Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Good Life

I don't know about the rest of the RVer's out there....full time or part time folks....but we are having a good life!  

Perfect?  No
Hassle free?  No
Fun?  Yes
Interesting?  Yes
Rewarding?  Yes

We took a walk out on the beach and I just couldn't help but think....Wow!  Thank you for the blessings in my life!

The beach was beautiful this afternoon.  We walked out from the RV park and went south on the hard-packed sand.  It was low tide.  The sky was blue and there were just a few puffy white clouds in view.  We walked all the way down until we were on the State Beach Vehicle Recreation Area.  This is where you can drive cars and ATV's right out onto the sand and do whatever it is people find fun with that activity.
On our walk, I saw some horse's hoof prints.  We didn't see the horse?  Where'd he go?
We also saw a Giant Schnauzer with her Mommy enjoying the beach.  At least it looked like a Giant Schnauzer to me.  What a great looking dog.  I love to look at all of the different dogs we see here at Pismo Beach.
It was mid-afternoon and there weren't any good looking shells to be found, but we tried.  The early morning beachcombers probably found the good ones already.  Bruce picked one up, but it wasn't real good.  He threw it back into the ocean.

Once we had gone as far as we wanted to walk, we turned around to head back to Pismo Coast Village.  I saw this little gull limping down the beach.  The poor little guy had a broken foot and it was sort of hanging there.  Why didn't he just fly then?  He wouldn't say.
The dunes on this part of the beach are really beautiful.  It's always fun to walk down and check them out.

Not much going on around here today.  Again, that's part of the beauty of living our dream.  We don't "have" to be doing anything.  

Until next long for now!   

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sharing Some of Pismo Beach

We've been here at the Pismo Coast Village for 16 days.  Having a great time, even though we had some pretty rough weather for about 6 of those days.  As usual with weather, the rain and wind passed through in time.

Yesterday was Friday and that usually begins the parade of "weekenders" coming to check into the RV park.  Then, those that don't depart on Sunday will be leaving on Monday morning.  Then we have the park left for us longer-stay guests until the next Friday afternoon arrives, and we begin it all again. 

The main downtown section of Pismo Beach experiences it's own transformation on the weekends.  If you venture down to the main shopping and dining area on a Wednesday, it looks a whole lot different than it does on a Saturday.  Bruce and I often take another walk in the afternoon and just meander down by the pier and the beach area.  I always bring my camera in case I just have to get that "great shot" of something.  We don't bring Annie along anymore.  The poor old girl just can't walk that far these days.  

In the early morning hours, just after daybreak, when we are out for our 1-hour walk this is how Pomeroy Street looks.  It is usually just us, the restaurant delivery trucks, and the street sweeper or garbage collector at this hour.  This is the lower part of the street not far from the pier.
This is the upper part of the same street -- plenty of street parking at 6:30 am. 
The Splash Cafe is a real hot-spot for locals and tourists alike.  They have the best Clam Chowder (according to them).  It must be true because on a Saturday or Sunday there will be a line of people waiting to get in that stretches around the corner and down the block.  There are cute figures painted on one side of their building.
This is Chele's Restaurant across the street from The Splash Cafe.  It is equally as good as The Splash, in our opinion.  Both of them have great seafood items on the menu, plus other items to interest the "I'm not eating fish" people.
This is the Old West Bakery that specializes in hot, fresh baked cinnamon rolls.  So far, in all of the years we have been coming here, we have managed to NOT GO IN.  It's difficult some mornings when we walk by and can enjoy that cinnamon smell wafting out the door.  It is "the spot" for a quick breakfast and a coffee for locals and tourists.
One afternoon right after our storms passed through, we walked down to the pier.  This is the view we saw looking from the beach up into the town of Pismo Beach and the hillsides beyond that are filled with large homes.
It was low tide and I was able to walk under the pier and take a picture looking out at the ocean waves.
On our walk back to the RV park we saw this great looking Pelican and some seagulls poking around in the sand.
Right before you get to the walk-in gate for the RV park, you cross this wooden one-lane bridge.  It goes across the creek (river?) that flows out past Pismo Coast Village and to the ocean.
In the evening,  I did take Annie for her own walk in the RV park and we both enjoyed the remains of a nice sunset.  

Just another laid-back day here at the beach. 

Until next long for now!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Montana de Oro State Park

Yesterday, after we picked Annie up at Petco, we set out for Montana de Oro State Park.  The park is west of San Luis Obispo near the town of Los Osos.  We'd been here on one other visit to Pismo, so we decided to come back and bring our picnic lunch.

Los Osos is probably about 10 miles or so (west) from San Luis.  Montana de Oro is another 4 miles west of Los Osos right on the coast.  The name Montana de Oro means "Mountain of Gold" in Spanish.  The name comes from the fact that in late spring golden wildflowers grow throughout the area. 

As you begin the drive onto the park's 8,000 acres, you can look across the bay to see the town of Morro Bay, and Morro Rock.  There is no charge to enter this state park or to use the day-use areas and trails.
We made our first stop at this picnic area....we were hungry!
This park is mainly used by hikers, mountain bike riders, horseback riders, picnic people, and swimmers (if you can stand the cold water).  Here are several photos taken at various points throughout Montana de Oro.  (click on photos for larger view)

There is one open campground here-- Islay Creek Campground.  You can bring small RV's in (30 foot or less probably) but there are no facilities.  Pit toilets and water faucets.  There was one camp host in place, 1 motorhome camping and a few sites taken up with tenters.  
Spooner's Cove is a swimming beach...but very rocky and not suitable for much swimming, in my opinion. 
If you're just looking for a place to do some easy hiking or to enjoy some time sunbathing, this may be a place you'd like to check out sometime.  It is a quiet haven from the hustle and bustle of city life, not that Los Osos or San Luis have much hustle and bustle! 

Just thought you might like to take a peak at a little known state park here in central California.

Until next long for now!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa

We spent today in San Luis Obispo and the vicinity.  San Luis Obispo...aka SLO or San Luis as they call it around here, is about 12 miles north of Pismo Beach via Hwy. 101.  It was time for Annie to get her hair-do again.  We have used a Petco store in San Luis on previous visits, so we returned there.

While Annie was getting her day at the spa, we made the short journey to Mission Plaza in the downtown core of San Luis.  This is the location of the 5th California misson to be established for a total of 21.  I don't want to sound like your 4th grade teacher, so I'll make the history lesson as short as I can.

The mission was founded by Father Serra on September 1, 1772 and the town of San Luis Obispo grew up aroud the mission, which is still the "town center."  It is still an active parish, serving over 2,200 families in this area. The official name of this mission is Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, and was named after Saint Louis, Bishop of Toulouse, France.
We were able to go through the small mission museum to see artifacts from the early days. 
An original alter, now kept behind a glass wall for protection, was displayed.
Here is an olive press used in the 1700's by the Chumash Indians for the mission.  Also, a dining room was displayed to show us how the missionaries lived.
The Spanish controled this territory and they sent Don Gaspar de Portola on an expedition to rediscover the Monterey Bay area.  A mission was established in the Monterey/Carmel area but began doing poorly.  Their supplies and food were dwindling.  Don Gaspar de Portola remembered the area they'd passed through (SLO today) and he sent a hunting party down to kill some grizzly bears.  The grizzly bears were so plentiful that they had named the area La Canada de Los Osos (translated means:  Canyon of the Bears).  The Mission San Luis Obispo was established at this time.

After revolting against Spanish rule, Mexico won independence in 1822 and California came under Mexican control.  Mexico cared little about maintaining and supporting the Franciscans and their missions.  In 1845 Governor Pio Pico sold off all of the mission land in San Luis Obispo, except the church building.  It soon fell into ruin and was even used as a courthouse and jail for the county for many years.  

Finally, in 1872 interest began to grow again and improvements began, with the repurchase of mission land as well.   Repairs progressed slowly until 1933 when things really improved.  At that time the mission was restored to early mission style, as it appears today. 

This is the sanctuary used today for worship services.
Once outside in the garden, we can see the arbor running the length of one brick walkway.  No leaves right is winter, even in California.

Courtyard outside the side exit doors.

Across the plaza area in front of the mission is the San Luis Obispo Creek.  The creek winds itself through the main downtown area of the city. 
There is also a path to take the visitor on a nice tree-lined walk alongside the creek.

The 21 California Missions are interesting places to visit.  Fellow RV bloggers Rick and Paulette recently visited 2 other area missions, Mission Santa Ines and La Purisima Mission.  Check their blog for great info and photos.  Bruce and I have visited at least 14 of the missions over the years and we hope to see them all someday.  I highly recommend that you try to visit at least one of them during your vacation travels in California.

After our tour of the mission, it was time to collect our little Annie the Schnauzer.  Once we retrieved her, we all took off for a new area and a picnic.  I'll post on that another day.

Until next long for now!


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Taking a Break

It rained yesterday morning, but late in the afternoon the dark clouds blew away and we had a sun break.  We were getting a little bit of cabin fever, so we decided to take a  break and go to the park.  We had just fixed a pot of coffee, so we took our mugs with us.

We drove 2.9 miles north of Pismo Coast Village to the small community of Shell Beach.  Shell Beach is an unincorporated community within Pismo Beach.  It sits right on the bluffs overlooking the blue Pacific.

Annie got to go along with us and she had a great time.  She always does.  Mary Dodd Park is where we went, and there are plenty of benches along the bluff pathway to sit upon and just enjoy the view.  This park allows you to have an unspoiled 180 degree view looking out to sea.  Bruce enjoyed the view while sipping his coffee.

Here are several of the scenes we were able to enjoy during our time at the park.  Click on photos for a larger view.

These homes are directly across the street from Mary Dodd Park and the homeowners
 have no problem looking at the ocean from their large windows.

The force of the waves that crashed against the rocks was amazing...and noisy.

From the park we could see the pier and the town of Pismo Beach.

Just as we were getting ready to leave, I spotted Mr. Seagull taking his own break and enjoying the same beautiful views that we enjoyed.  Just another day in Paradise, I guess!

Until next long for now!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's Baaaaaaack!

The rain is back.  For how long?....we can't be sure since the weather reports have all been screwy the past few days.   It's raining pretty darn hard right now, too.  

So, I guess we'll just have another hunker-down day inside the motorhome.  That ain't half bad either, in our opinion.  I'll get back to the photo albums and Bruce will be getting back to some travel plans.

Our plan thus far is to leave Tumwater on March 27th (we'll be back up there the end of Feb) and head south once again on I-5.  We will go to I-10 and then point the motorhome east.  Last March we went to I-40 and then east because we went to Virginia for 1 month before going to Florida.  This year we are going to Florida first and then up to Virginia.   I'll post more details on all of this at some future time.  The big plan, after 2 weeks back in Walt Disney World, will be our trip from East to West on U.S. Hwy 50. 

We'll be connecting with Hwy. 50 up in Virginia after 4 days visiting with family there.  Bruce has been looking at the different places to stay along our planned route.  Not a lot of our membership parks along that "lonely road" but there are enough to choose from in the Trailer Life Book if we can't get to a member park.  We've got some ideas on tap for the remainder of 2010 and are already thinking about possibilities for 2011.  We are never at a loss for ideas of places we'd like to see, that's for sure.  We are planning to return here to the Pismo Coast Village, beginning in September, this year and will stay for 48 days.

Nothing else to write about today.  We went out yesterday afternoon and I got several good pics of the Shell Beach area.  I'll save those for another post.

Until next long for now!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday....No Rain Yet

The rain never showed itself yesterday or today.  I just checked the MSN weather page and it still shows 90% chance of rain right now.  Hmmmm.  I just took my good friend, Annie, out for an evening walk and didn't feel a drop.  Not that I'm complaining, mind you.  We had enough rain last week to carry me until we get back to Tumwater on February 27th. 

No rain this morning meant we could get out for our walk at daybreak.  I brought the camera along this morning to try and get a pic of the sunrise.  Well, at least the colors in the sky toward the east.  We have some hills to the east of us and we can't really get a good view of a sunrise.  We're down a little low here being right at sea level.  But this is what I got anyway.....

After the walk and the rest of our usual routine, we decided to walk over to McDonald's and get some English muffins for breakfast.  We could have driven, but we could always use the extra exercise and we'll save some gas in the car this way.  Off we went, again bringing the camera along with us.

It's probably about 3/4 of a mile to McD's.  From Pismo Coast Village we have to walk up to Price Street, which is where you gain access to Hwy. 101 heading South.  There is a nice walking/biking path that runs alongside the highway.  Noisy, to be sure. 

From the pathway to McDonald's, we could look out over a mobile home/RV park and see the trees (way off in the distance) that mark the location of our RV park.

As we continue the walk to McD's, we are separated from the speeding cars by a Jersey Barrier.  Not my favorite part of the walk, but it is the only way to cross the ravine below. 

After we returned from our breakfast, we just spent a day hanging around the old homestead.  Bruce was working on our budget for 2010, making sure we had enough money for what we have planned,  and I was trying to catch up on photo albums for the "Grands".   I never seem to be able to catch up with that project.  :(

Around 5:20 I walked down to the observation tower to see if we'd be having a good sunset tonight.  Well, not great.  I took a couple of photos anyway just because I was there.  I'll keep trying for some better pics during our remaining 4 weeks here.

I hope you all had a great day, wherever you are.
Until next long for now!