom, a Renaissance Man, provides quality motorhomes. We know as here we are about to start our RV adventures again with our new rig, “Thumper Jr.” who’s mascot is seen in the window! Thanks Tom and to your super team, Scooter, Mike & Coach!! Our 1st RV 10,000 mile 2 month journey took place with “Thumper.”  Now stay tuned to find out…WhereAreTheMillers & Thumper, Jr.

And thanks, Briers,  for you LA greeting as our first NewMillerman family reunion with Thumper, Jr.!img_4475

Day 35, Travel Day, Cousins, Gilbert, Arizona, May 8th

447.6 RV miles today, 5494 total

Will got up near dawn & went surfing again. We checked out at San Onofre Beach Camp Pendleton Military Campground and headed most of the day (400+ miles) through California & Arizona to Beth’s 1st cousin’s home in Gilbert, AZ. We went up over 4000 feet and down to 40 feet below sea level passing through Yuma, Arizona. We were able to look several hundreds yards over into Mexico along the route and even went through a border patrol checkpoint. We also saw an apprehension in progress by border patrol agents just off the highway!?!?  We stopped by UPS for a package & met Brant Miller (distant cousin, perhaps), an aspiring physical therapist. The sunset picture is from Dale & Tom’s backyard in Gilbert, AZ. Cousin Dale prepared a delicious meal on the grill enjoyed outside by Dale, her daughters Liz & Jen (1st cousins once removed), Will & me. It was a nice reunion, m, w, & t

“Land of extremes. Land of contrasts. Land of surprises. Land of contradictions…. That is Arizona.” ~Federal Writers Project, Arizona: The Grand Canyon State, 1956

“You know you’re an Arizona native when you think Taco Bell is the local phone company.”  ~Emma Louise Philabaum, quoted in You Know You’re an Arizona Native, When… compiled by Don Dedera, 1993

“The trip across Arizona is just one oasis after another.  You can just throw anything out and it will grow there, I like Arizona. ” ~Will Rogers

“One of the greatest things about the sport of surfing is that you need only three things: your body, a surfboard, and a wave.” — Naima Green

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Day 34, San Onofre Beach, Sun & Surfing, May 7th

21.3 RV miles today, 5046.4 total

We awoke to the sound of the crashing waves literally ~ 10 to 15 yards from our RV.  Check out the picture through our front windshield. We relaxed today, read, and did some shopping for Will’s friends. We rented a surf board and wet suits and went surfing this afternoon. It was a bucket list completion!. We watched the sun set, rode our bicycyles over to Sonic on base for milkshakes and set up camp. Surfs up, dude, m, w & t

“The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun” –Duke Kahanamoku

“The joy of surfing is so many things combined, from the physical exertion of it, to the challenge of it, to the mental side of the sport” –Kelly Slater

Not to sound too deep or weird, but I think that the times when you really appreciate surfing are the times you’re really sort of becoming one with nature. Surfing’s as raw of a sport as it gets.” –Kelly Slater

“So many worlds, so much to do, So little done, such things to be.” –Alfred, Lord Tennyson

“In retirement, I look for days off from my days off.” –Mason Cooley

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Day 33, Dermasensa LA Day, “Dolly,” San Onofre Beach/Camp Pendelton, May 6th

97 RV miles today, 5025.1 total

Beth caught the red-eye flight back to Fayetteville last night. She will be up to Chapel Hill to move Shelby out of her dorm having completed her freshman year! I drove up to Chatsworth, CA to visit Steven @ West Coast Cosmetics. I toured his facilities and got to meet his family. It was a nice visit & hopefully we will establish a lasting relationshipy with them. After turning in our Hertz Rental Car at LAX, we drove to Gardena to visit Philippe @ O.T.S. Astrocon. He will be air & boat freight shipping our Dermasensa US products to China from LA & Miami. Will & I had a nice Mexican lunch at the traveling van & then headed down to San Onofree near San Clemente. It is a gorgeous RV campground inside the Marine base of Camp Pendleton. We walked the beach down to the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant, nicknamed “Dolly Parton By The Sea” for the two large domed, bosom-like structures that you can see in the background of our picture. We had roasted chicken for dinner and then retired. m, w & t

“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.” – Pat Conroy (American novelist/author)

The nuclear plant’s two large containment structures are briefly shown in the 1988 movie “The Naked Gun” when detective Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) talks about how everything reminds him of his ex-wife’s bosoms (quote: “Everywhere I look something reminds me of her”). –“The Naked Gun”

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Day 32, Sunday Half-Marathon Biking, Thai Gathering, May 5th

0 RV miles today, 4928.1 total

We biked 14 miles today up around Marina Del Rey to Venice Beach…literally over a half-marathon (13.1 miles). Met Michelle & her husband, Dean, at the Siamese Garden Thai Cafe on Washington Blvd for an excellent Thai dinner. Took Beth to the airport to fly home for 4 days to move Shelby out of her dorm for the summer. Beth caught the red-eye overnight flight to Atlanta then Fayetteville, m, w & t

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

All my life I used to wonder what I would become when I grew up. Then, about seven years ago, I realized that I was never going to grow up–that growing is an ever ongoing process.” –M. Scott Peck

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Day 31, Hollywood Briers Day, May 4th

0 RV miles today, 4928.1 total

We spent the day in Hollywood with Hannah Briers walking the streets of Hollywood/Larchmont having an outdoor cafe lunch at the Bungalow. Will headed off to go surfing with friends & we got the nickel tour of Hollywood including Grauman’s Chinese Theater with the star’s handprints/footprints & sidewalk “walk of stars.” Even saw Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Spiderman, Darth Vader, Shrek & numerous other celebrities perusing the sidewalks offering photo ops. We relaxed at HB’s apartment before walking to the Grove. Had French crepes for dinner reminding us of one of our favorite restaurants, “Crepe Nanou,” when we lived along St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. Back to Dockweiller State Beach for an evening stroll on the beach. b, m, w, h & t (the NewMillermans)

“Let’s put it this way, if all the people in Hollywood who have had plastic surgery, if they went on vacation, there wouldn’t be a person left in town.” –Michael Jackson (I’d still be here!?!…m2)

“Once we truly know that life is difficult — once we truly understand and accept it — then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.” -‘The Road Less Traveled” –M. Scott Peck
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Day 30, Beach Biking, Sony Tour, May 3rd

19.3 miles today, 4,928.1 miles total

Gorgeous Friday…sunny 80 degrees! We drove 9 miles up to the Santa Monica pier then rode our bikes almost 8 miles up the coastal bike path to Will Rogers State Park Beach with friends, Hannah  & Rachel. After a leisurely lunch, we experienced the amazing LA snail’s pace traffic to Sony Pictures Entertainment to get a personal tour from our gracious hostess, Michelle Mignon. “Awesome” kudos to Michelle, she knows what that means!?! “Celebrating Indomitable Spirit.” Who knows, I might apply for one of the medical consultant positions at Sony!?!? We took some more pictures of the amazing sunset from the effects of the huge wildfire just up the coast. Back at our beachside Dockweiller State Park campground site, it’s incredible to see the huge jets going out over or coming  in from the Pacific Ocean on their flight path to & from LAX International Airport.  And then under that technology, to walk among the many firepits on the beach. It’s a physical juxtaposition of pre-dawn man with 21st century technology man.  From LA, m, b, w & t

“If we know exactly where we’re going, exactly how to get there, and exactly what we’ll see along the way, we won’t learn anything. ” –M. Scott Peck

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” –Albert Einstein (1879-1195

“Life is like a ten speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.” –Charles M. Schulz (“Peanuts” Snoopy American cartoonist, 1922-2000)

“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.” ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn’t it be? —it is the same the angels breathe.” –Mark Twain (“Roughing It,” Chapter XXII, 1886)

“Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I have hope for the human race.” –H.G. Wells

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Day 29, Santa Barbara, An Apple A Day, Hwy 1 Wildfires, Playa del Rey, May 2nd

149.3 miles today, 4,908.8 miles total

We ventured down the coast to Santa Barbara today going up and down State Street from the pier up to the Apple Store. We had lunch at Kahuna Grill, an eclectic surfing establishment. Beth’s 5 year old Apple MacBook Pro went on the blink so we got her another one. This Apple a day has kept this doctor at bay! Will purchased a cool wood carving made from magnifying glass burning. A huge wind swept California wildfire from Santa Ana winds covered Pacific Coast Highway 1 about 50 miles north of LA covering 8000 acres just after we passed by that area late today. We stopped and took a few pictures after we had passed the part of the road about to be closed. You can even see the glow of the fire from our campsite south of Santa Monica. We are also near the end of the LAX runway and can watch & hear the planes take off over the ocean! Our site is literally on the beach at the Dockweiller State Park Beach. Tomorrow beach biking, Sony tour, taking in southern California weather…From LA, m, b, w & t

 4107100“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” 
― Apple Inc.

apple“An Apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Benjamin Franklin (Inventor, scientist, writer, political  leader; 1706-1790)

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Day 28, Solvang “Sunny Meadow” “Little Denmark,” May 1st

0 miles today, 4,759.5 miles total

Took the bus  to Solvang to explore the town. Ate Dannish pastries, had a smorgasbord meal at The Red Viking Restaurant on Copenhagen Drive and enjoyed the town’s farmer’s market. Relaxed by the pool, m, b, w & t

“Every man’s life is a fairy tale written by God’s fingers.”–Hans Christian Anderson (Danish Author whose fairy tales are famous throughout the world, 1805-1875) 

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