Who knew La Habra is cool?

Who knew La Habra is cool?

I’d never been to La Habra Heights, but Lori found a cool AirBnB cabin so there we were.  La Habra Heights sits on the Orange and LA County border in a semi-rural area surrounded by suburbs for miles–which is actually pretty nice.  There’s a good balance between privacy and convenience.  It’s really a great place and I wish we’d known about it ten years ago.  Oh well, we were La Habrans for a week, Heights that is.

The place we stayed is four miles from Whittier Blvd and the La Habra El Cholo restaurant location.  El Cholo is a So-Cal chain founded in 1932, sort of a tourist trap, but not really.  If someone mentions it,  someone else (including myself) will say, “It’s ok, but you gotta try blank.”  That said, if you get a chance try El Cholo. It really is good, the service friendly, and the rooms are inspired by the early California Ranchos.  They have dates on menu items indicating when they were originally served, try the 1923 Red Chile, it’s epic.El Cholo Restaurant, La Habra California

We spent a few days in Winslow

We got a lot done too!  First a productive meeting with Joe.  He is going to finish the Motor Palace on a more regular schedule and is sorting out the building permits now.  We’re making several small changes that will streamline and improve the project.  The Emporium building is allowing us to keep the Motor Palace more focused on motor stuff.

Lots of progress moving, cleaning, and sorting furniture opened the back half of the Emporium.  The front looks better and it’s more organized too.  Most of the quarter-sawn oak pieces will be permanent fixtures in the Motor Palace and the Emporium.

Schwann Bicycles, Crow, Big RigsWinslow Arizona Route66 Winslow Arizona Route66Winslow Arizona Route66Motor Doll, On a Corner, Winslow Arizona

Thankful for …

Wednesday’s drive had us home just after dusk.  Thursday began before sunrise with baking sweet potatoes and cornbread then meeting Vince to pick up our little Airstream.  The rest of the beautiful day, we spent cooking, eating, and enjoying the Mojave’s Autumn colors.  And of course, messing with our trailer into late evening.Airstream Two Crows Homestead Yucca Valley1 (2)Joshua Tree Two Crows Homestead Yucca ValleyThanksgiving Dinner1966 Airstream Caravel

 

Vagabond Update

After our Two Crows Thanksgiving, we camped out at the Hotel Indigo in Anaheim and watched the Disney fireworks.  Next was Katie’s Pool House for the week, then back to Two Crows for more good food and Airstream tuning.  A new battery will keep the lights and water pump happy, and we also dry fit the new water heater. The plan is to have it 100% before New Year’s.

Vagabond Life Disney

Vagabond Life

Vagabond Life

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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VAGABOND LIFE

Vagabond Life Airstream

How We Live

The Vagabond world is a magical place filled with adventure.  Not really but we’re having a good time.  I won’t bore you with details on every place and haven’t thought to take many pictures.

So far we’ve stayed in an overpriced crap hotel in Fullerton, a nice log cabin in Yorba Linda, a Best Western in Orange, a great pool house in Santa Ana (twice), an old apartment over a storefront in downtown Santa Ana, and pictured below, the Sky Palm Motel in Orange.  The Sky Palm would be great on Route 66, it’s clean, friendly, and conveniently located next to Arthur’s, Genovese, and Taqueria Dé Anda.  Three of our favorite places to eat in Orange.

Vagabond California Motel

Vagabond California Motel Vagabond California Motel

Vagabond California Motel

Stoopit Craigslist

Lori was driving us back from Two Crows and I was looking for trailers on Craigslist and searched “Model-T Race Car” and this appeared.  It’s a 1922 “banger” Model-T racer.  The body’s rough, but it drives nice and it’s California plated.  Speed parts include, Rocky Mountain brakes, a Ruckstell two-speed rear end, a cam, and bigger valves.  The intake manifold is stock and the header is cracked so we’ll go back to a higher performance set-up. It needs a new interior and we’ll probably remove the paint.  The body’s aluminum and we’ll give it a little love when we get the paint off.Ford Model T Vagabond

Ford Model T Vagabond

Vagabond Car Snatcher Ford Model T

Ford Model T VagabondAnother Craigslist score, it has a motor too!


DTLA

Perhaps the ultimate Vagabond destination, Downtown L.A.  We spent a week at the ACE Hotel while checking out the 2018 Harley-Davidson models (BTW they’re great). The ride was short but the food, weather, and company were good.

2001 XL1200S


Vagabond RK Stratman DTLA

Ron Stratman, a Vagabond and good company.


Vagabond FoodI guess they’re good for you now.


Vagabond Rides Harley-Davidson2018 Fat Boy


Vagabond Rides Harley-Davidson

2018 Fat Bob


Vagabond Rides Harley-DavidsonNew Milwaukee Eight


Vagabond Food Vagabond Ride Moto-Guzzi

Vagabond Rescue

Vagabond ACE Hotel DTLAView from the ACE


Winslow News

Good news/bad news.  Good news is there’s quite a bit of quarter sawn oak office furniture in the Emporium and the place only needs cosmetic and fine tuning.  The bad news is we lost a year of work on the Motor Palace while Joe restored the Masonic Lodge and he’s ready to retire (he’s earned it) and our building permit expired.  The building permit is easy but finding someone to replace Joe is a challenge.  He’s helping with the transition and we hope for a soft landing.

Finishing the Motor Palace is now our priority in Winslow, all resources will support it until we have it signed off and fully functional.  The other good news is the Emporium Building freed space in the Palace for more interesting fixtures. (See the black and white a couple of pics below.)
Vagabond Route66 Winslow AZ

Vagabond Route66 Winslow AZ

Vagabond SanctuaryJoey found a counter and wall like this for the Motor Palace.


Van Life Route 66 Roys Amboy VagabondHow we roll #vanlife


Why We’re Vagabonds

Not because of the burning Kia.  We’re vagabonds because we sold our condo in Orange. The fire was two days before escrow closed and we’d already packed the fire extinguishers.  No one was hurt but UBER and LYFT are down one.

Vagabond Orange County

We bought the place thinking we’d stay a couple of years and move on, seventeen years later it was time.  Things went faster than planned and we never got around to finding a place to live so it’s motels and AirBnB.  We miss The Professor but that’s about it.  Oh, and finding anything when your stuff’s scattered in five places and two states.  We’ll probably look for a place pretty soon but we haven’t figured out where we want to live.
Former Vagabond residence

CondoSOLD, thanks to our friend and Realtor Darren Scott!


Vagabond Cat The ProfessorThe Professor


Vagabond MotorcycleLast one Out


Vagabond OC Fire Close callWe got evacuation notices but didn’t live here anymore. The new owners were safe.


The Professor

The neighbor’s cat hung out at our place so much the rest of our neighbors thought he/she was ours.  He lives in the sketchy house, the one with the car fire. They like him and he’s well-fed, but their new large dog bit him pretty good.  He has the dog figured out but it was quieter at our place.  Luckily he was our official host while the condo was for sale and the new owners like him.Vagabond Cat The Professor

Vagabond Cat The Professor

Natural Born Vagabond


Two Crows Vagabond Homestead

A big reason the vagabond life is fun and affordable is we spend weekends at Two Crows.  We’re able to do laundry, cook, and take care of normal household business here. It is out official residence but the hundred mile commute is a deal breaker.

Vagabond Joshua Tree California

Vagabond Joshua Tree CA

Vagabond Mercedes Benz W126 560SEL Joshua Tree CaliforniaA Moonlight drive through Joshua Tree. I love this car, thank you Larry & Floan.


Vagabond Jeep CJ5 Yucca Valley CaliforniaMoving firewood


Vagabond Joshua Tree Babes Ride Out BRO5 Harley SportsterBabes Ride Out (look at the Stance Socks) Here’s a link to Lori’s BRO5 experience.


Then this

We had an idea.  We’d buy the Vagabond dream machine, an old Airstream trailer.  We would stay at different campgrounds or parks, we could even park it in the shop! So instead of looking for houses, we looked at Airstreams.

It turns out many Airstreams are in really bad shape and the “restored” ones seem the worst.  In fact, “restored” in the Airstream world means anything the seller chooses. Restored in one example was “I opened some of the windows to air it out” but every surface, latch, hinge, drawer, and cupboard were damaged.  In another, they removed whatever or whoever died in it but didn’t think to open the windows.  For the most part they do a hack exterior polish, re-cover the rotting subfloor, and spray a can of air freshener.  The funniest thing is when you ask if the refrigerator works they always say, “I never tried it, I just put a block of ice in it and use it like a cooler.” These are small refrigerators and a block of ice would fill them and I want to know where the water goes when the ice melts.

Airstream shopping would make a great reality/freak show.Vagabond 1966 AirstreamVagabond 1966 AirstreamVagabond 1966 Airstream

Anyway, we found this beauty, it’s a 1966 17′ Caravel.  The appliances other than the water heater are original and they all work.  The original wood is in great shape and the sub-floor is solid.  The cloth upholstery is new and it body isn’t polished. We haven’t picked it up yet but the plate and registration are now in our names.  It turns out RV parks are rare here in So-Cal and we filled our shop up with condo stuff so we probably won’t “live” in it much but we wanted one anyway.


Bonus Random ThingsVagabond viewVagabond transportationVagabond ridesBadass Flower FTW YOLO Don't give a rat's ass

Thanks for reading, we look forward to sharing progress on the Motor Palace soon…and Thanksgiving dinner somewhere…

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TACO TRAIL REDUX

Taco, Arizona, California

Taco Life

(Originally posted on our old site. Reconstructed with help from Jay at OLAS CREATIVE and web.archive.org)

Taco tracking has its rewards out west and we ended up winning three-for-three on a recent journey.

Placentia CA

There’s no shortage of great Mexican food in Orange County but for this post I went back to the place it all started for me: the 301 Cafe.

Placentia California 301 Cafe Mexican FoodPlacentia California 301 Cafe Mexican FoodPlacentia California 301 Cafe Mexican Food

The 301 Café in Placentia has been in business for over seventy-five years and they’re still going strong. 301 Café is where my appreciation for restaurant tacos began. My father and fellow aerospace workers would cash their checks and drink beer there in the early ’60s. My mother started taking us to meet them when my sister and I were three or four years old. Every once in a while I get by there and the place looks and feels the same as I remember. It’s a little quieter without a bunch of drunk young aerospace workers but a taco tastes the same as it did in the “good old days.” Check 301 Café on Google Maps

GUADALUPE CA

Guadalupe is a small town of 7000 on Highway 1 west of Santa Maria.

Guadalupe California La Simpatia Mexican Food taco

La Simpatia opened in the 1940s and operated by a member of its founding family. People who’ve worked here for decades prepare food from original family recipes. The taco, chilé relleño, and enchilada I had for dinner was so good I went back the next day to eat the same thing. When you go here be sure to look at all the old pictures on the wall. Look at the cooks, the counters etc.,  and look at the pictures again. Be warned, La Simpatia is possibly the best Mexican food in California.  La Simpatia

YUMA AZ

Nicer and bigger than we expected, Yuma’s business district is clean, seems well used, and they’ve done a great job with their “Old Town” district. We were just overnighting on our way east and left too early to see much. We plan on spending a weekend there in the near future.

Early morning in Downtown, everybody’s still asleep but joggers, and dog walkers.

Mi Rancho serves great food all around in a crowded but fun atmosphere with a friendly/busy staff. The tacos are great as were the rice and beans.

YUMA BONUS

I just thought this guy was cool  Robert G Fowler landed the first airplane in Arizona as part of a cross-country adventure (looking for the perfect taco?) in 1911. I can’t imagine there were many airports in Arizona if Mr. Fowler was the first guy to fly in Arizona. Think about it. If your horse dies pulling your wagon across the desert you have a place to stay and food for at least a week. If you want you can settle and name the place after yourself. If this guy has a problem he has to find a place to land…ponder that for a second.

Robert G Fowler Yuma Arizona Aviator

 More new stuff and reruns to come. We’ll update and edit the “lost posts” to be sure links still work etc. If something seems different we were probably lying the first time or it wasn’t that interesting and we’re lying now.
Be sure to visit The Palace Emporium and sign on to our mailing lists. We promise we’re too lazy to spam you, and please message us if you have a road trip related question, We’ll do our best to help.

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