(Photos lost during earlier site migration.)
The Kids’ Place in Oceanside
August 2-5, 2007
Day 1, Thursday, August 2, Home to Frazier Park, CA via SR33, I-5: 259 miles
As usual when I head to my son Dean and his family for my quarterly visit, the first day is a relatively short drive to Frazier Park and the Flying J Travel Plaza where I spend the first night. So I left late morning and was in no hurry to make the 260 mile drive. After all, I had nothing to do at my first stop but to spend the night. I usually head down SR33 which runs through the valley farms that are tucked next to the foothills below I-5. SR33 connects to I-5 at the famous Anderson’s Soup Restaurant near Gustine, CA.
I always enjoy the country drive to get to I-5, then I cuss Caltrans as I endure the pothole ridden mess that I-5 has become. Although they made improvements a couple of years ago, the repairs have once again deteriorated into the old potholes that should have been replaced instead of patched. I often noted that I-80 to Colorado is under constant replacement during the summers. The projects place both directions of traffic on one side of the highway while the other side is completely repaved. Such repairs are just what California (and the feds) need to do with many of California’s rotten highways, but I’ve never seen a highway replaced in California. All I ever see is patch-patch-patch.
My trip to Frazier Park and my night there were both unremarkable, just as I want them to be. I downed a few brews as afternoon became evening and I watched old UFC fights on the DVD player. I slept well and prepared for the most miserable part of the trip: The drive through LA.
Day 2, Friday, August 3, Frazier Park to Oceanside, CA via I-5: 155 Miles.
I left Flying J about 0800 and drove the few remaining miles to Tejon Summit which is about 4250 ft. From there it’s a long drop into the”southland” and the misery that is Los Angeles. I cannot fathom how anyone can live there. It is ugly, crowded, snarled, hot and has a pall of urban decay that hangs over the city like a cloud of death. I really, truly hate Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. I fought the traffic on through the blight until I reached Orange County where I-5 opens into more lanes, a new highway that must have been built in the years before I began my regular trips to Dean’s family. The trip on south from Orange County is much more tolerable than through L.A.
I arrived at Guajome Park, a San Diego County park within walking distance (for younger folks) of my son’s home in Oceanside. I called him as soon as I dropped the jacks, extended the slide and plugged into the AC electricity. He drove right over, picked me up and took me to lunch at a lovely marina restaurant that overlooks Oceanside Harbor. We had a great visit and enjoyed getting together again. After lunch he dropped me off at the coach while he tended to job related things at home. Later we drove to a Vietnamese restaurant and had dinner. Meanwhile Melissa, his wife, and the two boys returned home from their busy days and we joined them after our dinner. I spent time with the whole family for a couple of hours, then was driven back to the coach where I spent a quiet and much needed restful night.
Day 3, Saturday, August 4, at camp in Guajome Park.
How anyone can call this camping, I do not know. A few folks in this park “campground” are using tents, but the vast majority are in RVs. I have my own shower, rest room, full kitchen, air conditioning, TV and most of the other conveniences of home. This is hardly “roughing it”. If I had to rough it, I wouldn’t be here. I like my comfort. Our coach, a 32 foot Class A, has enough capacity in her fresh water tank and holding tanks that I don’t have to hook up to water or sewer for shorter trips such as this. That adds even more convenience to this “camping”. I like it.
I slept in, for me, ’til about 0600 and began my morning chores. I ate the leftover Vietnamese dinner for breakfast and watched more DVDs ’til it was time for my son to pick me up once again about 1000.
Melissa and the soon to be three year old, Aidan, attended a birthday party elsewhere as Dean, Connor and I just hung out around the house and backyard. We played ball, practiced batting, fielding, etc. and just had a good time together. We cram quite a bit of time together on these short trips and that makes them more enjoyable. I make a point of visiting every three months so the kids know who their grandpa is – and to stay in touch with my son and his wife, Melissa. It’s all good.
Later in the day, Melissa and Aidan came home and we all visited for awhile –and watched Aidan open his birthday gift. The boys had a grand time with the radio controlled toy as we adults decided it should be an outside toy because it was a noisy thing. They had a get together with neighbors that evening, so Dean took me home around 1800. I did a number of chores to be ready for an early start for home on Sunday morning. I hit the sack early.
Day 4, Sunday, August 5, Oceanside, CA to Home via I-5, SR99: 404 Miles.
I was up a bit before 0400, did my usual morning routines and hit the road at 0430. The drive through LA in the early morning hours of Sunday is a piece of cake. I was atop Tejon Summit around 0700 and pulled in to the Rest Area. I whipped up a good breakfast and called home before climbing back in the saddle and contining toward home.
I arrived home about 1245. I emptied the coach of all my stuff, dumped the holding tanks, washed the front of the coach and had it put away within a couple of hours. I was home and it felt good. The drive home in one day is a bit over 400 miles and is pretty tiring for this old geezer. But I have to leave early to miss LA traffic and it makes no sense to spread the drive over two days when I start at 0430.
My next trip to see the family will be in November – and I’m already looking forward to it.
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