Oh what a great time we had in San Diego!

San Diego, CA January 31 – February 21, 2014 Wow, we really liked San Diego! We are not city people per se, so when we arrive in a city we are always a bit guarded. San Diego, which technically is a large city, feels like a laid back group of small towns. We were staying 20 minutes away from downtown San Diego, in the small town of Jamul, but we felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. And we were! Coyotes sang to us at night and the stars shone brightly, while the morning sun created artwork on the desert mountains. Pretty cool, huh? Our first taste of the city was to explore its origins, Old Town San Diego. In fact Old Town San Diego is considered the ‘birthplace of California’ as it is the first permanent Spanish settlement in California. It is houses the first of California’s 21 missions, which really led to the colonization of California.We enjoyed our afternoon admiring the old church, the old architecture, the many shops, and some delicious Mexican food! Our next mission was to recognize the first European, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, to step foot on the US west coast in 1542 at the Cabrillo National Monument. This monument sits on a peninsula with an amazing view of downtown, the Naval base, and the Pacific Ocean. It also houses a historic lighthouse and some amazing tide pools! While on this amazing coastline we had to explore its beauty. So we hopped in the towed and onto the Pacific Coast Highway. Our first stop was to pay homage to one of our Gurus, Yogananda. His Encinitas home is remarkable. It is on the bluff [...]

By |March 25th, 2015|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Pio Pico RV Resort & Campground (Thousand Trails)

Jamul, CA (near San Diego) Website: Overview: This is a Thousand Trails RV park 30 minutes from downtown San Diego. It is set amongst the beautiful mountains and near Otay Lake and San Diego National Wildlife Refuge. It has many amenities but the pools and spas are very well maintained and lovely. Campsites: There are two sections to this park. Pio Pico North only has partial hook-up sites (water, 30 amp electric). Pio Pico South has full hook-ups (30 amp, water, sewer). In high season there is a wait list for the full hook-up sites. Sites are variable but each has a fairly level gravel pad. Some have picnic tables and shade trees. Privacy is minimal as the sites are very closely spaced. However, because it is a large park people try to leave an empty space between sites to allow for more patio room and privacy. Pio Pico South is the nicer area of the two. Amenities: Adult saltwater pool and hot tub, Family pool and hot tub, playground, family lodge/youth center, adult lodge, game room, pickle ball court, basketball, volleyball, horseshoe pits, country store, Coyote Canyon Café, activity center, picnic areas, RC race track, hiking trails, bathhouses, and laundry facilities. The pool and spa area are very well maintained! Pet friendly: Yes, there are two off leash dog areas. Internet:  Unreliable cell phone signals, Wi-Fi for a fee available at each site (3.99/day or 14.99/week) Price:  $51/night non-member Rating: 3/5    

By |March 24th, 2015|Categories: CA, RV Resort Review|0 Comments

Chasing Rainbows in Palm Springs

Palm Desert, CA Saturday January 17-30, 2015 Disclaimer: Satire Alert (sort of) After trekking through hours of horrible LA traffic I could almost smell our new destination. Icy hot can do that to a youthful nostril. We made it to our Palm Desert location, just outside of Palm Springs, the mecca of older nomads and geriatrics in general. It was a tight squeeze getting parked but with the help of all the friendly blue hairs it was breeze. My park job was the work of the entire village. Once parked everyone disappeared back into his or her familiar retirement role. I joke because I myself jumped out of my rig to help a few new arrivals miss the towed and get safely stowed amongst the palms. I never have to complain about late night disturbances, people driving too fast, or generally being heard. I’m kidding because we actually like it. People are always asking me to open can goods as if I am Hercules. Perhaps I am. On a serious note old people are easy. They are done giving a shit, if you know what I mean, and since that part is gone they just want to have a little fun. Pool volleyball can become so competitive that ACLs are blown, no joke. Sports at the parks are to be taken serious but the rest of life is laid back and in slow motion. Want to get a feeling of the lifestyle I’m talking about? Just image the last ten years of your own life. That’s how they live. They still drink wine, listen to music, play sports, eat good food, and all by 9pm. It’s like Utopia. Anyway enough about my peeps, [...]

By |March 17th, 2015|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Palm Springs RV Resort

Palm Desert, California Website: Overview: This is a Thousand Trails resort is in the center of the Palm Springs area, so amenities abound. It is a very busy RV park (in the winter) and requires early reservations due to its wonderful warm location. The park is very well maintained with fruit trees and palm trees. Everyone is super friendly, which is why it is a great place to spend your winter! Campsites: 50 amp sites are full hookups (30/50, water, sewer) and back-ins only. They are very closely spaced with minimal privacy. Each site has beautiful palm trees (which make it somewhat difficult to get into closely spaced sites). The 30 amp sites (30 amp, water, sewer) are all pull through with more privacy, although they are also closely spaced. Amenities: Pool, hot tub, family lodge, adult lodge, pickle ball courts, horseshoe pits, bathhouses, shuffleboard, laundry facilities, billiards/game room, and tons of daily activities. Pet friendly: Yes, small well-manicured grass fenced in dog run available. Right outside resort is an unfenced large, dessert area for off leash play. Internet:  Great cellular signals, Public Wi-Fi available at the lodge Price:  non-member $55/night Rating: 4/5

By |March 17th, 2015|Categories: CA, RV Resort Review|0 Comments

A close call with a bicycle, roaring elephant seals, and a castle

Santa Barbara, CA December 27 – January 17, 2015 After descending multiple CRAZY mountain passes from frozen Yosemite, we happily arrived to the outskirts of Santa Barbara. There was one point during our mountain driving craziness when a bicyclist, not a motorcycle but a human powered bicycle, passed us! Really, that happened. At one point, I was feeling sort of unsafe because there was a huge drop off cliff out the side of my window and a sheer upward cliff on Wade’s side.  Further we couldn’t see the road because we were turning a 70 degree corner at 7 % grade and the road was a two way road, but really a one lane road, so I said to Wade, “Please slow down.” He replied, “No way, I am NOT being passed by a bicycle!” Needless to say the bicycle passed us. We were going 45 mph so he must have been going ~55 mph. No worries though, we took him on the climb back up.   He was never to be seen again. We really did have a great 3 weeks in the Santa Barbara area. We were only twenty minutes from the Danish hill town of Solvang, so we spent many days exploring the quaint shops, eating delicious Danish pastries, and drinking beer. We also thoroughly enjoyed its farmer’s market and local restaurants. Did I mention we ate a lot of cream puff pastries? Well, we did! We may have shortened our lives with sugar but hey you only live once. At least it wasn’t high fructose corn syrup. We celebrated the New Year in laid-back RV style. We didn’t go to any all night hip (expensive) California nightclub parties. We just [...]

By |March 11th, 2015|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Rancho Oso Guest Ranch & Stables (Thousand Trails)

Santa Barbara, CA Website: Overview: This is a very nice RV park nestled in the Santa Ynez Valley. The Santa Ynez River borders the property, however due to the drought conditions it was dry when we visited. It is about a 25-minute drive to downtown Santa Barbara or to the Danish town of Solvang. It is set in a beautiful location but is very remote. The park is surrounded by national forest land so there are abundant hiking opportunities. Campsites: Full hook-up sites are fairly level gravel pads with 30 Amp, water, and sewer. Most are back-in sites. Each site has a picnic table and several have charcoal grills (no wood burning allowed at campsites but there are 2 public fire pits if you have a wood burning permit). Partial hook-ups (30 Amp, water) are dirt and very unleveled, further the road to this area is VERY rutted! All RV sites are closely spaced with minimal privacy. Some sites have shade trees. All full hook-up sites have beautiful mountain views. Amenities: Heated swimming pool and non-heated swimming pool, adult only hot tub, adult lodge, family lodge, daily activities at the lodges, chapel, laundry facilities, nature trails, horseshoe pits, playground, miniature golf, tennis court, basketball court, country store, cabin rental, tipi rental, covered wagon rental, safari tents, RV storage, horseback riding, and farm animals. There are also horse pens and boarding areas available for campers. Pet friendly: Yes, but there is no off leash area. Internet:  Public Wi-Fi available at the adult lodge, fair Verizon signals and poor AT&T signal Price:  non-member $50-61/ night RV site Rating: 4/5

By |March 11th, 2015|Categories: CA, RV Resort Review|0 Comments

Christmas in Yosemite National Park!

Yosemite, CA December 21-26 So we had the bright idea of spending Christmas immersed in the Sierra Nevada Mountains at Yosemite National Park. Sounds cozy does it not? Well, we arrived on a beautiful sunny day after having driven up a crazy steep, winding mountain pass. After setting up our home base we drove over to Evergreen Lodge for dinner as it was highly recommended by the staff. We were told it was only 5 miles away and that it was an easy drive. However, since it was now dark, oddly this turned into a spooky drive. The road was winding (of course), dirt (with occasional pavement), and we were in the middle of nowhere. We tried to turn around twice, but our growling stomachs won over our creeped out minds. Upon arrival we were pleasantly surprised with the lodge. This is a cute resort near the Hetch Hetchy Entrance to Yosemite National Park. The food was fantastic, especially the roasted Brussels sprouts and cauliflower! After filling our bellies we slowly made our way back to our RV. Later when we drove this road in the daylight we discovered that most of this area has been ravaged by recent wildfires, thus giving it its spooky late night vibe. The next day was spent exploring the local town of Groveland. We needed to stock up on supplies, such as groceries and snow chains! That is right the National Park requires that every vehicle carry snow chains during the winter, just in case. After shopping we had some mediocre Mexican food then a beer in the oldest saloon in the area, the Iron Door Saloon. Next up was what we came here to explore, Yosemite National Park! We happily [...]

By |March 2nd, 2015|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Yosemite Lakes (Thousand Trails)

Groveland, CA Website: Overview: This wonderful RV park is 5 miles from the west entrance of Yosemite National Park. It allows fantastic access to Yosemite. However if you come in the winter you are required to carry tire chains for this entrance. It is about a 25-minute drive to the nearest town of Groveland. There is a substantial mountain pass that you must take to reach the park. It is doable, but you may want to consider un-attaching your tow car if possible. The park itself is very nice and the staff very friendly. Campsites: Grass, gravel, or dirt sites. Several sites have 50 amps, but most are 30 amp. Every site has water hook-up. Most have sewer hookups. There are a variety of sites from open field to forest by a stream. Each site has a picnic table and fire-pit. The sites are fairly well spaced enabling privacy. However, in peak season you would have a lot of neighbors. Amenities: Family lodge, cabin rental, tent sites, yurt rental, laundry room, nice bathroom facilities, pavilion, propane filling station, country store and gas station. Pet friendly: Yes. Internet:  Public Wi-Fi available at the lodge and welcome center. No Wi-Fi or cellular signals are available in the park. Price:  non-member $45/night Rating: 4/5

By |March 2nd, 2015|Categories: CA, RV Resort Review|0 Comments

Rockin with This Old Earthquake

Olema & Bolinas, CA December 16-21, 2014 If at first you’re forced flooded to run away, return you must, that’s what we say. I’m not sure why I feel so Seussian…it must be the wine. In a reverse of fate we happily left rainy Napa for our old home in Olema. Over the hill we go again. As the old saying goes, home is where your hat lies or in our case where the leveling jacks are deployed. I don’t really wear a hat, although I am going through a tough hair growth phase so a hat would probably get the locals to take me a little more serious. It is kind of funny though, when you return to a place after leaving it. Something changes in your relationship with that place. It feels more homey the more often you visit. Bolinas is like that for us. This time we decided to do it right. We knew the water would be coming therefore our fist stop after setting up house was Point Reyes for some fancy muck boots and groceries. Let it rain. And rain it did. Between showers, we drove out to Point Reyes National Seashore for some elephant seal watching. We had a long and wonderful conversation with a fellow wildlife stalker. We made it back just in time to watch the Low Watters jam it out at Smiley’s Schooner Saloon, a good night. The next morning we watched the waters rise as the creek was breached once again. Oh the memories. We stayed on the ready but once the waters started to recede we took off. Bodega Bay was our destination. Unfortunately the road was flooded along the [...]

By |February 19th, 2015|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Indulging in Napa Valley Before We Went To Prison.

Napa, CA December 3-16, 2014 After the great flood comes beer, wine, and bad Mexican food. We ran from Olema after being nearly underwater and safely made it to Napa, CA. After set up we were starving so we headed out to find a food truck with good reviews. Yes there is an app for that. Unfortunately for our starving stomachs we could not find said food truck so we settled for another non-app version. Sadly we could not leave a crappy review because this truck really needed to be converted into a mobile latrine. Sometimes you win other times you end up paying dollars for pennies worth of food sludge. Oh well, moving on. Up next we decided to ease our noxiousness stomachs with some good brew. Napa is known for wineries so breweries are a little harder to find but with less clientele the service is fast and brewful. Good choice. Montezuma will have to have his revenge battling against a belly full of beer. Round one was rectified. We’ll call in a draw. This week we had Falcor, our towed car, scheduled for a transmission gasket change. So we dropped him off and headed to the Santa Rosa brewery. You might begin to see the theme of this week. When life gives you nothing but rainy days soak your sorrows in craft beer and wine. We are speaking from experience. After driving the new rental out and about we picked up a new mattress pad for the big rig. With the rental we drove around Napa gawking at all the vineyards and winos. There was so much wine and only so many liver cells to absorb it. I’m sure you know [...]

By |February 17th, 2015|Categories: Blog|2 Comments