Our New House

It was brought to my attention that we haven’t updated our Blog since 2013. Since we have become stagnant and haven’t really traveled for a while I didn’t have much of interest to post. Not that our life isn’t interesting, there just isn’t much RV Travel going on.

Well recently we have turned another page in our lives. We decided since we like our lifestyle so much that buying a house wasn’t in our plans. However we have pretty much outgrown the RV so…

We bought a Park Model home in the same resort where we have lived for the last 11 years in the motor home. If you are not familiar with a Park Model, it is a small 400 square foot manufactured home. Ours however is a bit more than a simple park model. First off ours is set in the ground so it is ground level, then a 200 square foot addition was added making it 600 square foot overall and the whole thing is stuccoed and the roof is tiled. There is also a 117 square foot building on the property, which serves as a laundry room and a shop. This building is attached to the house by a covered patio with outdoor kitchen. Along with the real residential appliances they topped it off with an air conditioner that can turn the house into a meat locker in the 120-degree Arizona summers. You can see more photos by clicking on the link in the left column.

I have added a link to the photos of our house HERE.

So, although we are keeping the motor home, it looks like we are not Fulltimers anymore.

Best wishes to all our readers and I hope your travels are as enjoyable as ours.

I will leave the Blog up because I know others enjoy reading about our travels.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Jelly Belly

We toured the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield today. It was a nice drive to Fairfield past several Wineries. The tour of the factory was also pretty cool. There sure were a bunch of kids there. Guess it’s still summer so all the kids are out of school. The tour was about 40 minutes and they took you through the whole process of making the candy. They don’t let you take pictures inside the factory though. There are tons of jellybeans in that place and it sure smells good in there. I wonder how many of the workers snag jellybeans along the way. Some of the process is done by robots, which were interesting to watch. At the end of the process the beans go through screen that sort out the ones that are too large or too small. These are bagged and sold in their gift shop as Belly Flops. Nothing is wasted, the ones that fall on the floor are scooped up and sent off to pig farms as feed. They have so many different flavors and a recipe book on how to mix flavors to create others. They even had flavors such as Rotten Egg, Sardines, Boogers, Vomit, Roasted Garlic, and more. No Kidding! At the end of the tour you can spend some time in their gift shop where you can get clothes items, novelties, and yes, Jelly Bellies. Then you can go over to their café and get a hamburger in the shape of a jellybean. It was a fun day.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Petaluma California

Not much going on the last couple of days. We took a drive into downtown Petaluma. There is a lot of history here. We did the Victorian Home Walking Tour and was a little disappointed. They did have some nice homes but a lot of them were overgrown with weed and in disrepair. After downtown we took a drive out in the country. I found this to be more enjoyable driving past a few wineries, miniature horse farms, and a pasture with some BIG old bulls. The roads were so bad though, that I spent a lot of time dodging the potholes.

Today I took a walk along the Petaluma River and Bird Preserve. Interesting sights along the river.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Curb feelers

I didn’t realize it until today that my motorhome has curb feelers.

Going over the Golden Gate Bridge today, motorhomes, busses, and trucks are restricted to the right lane. These lanes are tight! As I was traveling along I heard a scrape. Looking out my right mirror I noticed I was REAL close to the bridge rail. I figured, now I got a nice racing stripe down the side of the motorhome. After stopping I found nothing. Then I remember a similar incident in Myrtle Beach where I scraped my exhaust pipe on a construction barrel. Cool! Built in curb feelers!

This morning we left Pacifica. I was concerned about the drive through San Francisco and over the Golden Gate Bridge but it was a piece of cake.

We left at around 10:30a so traffic was not an issue. Today we are in Petaluma. From here we will visit the Napa Wine Country and the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield. We may take a cruise out to the coast. Petaluma is loaded with neat stuff to see also.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

San Francisco

We had a good time today in San Francisco. We were going to take a 6 hour tour but decided on the 3 hour tour instead. I am glad we did. 3 hours is enough.

The tour went across the Golden Gate Bridge to the viewpoint then came back into the city and drove through The Golden Gate Park. This is one BIG park. After that we headed up to Twin Peaks.

This is the highest point in The City (600 feet) and what a view. Then it was off through Gay Town, rainbow flags everywhere. 12% of The Cities population is gay, 2/3 of them being men. The tour bus dropped us off at Pier 39, which is probably one of the touristiest parts of San Francisco. We spent about 3 hours there, had lunch and spent some money. On pier 39 you can get a good view of The Bridge and Alcatraz.
Did you know there are no sharks in the bay? They just told the inmates that to keep them from attempting to swim to The City. Also they only had hot showers on the island so the inmates would not take cold showers to get used to the cold water in the bay. We walked from Pier 39 back past Fisherman’s Warf to Ghirardelli Square. The Chocolate Factory is no longer there, just a bunch of shops that sell the chocolate for 3 times more than you can buy it at Wal-Mart. We left at 9:00a this morning and arrived back at the motorhome at 5:00p. Long Day..

Monday, July 24, 2006

On the way to San Francisco

Since it was only an hour to Pacifica, where we are now, we held out as long as we could in San Jose today. We were chomping at the bit to get going so we hit the road a little after 10:30a. This turned out to be too soon. We pulled into the park and they turned us away. They told us to come back after 12:30p. This has only happened to us in California. We ended up in the Safeway store parking lot. Turns out it worked out OK because the laundry needed to be done and there was a Laundromat in the shopping center.

This park is tight. It is pretty much a parking lot with full hookups but it is about the only game in town. The park is clean and the staff is friendly. We are 1 row back from the ocean so it’s not too bad. I don’t like to make reservations but it’s a good thing I did here. When we pulled in I noticed the No Vacancy sign.

It was in the 70s here today, much better than over 100 like it was in San Jose. There has been a light fog all day but the visibility is still good over the ocean.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Winchester Mystery House

I got the car worked on today. I let the Service Advisor talk me out of a Fuel Filter change and into a Throttle Body/Fuel Injector cleaning. He says the Fuel Filter is a 90,000 mile maintenance item and has never seen one need changing sooner but on the other hand the Throttle Body and Fuel Injectors are a 30,000 mile maintenance item. I have 45,000 miles on the Saturn. He seems to think this was the problem after reaching under the hood and manually opening the Throttle Body. He said it felt sticky. I didn’t check it but took his word for it. It has been running fine and hasn’t lost power since that one time. Time will see if this did the trick. I have seen my mileage go steadily from 30 to 21 in the last few months. I need to go fill it up and check the mileage now. If it is back up to 30 I will feel better about the $150 spent. What the heck, it was $25 cheaper than the filter change. While I was there I got a look at their Sky. The Sky is their new 2 seater convertible roadster. Nice car. I asked if I could tow it behind the motorhome and he said not 4 down, has to be on a trailer. That shoots that down.

After the car service we headed over to the Winchester Mystery House. If you have never heard of this, it is a house owned by the widow of the Winchester rifle builder. After his death she went to a psychic that told her to move to California and build a house and never stop. She had carpenters working on the house for 38 years 24 hours a day until her death. All her construction plans came to her during her nightly séances with the spirits so the house is total chaos with stairways leading no were, windows in the floors, and door that open to a blank wall. All this and I left the camera back at the motorhome.

Later today I restrung 2 more of our Day/Night shades. They say these motorhomes are for recreation only and not recommended for fulltime living. Everything seems to be holding up quite well except the shades. I think I have fixed all of them at least once so far. They must have installed the cheapest ones they could find. I am going to have to pick up a bundle of string and eyelets for these things.

The temperature is still over a hundred here and we are looking forward to heading for the coast again. The Elks Lodge that we are at has a nice big swimming pool. I might take advantage of it tomorrow.

I was surprised to find out yesterday that I could still get the Local San Diego Channels on my Direct TV Satellite dish; well we woke this morning to nothing. I had to call Direct TV and have them switch me over to the West Coast feed out of Los Angeles. This I can get all over the country. Every time I do this the people at Direct TV can’t figure out how to do this since I live in an RV. I am always on the phone with them for at least 30 minutes. This time I asked the guy if it is possible to add a note on my account as to how to do this for the next guy, next time. He says he will.

Friday, July 21, 2006

A change of scenery

We moved up the road to San Jose today. Now instead of looking out my front window at a golf course, I am looking at a Highway. Not only that, it’s under construction so it’s not very pretty. We stopped in Gilroy to take advantage of the few Super Wal-Marts in California. Susan loaded up the motorhome with another 2 weeks of supplies. Gilroy is the Garlic capitol of the world and it sure smells that way. I remember while in Hershey Pennsylvania, the town smelled like chocolate. I like chocolate better. Susan, who loves garlic, couldn’t even handle it. It was an easy drive today, ½ hour to Wal-Mart and ½ hour to San Jose. It got over 100 degrees here in San Jose today and in the height of the heat the power went out to most of the city. I plugged our fan into the inverter to keep us a bit cool. I could have fired up the generator but I though it would come back on soon. It was off for near an hour. When the power came back on I turned both airs on full and cooled this place down pretty quick. I did a little search to see what’s around here. If it has anything to do with computers, it’s here.
I just added the Big Sur photos to my photo site. Click on the California Hwy 1 thumbnail in the left column.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Slight change of plans

We were going to hang here until Saturday and take a drive to Santa Cruz but things have changed. Today I set out to get the fuel filter replaced in the Saturn however when I got to the (Chevy) dealer they turned me away because they were too busy. Huh? That’s not what they told me yesterday. They said bring it in and they would fit me in. Well, they said the Midas shop could do it. Sure they can… at $230. No! I just want a fuel filter, not a full fuel system. There is no Saturn dealer here in Salinas but there is in San Jose (our next stop) so we are leaving a day earlier than planned. It looks like the San Jose Elks is very nice so we will stay there a few days and visit the Winchester Mystery House and get the car done. The Mystery house and the Saturn dealer are very close by so that makes it easy.

The golf course right out our front window has been real entertaining. I guess you can’t get away from traffic, even on the course. I though I had seen everything until I saw a golf bag on wheels cruise up all by itself. What? How’s that possible? It steered itself up to the T and stopped all by itself. Seconds later the golfer came walking up with a remote in his hands. OK, I’m out on the golf course getting exercise, but you don’t expect me to push my clubs around too do you?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Monterey-Carmel-Big Sur

Yesterday we spent the day in Monterey. We were going to do the Aquarium but decided that we would put the $44 to use somewhere else, like buying goodies for the grandkids. We did spend a lot of time on Cannery Row and had lunch on the Wharf. We also took the trolley for a round trip to see some of the city. Monterey is a nice town but is mainly a touristy thing. We did have a good time though.

Today we took a drive, using the car, down Highway 1 through Carmel to Big Sur. We stopped at Point Lobos State Reserve. Our Volunteer work for the California State Parks System got us in free. Normally they would charge $9 a car, which is well worth it. The views here were fantastic. You had better watch out for the poison oak though, it’s ALL OVER the place. After Point Lobos we continued our journey down the coast to Big Sur. I was told NOT to do this part of Highway 1 in a motorhome but felt that it is very doable. I don’t know about the stretch south of Big Sur though since that is as far as we went. I think I must have stopped at every turnout along the way. We stopped in Big Sur and had lunch at the Big Sur River Inn Country Dining. Good food and best of all, good atmosphere. It sits right on the Big Sur River and the bird in the trees serenades you the whole time. The drive back was quicker because we didn’t need to stop along the way.

Just as we got close to camp however, the car lost power and started to surge. I am going to take it in for a fuel filter change tomorrow. I sure hope that’s all it is because we still want to drive to Santa Cruz while we are here. The next stop will be San Francisco and we will need the car there too.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Living on a generator

We are spoiled. We found that living on a generator is not fun anymore. Well let me elaborate. Our site at Morro Bay State Beach was a No Hookup site. We had to run a generator for power. Now if Generator hours were more in reason instead of 10:00a to 8:00p it wouldn’t be so bad. And if our onboard generator was mounted properly so it didn’t vibrate the whole coach it wouldn’t be so bad. We ran mostly off our generette (Honda EU200), which only provides about 15 amps of power. Fortunately I asked and was upgraded to a hookup site last night. This made us real happy.

This morning we packed up and headed for the dump station only to encounter a person that was totally oblivious to anything around him. He was there when we got there and still we had to wait about ½ hour for him to finish dumping. After dumping he pulled ahead and parked taking up the spot where I was going to hook up the car. I had to pull up beside him and parallel park behind him to get out of the way of the line that was now backing up behind me. This guy still didn’t have a clue as to the chaos he was causing. Well we finally got out of there and had a pretty good drive up to Salinas, where we are now at the Elks Lodge. There is a lot going on in Monterey this week and most parks are full so we are just outside Monterey. It is an easy drive into town from here. We have a pretty good spot here at the Elks

Our site faces a golf course and it is a pretty view. One of the Ts is directly in front of the motorhome so I get to see (and hear) the frustration when the shot doesn’t go well (Lots of laughs).

Tomorrow we are heading into Monterey to see what kind of touristy things they have to offer.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Fog again today

Well the fog didn’t lift much today either. I wanted to get a good picture of Mono Bay Rock but it was covered in fog every time I tried to get a picture. Maybe tomorrow. We took a drive into town and along the Embarcadero today. It’s a tourist trap of course but the scenery is nice. Tomorrow we will go the other direction to see what we can find. Had a good time talking with Tony (Firedude) today. Got to swap some storied of Camp Hosting and being on the road. He Hosts a lot more than I will ever want to.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Morro Bay

We are now in Morro Bay State Park. I contacted “Firedude” from the RV.net and told him we were passing through and wanted to stop by and say Hi. He was kind enough to find a spot on this busy summer weekend for us. This is the first time in a while that we have had to survive with no hookups at all. I filled the water tank at the last stop and we had to stop at a gas station to get some fuel for our Honda EU2000 portable gererator. This generator is much quieter than the big ol Generac in the motorhome. I am running the biggie though just because it needs the excessive. The problem is, generator hours in the California State Parks is from 10:00a to 8:00p. Now we like to have coffee at around 8:00a and watch TV until 10:00p. Seem just the opposite of what they want us to do.

The weather here is a far cry from what we have experienced in the last few months. It has been cooler here with fog most of the day. This is the closest we have been to the ocean for quite a while though.

Tomorrow we are going to take the car out and do some exploring. We might even get up the coast to San Simion to see if there are any Elephant seals laying on the beach.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A little breathing room

I don’t know if it’s something I said but everyone around us left today. We got a view and a little bit of breathing room. This morning we headed into Solvang to Paula’s Pancake House for breakfast. It was just as good as the last few times we ate there. They have the coolest store in Solvang. It is called As Seen On TV. It contains everything you have ever seen in the TV commercials.

I saw the strangest thing today while in Solvang. A Kindergarten chain gang. They had these kids all tied together. If you click on the photo to enlarge it you will see the rope tying them all together. The guy in red is planning an escape. Apparently this was a school outing and this is how they kept them all together. After that we took a drive to Lompoc to find the Wal-Mart and to check out the Elks Lodge’s RV facilities for future reference. If I am going to camp 5 feet from the guys on ether side of me, I would rather pay $15 than the $41 we did here. I didn’t realize Lompoc was that big. I was told it is because of the Vandenberg Air Force Base located nearby. We will be back on the road again tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

3 hours 25 minutes

I love LA…Traffic! It took us almost 3 and a half hours to get to Buellton today. That is about the longest we have driven in a long time. I go by the 2X2X2 rule. 2 hours of travel, off the road by 2:00p, and stay at least 2 nights. Today I broke that rule. We arrived about 1:30p and was told we could not occupy out site until 2:00p because they were watering. They sent us to overflow to sit for ½ hour. No problem, it gave me time for a sandwich and a Pepsi.

As you can see by the photo, it is quite a squeeze. This is partly my fault because I requested this area so we didn’t have to hike a mile to the laundry. We are only here for 2 nights so it’s not all that bad.

The only down side is I tagged a picnic table pulling in, I can fix it. Tomorrow we will be heading into Solvang to Paula’s Pancake house. We have their Danish pancakes every time we pass through here, So Good!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

We had visitors

Last night and again tonight we has some visitors. Susan went to the door to close it and spotted a skunk rummaging around outside. Before we knew, there were four. Needless to say, we let them do as they pleased and after they left, then we closed the door. Didn’t want to startle them you see.

This is one of those places we could have stayed longer because it is real nice but our spot is reserved for tomorrow night so we would have to move. Moving isn’t so bad but if we have to secure things and fire up the motorhome, we might as well move on down the road. All our neighbors here have been nice also. We took a drive around the campground today, yes I did say drive, this place is pretty big. I think we got the best site in the whole park. I don’t know how we lucked out but that happens sometimes.

I case you are wondering why you can’t find South Shore RV Park anywhere, it’s because I messed up. It isn’t South Shore, it’s East Shore RV Park.

Monday, July 10, 2006

San Dimas California

We are now in San Dimas. This is where Bill and Ted lived in the movie Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Well now it’s part of Dan and Susan’s Excellent Adventure. We are at South Shore RV Park on the shore of Puddingstone Lake which is just around the corner from the Fairplex in Pomona. We have stayed at the KOA across the street from the Fairplex and also on the grounds of the Fairplex several times but never South Shore. This place is pretty nice. You wouldn’t even know you were in the city. We are sitting up on a hill overlooking the lake and have a spectacular view. If it weren’t for the Smog we would have an even better view. The smog is pretty thick today. I tried a different route instead of battling with the major interstates. We cut off I-15 at the 91 and up the 71. Little to no traffic. We avoided the I-60 interchange and I-10 all together.

It didn’t start out so well here at South Shore. First thing was when we drove to our assigned site and found it occupied. Not only was it occupied but also the family showed no intent of leaving with stuff everywhere. The guy was sitting back watching his outdoor TV. I headed back to the office to see what the deal was. Second thing was there was no place to park back at the office so I centered the Motorhome with toad in a parking lot being careful to leave plenty of room for people to get in and out of the spaces. I wasn’t there 1 minute when this guy spouted out, “Hey buddy! You’re blocking my truck”. Well I went around the motorhome to check and just as I thought, the guy was a JERK! I could have got a motorhome out of that spot. I told him he had plenty of room and he responded with, “If I hit your motorhome it’s not my fault”. Well thinking this guy was enough of a jerk to hit it on purpose; I stood and watch as he pulled out with plenty of room to spare. The gal in the office said she would send security out to chase the people out of out site and I could pull into an empty site and wait. An hour later they were gone and we were in. This spot was worth waiting for.

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

4th of July

We spent the night of the 4th in a friend’s driveway. We were invited, motorhome and all to their 4th of July party and decided to take them up on their offer. We had a great time with some good friends that we haven’t seen for a while. Although we were paid up through this coming Monday at the Elks Lodge, we left the car at the lodge and took the motorhome to the party. The road from their house is scary enough in a car during the day and even more at night, especially on the 4th of July so having the ability to spend the night was great.

We are back at the Elks Lodge again. We will be spending the next few days with family before hitting the road again.
Our grandson sure likes spending the night at Nana and Papa’s. The weather is finally cooling down a bit and we are happy about that.

Saturday, July 1, 2006

Back in Vista

We arrived in Vista California on Wednesday. We came back this way because we were invited to a 4th of July party. Right away Susan took off to pick up our Grandson. He is 5 years old and a real handful. All I have been hearing since is, “Papa, let’s do this. Papa, let’s do that”. Man, he just doesn’t let up. What energy kids have! I have gathered up a pretty good list of things that need attention since it was too hot in Havasu to do anything. Trying to work things in between riding scooters, playing baseball, playing football, and playing with Landen’s Hotwheel cars, has been tough but I have slowly been getting things done. It is still warm (about 95) and humid here but nothing like Havasu. I thought we would be able to turn off the air conditioners but not yet.

You may have noticed the weird news topics scrolling by in the left hand column. It’s just something I though I would add. I may change the topics to RV news or maybe something else.