Day 10 and 11(actually posted morning of Day 12)

Day 10

I took note of the odometer this morning, it was a 2320 km trip down here.  The plan is to take the interstates on the way back, so it will be interesting to see how much shorter the drive is.

After the obligatory morning stint at the playground, we headed into San Luis Obispo for a day of touristing.

SLO (as many local t-shits and signs would have it styled) was a pretty neat little town.  Lots of funky little shops, a large amount of pubs, and the single most disgusting tourist “attraction” known to man; Bubble Gum Alley.  A 100’ alley with what appeared to be up to 3” of used bubblegum stuck to the walls along the sides of the alley.  Jill may have barfed a little in her mouth when we stopped to look at it. IMG-20150120-01097

We managed to recover our appetites by lunch time and had a nice alfresco meal along the banks of the creek that wound through town.

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Jill had forgotten her bathing suit, and couldn’t find one in SLO’s downtown, so we stopped at Target on our way back to Pismo.  The bathing suit search didn’t take long, but we then spent the next half hour wandering around the 12 acre store trying to find clothes pins.  We’d left poor Mother out with the car and were a little concerned she might expire in the heat.

Back at the campground, Jill put her new suit to use as we took the girls to the pool.  Ru-chan wanted to see her ocean right after, so I took her down for a little run around on the sand.

For dinner, I popped into town and went to a taco place we had spotted while getting our muffler fixed.  20 tacos for $26.99.  It fed us all (Val and Ken included) with 4 left over.

I also stopped at the neighboring liquor store for beer and firewood.  Only $3.99 a bundle, by far the cheapest wood I’ve seen yet on this trip.  I got Dos Equis to go with the tacos.

After dinner, Ru-chan went crazy for half an hour then crashed out. We told stories around the fire and had s’mores.  Good times.
We decided to stay until Thursday, so the timeline for the trip home will be pretty tight.  Tomorrow we will check out a bit more of the area, as we are thinking this may become an annual trip.  Not the long slog along the coast, but a swifter trip to Pismo and more time spent here.

Day 11

Today started off early for me.  On our way into town yesterday we saw a cinnamon bun shop that opened at 6:30.  So at 6:25 I hopped in the car and drove.  My intent had been to sneak out and surprise everyone, but Ru woke up 5 minutes before I headed out the door. The buns were awesome and enjoyed by all.

After the requisite playground interlude, we went to see the Monarch Grove again.  It was much warmer today and the butterflies were flying around and “dating” (not mating, the park staff assured us, that would be lewd.)  The Park Rangers did actually put on a very good presentation about the lifecycle of the Monarch, Miwa (and Ru) sat still and paid attention for a solid 20 minutes.  Now we think we should pant some milkweed and tag some butterflies and see if they make it down here.

Look closely at this tree.
The light was better in the morning and we took the telephoto lens, so we got some good pictures which we’ll post a bit later.

We had a leftovers lunch, since we are on the road again tomorrow and don’t want a bunch of stuff going bad in the fridges.

After lunch we walked down to the pier for some frozen yogurt and watched the surfers and fishermen from the pier for a while before walking back to the campsite along the beach.

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Then the pool where Miwa played until she started shivering, Ru was fine, but she’s still got a bit more insulation than Miwa does.

For dinner we opted for the restaurant at the campsite, just to give it a chance.  It was Mexican night; Jill ordered the chimichangas and I go the tacos.  The tacos were okay, but definitely the least favorite thus far on the trip.  The chimichangas were delicious, and I ate the second half of Jill’s order after she finished.  I can’t believe I ate the whole thing…

A nice relaxing day prior to the long haul north that lies ahead.