CoachPotato's RV Site

Oceanside Again!

2012-1-26, Thursday: From home to Bakersfield en route to Dean’s via SR99: 210 miles

It was time once again to head south to visit my son, Dean, and his family in Oceanside. Because winds to 20 MPH and temps in the high 30s were forecast for my usual overnight stop at Frazier Park’s Flying J, I chose to spend the night on Bakersfield’s Rosedale Walmart parking lot.

I had a couple of delays en route, one for a small accident and another for construction, but still arrived at Bakersfield at 1700. The electric, folding steps on the coach have been failing to work intermittently, and would not retract as I left home. I figured they would retract as I drove down the highway as they have done recently, but no. At a rest area below Turlock, I pulled in to try to fix them. After tapping the components with a hammer, and dinking around with the fuse, they finally retracted. I then pulled the fuse so they would stay put for the trip, and all was fine. But that step out of the coach is now a long one. When I get home, I’ll take the coach in for repair as I can’t seem to fix the problem.

Jacks down at the Rosedale Walmart in Bakersfield for the night.

After a walk and a bit of shopping at Walmart, I set up the little Honda generator, turned on the satellite TV and settled in for the night. Before heading to bed, I put the little generator away in the lower storage area. I noted that the gas cap vent had been closed and that the combination padlock had been opened and reattached to the very end of the chain. I know that I had secured the generator properly as usual, and had opened the vent. Had someone unlocked my generator and closed the vent and not taken it? What sense did that make? I don’t know, but it was all very strange. I put the generator in the storage and locked the door. And I had a very restful night in spite of the mystery.

This particular Walmart has a very modern and colorful entrance.

Friday: Bakersfield to Dean’s in Oceanside via SR99, I-5, I-405: 205 miles

I was up a bit before 0600 and set about doing morning chores and taking a walk. After breakfast in the coach, I headed on down the road towards the misery of driving through LALA land. Traffic wasn’t as bad as sometimes, but it was heavy enough.

Approaching Dean's on I-5, this military chopper crossed the highway very low, doing war exercises, I suppose.

I arrived at Dean’s about noon, and he drove us down to Oceanside’s lovely harbor area for lunch as we always do on my visits. We had a grand lunch, and enjoyed some good visiting time together.

The Gillespie Men all in  a row. I guess it's pretty clear where the 2nd and 3rd generation got their good looks! That's Dean on the left, then Connor, Grandpa and Aidan, sans one tooth he lost that day.

One big, slobbery, lovable Lab wasn't enough for the kids; now they have a Great Pyrenees pup that may be twice the size of dear ol' Salley. The new horse is named Chloe. 

After lunch I drove the coach over to Guajome Park and set up for the two nights I’d be there. Dean came by and drove me to the house where we spent the afternoon with Melissa and the kids. 

The entry to beautiful Guajome Park in Oceanside. It is walking distance from the kids' home, but I'm kinda lazy and usually have limo service back and forth in Dean's fancy Acura TS.

Aidan (L) and Connor at play in the back yard. Dad had to shoo 'em off the spa lid! Connor had a basketball game that weekend and his team won!

As usual, they grilled a delightful dinner followed by apple pie and ice cream. While I enjoyed the great feast, I was entirely whipped from the long day and asked Dean to drive me to the coach for the night about 1900.  I hit the sack at 2130 and slept ‘til 0630 – a long sleep for me and a very restful night.

Saturday: Jacks down at Guajome Park and a day with the family.

Jacks down at Guajome Park's RV area. It's a very nice RV neighborhood with lots of room between coaches.

I took my sweet time getting around to the chores and my walk – I was just kind of dragging that morning. Usually I’m very active first thing in the morning but I guess the long night’s rest took awhile from which to recover. But it was a lovely walk around the gorgeous grounds that is Guajome Park. I came across an old 1950 Airstream trailer and chatted a bit with the owner about their prize RV. They had the aluminum polished to a mirror shine, and it was indeed a star among the RVs in the park.

A 1950 Airstream parked in the RV area while I was there. They had it polished to a mirror shine and looking like the star of the RV show. That beauty is 62 years old and still rolling!

Dean picked me up around 1000 and after a short morning visit with the family we headed to lunch at one of my favorite Chinese restaurants, Chins. Melissa and the kids went to watch Connor’s basketball game. This was a first that Dean didn’t attend a game, but he chose to have lunch with me at that time. It’s not like he hasn’t attended about 200 of Connor’s games, so perhaps it was about time. I usually avoid the games as I’m not into hootin’ and hollerin’ and kids running amok around a gym. But that’s just me.

After the great lunch, we headed back to the house for the day. I just hung around with the gang, and when everyone took off to run or bike ride, I walked over to the coach and took a short nap. Dean picked me up about 1730 and we all enjoyed a dinner of tamales that Melissa somehow made into enchiladas. They came from some guy who just drove up in a van selling home-made tamales. Dean bought a dozen, and they were delicious. Viva la underground economy! Viva someone’s entrepreneurial spirit!

Dean drove me back to the coach not long after dinner, and I made a couple of my locally famous Cockpit Collins cocktails while catching up on this travelogue and editing photos. 

Sunday: Oceanside to home via I-5, I-405, SR99: 412 miles

I was up and at ‘em about 0430, plugging in the coffee pot that was all ready to go, and doing a few of the morning chores before heading north. I was on the road towards home by 0500.

LALA land was pretty wide open, as usual on a Sunday morning. I had one construction traffic jam on I-405 as four lanes squeezed down to two, but it wasn’t too much of a delay.

After dropping down the “grapevine” into the valley I encountered some fog, but it was patchy and where it was fairly dense it wasn’t enough to slow me down. Other than that it was the usual long drive home.

And there was the usual bit of fog on a January morning in the valley near Bakersfield.

I did see a couple of entertaining rigs as I drove home…

This Oregonian must really want to drive a big rig! Note the huge exhaust stack protruding through the bed of the little, old pickup. It made for a good laugh! 

At the other extreme was this recreational set of doubles; a not-too-big fifth wheel with a utility trailer following behind - all towed by an old narrow nose Peterbilt tractor. This guy was a hard core RVer, no doubt!

A closer look at the old Pete pulling the RV set of doubles. This was quite a sight for ol' CoachPotato, an old gear-jammer turned RVer!

I arrived home safely about 1400 after gassing up at our nearby Flying J. I figured with the price of gas so volatile lately, I'd better get some before it shoots up again!

I really enjoy these 420 mile trips down to see the kids and also the long drive home. I enjoy seeing that the grandsons have grown a bit more between each visit and seeing what a great family Dean and Melissa have created. And it’s very satisfying to me that the boys know well who their Grandpa Mustache is.

I've already booked reservations for the next two trips to the kids' place in Oceanside. I plan to be visiting again in April and also July. Life is good!
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