Our Time in Chico, CA and Fall Plans

Pool party time – my parents and daughter
Our grandsons Luke and Levi enjoying lunch after a swim

I thought I would update on what we have been up to the past few months. From the end of July to the first part of October, we stayed in Chico so we could be near my parents. My mother had to have emergency surgery and we are so thankful and pleased that she had a full and quick recovery. For some time she has been back to her normal activities – she is a tough one! When we first arrived in Chico we stayed at the RV park where we usually stay when visiting my parents – Almond Tree RV Park. This park is less than two miles from their house and is a really nice spot for short stays. Unfortunately, they have a two week stay limit and we wanted to be in Chico longer than that. I did some research and found another RV/trailer park about a mile down the road. It was reviewed as once being a “problem” place full of questionable residents that gave the Park a bad name. Enter a man named Eddie who became the manager, rousted the ones who wouldn’t follow the “law” and peace ensued.

Mark and I showed up to see if we could convince Eddie to take us in as residents. At first he was doubtful as our RV is smaller than ones usually accepted there. But it happened that a small site was being vacated the next day that could perfectly accommodate our rig. After filling out the rental agreement and other necessary paperwork we were accepted. We affectionately nicknamed it the “gravel pit,” because well, there is nothing but gravel there. But this place was just what we needed. It was very quiet and peaceful, close to my parents’ house and also close to shopping, restaurants and other businesses. In addition, the monthly cost was very low and Eddie was a great landlord.

Yeah – we finished it!

Our two plus months in Chico were filled with lovely visits with my parents, sharing meals (my mom is a very good cook) and great talks full of reminiscing. Together we watched many baseball games as my dad is a big Giants fan and catches all the games. Mark and I never watch sports so this was a new thing for us and I learned some things I didn’t know (or had forgotten) about the game. Watching baseball games is more fun than we thought (except for all those looooong commercials 😞 ). During the games (and other times) my mom and I worked on this puzzle of the Anza Borrego Desert which was rather challenging, more so since we did it on a flowered table cloth and it was too long for the end of the table!

My dad and I at the Food Locker – making sure shelves are stocked and bags are packed

Staying in Chico meant attending church with my parents and helping out on Wednesdays at the Food Locker which is sponsored by the Catholic Ladies Relief Society. Food and other provisions are provided to the needy and my mother has volunteered here for 20 years 😃 .

Heirloom tomatoes at the Chico Farmer’s Market
Lots of stands have flower bouquets for sale at the Chico Farmer’s Market

I had been missing the food and restaurants in California and Chico has an abundance of good ones. There were great lunches at Sierra Nevada Brewery, Beatniks, Priya’s Indian for the buffet, Hula’s Mongolian Grill and Great Harvest Bread. We liked getting Italian food at California Pasta Productions which makes their own homemade noodles and sauces. On Saturdays I made sure to go to the Farmer’s Market which is one of my all time favorite outdoor markets. Among other things, the tomatoes, nectarines and bread were standouts.

Diving in without first getting used to the water – pretty good for an almost 86 year old

My parents live in a beautiful, tree filled neighborhood that comes with a clubhouse and large pool. That pool was a welcome treat in the hot summer weather and my dad and I took advantage of it on several occasions. We arrived at Chico when temperatures were often in the mid to high 90’s, even breaking 100. Our trailer air conditioning couldn’t handle the heat by mid afternoons and often shut off. Getting exercise outside was not a popular option for us so we headed to the local mall to walk inside. It was the perfect place to do some laps and I got in some fast power walks, getting in a little better shape than when I arrived. Sadly, the Chico Mall like so many around the country are becoming like ghost towns with fewer and fewer shoppers. Who knows how long many of them will hang on.

Walking with my dad under the tall oaks in Bidwell Park

When the temps cooled down after August we walked in Bidwell Park which in my humble opinion is one of the best parks in any town/city I have visited. The Park features amazing huge oak and sycamore trees and is very large (11 miles in length) with a road and many paths for walking, biking and horseback riding. The focal point of the Park is Big Chico Creek which flows year around. Due to the beauty of the trees, the original “Adventures of Robin Hood” movie starring Errol Flynn was filmed here in 1938.

Big Chico Creek flows through Bidwell Park
My dad at one of the bridges over Big Chico Creek

The best part of our Chico stay were all the family get togethers. Besides my parents, we were able to visit with my sister, brother-in-law, son, daughter and family, two nieces and a great-niece. It was such a blessing to see everyone again.

From left: Mark, niece Emily, daughter Shannon, son-in-law Jonathan, son Matt, grandsons Luke and Levi

We celebrated my dad’s birthday while we were there. Our family has always enjoyed gag gifts and years ago when our son Matt was a pre-teen, my parents gave him a broken tennis racket as a gag gift. Matt was wanting a new racket for Christmas and he was known for having busted a few while playing. This year Matt decided to return the favor and give his grandpa (once an avid tennis player) a busted racket. It brought lots of laughter from everyone when he opened his gift.

My dad with his bent tennis racket
My dad enjoying a homemade sniff and scratch birthday card from the great-grandsons
My dad with his great-grandsons

We also enjoyed trips to visit at the home of our daughter, son-in-law and grandsons who live south of Chico near the Sacramento area. We enjoyed their new spa and beautifully renovated backyard. It was great to be together again.

As I write this we are sitting in our little trailer in an RV park in Bandon on the Oregon Coast. We just arrived here today, the 37th state of our RV travels. After leaving Chico we stopped near Redwood National Park on the Northern California Coast for five nights. We had a wonderful stay there which I will be writing about in future blogs. For the rest of October and into early November we will be exploring Oregon, first making our way up the coast. Stay tuned!

10 thoughts on “Our Time in Chico, CA and Fall Plans”

  1. So sorry that I missed visiting with you while u were in California!! Now u are on to Oregon! I am glad you were able to visit with family. It must have been a joy to see the grandkids and see how they have grown! I miss our Trekkers walks and hope to connect with you again soon. Give me a heads up when you come back again! I’ve been super busy, and would love to catch up with you! Miss you!!

    1. Great to hear from you Arlene and thanks for the comment! We will be back in California in the middle of November. Will stay at the same RV park north of Manteca that we stayed at last year. We will be in the area for a few months so hopefully we can make plans to get together. Miss you and our walks too and hope we can do another one!

  2. Glad you had special time with your family. EnjoyOregon. Our randchildren and their parents live in Astoria in a house on top of one of the hills.

    1. Thanks for the comment Ilona! We are really enjoying the Oregon Coast, what a beautiful place it is. How interesting that your family lives in Astoria. We might make it up there for a visit, will have to see.

  3. Beth,
    It was fun for us to read about your time in Chico. Right now it seems like it went by very quickly. We really enjoyed having you around. Your Dad mentioned walking in the park with you & the evening discussions between sports & politics. Hobby Lobby said to tell Mark hello. Because of all of our efforts, we surely had some gourmet meals.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment Judy! Yes, it was a great time with you both, so many memories made. So glad we had that time together.

  4. Really fun to read and reminensce on Grandpas party and Chico in general. So many great memories there. I will have to agree about Bidwell, such a great spot. Great memories

  5. We all really enjoyed our lunch together with you at our Book Club. I love reading about your adventues.
    Your mom is back to her busy life and is doing very well.

    1. Great to hear from you Mary! I really enjoyed the book club lunch as well and am impressed how well read you all are! You are an inspiration to me! I am also very glad to hear that my mom continues to do so well!

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