Cliff Diving in Malibu

(Our family is on a five month RV trip. We are journeying West from Dallas, TX and making our way up the Western coastline finishing in Washington state before we streamline our way back to CO for the summer.)

Malibu, CA: The city on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Malibu RV Park: A higher cliff overlooking the city that overlooks the Pacific Ocean.

Malibu RV Park on a cliff

Our rig at the Malibu RV Park on a cliff

Oh yeah, there are gorgeous views to enjoy if your brain ever relaxes from the imminent danger of sliding or shaking off the cliff. Before we ever left Dallas in mid-January, I had a dream (nightmare) that an earthquake tore most of California’s coastline away from the continent and our RV slid into the ocean. I’m not prophetic and I’m not a Nervous-Nelly, but this “dreamare” nagged at me.

So when we awoke on the second morning to what felt like an Alaskan black bear vigorously shaking our rig to empty it of its contents, I was alarmed. I nearly threw John out the front door in his underwear to assess the situation. Within seconds of realizing that the skies were calm, and hungry, wild animals weren’t attacking, it hit me. An earthquake!

I’d never before experienced the earth quaking beneath me. I didn’t want to ever again. I clamored for idevices checking reliable sources on Twitter and Facebook for confirmation that we were about to pull away from the continent and be dumped into the ocean. Continue reading

No Boundaries in Newport Beach

(Our family is on a five month RV trip. We are journeying West from Dallas, TX and making our way up the Western coastline finishing in Washington state before we streamline our way back to CO for the summer.)

If there were something to complain about our site in San Diego, it would be the six-foot chain link fence between Mission Bay and us. Apparently the fence was to keep us out of the wildlife reserve (a.k.a. the murky duck habitat). Whatever. Anyway, I didn’t care for it.

San Diego fence view

San Diego fence view

What the San Diego site lacked, Newport Dunes made up for it in spades. WOW. We fell in love with this RV Park the moment we arrived. Once again, our site backed up to a bay but this time, without barriers. No fence. No murky duck area. Just paved walking paths, mature trees, and green grass. Just ten steps from my door, I squished soft sand between my toes. Little slice of heaven to be sure.

Bay view in Newport Beach

Bay view in Newport Beach

While the sky boasted the most brilliant blue in Newport Beach, a dark cloud hovered over my heart. Continue reading

San Diego R & R

(Our family is on a five month RV trip. We are journeying West from Dallas, TX and making our way up the Western US coastline finishing in Washington state before we streamline our way back to CO for the summer.)

We’re just five weeks into our five-month journey. We’ve only hitched the fifth-wheel to the F-450 four times including the day we drove it off the sales lot. Essentially, we got our forty-three foot house set up in Phoenix and didn’t move it. We are rookies.

Now the real RVing adventure begins in California. We will RV Park hop every week or so to a new location beginning in San Diego. That includes driving in California traffic, maneuvering down narrow streets lined with parallel-parked cars, and weaving through tree-lined RV parks to back into our assigned site. We are apprehensive but excited.

I was exhausted from deep chest coughing and blowing my nose. After John and I returned to Phoenix from Colorado, I crawled to Urgent Care with bronchitis and laryngitis. The doctor prescribed me Augmentin and coughing pearls remarking that the nasty stuff was going around. I didn’t have the heart or the voice to tell her it was probably a symptom of the major stress in my life.

My sentiments exactly

My sentiments exactly

Aside from emptying a box of tissues, the drive from Arizona to San Diego was uneventful. Continue reading

Bird Attack Detours us to CO

(Our family is on a five month RV trip. We are journeying West from Dallas, TX and making our way up the Western coastline finishing in Washington state before we streamline our way back to CO for the summer.)

After a great week in Las Vegas, we moved out of the hotel and drove back to the Phoenix RV Park having devised a plan to retrieve my vehicle from Denver. We considered shipping it via long-haul truck but opted, instead, to fly out ourselves and drive it back.

The trip to Colorado would also give us a chance to check on our house remodel at the ranch thus killing two birds with one stone. Now, with the burst water pipe and ensuing floodwaters at our South Denver suburban home, we had another remodeling project on our hands. This stone had better be big, as we need to kill many more than two birds during our brief visit.

Continue reading

Healing Waters in Vegas

(Our family is on a five month RV trip. We are journeying West from Dallas, TX and making our way up the Western coastline finishing in Washington state before we streamline our way back to CO for the summer.)

Two weeks into our five-week RV stay in Phoenix, we left the fifth-wheel at the RV Park and drove northwest to Las Vegas opting to stay in a hotel for a week. Look, I was desperate for a bathtub. The RV shower closet isn’t cutting it. Seriously, a girl needs a soak. There’s something about warm water and time alone with my thoughts that’s healing to my body and soul. I usually gain clarity, a fresh perspective, and shaved legs.

Oh, and John had customers to see so the Vegas plan was set into motion. He drove separately and visited customers along the way. I was most excited to take the kids around the city we’ve spent so much time visiting over the years. We’ve made lots of memories in Vegas:

Continue reading

Rockin’ around Arizona

(Our family is on a five month RV trip. We are journeying West from Dallas, TX and making our way up the Western coastline finishing in Washington state before we streamline our way back to CO for the summer.)

We survived the Mini bump in the road just three days into our trip. We wallowed in self-pity for a few moments. The insurance company replaced our sporty Mini Cooper with a rental Toyota sedan and we didn’t have a plan for acquiring a second vehicle. But these rental wheels couldn’t deter our plan to explore some Arizona sights in our shorts and flip-flops. In January!

First up, the Heard Museum, and off we galloped to learn all about the Indian heritage and culture of the first settlers in Arizona. Now hear me loud and clear on this museum thing. They’re not my favorite activity. I just feel peer pressure, in my mind, about visiting museums with my kids. Great moms take their kids to museums, you know, when they’re not challenging their kids’ minds to a game of scrabble or chess. It’s especially what homeschooling moms schedule to enhance their students’ learning.

I’m a people-person. I prefer trolley tours around cities. I like tour guides talking and interacting with a group. I like people watching. But by golly, I can pay my admission and walk through a museum with the great moms. Out of sheer guilt, mind you.

Indian boarding school exhibit - by far the most interesting part of the museum

Referring to Indian families forced to send their children to boarding schools

So we spent an afternoon at the museum, and thankfully, they offered a crafty hands-on section, another favorite pastime of mine. Not! Continue reading

Mini Bump in the Road

Mini Bump in the Road

Speed Bump

(Our family is on a five month RV trip. We are journeying West from Dallas, TX and making our way up the Western coastline of CA, OR and finishing in WA before we streamline our way back to CO for the summer.)

We learned the Key Thing about RVing on day ONE of our journey (Jan 18, 2014). These are the days following (Jan 19 & 20):

With tasks reassigned and our sights set on the Bronco game, we were determined to get our campsite set up and the TV antenna searching for local channels pronto. Our drive from Las Cruces, NM to Phoenix, AZ was great. John and I had hammered out our differences, refocused our priorities, and we were looking forward to getting settled, i.e., NFL and draft beer.

John made our park reservations over a month ago as the snowbirds start flocking toward Arizona this time of year and we needed a space for five weeks. The registration hostess presented us with a tote bag and name tags, and was so welcoming until she realized that we had KIDS. Apparently the reservationist failed to mention that this park is for persons 55+ and the park is ‘kid-friendly’ two weeks at a time. Our form clearly stated that we were traveling with kids and dogs. Furry friends welcome without length of stay restrictions. These 55+ folks may be on to something here. I digress.

Fortunately, John convinced our hostess that we wouldn’t be breaking the park rules for kids at all. He explained: we’d stay in Phoenix for two weeks, then leave our rig at the site but vacate the park with our family, both furry and not, for a week in Las Vegas, and then return for two more weeks. That sufficed and she made an exception for us.

With that detail out-of-the-way, the camp host, driving his golf cart, escorted us to our corner site and, using hand signals and vocal commands, assisted John in backing the fifth-wheel into place. John did great considering we’d had a pull-through site in Las Cruces and this was his first time backing 43’ into a space. We had a nice concrete pad just outside our front door and adjacent parking space for our vehicles. It was perfect.

Our RV site

Our RV site

IMG_0627

Looking toward the RV park clubhouse from our corner site

The weather was perfect. The palm trees were perfect. The door unlocked on the first try. We got set up in no time and decided to watch the game at Chili’s since the antenna wasn’t so perfectly locating the game.

After a Bronco victory clinching a super bowl appearance and a good night’s sleep, John got up on Monday morning and started contacting his local customers. Blake, with just one week until his first golf tournament, reserved his workout spot at Orange Theory, loaded his golf clubs into the Mini Cooper and set out to find a driving range. The kids dug out their math books, and I started organizing drawers and making a grocery list.

Late that afternoon, we ventured over to the local Costco to fill up the back of the F-450 with the week’s groceries. Halfway through our shopping trip, John’s phone rang and his distressed response to the caller stopped me in my tracks. Continue reading