Friday, April 26, 2019


After a month at Marina Coral in Baja, enjoying the people, the setting, the wine country, and getting Scrimshaw spruced up at Baja Naval Boatyard, we asked ourselves a hard question. Did we really want to load our boat onboard a cargo ship destined to the Salish Sea?  We had dreamed about it for 2 or 3 years years, and even put down a sizable deposit for her passage north. Our brief stay in Mexico, helped us to reaffirm our priorities. Baja is in our blood. We love to swim in the warm ocean. We love San Diego. We love our Sierra ties. Darrell loves selling yachts. AND, San Diego is a lot closer to our cherished grandson, Jack.
Our sweetest boy. 
And, our number one reason to stay in California.
Fifth generation Erickson.
A 6-hour drive to enjoy life's simple pleasures
beats a 2-3 day drive from Washington to the Central Coast.
So here we are. It was a good decision. Everything we were looking for, was always right in front of us. A cozy home in the Sierra, a trawler that travels comfortably to Catalina or Mexico, and our boy Jack close by.  California offers us more than we'll ever need.
Morro Bay, our home port, where Darrell and I met 22 years ago.
 Lush landscape and yards of wild flowers bloom.
We keep our Catalina 22, Viva Yo, nearby.
Jack will learn to sail on her, just as I did.
I find peace working in my Sierra garden.
There was plenty of cleaning up to do after heavy winter snows.
From the meadows in the Sierra,
to the California Coast, we have found our happy spot.
 Our gal at anchor.
A lovely view for Easter weekend.
A man who loves his work is blessed.
A third generation Californian.
Happy Us.

And, what we searched for, was always in front of us.

 May be time for another family road trip.


One of our favorite wine tasting spots is Vinos Xecue, their Etna is a red we always bring home. Even better, they are now serving a fresh and tasty lunch to enjoy with their wines. The architecture is warm and inviting, and their stunning 360 degree views across the valley are sweeping, but it's their cacti gardens that I enjoy the most. The increased rainfall this year yielded an abundance of flowering cactus and ornamental rosemary.
Xecue Vinicolla
The barn has a new heavenly mural which also features 
earthly delights, with steel wine casks facing east.
What's not to love about Xecue!
Exquisite prehistoric looking cacti against a cloudless blue sky.
 Roasted vegetables with pesto for me.
Happy Darrell cleaned his
Satisfied visitors.
 Sweeping vistas of green
I could live here. Easily.

Not served at Xecue.
A new popular DONUT shop opened in Ensenada, huge colorful doughnuts. AND, we only photographed them. I am saving myself for tomorrow's outing in the Valle.

Thursday, April 18, 2019


It had been just about a year since we last visited Guadalupe Wineries. The area continues to flourish with boutique wineries and excellent farm-to-fork al fresco dining. Plenty of luxe boutique cabanas and Inns are popping up as well. Yoga retreats too.
Each morning we would varnish Scrimshaws rails, and reward ourselves with an afternoon in Valle de Guadalupe for lunch and a bit of vino. We went four afternoons in a row, and never tired of the Valle experience.
 The valley is exceptionally green this year.
Finca Altozano is our favorite spot this year.
Three afternoons in a row.
The combination of a good selection of wines, exceptional food, vistas that went on forever, the flower-herb gardens, and goats and friendly dogs lounging freely about drew us in. Sparky also enjoyed himself!
 Casual Dining
 Spark is right at home.
Old Spark says, "Where's mine"?
Oyster starters with an array of spicy salsas.
 Wonderful flower arrangements and vistas.
 Early summer the lawn area will feature the Valle Wine, Food, & Music Fest.
Jammed with lots of locals and tourists, hopefully D and me too!
Herb Gardens
 A nice little walk after lunch led us to a stable of goats.
Yummmm, homemade goat cheese.
 An Airtream on the property features all pork everything!
Finca's vineyards.
The also have a fantastic individual cabanas for overnight guest.
Very Luxe.
One last look, before we head off to another winery.
We'll be back tomorrow. And the next day. And the next day!
A lovely Rancho across the road from Finca.
A little more work tomorrow morning, and then we 
hit the Valle trail for lunch. A perfect arrangement. Si?
Si! Ready to go!

Sunday, March 17, 2019


In Baja, SPRING deserves a special 3 day holiday. So we celebrated at the ocean and the country. Wine Country, that is, Valle de Guadalupe. Vast amounts of rain this year have turned Baja a lush green with carpets of yellow and orange daisies gracing the hillsides. 
Estero Beach, Baja
A long sandpit offers plenty of 
clamming and boating opportunities for locals. 
Sparky's favorite walk at Estero Beach,
ours too. Darrell dreams of a holiday bungalow here.
Me, I'm sticking with the boat. 
A crystal clear day looking south toward Point Eugenia.
 Jesus stand watch and blesses this lovely spot in Baja.
And we felt blessed to stumble across Yaqui Tacos....
Thanks to Fred & Penny.
Highway 1 overlooking Ensenada through fields of mustard.
Rain has blessed the Valle de Guadalupe.
Sun-kissed grapes will make good vino.
Wine tasting at the tasteful Cuatro Cuatros Vineyards.
The valley view from Santo Tomas Vineyard.
Back at the boat, Darrell enjoys the spring weather
while, yes again, varnishing!
Maidens of Spring.
Leilani, me, and Judy at Marina Coral.
A perfect end to a perfect day.
Tomorrow we haul out.

It was a foggy spring morning crossing the bay to the boatyard,
for Scrimshaw's Spring Spa treatment at Baja Naval.
Scrimshaw gets excellent care by the Baja Naval team.
A daunting view to wake up to, 
even when safely secured in the boatyard.
The Tollycraft splashed down, and we were next.
An hour later, we were tucked into our slip at Marina Coral.
Another successful haul out at Baja Naval.