Monday, September 29, 2008

Pismo Beach, Calif. and Pismo Coast Village Resort

We finally arrived in Pismo Beach, California which is one of our favorite places to be. We've been here now for about 3 weeks and are enjoying it very much.
The diesel fuel for the drive down here cost us $480.00. That is a lot of money but we can stay here rent-free once we get here. To drive down in the car would cost a lot for gasoline, plus you have to factor in the cost of lodging and restaurant meals along the way. Then after you got here you'd have to stay in a motel or rent a vacation home. The motels cost, on average, $120 to $150 per day here. A vacation rental home is from $1,500 to $2,000 a WEEK, depending on how close you are to the ocean. So, even though the diesel fuel is pricey....we stayed 2 nights at casinos for free on the way down here and we can eat meals in the RV if we choose to. Different strokes for different folks!
Pismo Beach is in the "Central Coast" region of California and has fairly moderate climate all throughout the year. It sits on a scenic stretch of Highway 101 and has a wonderful boardwalk and pier for tourists as well as the locals to enjoy. There are plenty of small restaurants to sample the local seafood and several boutiques to shop in if you have the desire. Mostly, we just hang out and enjoy the weather and the scenery.
We walked down to the pier over the weekend and they were having a surfing contest. The waves here aren't gigantic but that did not prevent many surfers from catching the waves anyway. It was a sunny day so there were a lot of sunbathers, swimmers and folks walking their dogs on the beach too. Our dog, Annie, loves going out on the sand and trying to catch a seagull (she never makes it). There was one very funny incident when we were on the pier. A woman was walking with her daughter of about 4 years of age. The little girl saw a bird and asked what it was. Her mom says, "That's a pelican". Well, I didn't let her in on the secret that that was actually a big seagull she was calling a pelican. Whatever!
Speaking of pelicans.....we've never seen so many pelicans here before. Pismo is apparently on the migration path for the brown pelicans and they are in residence right now. Lots and lots of them! They are quite interesting to watch.
Just to the south of Pismo is the town of Arroyo Grande which was discovered by the Spanish. The town itself wasn't founded, however, until 1862. They have a quaint part of town called the "Arroyo Grande Village" which hosts a Farmer's Market and many gift shops and boutiques. Nice place to walk around.
We are staying at the Pismo Coast Village RV Resort. This is a fantastic RV park that is right on the ocean. Only a sand dune separates us from the water. We can check out the beach action every day or walk up to the top of the dune to observe the fantastic sunsets each evening. The RV park has it's own little cafe, a laundry room, swimming pool, clubhouse, arcade, and a little store for souvenirs or supplies.
You always meet interesting people at RV parks and this one is no exception. A lot of rental units come in here for an overnight stay. I was walking Annie one evening and stopped to talk with a German couple that had rented an RV for their tour of California. They were having a wonderful time. They told me that they had rented an RV during a tour of Australia last year. Wow, that sounded wonderful.
Each morning we get up at 6:15 to take our 1 hour walk. There aren't too many people up at that hour except the delivery people for the local restaurants. Each morning the fresh produce gets delivered and we see the same trucks and drivers at their jobs. Our walk takes us past the Old West Cinnamon Roll bakery. I think they have fans blowing out the wonderful aroma of the baking rolls just to try to tempt us. So far we have been able to avoid the lure of the wonderful smelling cinnamon rolls. I don't know how long we can hold out, but we'll give it our best effort.
Last Thursday evening we drove north about 12 miles to the college town of San Luis Obispo. They have the best Farmer's Market there along with stands from the many local restaurants selling dinner. We ate dinner at the stand from F. McClintock's restaurant and it was fabulous. We each got a Tri-tip Kabob and a Pork Munchie. Wow, what a treat. We also bought some wonderful, fresh lettuce, squash and strawberries. It was worth the drive.
We are planning to stay here until November 11th. Next month there are some community events planned and we're going to be checking those out. Also, we are planning a trip to the Danish town of Solvang which is about 60 miles south of Pismo Beach.
Last Sunday after church we went to an "estate sale". It was in a mobile home park and the sale was inside this triple wide home. Apparently, the homeowner recently died and everything in the house was up for sale...including the home. There were a lot of people there looking for bargains. Everyone was opening dresser drawers, poking through the kitchen cupboards and pawing through the bookcases and the closets. I never saw anything like it in my life. Very interesting.
We aren't really doing much here except enjoying our time of leisure. I'm doing more scrapbook work and Bruce is catching up on his reading. We're also trying to learn how to load more photos onto this blog but haven't mastered that yet. That will be Bruce's project for this week. Check in with us for the next installment and we'll (hopefully) have some photos of Solvang to share with you.
Bye for now!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Casino boondocking & it was Hot, Hot, Hot!

We left the Tumwater/Olympia area on Tues., Sept. 2nd as scheduled. We got on the road around 11:30 am after our dental appointments that morning. We drove south on I-5 and used the Portland area bypass to avoid going on the interstate through the city.

We enjoyed a nice drive and enjoyed the scenery typical of I-5 south of Portland, which becomes agricultural, rolling green hills, and some ranch land. Annie the Schnauzer loves to look at the sheep along side the freeway as we roll along.

Since we're on a budget, we decided to stop for the night at the Seven Feathers Casino at exit 99 in Oregon. A lot of the casinos give free "boondocking" space to RVer's because they know that most of the time those RVer's will go inside and spend some money. (some people spend lots of money) Boondocking for you non-RVer's means parking or camping without the benefit of any utility hook-ups. No problem since RV's are fully self-contained with their own power source in the form of a generator and propane option as well. We went into the casino and availed ourselves of the senior-priced buffet dinner. It was only so-so and we won't go back again.

Next morning we got ourselves ready to roll. We continued on our way south with our destination being Corning, California.....and another freebie at the Rolling Hills Casino. Along about Redding, CA it really began to heat up outdoors. Pretty soon the thermometer read 100 degrees. By the time we stopped at the casino it was about 102 degrees. We turned on the generator to keep Annie cool in the RV and we went into the casino to check out the buffet. Hey, why not? We aren't paying any $$$ to spend the night so we may as well enjoy another meal out. This time the meal was great. We picked up a free Player's Card from the service desk and they gave us $5 free play on the slot machines. We sat down at the penny machines (no kidding) and played only until our free money was gone and then we left. The motorhome was much cooler when we went back out there and we turned off the generator and went to bed. It cooled off at night so we slept like babies.

We left next morning for our ultimate destination....Pismo Beach. Again, the weather got Hot,Hot, Hot. We drove over to Hwy. 101 and it was 104 degrees by the time we got to Paso Robles. Then, as we continued going south and got closer to San Luis Obispo it began to get cooler and cooler. We watched the thermometer reading on the dash go from 100 degrees to 94 and then to 82 and then to 75. S.L.O. is only 12 miles north of Pismo Beach and by the time we got to Pismo it was a wonderful, cool 68 degrees. Whew, what a relief!

We got settled into our space at Pismo Coast Village RV Resort. We will be here until Nov. 11th. It was great. Annie loves it here, too. I got some laundry going in our W/D and then fixed dinner.

This morning (Friday) we went over to McDonald's for a breakfast of English Muffins and coffee. We left this area last February so obviously hadn't been back to this McDonald's since then. Bruce orders our muffins and the lady asks if he wants butter with them. He says, no, we want 6 honey's. She looks up quickly and says, "6 honeys! I should have remembered. Where have you guys been?" I thought that was pretty funny. I think they must know us at every McDonald's up and down the drive from Tumwater to Pismo Beach. We go for that breakfast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday wherever we happen to be.

We're settled in now for 9 weeks and are enjoying the cool weather and the wonderful town. I'll write next time about this great place we come to....Pismo Coast Village.