San Diego (continued)
Fall, 2001
Here's Mitch and Max ready for Halloween along with their Grandpa, Joe and his wife, Shirley.

Max won first place in two costume contests with this year's mask.  (By the way, he's taking orders for next year.)

Max has made paper mache' masks for the last three years.  This year I thought we'd get a little more sophisticated.

We started with a 2' X 4' sheet of 1/2" foam rubber.  We formed it into a cylinder around a basketball using hot glue to join the seams.  Next, we cut what would become the top of the head into shapes resembling orange peel slices.  We cut a few pieces wider to form the more oblong shape of a human head.

This is a picture of the inside of the mask.

The way the brow pulls in happened by accident rather than plan.  We glued several strips of foam to the inside so it would fit snugly onto Max's head, like the inside of a bicycle helmet.  I was playing around with the dome shaped foam trying to figure out what to do next.

I discovered we could glue the brow to the bottom of the strips of foam and that would hold the brow in.
The rest was a matter of tuck, nip, cut, add and glue.  If you look carefully you can see a line running down the nose from between the eyes to the side.  That is a straight cut down the middle with a small flat piece added in.  Later, we added five or six other pieces to complete the nose. 
We slowly built in the eye sockets mouth and nose.  Later, we added a portion of a toilet paper tube to the nose to breath out through.
Next we coated the entire mask with a latex rubber that we bought at a local art supply store. We used only a single thin coating on the tongue so that the foam provided a more natural looking tongue texture.
And finally the paint!  We used a quality acrylic paint although one of the web pages I read said to use a rubber based paint on the latex.  At first it looked like the paint was going to peel off like sunburned skin, but once it was fully dry it held on.
Halloween was different from those I spent in Western Washington.  It wasn't raining and it wasn't even cold! 

During Halloween week it seemed strange to go from swimming at the beach to going to a drug store for a pair of sunglasses and pass by all the pumpkins, candy and costumes in the store.

The neighborhood in San Diego that we trick-or-treated had a lot of outside decorations and several houses were having outside barbecue block parties.

Last year we trick or treated in Williamsburg, Virginia.  I wonder where we'll be next year.


These are some new friends of ours, Mike, Devra and their three terrific sons.

We first met them in San Diego last April.   They spent nine months touring the U.S. in a motorhome while having a new house built in Hawaii. They ended up in San Diego for a month and we camped in the same park next door to them. 

While we were back at the same campground in November, they called to tell us that they were back on the Mainland.  They stopped by to say hi and invited us over to their new vacation home near Yuma, Arizona on the Colorado River.  So we cleared our "busy schedule" and went on a little vacation.

It doesn't make sense does it?  A family from Hawaii with a vacation house on the Mainland and a family traveling full-time taking a vacation???
We had a great time with them -- ate too much, got a lot of sun, rode dirt bikes, water skied and got dragged around on tubes behind their boat on the Colorado River.
See ya later Mitch.

Mike, Devra and their boys aren't the only ones living in a trailer while their house is being built.  Cheryl's dad  is too.  Here we are hitched up to their 5th wheel trailer as the moving crew loads their stuff up to go into storage in Sedona, Arizona for three months.
Here's Cheryl, Joe and Shirley at their new home, a trailer.  They had a spot just three spaces from ours for almost two months in San Diego and then two more weeks in Sedona. 

It was a great opportunity for us and the boys to get to know them better and be with grandparents on a regular basis for a while.

One thing always leads to another.  Joe's 1/2 ton pickup was a little under rated for his trailer so next he bought a new 3/4 ton truck.

I mention this not because of the truck but because of the tool box he bought for the bed.  You know those diamond plated aluminum tool boxes?

Max jumped in when it was empty and I closed the lid.  Next, Max asked if I knew what it looked like inside of it when the was lid closed.  Well, just in case any of our readers are wondering -- Max took a camera inside with him to save the rest of us the trouble of climbing into one. 

We closed the lid and heard him say, YEE OOWWW!

I guess he thought the flash was going to be off on the camera.

Well, now we know what it looks like inside of a tool box.  I'm glad he saved us the time and trouble.

Cheryl's dad celebrating his 78th birthday with their friends.  Joe and Claudia are seen here and Newell and Margaret are not in this picture.  Joe's is quite the guy -- 78 years old.  He just quit work, is having a new house built, just bought a new truck and trailer, and .....
... check him out riding on the new mountain bike that Shirley bought him for his birthday.

I think his secret to life is ice cream.  He loves the stuff.  He has a big bowl of it every night.

December's "Picture of the Month." 

Mitch and Cocoa at the top of a red rock spire in Sedona, Arizona. The line across the valley floor is Highway 179.

What is "Picture of the Month?" It's a picture I put on our main webpage. We change it about once a month.  It's usually a current picture that eventually ends up in one of these adventure pages.


 

Here are this month's mystery location pictures.  Identify the name and location of this place and win.
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