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Weather Made Us Double Back Through California

Weather Made Us Double Back Through California

Hollister, CA
40° / 69° Sunny ☀
TODAY’S RV PARK: San Benito RV Resort
OUR RATING: 3 Stars – a rustic campground tucked between hills of vineyards and farmlands, cell signal is poor but tolerable, nearby towns are fantastic and 1 hour drive from many awesome adventures
PRICE: (Free) Thousand Trails resort

We never made it to Lake Tahoe. The National Weather service had severe wind advisories in effect for the area we were to travel to. Beyond his fear of heights, Steve’s healthy fear of high winds had us re-thinking our ambitious plans to get to the Northwest.

As we explored our options, comparing driving and travel costs with park fees, it made the most sense to go back to a Thousand Trails park in California, and wait out the storm. Then head up north to Washington, Goal post #2.

That’s just what we did, but it wasn’t without a bit of driving peril. As we headed south down Nevada Hwy 95, hoping to have outrun the winds that were north of us, we ended up right back in the middle of the winds!

windy detourTroopers had just closed the highway and all “high profile” vehicles were diverted to a dirt lot, to sit and wait.

There’s a YouTube channel that we are addicted to, HappilyEverHanks , made by the most goofball couple ever about RV life.  In a episode this past winter, they got caught in a wind storm and shared an app called Windy which shows real time and forecasted wind speed and directions.  We’ve used this in the past and it seems pretty accurate.

We watched this app like a hawk while parked in this dirt lot on the side of the road with other RVs and lots of Semi Trucks.  The thought of hanging out in this lot for the next several hours seemed daunting, especially with the wind rocking the RV.

I ran into the RV and did a hurry clean up, keeping the driver’s side slides closed, opening up just the couch side.  Steve came in with the dogs and we all lunched and then napped the windy afternoon away.

At sunset, as the Windy app predicted, the winds died down and we were able to continue rounding the Sierra Nevadas.

We overnighted in Bakersfield, and woke up Easter morning to a beautiful 72° sunny morning.  We hooked up after a delightful morning brunch and made our way north, back to Hollister.

Joys of Errands in a New Town

Beaumont, CA
59° / 82° Partly Sunny ☀
TODAY’S RV PARK: Cherry Valley RV Park
OUR RATING: 4 Stars because it was convenient off the highway, super cell signals, full hookups, nice friendly staff, and great county park within a 5 minute drive
PRICE: $13/day with RPI membership

Doing my taxes today and clearing out some clutter in my email. Have a few clients that need some overdue attention today.

Also, need to visit Verizon to figure out why this new cellular WIFI equipment isn’t working so well. It’s going to be a full day of work and errands – tomorrow we leave for Vegas.

o o o

Finished the errands, and just wanted to share with you one of the joys of roaming the country.  That’s doing your regular day-to-day shopping in new stores.

When you live in one place, you can quickly get into a routine of shopping the same stores that you know so well. You can probably build a map in your head of the entire layout.  You may even have the same section of the parking lot you always park in.  This type of routine – similar to the first 7 minutes of every morning – eases the amount of brain power needed to get through the day.  Auto-pilot kicks in and you can get your weekly shopping done without remembering much about the excursion.  Much like driving.  When that sudden fear takes hold as you rack your memory, forcing yourself to remember if you stopped at a red light or not.

Those comforting routines do not exist in RV Life.  Every store is different, even if tis a familiar chain store.  Except Bed Bath & Beyond.  Those seem to be exact replicas.  (yawn – very boring).

Today, we walked into a chain drugstore,  RiteAid, not exactly sure what to expect, except that it is the location of our Amazon locker.  We may not be able to get our postal mail very easily, but Amazon makes it extremely convenient to receive packages of almost any size.

As we walked into this particular shiny new Rite Aid, it became apparent that this store was like a Walgreens on steroids!   The layout felt like a Kohls – if it were a drugstore.  The back wall looked like a fancy medical clinic and my favorite part of the wonderous store was situated along the front wall.  A full ice cream counter!  Baskin Robbins has nothing on this counter – it was stock full of at least 31 flavors of ice cream that takes more time to browse then the nail polish section across from it.  The unique scoop they use to dallop your flavor on a crunchy, yummy sugar cone is itself a unique thing.  I’ve never seen anything like it!  The scoop gives the ice cream a cylinder shape instead of the usual, expected, round blob.  I never thought I’d say this about an ordinary ice cream cone – but it sure was pretty!

Oh! the joys of travel and exploring new towns in this new lifestyle.



RV Drama Continues On Wedding Day

RV Drama Continues On Wedding Day

Beaumont, CA
48° / 65° Partly Cloudy ☁
TODAY’S RV PARK: Cherry Valley RV Park
OUR RATING: 4 Stars because it was convenient off the highway, super cell signals, full hookups, nice friendly staff, and great county park within a 5 minute drive
PRICE: $13/day with RPI membership

The drama continues….
Stephanie wasn’t able to help this morning since her corporate office was closed too. She offered to extend our stay one night until things can be figured out in the morning.

♫ Dunt-Dunt-Dunnnnn….. ♬

Last night’s wedding was an entertaining mix of beauty and humor.  If I had to guess, the groom’s family hand selected the beautiful location that was full of old-school charm and exquisite taste.  The venue was an old home turned into an event location with well-tended manicured landscaping and ages old shrubbery. The old trees were the focal points of the grounds.  It felt beautiful just to sit there with most of the guests dressed in their finest wedding clothes.

king bridal coupleAs everybody took their seats, we were surrounded by theme music from “Twilight” and then “Alladin” and then “Star Wars”.  Apparently, the bridal couple are big Star Wars fans – so the entire evening had an under current of related nostalgia.  They walked down the aisle to the famous theme song as the crowd of 150 all giggled and clapped.  A definite breaking of the ice in an otherwise traditional outdoor ceremony.

The reception itself carried the theme forward and even the most shy of guests couldn’t help but be pulled into the celebration festivities.  The very experienced wedding DJ had the guests playing games at their assigned tables.  Laughing and mocking as we engaged each other in the icebreaker group table games.

The entire evening continued in a comfortable ease, especially since our table had a good group of party goers and good humoured people.  We even sang a song as a group – a DJ game to get the bridal couple to kiss.  We sang the theme song to “Married with Children” since it was the only love song we could think of that included “love” and “married”.  We think we were the best singing table of the night!  We rocked the song!  Of all our singing and practicing, we were only awarded a small peck of a kiss.  Talk about feeling cheated over a job well done!

laurean-steve-weddingSteve ended the evening as a true man in love.  At one point, he took my hand and led me to the dance floor.  Apparently, the DJ didn’t have any slow romantic songs in his playlist for couples in love – even for a wedding – so we rocked out to some song my daughter would probably have enjoyed.

After all the hugging and tears and congratulations were shared, we left feeling satiated at having attended a thoughtful, well put together event.


Don’t Take Utilities for Granted

Beaumont, CA
47° / 70° Sunny
TODAY’S RV PARK: Cherry Valley RV Park
OUR RATING: 4 Stars because it was convenient off the highway, super cell signals, full hookups, nice friendly staff, and great county park within a 5 minute drive
PRICE: $13/day with RPI membership

Since this journal is about travel, let’s start today’s entry off with yesterday’s RV related snafu.

After taking the dogs to that GREAT dog park yesterday afternoon, we came back inside to wash up and get ready to bathe the dogs.  But when we turned on the water – only air came out!  No water.  Just pressurized air.  Oh No!

Steve ran outside to check the hose hookups – and only air coming out of the spigot too.  Our neighbors were outside stooped over their spigots with the same problem.  The RVs across the way from us had water just fine.  (lucky ducks!)

Panicked, Steve took off to find a park ranger – no small feat since it was after 4pm when most of the park employees go home.  In today’s case – for the weekend.

After piddling with the faucets and spigots for an hour – Steve finally gave up trying to save the day.  He looked so defeated when he came back in and said “Dry Camping Tonight!”  Which translates to no doggy baths and turn off the ice maker.  Small sacrafices to save our water for potty breaks.

Peanut didn’t mind.  Puddin sulked as she loves her baths, or anything to do with water really.

Our second snafu came at the same time.

Upon checking in, we asked the ranger if it was possible to extend our stay 3 nights, but we weren’t sure yet.  They said “Yes, just let us know when you decide.”  Yesterday, we decided.

Upon returning to the RV park after a romp with the dogs yesterday, I stopped to talk with the park ranger and requested the extra 3 nights.  She said I needed to call our RPI membership first for pre-approval.  It was nearly 4pm (PST) and I doubted anyone was still working at RPI.  I said as much to the ranger.  She just shrugged and said “it didn’t matter because she closed her register for the day.  You’ll have to come back on Sunday and work it out with my manager Stephanie when she comes back to work.”  She obviously wasn’t going to do any more work today.

I went home and called RPI right away, my gut said to do it right there in front of the Ranger and up them on the phone together.  But modesty took hold and I went home to make the call in private.  Sure enough, somebody at RPI answered!  She was able to give me the pre-approval for the 3 nights, but first had to call the park to arrange things and ensure they could accommodate us.

By now, I suppose you can guess that park worker had already bugged out for the day.  RPI wasn’t able to finalize the arrangements.  There’s always tomorrow, the day we are due to leave.  Except RPI is closed on the weekends.

The RPI rep assured use that she’s more than willing to back date things in her system on Monday if the Park would let us stay until then, which we can’t find out until Sunday when the manager Stephanie is in and can make the go-ahead call.

Good Grief!  The drama.

The KOA deposit already paid for those 3 nights is looking pretty good about now.


Overcast Skies And Family

Overcast Skies And Family

Beaumont, CA
48° / 74° Partly SunnyTODAY’S RV PARK: Cherry Valley RV Park
OUR RATING: 4 Stars because it was convenient off the highway, super cell signals, full hookups, nice friendly staff, and great county park within a 5 minute drive
PRICE: $13/day with RPI membership

Every morning this week it has been overcast.  A sheet of gray hanging over the whole town.  Not clouds – just a sheet with no particular shape or edges – just up there in the sky between the tree tops and the promise of a blue sky.  The sheet makes for very gloomy mornings where getting out of bed is a major chore.  It’s easier to stay cuddled under the soft blankets with my puppy curled up against my legs and my husband curled up against my neck.  It takes tremendous will-power to pull away from such a cuddle session.  If it were only a weekend, and another hour or two like that wouldn’t matter to anyone.

But it’s Friday and I need to be at work very soon.  Very Very Soon.  Like now.

I never thought today would come.  March seemed to have lasted forever.  It was so action packed that I have to catch my breath just thinking of it.  At some point, I’ll have to catch you up as this blog missed most of the RV action, which prompted the blog to begin with.

Last night’s rehearsal dinner was full of people asking us what our favorite part of RV life has been so far.  It’s such a tough question – that we just started reciting everything we did in California – just in March.  That alone would get people talking as they moved on to other topics or their own favorite California adventures.

Only Steve’s Aunt Lee seemed to be the genuinely interested in our California adventures.  As she admitted that for as long as she’s lived here, since the groom was about 3 years old, she really has never explored the state.  The way she was listening to us tell our tales, you could sense she was making some sort of mental list.  Either to list some of the places we described…. or she was bored and remembering all the things a mother of the groom still ahs to do before the wedding.

It has been years since we’ve been involved with a family wedding – especially one where their roots run a whole lot deeper than the ones in my immediate family.  The “kids” table next to us was full of college kids. Lee’s daughter, Angela, was surrounded by boys on either side.  She looked like the belle of the ball and very gitty.  She was in full control of her element.  If and when she ever enters the workforce, you can tell she will rule her world quite well.  She’s a tall thin Asian beauty wearing a slim dress that zipped up the back.  Smart pumps and wavy hair down her back.  She sat forward all night, ankles crossed under her and posture that would impress even Queen Elizabeth.  She was a sight to watch all night long – as she seemingly toyed with those poor boys at her table.

Unfortunately, the bride and groom were both indistinct and seemingly shy.  Although they stood near each other in the buffet line, they stayed pretty separate most of the night.  She talking to her friends; he to his.  They don’t seem to be a romantic couple, but you can tell there is a very fond friendship between them.  Both sets of parents showed more emotion then the bridal couple did.  Then again, both the bride and groom worked through a wedding rehearsal after a full day of work.  Or it could be nerves and excitement.  AT any rate, everybody was in high spirits from beginning to end.  A great ice-breaker for Saturday’s big event.