CoachPotato's RV Site

To Oceanside again!

Thursday, Jan 7, 2010 Day 1: To Dean's

My last visit to my son Dean and his family was back in September, so I was a month late visiting this time. December and Christmas was a very busy time so we agreed I'd visit in January. And I have endured days on end of the typical valley high fog which blocks the sun and is incredibly cold. I was long overdue to get out of the valley and find some sunshine.

I pulled into the Flying J Plaza in Frazer Park, as usual, and spent the night. I arrived just about sundown, so didn't get much sunshine on Day 1; the fog was constant during the entire trip south through the valley. I dropped the jacks in Flying J's parking lot, fired up the little generator and turned on the forced air heater. I got comfy in the coach, watching some TV and relaxing. After a couple of Tom Collins, I headed to the buffet and pigged out on fried chicken, one of my favorite foods. It's hard to stay on a disciplined diet when parked next to a buffet!

Parked for the night at Frazier Park's Flying J lot.


Friday, Jan 8 Day 2: Frazier Park Flying J to Oceanside

The night up top of the Tehachapis was cool, but I kept the heater on in my cozy little bedroom and slept like a baby. When I got up I tended to the usual chores, then settled back to watch some TV as I enjoyed my morning coffee. When the sun came up, it was a glorious, sunny morning - something I have missed for way too long. While the terrible drive through LA LA Land awaited me, I nevertheless enjoyed the beautiful morning sunshine.

I merged onto I-5 South about 1030 and headed for Dean's. The drive through LA LA Land was the usual zoo, but I managed to survive the madding crowd. I always cruise about 58 MPH while on back roads and in light traffic on interstates. But the truck lanes on I-5 through the southland are so broken and rough, I choose to run the left lanes, usually there are four lanes and I'll cruise in the third lane, allowing the faster traffic the fast lane. I set the cruise on 63 MPH to generally keep passing the slower traffic while staying on the smoother #3 lane. It works out fine to travel faster than I want to while keeping the coach from being shaken apart in the potholes. I hate SoCal!

I arrived at Oceanside around 1330. Dean's afternoon was a busy one, but we wanted to have lunch at the usual restaurant patio overlooking the harbor at Oceanside's waterfront. We decided I'd park at a lot near the freeway, and he'd pick me up so we'd have more time. So we had a lovely visit over a delicious lunch, overlooking the serene harbor. Afterwards I drove to Guajome Park and set the coach up for my visit. Later, Dean picked me up and we spent the early evening at their home as the kids opened their Christmas gifts from Grandpa and Grandma. It had been a long day and soon "Grandpa Mustache" was ready to head back to the coach for some badly needed peace and quiet - and was in bed by 2015.

Jacks down once again at Guajome Park in Oceanside.


Saturday, Jan 9 Day 3: Family visit time

The day to visit family was shortened this trip. Melissa and Connor headed to the airport en route to Arizona in the morning, and Dean was delayed by the babysitter and other things that didn't go according to plan. But he picked me up around 1130 and we headed to our favorite Chinese restaurant for a great lunch together. We had a good visit, then ran an errand to a nearby town. When we got back home, we relieved the babysitter and Aidan and Dean and I - and the dog and cats - spent the afternoon hanging around the house. Aidan occupied himself most of the time with his video game in the kids' playroom while Dean and I watched a bit of football. Around 1700 The Beast tired of his video game and joined us in the living room, bringing with him the endless noise and activity that is Aidan. I knew it was time for this old man to head for the coach for some peace and quiet, and they drove me to the coach around 1715.

My son Dean and grandson Aidan outside the coach as they dropped me off on Saturday evening.


Sunday, Jan 10 Day 4: Heading home

I was up a bit after 0400 on Sunday morning and set about converting the coach from a cozy home to a road worthy highway rig. I was on the road a bit before 0500, and headed north toward home.

As I drove through La La Land, the sky lightened and it was another beautiful, sunny day. But as I drove through the Tehachapis and began the decent into the valley, I could see a fog bank ahead. As I entered the fog, visibility dropped to about ¼ mile. It was gray and foggy for the rest of the trip home, but the visibility did improve considerably as the hours passed.

The fog bank loomed ahead as I dropped into the Valley of Gloom.

The fog was tolerable and the visibility not too bad.

I gassed up at the Flying J in Ripon at the end of the trip. Note the jacks down on one side to tip the coach which allows more gas into the tank.
(From Frazier Park's Flying J to Oceanside and back home: 555 miles @ 66.5 gallons = 8.3 MPG

I arrived home at 1315 after driving something over 400 miles. It had been a good trip, all things considered. After unloading the coach I settled in to the comforts of our cozy home – and hoped that the gray, foggy days of January would soon give way to some sunshine - or better yet - rain.

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