Trans Siberian RR
LW couple takes trip through northern Asia, Europe
by Cathie Merz
Bernie and Diana Huot, Mutual 15, took a month-long trip through China, Mongolia and Russia, including Siberia, aboard the Trans Siberian Railroad.
The adventure began in Beijing, China, where they walked the “Sacred Way,” four miles of carved stone animals. They visited the Ming tombs and saw the Birds Nest, the national stadium where the opening ceremonies and other events of the 2008 Olympics were held.
They walked the “Great Wall,” fortified by the Ming Dynasty. The wall is 15-30 feet wide with guard stations and watch towers along the way. The original wall was built from 221-206 B.C. of earth, stone and wood to keep the Mongol nomads out.
They also visited Tian´anmen Square and the Forbidden City before boarding the narrow gauge Chinese train for a 12-hour trip to the Mongolian border.
It took more than two hours at Customs and Immigration to leave China and almost the same amount of time to enter Mongolia.
They traveled through the Gobi Desert, which ranges in temperature from -40 degrees to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. The Gobi Desert is not like most deserts, there is no sand and covered in semi-arid grass and shrubs.
They visited Ulan Baator, Mongolia, the largest city in the country.
Their most enjoyable day was in the Mongolian Alps with lunch in a yurt.
They boarded the Tsar Gold Train headed to Siberia. They were ordered to their cabin for three hours for an immigration interview. The bathrooms were locked during the interviews. Their cabin was six-by-five feet with a table six hangers, six hooks and storage under the bed. There was a bathroom at the end of each car and one shower and sink for nine cabins to share.
Siberia comprises 77 percent of Russia’s territory. It is home to Lake Baikal, the oldest, deepest freshwater lake in the world. The lake, located in southern Siberia, contains one-fifth of the earth’s freshwater. Siberia is heavily forested with birch trees and no bushes.
The train crossed from the Asia to the European continent on its way to Moscow.
Moscow is known for its many churches but is also home to the deepest underground metro system in the world. It opened in 1935 and doubles as an air raid shelter. The 194 miles of underground tunnels can accommodate all the residents of Moscow. It is a city landmark due to its rich and varied architecture.
In Moscow, Bernie and Diana met their friend Henry Pinault who spent 15 days with them in town and aboard a riverboat to St. Petersburg.
The trio was welcomed onboard with music and a lady with salt and bread. It is customary to break bread, dip it in salt and then eat it.
The riverboat left dock in the evening, sailing through the night and docking in the morning, for sightseeing along the way. It passed through 21 locks over a six-day period.
Breakfast was served before leaving the boat, but lunch and dinner were on-your-own in port.
One day Diana and Bernie ate at a Subway. It cost $15 for a 12-inch sub that would have cost $5 in Seal Beach. They also saw McDonalds, KFC and Burger King during their travels in Russia.
The riverboat cruise ended in St. Petersburg, home to the Hermitage, the largest and oldest museum in the world.
Hermitage, the home of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great, was designed after the Sistine Chapel and is filled with lots of statutes and paintings. The tour lasted three hours.
Air, Water, Flag event is Nov. 16, CH2
The Rolling Thunder’s second Air, Water and Flags event
The next Rolling Thunder meeting is Nov. 19 at 11 a.m. in Clubhouse 2. It will be a Thanksgiving potluck with the club providing the turkey and members bringing side dishes.
The Nov. 16 air, water and flag event will be discussed.
Dues, $5, will be collected at the meeting. A new forms must be filled out by all members. Contact Pat Davis, 431-6859 to get one.
The Christmas luncheon will be on Dec. 18 at 11 a.m. in Clubhouse 2.
The Rolling Thunder Golf Cart Club now has over 100 members and organizers hope to see everyone at the upcoming events.
All Leisure Worlders with a golf carts are invited to join the club. Contact Tom Davis, 431-6859, or Gail Levitt, 596-1346, for information.
LW RV Club
Officers will be elected Nov. 19
The next Leisure World RV Club general meeting is Tuesday, Nov. 19, in Clubhouse 4 at 6 p.m. Club members will vote for 2014 board officers.
Social hour begins at 5 p.m. Coffee, tea, refreshments and desserts will be served.
Plans are under way for the RV Club’s holiday party on Tuesday, Dec. 17, in Clubhouse 4. This year the club is trying something different. The holiday party will be a potluck, with the club providing the main course, chicken and ham. Bring a side dish and there is no cost. Those who do not bring a side dish, will pay $8 each. Sign up in the lot office or at the general meeting. Organizers need to know how many people will attend.
There will be a raffle for a free RV parking space for the year for one of the club members, along with door prizes and 50/50 raffle.
December’s campout is at Golden Village Palms in Hemet. This is a three-night trip, Monday-Thursday, Dec. 30-Jan. 2. Wagon masters are Wood and Betty Woodson from the Rolling 888’s Elks Lodge.
January’s campout is at Rose RV Park in Quartzsite, Ariz. This is a four-night trip, Thursday-Monday, Jan. 23-27. Wagon masters are Bob Croft and Bob Konier.
February’s campout is at the Orange County Fairgrounds. The club needs a wagon master. The wagon master gets a free campsite.
Leisure World friends are welcome to join club members at all campouts.
The club’s active membership is 253. Twenty-five new members were added this year. An RV is needed to become a member. The club is currently full. Call the office and ask to be put on the waiting list for next year.
For more information about the RV Club, call Jack Carrigan, the lot manager, at the lot office, 596-5934. Lot office hours are 9 a.m.-noon, Monday-Thursday.
On the Go
The Bowers Museum: “The Art of Van Cleef & Arpels” and “Gods & Gifts: The Vatican Collection”— Thursday, Nov. 21, $42, LBCC Senior Center, 938-3048.
The Gamble House, Pasadena—Tuesday, Nov. 26, $40, LBCC Senior Center, 938-3048.
Thanksgiving Brunch – Thursday, Nov. 28, $109, David Nell & Good Times Travel, (888) 488-2287.
Masters of Harmony, Carpenters Center — Saturday, Nov. 30, $20, Jim Clement, 682-1747.
Five Crowns Restaurant/Roger’s Gardens—Monday, Dec 2, $68 with dinner, LBCC Senior Center, 938-3048.
Gondola Getaway/Big Red Bus Holiday Lights Tour —Tuesday, Dec. 10, Thursday, Dec. 12, $44, LBCC Senior Center, 938-3048.
Young Americans, La Mirada Theater —Dec. 13, $65, Children A Priority, Juanita Townsend, 431-4026.
Mission Inn Christmas—Dec. 17, $79 includes dinner, New York Club, Los Alamitos Seniors’ Club, Phyllis Pierce, 598-3743; Chee Chee Porr, 430-5949; or Verna Burns, 596-1896.
Newport Harbor Lights Cruise – Wednesday, Dec. 18, $94, David Nell & Good Times Travel, (888) 488-2287.
Huntington Harbour Lights Cruise – Sunday, Dec. 22, $89, David Nell & Good Times Travel, (888) 488-2287.
Pala Casino— Friday, Jan. 17, $6, American Legion, Tony Dodero, 430-5828, or (714) 357-8196.
Rubel Castle, Glendora —Tuesday, Feb. 4, $42, LBCC Senior Center, 938-3048.
Valentine Special, L.A. Flower Mart—Thursday, Feb. 6, $32, LBCC Senior Center, 938-3048.
Carlsbad Flower Fields— March 19, $72 includes lunch at Hunter’s Steakhouse, New York Club, Los Alamitos Seniors’ Club, Phyllis Pierce, 598-3743; Chee Chee Porr, 430-5949; or Verna Burns, 596-1896.
Fabulous Palm Springs Follies— Thursday, April 10, 2014, $75, Social Club 17, David Zimmerman, 594-7457, or Cathy Gassman, 596-4014.
Santa Barbara— March 19, $72 includes lunch at Enterprise Fish Co., New York Club, Los Alamitos Seniors’ Club, Phyllis Pierce, 598-3743; Chee Chee Porr, 430-5949; or Verna Burns, 596-1896.
Harrah’s Rincon — Daily, free, Amphitheater, 7:15-7:30 a.m., (877) 777-2457.
Pala Casino — Thursdays, free, $5 back in slot play, Amphitheater, 7:30 a.m., reservations needed, (714) 283-8687.
Pechanga Casino — Daily, Amphitheater, 8 a.m., free, $10 in EZ Play upon arrival, (951) 770-2579.
Valley View Casino — Daily, Amphitheater, 7:45 a.m., $6, $15 back in slots.
Laughlin, Edgewater — Sunday-Tuesday, Nov. 17-19, New York Club, Los Alamitos Seniors’ Club, Phyllis Pierce, 598-3743; Chee Chee Porr, 430-5949; or Verna Burns, 596-1896.
Laughlin, Riverside Christmas Party— Dec. 8-11, New York Club, Los Alamitos Seniors’ Club, Phyllis Pierce, 598-3743; Chee Chee Porr, 430-5949; or Verna Burns, 596-1896.
Quartsite, Ariz, Blue Water Resort— Jan. 21-23, New York Club, Phyllis Pierce, 598-3743; Chee Chee Porr, 430-5949.
Yellowstone & Tetons in Winter – Jan. 25-30, David Nell andGood Times Travel, (888) 488-2287.
Coastal “Safari” By Rail – Feb. 5-8, David Nell and Good Times Travel, (888) 488-2287.
Palm Springs, Follies, Aerial Tramway — Feb., 11-12, New York Club, Los Alamitos Seniors’ Club, Phyllis Pierce, 598-3743; Chee Chee Porr, 430-5949; or Verna Burns, 596-1896.
Wonder Valley Ranch — March 5-8, New York Club, Los Alamitos Seniors’ Club, Phyllis Pierce, 598-3743; Chee Chee Porr, 430-5949; or Verna Burns, 596-1896.
Western U.S. and Canada— May 12-24, New York Club, Los Alamitos Seniors’ Club, Phyllis Pierce, 598-3743; Chee Chee Porr, 430-5949; or Verna Burns, 596-1896.