Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Great Way to End the Year!

I've had many good trips and fun times in 2012.

Some of them I blogged about, some of them I never got around to blogging about.

About two weeks before Christmas my sister and I took a drive to Santa Clarita to get some Christmas shopping done. Santa Clarita is about two hours south of Bakersfield. When we got there we happened to notice on the way out of town that there was a huge Goodwill Store right there on Lyons Avenue and we both said, "Look, Goodwill! We need to bring mom!"

My mom loves thrift stores and I've learned to love them as well through her. My sister Lisa...not so much. So today, we had nothing to do other than the normal grocery shopping, vacuuming, mopping, dusting, laundry, you know...all the normal stuff that we do on the weekends to get ready for the next we took mom to Santa Clarita instead.

That in itself is not such a big deal, the big deal was driving the Grapevine. The Grapevine is notorious for having bad weather during the winter months and earlier in the week the California Highway Patrol had to escort traffic through the mountainous area.

When we left it was a bit overcast here in Bakersfield, but we convinced my mom that the weather wouldn't be bad and that once we got over the mountain the sun would be shining. I guess maybe we should have checked The Weather Channel before we left.

We hit snow! Not bad snow, but snow none the less! I was driving and I have never driven in snow. Well I've driven in snow after it's on the ground, but not during a snow storm. Well this wasn't really a snow storm, mostly a lightly falling snow. But you can see the snow from earlier on the side of the road.

You know a weird thing that I never knew about snow? That when it falls it doesn't stick to and wet your car's windshield like rain does. I didn't even need my wipers. Now it may be that when it falls heavier that it does, but this one didn't.

Picture taken by my sister from the rear window of the car.

Needless to mom was not a happy camper! She doesn't like to go outside during the winter and doesn't even like to look outside. So to be in the backseat of a car at 5000 elevation with snow falling around her was sheer torture! We tried to tell her it wasn't that bad and this is a great adventure and something we will remember forever, but she wasn't buying it!

A couple of times I contemplated turning around and going back home because many times people get to the other side of the Grapevine and then it snows so much that the CHP closes the pass and you can't get back. You can go around but that adds hours to your trip. But I'm nothing if not stubborn. I figured the driving wasn't so bad. Everyone was going at a decent speed and I wasn't scared, so why not continue on and if we had to get a hotel room and spend the night in Santa Clarita, well then we would. This was an adventure after all!

I'm happy to say that we made it over the Grapevine. And it was sunny, a bit cold but sunny. We had a yummy lunch at Coco's and then took my mom to Goodwill. The Goodwill in Santa Clarita was a tad more expensive than our local Goodwills, but my mom still had a good time. I found an awesome cookbook, 1,000 Classic Recipes from Around the World! The sticker price on the front said $17.89 but I got it for $5.00. This book is like four inches thick and filled with pictures and super heavy! I can't wait to look at it and try some of the recipes!

I've also been collecting Jodi Picoult books, trying to get them all and I found another one today that I didn't have in my collection. Haven't read this one yet, have no idea what it's about, but I love Jodi Picoult books and can't wait to read it! And the sticker on the front says $8.43 but I got it for $1.99!

And my favorite thing I found was a silverware caddy. I had been looking for one for quite a few months now and hadn't found anything I really liked. My cousin Stella has a perfect one that I believe she got a Ikea or Pier 1 Imports, but I haven't been able to find one exactly like hers. This one is great because it has touches of green, my favorite color and the color of my kitchen curtains and it has butterflies, which I love and have several of all over my house.

I already got it all washed up and placed the silverware in it. Not sure this is going to work for me because the utensils tend to slip out of the bottom. I put some cupcake pan liners in there for now but I'm hoping to find some acrylic containers that might fit in there. See the butterflies and the ivy leaves? So cute!

So my sister, mom and I had a great day! I wish I had thought to take a photo, but let me share one of the three of us making Biscochos for Christmas this year.

From L to sister Lisa, my mom Tomasa and me!

Yep...a great way to end the year!


  1. You must have been in light snow. The day after Christmas I drove home from my mother in laws and we were getting some heavy snow and I had the wipers on continuous.

    The Grapevine is quite scenic. I drove to Bakersfield from Victorville a few times when I was in the service and I don't remember that much scenery. I think I probably took 395 and 58 through Tehachapi. Is it somewhat less scenic? Or was I just used to great scenery? I can remember a ridge with oak trees that just seemed to be out of place.

    Well for all your terror, it looks like you got some nice bargains.

    1. It was just a dusting, it wasn't even sticking, which is why I wasn't too scared. Mom was not happy though, she doesn't like being in cold weather and snow just seemed like death to her. I didn't even have to use the wipers until it started coming down like slush. If it had been really snowing, I would have turned around.

      The Grapevine is beautiful, very scenic, even in the summer when all it is is golden mountains. Tehachapi is just as beautiful and it's the home of the Tehachapi Loop and it has beautiful mountain areas as well. We will be going through there on our way to Arizona for a Family Reunion in February, I'll try to take some pictures.

  2. That Grapevine looks scary. It doesn't matter that I lived most of my life in snowy places - once I got to the coast and saw that there was virtually no snow removal (such infrequent snow!) and that people didn't know how to drive for the conditions, I just said 'I'll stay in until it stops.'

    1. The Grapevine can be scary even in good weather, lots of truck traffic. I'd never seen it quite this beautiful before. Happy New Year!

  3. What a pretty drive! I love going to Goodwill! I've found some great books and then after I read them, I donate them back. Florida Goodwill stores are really great. If I ever build a second house, I plan to fly to Florida, rent a uhaul, and drive around to Goodwills until I have enough furniture to furnish the house.

  4. We drove this area a few years ago and I saw how people reacted to rain and snow. It was not pretty~ People just go nuts when the road gets slippery because they're not used to inclement weather. I grew up out west where we got snow all the time during the winter and living in Ohio now- we have ice, snow, and lots of rain. It just takes time getting used to. I hate the ice, though- you have absolutely no control over your vehicle if you start to slide. I say my prayers! Happy New Year, Alicia!


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