To Oceanside to visit the Family!
2014- 7-24, Thursday, Day 1. Home to Frazier Park, CA via SR99, I-5: 256 miles
Yep. It was that time once again to climb aboard the coach and head to Oceanside to see my son, Dean, and family. They were in our area the weekend before for a family visit at Craig’s in Stockton, but Uncle Fun kept those boyz so dazzled with the boating and knee boarding, as usual, that visits from stodgy ol’ Grandpa Mustache were likely forgotten as I walked out the door. I wanted some MY time with Dean and family, and so I headed south.
As usual I spent an hour or two on Tuesday cleaning the inside of the coach. On Wednesday I spent a couple hours washing the outside of the coach, and it was filthy from the Oregon trip earlier in the month. On Thursday morning before leaving I loaded the relatively few things I need for just four days on the road. Nowadays I have to spread the work out over three days or it won’t get done; I poop out just way too quickly.
I left town a bit before 1000, gassed up at the local Flying J in Ripon, the “cheapest” gas around, then continued on to Fresno.
I again planned to meet my dear cousins, Murle Jean and Genene who are sisters and both in their eighties, for lunch near their homes in Fresno. We’ve known each other a lifetime and these get-togethers grow sweeter as the years go by.
After our visit, I continued south to Bakersfield where I topped off the gas tank at the local Flying J for $3.90 per. I planned to spend the night at Frazier Park’s Flying J, near the summit of the Grapevine in the Tehachapi Mountains where they sold the stuff for $4.07 per. I’d spend the night in their lot, but I’d pass on their price.
I pulled into the Flying J in Frazier Park at 1730 and made myself at home for the night. I got right to “work” editing photos and writing this travelogue. It was cool enough at nearly 4000 feet that I didn’t need the air conditioner. It was warm in the coach, but not uncomfortable with a window and the door open. A nice breeze blew through the lot keeping the place cooled down fairly well.
The Barefoot Writer stayed busy with the travelogue.
Around 1900 I tossed a frozen egg, cheese, and sausage sandwich into the microwave for dinner. It was the same faux McMuffin I got hooked on during the Oregon trip earlier in the month. Mmmmmmm. They are good! But at least I eat ’em only on my RV trips.
I spent the evening watching more of the WWII documentary I have in a DVD set. Again. I should have had the whole 12 or 13 volumes memorized by then, I suppose. It was after 2200 that I got sleepy and hit the sack. As usual aboard the coach, I slept like a baby.
Friday, Day 2. Frazier Park to Dean’s in Oceanside via I-5, SR138, I-15,
I-215, SR76: 193 miles
I was up and around a bit after 0600. It was a beautiful morning in the Tehachapis.
Jacks down at Frazier Park’s Flying J Plaza, looking up at the Tehachapis. It was a beautiful day to continue on to Dean’s in Oceanside.
I would try a new route to Dean’s on Day 2, having considered several options. I could have taken SR58 east from Bakersfield and spent the night in the Mojave Desert, near Boron, CA, and dealt with 100°+ heat, but I would have missed LALA Land. Or I could have gone through LALA Land and spend the night at nearly 4000 feet in Frazier Park. I opted for a third, hybrid plan. I’d spend the night at the cooler and more comfy Frazier Park, but then instead of going through LALA Land, I’d take SR138 east from I-5 just south of Frazier Park over to I-15 and I-215 and still miss LALA Land. What a plan! And so I did.
Turning off to SR138 and a new route to Oceanside. At least I missed LALA Land!
The drive across SR138 and SR14 to the towns of Palmdale and Littlerock was wide open and quite scenic ‘til I got to the towns. From Palmdale on to I-15 the drive was quite busy with too many traffic lights and SoCal traffic. But at least it wasn’t I-5 and I-405 through LALA Land. The new route was about 30 miles or so longer, but worth the drive.
I made it! As I’ve written before, happiness is seeing a Cadillac in your kids’ driveway!
I arrived at Dean’s a bit before 1230. He was home alone, busy at his work-from-home thing, and on the phone for the first 15 minutes of my visit. But when he hung up the phone he was done with work for the weekend. Melissa and Conner were in Huntington Beach for a regional life guard competition. Aidan was at a “College for Kids” class where he was learning science lessons which is right down his alley. Dean and I had the afternoon to ourselves.
We headed down to Oceanside Harbor for lunch, and tried the “new” restaurant that we often ate at in the past, but was closed during my last visit. It had closed, remodeled, and recently opened under new ownership and a new name, Oceanside Broiler. Dean ordered his favorite beer, I ordered a margarita. We enjoyed an appetizer of coconut shrimp with fruit relish and Thai sauce that was superb. Dean ordered the Tuna melt and I ordered a chicken burger. For dessert we split a Crème Brulee which was to die for! We were pleased that our favorite had reopened and that it was still a great eatery.
My lovely site at Guajome – once I cropped out the neighbors.
We drove back to the house after lunch and I headed for Guajome Park to set the coach up for a couple of nights. I wasn’t able to reserve my usual space #33 and had to reserve #6. I wasn’t as isolated as my favorite, and the view out my table window was of a motorhome instead of landscape as is my favored space. But, oh well, it would be just the one visit and I’d make do.
The neighbor outside my window consisted of grandma and grandpa, daughter, and four loud and antsy kids – plus one in the oven. I listened to the kids’ screaming most of the time ‘til Dean came and rescued me. When I returned for the night they were still at it, shouting and running around like a tribe of wild injuns. Fortunately, around 2030 when I took my shower, they must have gone inside for the night. I never heard another sound out of ‘em.
Four rug rats, mom, grandma, and one in the oven. I knew it would be a noisy stay. However, after all was said and done, they were pretty good neighbors – if I must put up with neighbors at all.
At Dean’s I spent the time on the couch visiting, watching TV and just hanging out with Dean and Aidan. When Melissa and Connor arrived back home from their two day trip for the lifeguard competition, it was good to visit with them. Connor placed fourth out of 36 boys in his division, and qualified for the nationals in Virginia in September. He didn’t seem to want to attend the nationals, but he was proud of his medal and placing 4th in the regional.
Around 2000 Dean drove me back to the park and I settled into the coach for the night. As mentioned earlier, the racket next to me died down and I enjoyed an hour or two watching the WWII documentary and downing a couple of Roady cocktails. Maybe three.
I hit the sack around 2300 and slept very well. It had been a long and pleasant day.
Saturday, Day 3, A family day in Oceanside.
I was up and at ‘em a bit before 0600. I had my chores done and taken a walk by 0700 when I made my usual call home to talk with dear Wifey. It would be 101° at home, and the same the next day when I’d be driving home. Ugh.
Oceanside had been dealing with unusual weather when I arrived. It was hot, muggy, and very unlike the usual summertime weather in the San Diego area. Even my walk before 0700 was unusually warm and muggy.
Life at the Gillespie’s: The horses, well behaved and lovable, are always underfoot. Here Aidan taps away on his ubiquitous pad or tablet or whatever it’s called.
I spent the morning in the coach writing this travelogue and editing photos. I was pleasantly surprised to see that only grandpa and grandma seemed to be moving about the space next to me. Eventually the whole bunch came tumbling out of the coach, neat and tidy and ready for what I guessed was a trip to the beach. The whole family, except mom whom I didn’t see, headed off and I was relieved.
Dean picked me up a bit after 1000 and we headed back to the house for a short time. We then headed to a Vietnamese restaurant for lunch. It was a place we’ve tried before, but only once. It was a good change of pace, but it wasn’t Chinese. I still prefer the food at Chin’s, a local Chinese restaurant.
Connor had just walked Chloe, the Great Pyrenees pet horse. Here Aidan joins them on the front lawn.
Back home we hung around the house all day. The boyz seemed to occupy most of their time with electronics, which I guess is what kids do nowadays. Connor headed to the local pool for a swim with his friend. Around 1730 Dean began dinner as Melissa had left early that morning for Boston on business. Dean whipped up some “man” tacos with carne asada, rice, beans, and cheese. They were very good, but I held myself to just a couple, one of which was actually a burrito.
With some effort, I grabbed Connor and Aidan for a quick photo with Grandpa Mustache. Both kids were doing very well and are very loving. It’s always a pleasure to spend some time with them.
After dinner Dean drove me home as I like an early evening in the coach so I can hit the sack around 2100. I’d be getting up sometime around 0400 to head for home.
As we drove up to the coach, I noticed new neighbors across from me had arrived with two yappy dogs. I hoped for the best, but the dogs were tied to trees and yapped at passing people and other dogs. I didn’t expect much from these neighbors, either.
And sure enough… after my shower and thinking I was settled in for the night, the low-life’s dogs were barking constantly. Tied to the trees after dark, and their owners inside the coaches visiting, of course the dogs wanted some attention and so they barked. I put on my shoes and walked over to the idiots and ask them to do something about the dogs, and told them that there was no excuse for all the noise. Mama agreed completely and after explaining that they belonged to her adult son, who was nowhere around at the time, took care of the situation. Is it possible that rational adults could sit inside their coach, within easy earshot of the barking dogs, actually need a neighbor to point out the obvious? Apparently so. Sheesh.
I spent the evening updating this travelogue and editing the many photos. And I watched a bit of Driving Miss Daisy while enjoying a couple of my Roady cocktails. I hit the sack around 2130 and slept well.
Day 4, Sunday. Dean’s to Home via I-5, SR99 = 406 miles
The park stayed quiet the rest of the night. I was up at 0430 as planned, and prepared to pull out of the low-life neighborhood I had to live in for two days. Honestly, in the future, if I cannot get a good, quiet space in the park I’ll simply stay home. It just isn’t worth the hassle of putting up with idiots. If I could stay at the local Walmart, which is one of the few that doesn’t allow overnight parking, I probably would. I’ve never had to deal with the sort of people and problems in a Walmart lot as those I’ve dealt with in the three RV parks I’ve had to stay in the past year.
I drove out of Guajome Park at 0530 and headed down the hill to I-5 and then headed north for home.
The drive home was uneventful. I stopped at the Bakersfield Flying J and loaded on 30 gallons of gas. While there I ordered a Subway breakfast sandwich and ate it aboard the coach before leaving. I made one other stop at a Mickey D’s somewhere along the highway for a large coffee and a Reese’s McFlurry. That combination jolts me wide awake and in this case it kept me alert the rest of the drive home.
.…when we can’t maintain the basic roads?! This section has been patched for decades, and is among the roughest sections in the state by my experience.
The 400+ mile drive from Dean’s to home is longer than I usually drive in a day, but I always drive all the way home in one day from Oceanside. I leave so early because driving through LALA Land on a Sunday morning is a breeze. It isn’t really LALA Land early on a Sunday morning.
LALA Land early on Sunday morning when driving through is a breeze -except for the bumpy, neglected I-5.
If my memory serves me, over 50 years ago when my Mom drove my sis and I by this grand old building nearly every week it was a tire manufacturing company. It is now a fancy shopping center.
Dropping down from the Grapevine into the Central Valley.
Bakersfield is mighty proud of her country crooners!
I pulled in front of our home at 1315 after the long drive home. I unloaded the food items and a few other things, then parked the coach. Everything else waited ‘til the following morning to be unloaded and dumped.
It had been another rewarding trip to visit my son and his wife and to watch those grandkids grow like weeds. It won’t be long and I’ll be looking up to Connor as he’s catching up to my 5’8″ fast! I’m already looking forward to my October visit – and I’ve got my favorite space already reserved so I won’t be stuck in the dog and kid section again!