Another Trip to Oceanside and a New Puppy
February 7-10, 2008
(Photos on this page were lost during an earlier site transfer)
Day 1, Thursday, February 7, Home to Flying J in Frazier Park, CA Via SR99, I-5: 267 miles
This trip was to take place several weeks ago, but was postponed due to snow on the Tehachapies. By making the trip later, the weather was sunny and clear – but still quite cool.
I left home in time to arrive at Fresno to meet my cousins, Ken and Merle Jean, for lunch at a local IHOP restaurant. I’ve met them several times enroute to Dean’s and always enjoy their company. I continued south after lunch, arriving near the summit of the Grapevine around 5:00 in the evening.
After settling in at the Flying J lot and downing a couple of Tom Collins cocktails, it was time for dinner. I couldn’t resist the call of the fried chicken from the buffet at Flying J, so I yielded to the temptation and pigged out. Of course I had to include plenty of mashed potatoes and country gravy in my feast, too.
Day 2, Friday, Frazier Park, CA to Guajome Park, Oceanside via I-5: 155 miles
I spent a quiet and comfortable night at the Flying J lot. I was up before the sun and relaxed watching Fox News and Rural TV on the satellite TV while downing a few cups of coffee – decaf for this nervous old man. I had just a couple slices of toast and my usual grapefruit for breakfast before hitting the road. The misery of the LA freeways waited ahead of me, and I was ready to get on through LA to Oceanside.
The drive was the usual through LA. It was often stop and go and much frustration with all the traffic. Also, as usual, once I reached Orange County, I-5 opened up with more and newer lanes and driving was much improved.
I arrived at the beautiful and quiet Guajome Park at 11:30 a.m. After setting up the coach as my home for the next couple of days, I relaxed ’til Dean arrived.
We just hung around the coach awhile, took a walk and enjoyed our own company – a pleasure that is entirely too rare for us. Eventually we drove up to his home to check on their new puppy, a beautiful Golden Retriever named Sally that is already becoming a big dog.
We decided to head over to a Mexican restaurant for an early dinner together – and I pigged out once again. I seldom allow myself the pleasure of Mexican food, but that meal was an exception. It was wonderful. I also enjoyed a margarita that was the size of a small bucket. mmmm.
The grandkids, Connor and Aidan, soon arrived home with their mom after a dinner of pizza at Chuck E. Cheese. The kids were happy to see “Grandpa with a mustache”, and I enjoyed their exuberance. For a short while, that is. Grandpa isn’t cut out for a lot of noise and high intensity activity. But it is a wonderful joy to hug ’em and love ’em for a few minutes ’til they get started with all the noise. They are a couple of wonderful and loving kids.
I returned to the coach a bit after dark to spend a comfortable and quiet night aboard the coach.
Day 3, Saturday, at home in the coach
I was up early, as usual, and took my time downing a few cups of decaf coffee while watching the endless presidential race on Fox TV. I discovered that I enjoy watching a new, to me, channel called Rural TV. It’s all about farm and ranch life and rural social life. I find it very interesting, as I’d love to have been a country boy, I think. I guess I miss the traditional ways that I see on Rural TV.
It was late in the morning when Dean came by to pick me up. We went to lunch at a nearby Chinese restaurant that we both enjoy – and lingered over the fine food as we talked of days gone by when he was at home. It’s good to remember the past with someone you love – even though old guys like me seem to have forgotten too many yesterdays.
Dean dropped me off at the coach while he took Connor to his kiddy basketball game. I suppose I should have gone to watch my grandson play, but I can’t handle the noise and crowds of kids and parents at such affairs. Yes, I’m an old grouch.
I rejoined Dean, Melissa and the kids in the afternoon. We played a bit more catch in the backyard, and just hung out together. Dean barbecued some pork chops as Melissa whipped up a good salad and we enjoyed a good dinner together.
I brought the kids their belated Christmas gifts, so we had a gift opening party as they ripped into the toys. A bit later, this old man needed to head back to the coach for an early bedtime. I would be leaving early in the morning on the drive back home.
Day 4, Sunday, February 10, Oceanside, CA to Home via I-5, SR99: 405 miles
I streaked, as usual, through LA and all the suburbs in the dark of early morning. Early Sunday morning is the best time of the week to drive through LA, and that’s what I do each trip. Around 7:30 a.m. I stopped at a rest area near the top of the Grapevine in the Tehachapi Mountains. I whipped up a good breakfast and enjoyed it in the comfort of the coach. After cleaning up the kitchen, I continued my trip north, heading for home.
I arrived at home a bit after 1:00 p.m. and set about unloading all the stuff from the coach. I dumped the tanks and charged them, then put the coach away ‘til the next trip. I then set myself down to make reservations in May for another stay at Guajome Park for another visit with the kids. I was lucky; I found my favorite space available and reserved it.
And I’m already looking forward to the next trip…
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