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Random Thoughts During an Inside Day

Random Thoughts During an Inside Day

Beaumont, CA
46° / 64° 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

Yesterday was an inside sort of day.  A day to rest between a day of adventuring and tonight’s wedding Rehearsal dinner.

Some people can’t stand inside days.  I love them for the opportunity to enjoy quiet and get things caught up.  Work seems to be plugging along and I got some good work done yesterday.  Today I already “Ate My Frog” at work.  It’s all downhill from here, and I’m still on my first cup of coffee.  Tomorrow will be a bear at the desk because it’s the 1st – and that generally comes with alot of campaign budget changes.  Most of the day, I anticipate will be housekeeping/administrative work for clients.  Not hard stuff, just tedious work.  I actually enjoy that kind of work.  It takes a bit of effort, yet yields a good sense of accomplishment.  And of course a good sense of control over my environment.

The other quiet day activity I enjoyed yesterday, was my DIY spa day.  Full pedicure, manicure and wax.  After I do my facial and body scrub later this morning, I’ll be all set for the weekend’s festivities.  Today, I’ll give Steve a quick shave – just the hair neck line, iron his clothes and he’ll be set to go too.

dog-signThat just leaves our puppies.  After 3 days of rain, an inside day for them – they are itching for activity.  After lunch, we are taking them to the dog park up the street so they can run themselves out.  Noble Dog Park is one of the better dog parks we’ve been to, and its quite obvious the county is proud of it – it is very well tended too.  When we went there last week, there were some other good dogs there for them to play with, even a Great Dane!  Puddin’s favorite breed is Great Dane.  She’s always been attracted to them and can’t leave them alone.  Perhaps its their size or their natural gentle nature or how “softly” they play.  Puddin enjoys playing and running with other dogs – she just doesn’t like it too rough – even for dog standards.  Some dogs get really rough – and that’s when we leave.  Or if an “intact” male gets “rowdy” with her.  We don’t put up with that kind of behavior.  She won’t either.  It’s surprising how many dog parents don’t control their male dogs when they get “rowdy”.  It’s not cute.

So far, we’ve been enjoying Cherry Valley RV Park.   We are scheduled to leave Sunday, but we are going to request to stay until Wednesday when we head to Vegas.  The original plan was to stop over at the KOA in Barsto/Calico for a few nights.  We stayed at this KOA as we came into California and enjoyed the super fast WIFI.  We no longer see the need to stop overnight heading out of California.  Vegas is only a 4 hour drive from here, we can drive straight through and save the $300 for a nice Vegas RV park.  We anticipate an expensive lodging month in April as we head toward Oregon.  There aren’t any RPI’s or Thousand Trails along the way, so we will be paying for all nights for a few weeks.

We’ve already pre-paid for a few nights in Lake Tahoe, so everything else can be cheaper road stops.  Unless I can convince Steve to finally try a Harvest Host.  He’s still nervous about boondocking because our refrigerator requires an electrical hookup.  Now that we have a 30 amp adapter, we may be able to give it a try, as some Harvest Hosts are said to have electrical.  (Note to self: research this)

UPDATE 4/14/2022: The change in plans with Cherry Valley took three days to unfold.  Read on dear reader to see how this unfolds.

UPDATE 4/14/2022: A windstorm in Nevada closed highways, and we weren’t able to stay in Lake Tahoe.  Lost our entire prepayment.


Hollywood Sign Day Trip

Hollywood Sign Day Trip

Beaumont, CA
45° / 68° Rainy

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


Yesterday was another day trip day.  This time to see family near Pasadena and to see the famous HOLLYWOOD sign.  These are about the only two things in L.A. that we have any desire to do and see.  The rest of L.A. doesn’t hold much charm for us, except for the awesome Asian cuisine the area is famous for.

After 8 hours of driving and exploring L.A., with it’s winding streets, congested freeways and delicious noodle soup – we are satisfied with what we’ve seen of the large city.

We started with a visit with Steve’s lovely Aunt Lee and her grown daughter, Angela.  Both are very generous women with such a knack for hospitality that we always leave their home feeling overwhelmed with kindness.  The visit is ahead of a family wedding just days away, the whole reason why we’ve been stalling around California.

Aunt Lee is one of those eccentric women who has been fortunate to live in the same home for a very long time.  Through all the stages of remodel that the has has undergone, it holds a charm – equal to a hug – with each passing decade showing off its favorited hard surfaces and design.  My favorite room was the guest bathroom, which perfectly highlighted the changes over the years and whispered “authentic California – then and now”.  The bathroom was complete with art deco wall hangings next to an exotic seashell collection.

Angela was eager to share her favorite local delicacies with us and brought home a luncheon meal – homemade noodle soup and beef rolls.  When we say homemade noodle soup – even the noodles where hand made by stretching.  The meal was a treat on a cloudy day.  The warm brothy soup with spices made for a perfect familial meal.  There are soups you just want to wash your face and hair in – this was definitely one of those soups!  I showed ladylike restraint at the table, and didn’t bathe in the broth, but none of us could avoid noodle slurping.  A fun pasttime.

After a delightful visit catching up on family news and exploring Aunt Lee’s recent renovations, we headed out to explore the city.  Of course the visit wouldn’t be complete without some friendly chiding about us being ultimately touristy to visit the gawdy HOLLYWOOD sign.  We didn’t care.  We haven’t ever seen it, we wanted too, we were only 30 minutes from it.  With a truck full of gas and car keys, we were going!

Hugs and kisses Aunt Lee.  See you at the wedding!

tatanka hollywood

Our Ram3500 named “Tatanka” parked at the Hollywood sign.

The good news was, that for all of the L.A. congestion that existed, we somehow bypassed most of it.  By sheer luck, or fantastic coincidence, the sign was just on the other side of the hill where Aunt Lee lived.  All we had to do was drive around to the other side.  Which ended up becoming a beautiful drive through the county park full of bicyclists, a zoo and more (dang it!) windy sloapy roads.  After snapping our tourist photo in front of the HOLLYWOOD sign we came down a different path which dumped us into Beverly Hills.  We couldn’t see much of it as most homes were basically rooftops peeking over tall stone wall with climbing hedges and ivy.  Taking this one main street toward the highway led us to another iconic area – Hollywood Boulevard.  Home of the Walk of Stars – where we searched for Tom Cruise, just to be ultimately tacky – and meeting him is on my top 100 things to do before I die.  In less than 1 hour, we felts we saw the best of L.A. and programmed Google Maps to take us home to Puddin.

Do it too!!

It is said the best place to see the Hollywood sign is at Griffith Observatory.  And it was!  Be prepared to pay a parking fee of $10 for one hour.  Credit cards accepted at the pay stations.

Plan your Star visit at the Walk of Stars before going.  It’s a long road and lots of stars.  Plenty of parking garages nearby to ditch your ride and hop on a Bird.  We looked up Tom Cruise in the database right away and he was just a block away from where we pulled over!!

To learn more about why we named our truck Tatanka, visit


San Diego Day Trip

San Diego Day Trip

Beaumont, CA
42° / 58° Rainy

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

There’s something very refreshing about being in one’s own home state.  Ever since we crossed the California border, I’ve been trying to figure it out.  I’ve felt an immense sense of calm and peace since we arrived.  It’s been a very long time since I could just sit and relax.  Usually, I have a sense of anxiety where I feel I have to solve World Hunger every moment of every day.  Always bustling about – never stopping.  Always in a worry or slight panic over everything.

Maybe it’s the air.

the past 31 years I’ve lived in hot humid climates.  Here, it’s cool, crisp with a breeze that always seems to carry some sort of fragrance from the nearby vegetation.  A good whiff of the fresh air could bring a scent of gardenia or Sycamore.  Or in yesterday’s case – dog poop.

Maybe it’s the tall trees here.

Trees that get to grow tall without any threat of strong winds to stunt their growth.  The Sycamores are everywhere and seem to grow 5 stories tall!  They are so beautiful, they look like Christmas trees that come with their own pine cone decorations.  In many places, they line the freeways.

ice-plantMaybe it’s the ice plant.

The ice plant covers the hills on the sides of the freeways.  A thick carpet of green, finger-thick vegetation with pink flowers.  Just crawling everywhere.   I’ve always thought it to be very beautiful.  The boys growing up thought the finger-thick shoots made for good bullets – as we were always being pelted with them growing up.  I’ve really never seen the ice plant in such quantity anywhere else in the US – it’s always been a sign I’m home in SoCal.

Maybe it’s the mountains.

Living in “The South”, it’s a very flat place and can be hard to tell which direction you are going.  I’ve always missed the gravitational pull of the mountains – to give me a due north.  Mountains on the right – Ocean on the left – and go from there.  It’s reassuring to be able to look up an see your mountain to know just where you are.

Perhaps it was the combination of all those tings that made Sunday a perfect day for a road trip to San Diego.

The skies were blue and crisp as we drove down the freeway lined with the beautiful ice plant, tall Sycamore trees lined the freeways.  Weaving in and out of mountains and canyons, we found our way south to San Diego.

As we came in, I started to recognize the street names of my childhood on those big green exit signs.  I quietly remarked to my husband “I think I used to live on that street”.  He took the next exit, and to my surprise we found my first elementary school and the street that I had lived on.  The house was no longer there.  But my babysitter’s house was, with her ice plant still carpeting the side of her house.  That supply of bullets was still there!

We made our way down the back canyon roads – totally ignoring Google maps – ad following the routes I was sure my parents used to drive.  Thrilled to see the old windy road that seemed untouched by time.  Yet the shopping center it emptied out on looked modern and unrecognizable, save the name.

We got back on a nearby freeway and made our way through the Mission area where baseball fields were still filled with ballplayers.  Passed by downtown San Diego – with it’s airport landing strip adjacent to the freeway – back splashed by the navy ship yard and towering navy vessels.  So close, you feel like you are going to drive right up to one around the next bend.

Just minutes later, we found ourselves at Imperial Beach.  The closest you can get to Tijuana without leaving the USA.

A friendly couple snapped a photo of us, and then we strolled the small seaside town.  The town revealed other California memories for me.  Beach parks filled with basketball players with a natural audience, healthy bodies testing their limits on the workout equipment, rollerbladers weaving in and out of the slow strollers (like us).  And just to put a cherry on top – a red lifeguard truck cruising up and down the sandy beach.


From that park, we sat for a short while, digging our feet in the sand.  To our left was a pier full of poles hanging over the ends.  In front of us, way out in the water – were 3 cruise ships and a cargo container awaiting their turn into the shipping lanes.  Next to us, on the beach, was a closed lifeguard station with a doggy tied up under it yapping at the running kids – he too wanted to play.  Off to our right, beyond the active beach volleyball net was the famous blue Coronado bridge and downtown San Diego.  It was definitely a sight to take in, and certainly warranted a few leisurely minutes (if not hours) to take it all in.  If for not other reason, but to count the 5 more ships way way way off on the horizon.


Destination Goal 2 – Achieved!

Destination Goal 2 – Achieved!

Beaumont, CA
44° / 53° Rainy

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

Yesterday was a perfect Sunday for a day trip to San Diego.  Clear blue skies and clear freeways.  Despite this area being known for its clogged freeways – we were in much luck yesterday!

Every adventure needs to have a goal or destination, else you are just aimlessly wandering.  I’m a goal-oriented person, and one thing I’ve learned through all my goal settings – failures and winners – is that it really doesn’t matter what the goal is.  A goal is simply something to work toward.  An area to focus your time, effort and energy on.  Goals give me a sense of purpose and a feeling of achievement in life.  Feelings that are very important to type-A folk like myself.  I’m also a tad bit of a control freak – so there’s that need too.

When we decided to set out on RV life, we really didn’t have a specific plan in mind, other then to just go out and see America.  Which felt a bit too vague for me.  One of the benefits of living the RV life is to chase the good weather, so as to always live where the climate is mild. That sounded real nice to me, so as we looked at the map, we noticed how the weather seemed to have a unique pattern with the shape of the country.  That’s when the idea of this year’s 2022 RV goal came to us.  We’d visit all four corners of the country.  Starting our adventure near home with Key West.  Then the San Diego / Tijuana boarder.  Followed by Washington in the summer and Maine in the fall.  I’m most looking forward to New England in October as that’s my favorite time of year.  It’s also why we deliberately got married in October.

Last Thanksgiving, we spent the holiday with Tara in The Keys.  It was a wonderful time and a great way to enjoy Tara’s company before we ditched her for the open road.

Key west Mile Marker 0The interesting fact is that Tara’s most favorite place in the world is The Keys.  She and Laurence vacation there at least twice a year.  Mostly for the fishing.  Tara is quite the fisherman and really enjoys the sport – she can outfish most men.  She has even caught the same fish twice!  So, last November we had our own personal tour guide to all things Florida Keys.  We fished off the bridges, we rode an airboat lookin for gators and we even stumbled down Duvall Street – tipsy and having a ball.

To officially mark the start of our travels, we took a snapshot at the famed Mile Marker 0 buouy at the end of Duvall Street.

Yesterday, in San Diego, we took a picture near at the border town to mark our second goal post of 2022.

Checking things off a goal list feels great!  It’s only April and half this year’s goals are already done!

We plan to be in Washington by mid-May.

More on San Diego tomorrow.  Today’s Monday and duty calls.


Scary Confessions

Scary Confessions

Beaumont, CA
46° / 72° 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

It has been 102 days since we hit the open road.  And it has been over 15 years since I’ve kept any kind of journal.  Routine daily tasks haven’t been my biggest strength, but since we hit the road – the need for some kind of normal routine has been carrying me through.

My first confession about this new lifestyle is that it is SCARY AS SHIT!  It’s not the road life, or the downsizing, or even being so far from family and friends that has me up at nights practicing my old meditation and breathing exercises.  Nope, it’s something far more primitive.  Money.

Getting us started in this new lifestyle ate up all of our savings.  That and an old tax bill that came due at $2k/month.  We are out here on the open road with no savings at all to fall back on (for the moment).  No safety net – and no forseeable way to rebuild it – at least not this year anyway.  The best I can do is keep the purse strings tight.  Fortunately, I have the kind of job that I can do from anywhere and it does pay the bills and staff.  It also allows me the freedom to have a very flexible schedule – except for Mondays.  Life stops on Mondays.

There have been alot of Mondays where we had to get creative with my work situation.  On one cruise vacation, we experienced terrible internet.  We skipped an excursion day and found the first bar ashore.  We sat there for 4 hours – me pounding the keyboard and Steve making friends with the barkeep.  On my next cruise, I got smarter, and did my Monday work at 3am when the rest of the passengers were asleep.  That’s when the ship’s WIFI was blazing fast!

On another trip, we were training through Europe.  I had the foresight to upgrade our tickets to the first class coach, just for the better WIFI.  I took my time that day with my Monday work, distracted by the rolling French countryside in the large windows.

My Monday work last week may be the most unforgettable adventure yet – as for Steve it was an Adventure!

marin-headlandsSteve is terrified of heights.  Not just a small fear but a huge terrify.  The first time I experienced this, we were exploring San Francisco ahead of my 20th High School reunion  (Go Hornets!)  We happened to be exploring the old army forts in the Marin Headlands.  My #1 favorite place on EARTY!  We were climbing up a bombed out staircase in the old army bunkers when he suddenly stopped moving.  He was visibly shaking and starting to fall to the ground – apparently to hold on to something stable.

As I looked over his shoulder, it became apparent that the rest of the staircase too, had been bombed out and all that was left was the handrail going up and and empty craven going down in to a canyon.  Hundreds of feet straight down.

So, when our RV park was at the top of a mountain – Steve was predictably not a fan of driving those steep, winding roads.  It would have been a blast for me to drive them as I’m a thrill seeker, recovered adrenaline junkie.  Except Steve absolutely Refuses (capital R emphasized) to allow, err, permit me to drive the truck – much less tow our rig.  Not even to practice.

Driving this mountain became his chore and opportunity to expand his comfort zone.  Again, an area of life we disagree on.  He loves to live nice and cozy in his Comfort Zone, and I enjoy grasping opportunities to move the walls on mine out.  He got us up that mountain with a heavy dose of swearing and sweating.  Only to discover that once we got to our site at the top – there were no cell phone signals – at least not on AT&T.  Which under most circumstances, is a nice reprieve from modern  life, except for Mondays.

After much soul searching, Steve approached me early Monday morning, over coffee, and offered to drive me down the hill so I could work.  I was beaming with pride and excitement.  One, for whatever resolutions he had to come to on his own to face his own fear.  And the latter so I can keep my clients happy!

He packed us up and dropped me off at the closest library, where once again I sat quietly eagerly pounding at my keyboard.

Later that week, he practiced up and down that mountain a couple more times.  That by the time we came down with the rig, there was minimal swerving and far less sweating.  Dare I say, I think his Comfort Zone has been budged out just a little!?!