Tag Archives: VacationAug2011
August 9, 2011

Back home

We got in yesterday afternoon, after 8 nights of RV style vacation and roadtrip.  Everyone (except maybe Francie) reported they had a good time, but were glad to be home and settled in.  We had over 1000 miles logged, and 4 different RV parks checked out.  We even used a Blue Beacon truck wash location before going over the grapevine.

Now, we settle back into the house routine, but look forward to our next trip out in September to a local RV park.

August 8, 2011

Sommerville Almond Tree RV Park

Not sure if the tree’s are actually Almond tree’s.  We’ll have to take a closer look tomorrow.

We’ve stopped here as a planned overnight for our trip home.  Originally, the thought was that Diane and Molly would spend most of today at the Homeschool conference, but they were just too tuckered out this morning.  We were able to get on the road by 11, and made good time coming down the 5 to here.  It’s a nice place, with a couple pools, one which is a “family” pool that Molly has already spent some time.  The spaces are a good size, and there are tree’s all over, but still clearance for the satellite dish.  We’re nice and level, so an easy night sleep (hopefully) and we’ll head out tomorrow in the morning and head south to home.

August 4, 2011

Cal Expo RV Park – Sacramento

For our attendance at the Homeschool Association of California conference this year, we had first planned to stay at the hotel, and just park the RV in their parking lot.  But, further research found the Cal Expo RV Park that has laundry and showers, is $35 a night, and is only about 3 miles from the conference hotel.  Compared to the $120+ per night for the hotel, and where to stay was a no-brainer.

We pulled in and found the staff to be very friendly.  We knew it is just a parking lot, with some trees and hookups, but it is a well kept parking lot.  The spaces vary in size, but we got a large one with plenty of room to spread out, pop open the awning, and hang out on the front “lawn”.

While here, we’re going to visit the capital, and attend the conference.

August 4, 2011

Jelly Belly factory tour

On our way from San Francisco, we stopped off in Fairfield, CA, for a tour of the world famous Jelly Belly factory.  RV parking here was excellent, with plenty of large spaces.  We got inside and found a pretty long line waiting for the tour.  We probably stood in line for close to an hour, but the tour itself was over 30 minutes, so all in all, well worth the time and effort, and price (free!).  I didn’t see any familiar HMI software running, but plenty of box makers, conveyor belts, and control’s of all kinds.  The process they take is pretty involved, but yet they are producing massive quantities day after day.  Getting all of the historical information was cool as well.  The artwork made from jelly bellies was fascinating.  The one piece of info that still kinda haunts me is when they said it took 9 months for one of the Jelly Belly portraits to be made.  Why???  Maybe waiting for just the right shade of bean?

While we didn’t eat at the cafeteria, we did get to see how they had bean shaped burgers, and bean shaped pizza’s.  Very much into the bean.  We made it out of there with a couple of chocolate things (it is a candy making place, so not just jelly beans), some gummy worms, and a bag of “Belly Flops”, which are the beans that don’t make the cut to be real Jelly Belly’s.  These are the ones that are two or three beans stuck together, or other abnormalities.  Hopefully none of them are the rotten egg or dog poop flavor.  (Yeah, they have those there too).

August 4, 2011

Cool chance meeting

So, while at the San Francisco RV Resort, I saw a Monaco Vesta rolling into the park.  Now, there are probably hundreds of these on the road, so the chance of this one belonging to Jason and Nikki Wynn, (www.gonewiththewynns.com) whose adventures I’ve been following for a few months, was remote.  It was towing a car, and I wasn’t sure they had a car.  But, I jumped on their website, saw they had a twitter account, and that they had just tweeted a few hours earlier that they were in Pacifica!  I also saw on their site where they had and towed the same car.  It had to be them.  I sent a message to them via twitter, and Molly and I ended up going over for a chat Wednesday afternoon.  What a great couple, and their friend Cassy too.  I got to here some insight in this RV living ‘thing’, and some tips on managing life with a cat on board.  It was a great meeting, and will lead to us being able to make some changes to our RV that will help with GPS guidance, the desk/workspace setup, and living arrangements for the furry family member.

If you’d like to check out some videos and write-ups of the Wynn’s adventures, take a look at their website.  www.gonewiththewynns.com


August 2, 2011

Vacation stop two – San Francisco

It was about 6 hours on the road today, with one stop for gas and to fix a quick lunch.  Molly did a bit better with the long journey, and spent most of the time in the back bedroom watching videos and skype/chatting with her friends.

The trip was fairly uneventful except for the last couple miles, where the GPS took us down a couple hills.  One that was 16% grade, and the second was 19%.  As a reminder, I’m in a 35 foot RV, towing a car, going a mile or so downhill at 16-19% grade.  That was by far the longest mile so far, but keeping it slow, low gears, and we came out OK.  It was narrow beach homes type streets too.  I’m sure there were several people in the area waiting to see if it would work out.

So, we made it all in one piece, and got parked here in the San Francisco RV Resort.  This is an Encore resort, and they have about 80 others in the west coast states and Arizona.  I’m sure we’ll stay at another one at some point.  The views here can not be beat.  They have completely maximized the space to get the most people in here as possible.  Some of the slide outs are just inches from either concrete bumpers that divides spaces, or to other sliders.  There’s no way any awnings are coming out.  There are some premium sites that are pull in / back in, and right on the cliff edge, with great views out over the ocean.  Those sites are of course higher priced, and they seem to have about an extra foot or two between the spaces.  They also have some newer equipment for making the hookups.  I looked around, and it just seems the sites we are at have not been updated.  The sewer’s are open and not covered, and the threads are trashed and I can’t get the drain to stay.  I had to have Diane stand on the drain outlet while we dumped after arrival (we didn’t hook up for the single night at Buellton).  She had a little fear of being involved in one of those toilet moments like in the movie RV.  No such luck for her.  All went well.

Diane has the next two days all planned out for our tour of San Francisco.  We’ll be seeing a couple sites, possibly the “Full House” row of houses from the TV series intro.  Molly is a big fan of the show.  Also, some cable car rides, a museum of sorts or two, a cross of the Golden Gate bride, and a couple other things I’m sure.

Francie has been doing OK.  There was some substantial meowing before, but that has subsided.  She tried to get herself stuck behind a cabinet drawer, but that was fairly easy to fix.  She still seems unsure of the whole thing, but also seems to enjoy having so many windows to look out

That’s it for now.

July 31, 2011

Vacation stop one – Flying Flags RV Resort, Buellton

We made pretty good time with the packing.  It rained Sunday morning, so a little wet.  We’re looking forward to living in the RV fulltime, and not having to go through this very stressful and laborious acts of loading and unloading.  Diane was surprised, but all the clothes look like they will fit.  Only minor thinning will be needed.

The Flying Flags RV Park is pretty nice.  Right away the lady that checked me in let me know I’d pre-paid too much, so I got a credit to use in their impressive store.  The regular area is pretty nice for parking, hooking up, etc.  Plenty of room between sites. The long-term area seems well filled.  Likely it will not be this full in the winter.  The only thing I wish they’d improve on is the cleanliness of the bathrooms and showers.  They shut them down for a half hour or so everyday for cleaning, but should hit them every few hours.  Other than that, it’s a nice place.  It is managed by Horizon RV Resorts, and we’ll have to check out some of their other properties.

While here, we made a short visit over to Solvang.  Found a guy that does metal work who might be able to do Ed and Victoria’s fireplace doors.  Also took pictures by the Hans Christian Anderson statue, and the Little Mermaid fountain and statue.  And, we had dinner at Pea Soup Anderson’s.  I’ve been to Buellton/Solvang a few times, but never stopped at the Pea Soup spot.  Must say, a bit expensive, but plenty of patrons for a Sunday evening, so it must be doing well.  The pea soup was, well, pea soup.  Now that I’ve been, I can skip it next time.  Molly and Diane both tried the pea soup.  I think Molly wanted to like it, but couldn’t bring herself to want a second taste.

One night here, then on the road to San Francisco.

July 31, 2011

Vacation! – Heading Out

We’re heading out today.  Got the RV packed over Saturday, and finished up today, Sunday, July 31.  Going to try and post each day, or at least at each location, and try out this new blog posting theme for WordPress.  These are coming in a day late, because for some reason, my brand new laptop has decided that I turned off the wireless switch, while it is actually turned on.  Thank goodness for multiple connectivity options!