Day 8 and 9

Despite the weather being perfectly adequate and the proximity to San Francisco being desirable, there simply weren’t any suitable campsites in the vicinity.  They were all too far from the beach or town, or were worse than the one we stayed at last night.  At least it had some bark mulch, a few of the others we looked at were wall to wall black-top.

So, we had a quick breakfast and were on the road at 9:12.  Google maps told us the drive would be 3:36 minutes.  Of course google doesn’t factor in gas, pee and lunch.

The fog was thick near San Francisco, but beyond that the highway leveled out and the drive was ridiculously easy compared to days prior; the 101 started out at 6 lanes per direction.

One of the pee breaks worked very well in our favour.  Miwa really had to go at about 11:55, so we pulled into the next town, Greenfield.  It turned out that english was definitely the second language here, and that every second restaurant was a taqueria.  We went to the “Taqueria Las Fuentes”, and it felt like we were in Mexico.  Jill ordered in spanish, the decor was sparse, there was a TV playing spanish shows and a couple old dudes that looked like they’d been there all day.  I’m glad the authenticity ended when the toilet actually had a seat (something we had experienced when we went on our honeymoon many years ago, Q and A might remember)

The 101 went through some pretty big vineyards, I guess that’s how they can make a bottle of wine for under $3.  Sadly, Jill and I haven’t been able to go to a single vineyard yet.  Perhaps in the next couple of days we will get the chance to leave the girls with the grandparents and get some wine direct from the winery rather than Safeway.

We pulled into the campground at Pismo beach around 3:15, having turned an estimated 3.5 hour trip in to a 6 hour trek.  The “campground” is definitely of the cheek to jowl type, but there is a grassy median with trees, and the paved road is lined with palms. There is an activity centre with a pool, general store and a few other amenities.

Our site is about 75m from the playground, so the girls played there while we set up camp.  In fact they played there until 4:45 when we headed off for dinner(note to self…. no more dinners out… bad idea grumpy girls, grumpy Jill etc.)

This campground is very well situated and downtown is only a 5-10 minute walk away.  We had tacos for dinner, and walked back along the waterfront.




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Apparently I need to issue a retraction.  Occasionally, I write things into the draft for the blog that are only intended to entertain Jill, and they are edited out before publication. However, the bit about my parents being escorted out of San Francisco by the police got left in.  This did not actually happen. Instead, they hit a tree with the camper while trying to pull over to read a map.  My apologies to those of you who spent any time searching Youtube for video of the police escort.

It felt a little weird this morning, not having to hook up the Trillium and head off to our next destination.  The kids didn’t care though and spent the first few hours of the day at the playground. Ru-chan pretended she was a dog pretty much the entire time.  I’m not entirely sure if we should tolerate or censure this behaviour, but it was pretty disturbing when she licked one of the handrails…


Jill and I took Ru-Chan and went to get the muffler repaired at a local auto repair shop (Central Coast Custom).  The estimate was very reasonable at $110 and less than 2 hours, so we said okay, grabbed our bags and went off in search of other supplies to deal with all of the things that had been annoying us.

In all we accomplished a lot today.
Repaired muffler
Fixed water supply plumbing
Got new fittings to allow direct hook-up of sink drain to sewer.
Replaced faulty water pump switch.
Added a multimeter to the tool kit.
Cleaned out the mildew on 3/4 of the Trillium.

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(Notice the beer while Jill works)

In the afternoon we headed down to the beach and went for a walk off to the Monarch Butterfly Grove.  It turns out that there is a population of Monarch’s that overwinters in Pismo Beach.  Pretty neat really.

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The girls had a blast on the beach as always.  Ru had a solid half hour of pure joy.

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The girls and I spent about 45 minutes in the pool before dinner. Definitely a plus for the parking lot style RV parks.  I was swimming in the pool with Ru clinging to my back when suddenly a voice asked, “Is it warm?” then there was a loud bang when the gate shut.  I was rather startled, and being full of tact, I said, “It is now that you’ve scared the piss out of me!”  Fortunately she thought I was joking and laughed a bit.

We’ve been having great success with prepared meats from Safeway, and tonight was another.  We had one chicken breast stuffed with bacon, cheese and mushroom, along with another stuffed with asparagus and several cheeses.

My parents had the marinated pork loin that we had had several nights go, and declared it their best meal to date.  Definitely a lesson learned from this trip (full list to be published at end of trip); when on a road trip through the States, have a Safeway club membership.  It saves serious money on alcohol, and may save a bit on food too.

Girls are asleep and Jill and I are having such a nice time out by the fire that we are considering staying an extra night here.