CoachPotato's RV Site

July, 2013 Another Trip to Visit the Kids in Oceanside, CA 

2013-7-11 Day 1, Thursday Home to Frazier Park via SR99, I-5: 253 miles

It was time for another trip to Oceanside to visit Dean and the family. I make this trek every three months and enjoy the entire trip except the drive through the misery known as LALA Land. The traffic is an abomination, but to get to Dean’s, I have little choice.

I had called my cousin, Murle Jean, in Fresno and made plans to meet her and her sis, Genene, at their IHOP for lunch. We enjoy getting together and talking over old times, and I mean old! We’ve known each other since the 1940s, and have a lot of memories. 

It was a hot day in July, and Fresno is not exactly an oasis in the desert but IHOP was cool and comfy for our visit. After an hour or so, I climbed back aboard the coach and continued my drive south to Frazier Park.

Lunch with my cousins is always a pleasure on the first day of the trip. That's Genene (L), Murle Jean and me at IHOP in Fresno. We spent time together as kids, although they were 10-15 years older as we grew up. They told me that my sis and I were big stars in the family as babies because we were twins. I tried for some recognition of my staring role in the family even today, but they suggested that my star faded years ago!

Climbing the foothills into the Tehachapis and on up to Frazier Park where I spent the night. These foothills are beautiful in the spring, not so much in July.

Frazier Park is near the summit of the Tehachapis, and I spent the night at the Flying J Travel Plaza. I topped off the gas tank there, and then settled in for the night. My satellite dish wouldn’t pick up the satellites, so I spent the evening watching DVDs of WWII. I’m a bit of a junky for that time in history, and although this may be the 20th time I’ve watched ‘em, I still enjoy the history.

Jacks down at Frazier Park's Flying J. I spent the night here in complete comfort aboard the coach. It's just like home; TV, hot shower, kitchen, air conditioning, and everything I need on the road is in the coach.

I spent a comfortable night aboard the coach. I ran the air conditioning (and the generator) 'til bedtime as it was pretty warm even up near the 4000’ summit. But the night cooled off nicely and I slept comfortably.

This burned out truck was seemingly abandoned at Flying J. I wondered if some boat owner was wondering about his sail boat!

Friday, Day 2, Frazier Park to Dean’s in Oceanside via I-5, I-405: 162 miles

I was up and at ‘em at 0600, tending to the usual chores, editing photos and writing this travelogue. It was mild and calm at Frazier Park. I planned to leave about 0900, so I had time for dawdling. I read that the coach tires should be 80 psi, not the 95 psi the tires show as maximum. So I dropped the pressure in all the tires and hoped that the ride would improve. At 0900 I headed for Dean’s.

The drive through LALA Land was as hectic as ever. The traffic was heavy and it was nerve wracking. The coach is the maximum width allowable at 102 inches, the same as the big rigs. In heavy traffic moving at speed and through curves it can be a handful with traffic on both sides. Fortunately, I've had a lot of experience at such driving from my old trucking days, and it isn’t scary; it’s tiring and as above, nerve wracking.

Driving through LALA Land was as usual. Here the traffic is moving on my side, but there were plenty of slowdowns and dead stops ahead. As usual, I made it just fine,  but I HATE that traffic. People actually choose to live like this and I don't know why.

The drive from Orange County south is usually pretty much at speed, but 20 miles before my turnoff to SR 76, which is less than 10 miles from Dean’s, the traffic slowed and was bumper to bumper most of the way. I understood from the radio that it was caused by CalTrans sweeping the sides of the highway. On Friday?! Good grief. At any rate, I made it through the traffic jam and arrived at Deans about 1300.

As I arrived Dean and Connor were throwing a baseball out front and Aidan was in the house. I greeted them with hugs all ‘round, and was pleased to finally be there after the grueling drive. Melissa arrived home from the gym soon after, and Dean and I headed to a harbor restaurant where we always have lunch on my arrival day. We ate and visited for over an hour, taking in the sights of summertime at Oceanside Harbor. We caught up on each other’s doings, and had a grand time.

We stayed in the house most all afternoon, visiting and watching TV. I told ‘em a simple hot dog would do me for dinner, and it did. I didn't need another big meal. We visited ‘til after 1900 when the long day caught up with me and I asked Dean to take me back to the coach for the night.

Aidan and Grandpa playing with my new Android phone's self portrait feature. I think he knows as much or more about these modern gizmos as I do. What a pleasure Aidan was to visit with! He's just smart as a whip and engages in conversation about things I'm amazed that an eight year old kid knows. In one conversation with his dad as I was within earshot, he declared something was "reasonable". Reasonable? I never used that word 'til I was twice his age - if then!

I kicked back in the coach with a couple of my Cockpit Collins cocktails (Or was it three?), watched more of my WWII DVDs, showered, and hit the sack about 2230. It had been a long day, including a tedious drive, and I slept like a baby.

Saturday, Day 3, Jacks down at Guajome Park

I was up around 0530 and got right after the morning chores. I took a walk early, and it was a humid morning for Oceanside. Dean told me it had been humid the past week or so, and it surely was. After my walk I returned to the coach to edit photos, write this travelogue, and take it easy ‘til Dean showed up to haul me off for the day.

The coach at Guajome Park's RV area. Their spaces have plenty of room apart from other RVs and it's a great place to stay while visiting the kids.

Dean picked me up around 1000 and we headed to the house where we just hung out visiting. Around 1115 we headed to Chin’s Chinese Restaurant for a fine Chinese lunch – with Aidan in tow. Melissa and Connor headed to Long Beach earlier for a beach soccer tournament for two days. We had a grand lunch at Chin’s and Aidan was the perfect young man.

After lunch we headed back to the house where we hung out the rest of the day. We watched TV, I snoozed some of the time, and Dean got some couch time which he doesn’t often get. Around 1800 he grilled some chicken shish-kabobs for dinner. He's quite the cook and they turned out very tasty.

A bit before 1900 I was tiring out, and asked Dean to drive me back to the coach. I wanted to get to bed by 2100 and get an early start for home in the morning. I like to drive through LALA Land early Sunday mornings when I can just blow through before traffic gets heavy.

Back at the coach after two wonderful days of  visiting the family, I showered, watched a bit of the WWII DVD and poured a couple of my Cockpit Collins drinks to cap a very pleasant day. Maybe it was three. I was in bed by 2100 and it felt great!

Connor played baseball in Cooperstown, NY in June. Here he poses beside his great-great uncle, "Sunny" Jim Bottomley, who was honored as a member of the official Baseball Hall of Fame. Uncle Jim was on his mom's side of the family, but their dad is a by-gosh baseball junkie. Connor has taken to baseball like a fish to water, and has done remarkably well as a pitcher and all 'round ball player.

Connor and his dad went to Cooperstown, and all I got was this crummy T-shirt! But I'm mighty proud of it, and proud of the fact that Connor did hit a home run during his series at Cooperstown!

Connor's home run swing at Cooperstown, NY - home of the Baseball Hall of Fame! With this mighty swing he cleared the fence and earned two RBIs!

Connor running the bases after his home run hit - what a great photo, Dean! The opposing fans in the background say it all!

Another great shot of Connor's play at Cooperstown! Here he snags a long fly ball while playing center field.

Another very timely photo of Connor's play at Cooperstown! Dean did a great job catching this moment when Connor's bat shattered.

Connor pitched 4 1/3 innings for his team over the nine game series they played in Cooperstown, giving up 5 hits and two runs, and striking out four batters.

His team went 7-2. Connor hit 10 for 18 times at bat for an average of .556, leading the team in batting average. He hit four doubles (tied for most doubles hit), earned a walk, and stole six bases, also tying for first in stolen bases. He scored five runs and earned 6 RBIs. 

Sunday, Day 4, Dean’s to home via I-5, I-405, SR99

I was up and at ‘em at 0330 and pulled out of Guajome Park at 0420. The traffic, as usual early Sunday mornings, was light all the way through LALA Land and beyond.

I reached the summit of the Tehachapis and had breakfast in the coach there somewhere around 0730. Breakfast? Well, two pieces of toast and an orange seemed pretty good and light, and I settled for that. I was at the Flying J Plaza north of Bakersfield before 0900 and loaded on $100 of gas to be sure I got home.

The trip was uneventful, just as I like. Four miles before arriving home I pulled into the Flying J in Ripon and gassed up again in case gas prices rise before my next trip. Figuring ½ gallon per hour for the generator, which I ran for five hours this trip, the mileage turned out to be 7.5 MPG. That’s ½ MPG less than I got with the old coach, but still acceptable considering the mountains I drive through on these trips to Oceanside.

Heading home on Sunday morning. This is just north of the Tehachapis where SR99 and I-5 come together. I always take Hiway 99 on these trips. 

I was home at 1310, and unloaded and parked the coach by about 1400. I dumped the tanks the next morning when it was cooler and I was rested.

It was a great trip, and I sure enjoy those visits with my son’s family. Those boys are growing up so fast, and doing so well. I already have reserved my RV space for the next trip to Guajome Park and the family in October!

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