Saturday, October 18, 2008

Odds and Ends at the "End"

We had originally planned to leave Pismo Beach on Nov. 11th. Well, I'm missing my granddaughters! So, we have decided to leave early and our new departure date will be Monday, Oct. 20th. We are taking our time and will not get back to Tumwater until the 25th. In getting ready to leave here I thought I'd make another posting on the blog to tie up loose ends before the "end" of our visit.

* We did take that day trip to Solvang a couple of weeks ago. Bruce and I had not been to the small tourist town of Solvang for several years. The tourist town is about 50 miles south of our RV park. We took Annie the Schnauzer with us and she enjoyed the opportunity to get out and not be left at home. We took a picnic lunch with us in order to avoid having to eat a pricey meal while we were there. Plus, it is a good way to avoid eating fattening foods that are best left alone. The downturn in the economy has sure hit Solvang. Although there were many people walking around and checking out the gift shops, it didn't seem like many of them were buying. Also, there were many vacant store fronts and even a few restaurants that have vacated the area. The last time we visited it was full of tourists and every store was occupied. We enjoyed the day and when we were finished with our lunch and poking around in some of the shops we drove North on Hwy. 101 back to Pismo Beach.

* The weather has been wonderful. I checked with our son up in Tumwater last week and he said it was trying to get up to 55 degrees that day for a high. Oh.....I told him it was 84 degrees in Pismo Beach and very sunny. We've had a few days of cloudy, overcast weather. For the most part this time of year it is sunny and fair during the fall months. The sign announcing the entrance to Pismo Coast Village RV Resort reads "Forever Summer". That pretty much sums it up for the weather.

* We need to stop in Chehalis on our way home to get our awning over the driver side slide-out repaired. We sustained some damage to it last winter when we were in Palm Springs and we thought it was fixed properly. Apparently not. During our stay here some wind gusts came up and it began flapping too much again. At that point a bracket broke at the roller end and it was duct tape to the rescue! Bruce secured it tightly with a good amount of duct tape and tied a rope around the whole thing to keep it still when the ocean breezes come up in the afternoons. Redneck RV'n is what we call it. You aren't a good RVer if you don't keep a good supply of rope and duct tape with you. It comes in handy.

* This weekend we attended the Pismo Beach Clam Festival. Big times! It is a nice smalltown event that takes place every fall. We walked downtown by 10 am to watch the parade. It was a nice event with 3 marching bands from local schools, little floats sponsored by local businesses and RV parks, and cars with the Mayor and Council members. No Rose Parade by any means but the town takes pride in their presentation and it was nice. After the parade they held a surfing contest for local surfers. (didn't have good waves today) There were also the usual booths with craft and food vendors and some activities for small children. We walked out on the Pismo pier to watch some of the surfers. While we were watching we observed hundreds of birds, including pelicans, dive bombing the water catching fish. I inquired about the fish and was told they were probably eating Perch. It was the most amazing sight. The pelicans would literally dive head first at great speed into the ocean and come up swallowing fish.

* One morning last week when we took our early walk we came across a small, zipper wallet on the sidewalk. Nobody in sight. We picked it up and saw that it had a lady's driver's license and a credit card plus an ATM card in it. The address on the license was nearby so we went over and knocked on the door several times. Nobody home. We finished the walk and about 2 hours later took the wallet to the police annex office downtown. I knew the lady would be frantic to get her cards back. Anyway...about 3 days later we were walking on the same street and we saw the lady through her kitchen window. I knocked on her door to ask if she did, indeed, get her wallet back. She was a little old lady about 70 years old and she was very happy to tell me that she did get it back. She thanked me, of course, and I told her that I was relieved to learn that she got it and was OK. She began to talk my ear off then for a while and I learned all about her 7 cataract surgeries, her life in New York city before she moved to Pismo, and how she walks her daughter to the bus stop early in the morning to make sure she gets there safely. That was how she lost her wallet. This little lady was about 5 feet tall if even that and she walks her daughter to the bus stop each morning! She was really sweet and it was a pleasure to talk with her and give her some company.

* Like everyone else, we have felt the effects of the recent Wall Street woes and the crash in the markets. We reworked our budget while we were down here to see if we could cut any corners. We'll hang in there with faith that God will see us through as long as we do our part to not behave like idiots. Sad times for lots of folks, especially the retired ones like us living off investments. One thing for sure....there should be a bright future as there is always Hope.

OK, that's it for now. I'll be posting more in the future. Even though we'll be staying put in Tumwater until mid-March there will be things to write about. As a full-time RV couple life is never dull no matter where we hang out.

Campfires, Pirates & Outdoor TV's

It is mid-October and we are still at the Pismo Coast Village in Pismo Beach, California. For those that don't know, Pismo Beach is on the Central Coast between Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo. It is a cool haven for lots of folks from the San Joaquin Valley, around Fresno and Bakersfield, to come for a vacation. So, every Friday they all begin to roll into the RV Park with kids, dogs, and BBQ grills in tow to enjoy a nice weekend. Then Sunday afternoon there is the big exodus as they all begin leaving to go home again. The long-term visitors, such as Bruce and I, then have the park to ourselves until the next weekend comes around.
Almost all of the weekend visitors have the same set patterns of behavior. (some long-term visitors, too, but not many) and it is always great fun to observe it all in action. For instance, they all have the obligatory nightly campfire. Well call me a party pooper, but I don't do the campfire thing ever. I've done "my time" as I often say about true camping when I was a Girl Scout leader and I don't intend to go back to those days. Here at Pismo they provide you with a beautiful cement campfire ring at every campsite. (see photo) We've been here almost 7 weeks and ours is clean as a whistle ! The local stores charge a pretty good price for a small bundle of firewood. We could bring wood from home....haul it all the way down here in the basement of the RV. We'd probably be bringing some visitors along for the ride too. You know the kind I mean and the worst would be the spiders. They would soon find their way into my RV home and I'd rather they stay out. Also, a campfire smells good from a distance of...oh about 2 miles...but anything closer and I soon begin to get that burnt wood, campfire smell in my clothes and in my hair. Then I go into the RV smelling like I've been near a forest fire and that stink...excuse me, aroma, comes in with me and stays for days. When I go to bed the burnt wood smell goes from my hair to my pillow and stays there for days, too. So, forget the Smore's and the campfire songs -- I don't want any of it thank you.
Another thing I observe with lots of RVer's, and mainly the weekend folks, is the need to watch television outdoors. I'm not talking about bringing the portable out onto the picnic table, no siree! I'm talking about the new 5th wheels or motorhomes that have huge flat screen models mounted into an exterior cabinet. All they have to do is open the door, turn the TV on with the remote, kick back in their outdoor lounge chair and crank up the volume so everyone can hear it. Yes, the RV world has it's share of guys that really want to "one-up" the guy next door. You know...."My TV is bigger than your TV" sort of mentality. Why on earth do you want to pay lots of money for a luxury motor coach with a big TV inside by a comfy sofa, and then sit outside in the cold watching another TV from a canvas lounge chair? Besides, doesn't that campfire smoke blow in your eyes so you can't see the screen? :) Maybe it's a guy thing? I know I don't see a lot of the women watching TV outdoors.
Another funny habit I see at Pismo Coast Village every time we come is the abundance of pirate flags. Do they think they're Johnny Depp or something? Some people hoist the skull and cross bones high up on a flag pole so it can be seen from many rows away. Some people even rig up special night time lighting so that their special pirate flag can be seen best. Then there is one group here this weekend that has about 5 pirate flags strung out on their RV awning cross piece. Great...maybe they've longed to be Captain Hook or someone. Go figure.
I will say that almost every single camper here is polite and considerate of their neighbors. You rarely find a person that does not clean up after their dog. You rarely find a person, or group, that carries on loudly after the 10 pm curfew. You find lots of kids and dogs here on the weekends and drivers go slow here in the park to protect them. It is a nice little community of RVer's....pirates and all!