Ed and Roberta Living the Dream

Chapter 6 | California Dreaming Feb. 2017


Thursday February 2, 2017

We left Phoenix early Thursday morning on another adventure, we are on our way to rendezvous with twenty-three other Airstream Trailers in Hollister, CA for a tour of southern California.  Hollister, CA. is 700 miles from Phoenix, our plan was to allow three travel days to get to Hollister.  We tried to make reservations at several RV parks in Palm Springs and Palm Desert before leaving Phoenix with no success.  One of us never worries about reservations (it is not Roberta), this has only been a problem once.  Tonight, was almost the second time.

It is high season in the Palm Springs/Palm Desert and none of the RV parks had a vacancy.  Our good friends Randy and Xan Rinehart were traveling with us in their Airstream and by late afternoon all of us were anxious about where we were going to stay.  Even Walmart’s, that are notoriously kind to RV’ers don’t allow RV’s to stay overnight in their parking lots in CA.  We were driving on I 10 when we spotted a Casino just west of Palm Desert.  Remembering that Casino’s allow RV’s to stay overnight and that they are safe because the parking areas are patrolled we decided to give it try.  We spent Thursday night at the Morongo Casino, it had a large level parking lot set aside just for RV’s.  We had a delicious dinner at one of five restaurants in the casino.  The casino even has a shuttle service that picked us up and dropped us back at our RV.  The four of us relaxed with a good dinner at the end of a long day.  Looking out of our Airstream window you see snowcapped mountains.  The temperature dropped into the low forties, great sleeping weather.  We were up early and on the road headed to Bakersfield, CA.

Casino Parking Lot View

Casino Morongo Parking Lot – View From Our Airstream Window

First Night On The Road

First Night On The Road With Randy And Xan – Morongo Casino Near Palm Desert

Friday February 3, 2017

We got an early start from the Morongo Casino headed for Bakersfield, CA.  It was “white knuckle” driving as we approached the 405 and the outskirts of Los Angeles.  We have heard that Washington, DC has captured the first place award as the worst place to drive in the U.S. taking that dubious honor away from Los Angeles.  We don’t agree with whomever made that decision.  Maybe it’s because we are familiar with driving in the DC area; we think that DC driving is a piece of cake compared to LA where people weave in and out of traffic and drive way too fast.  It rained on and off all day and the heavy fog made the experience even worse.  We arrived at River Run RV Resort in Bakersfield in the early afternoon.  It is a well-kept very nice RV park, we spent the afternoon relaxing, walking, jogging, and reading.  There was a nice walking path along a river just outside of the RV park.  We left the next morning shortly after eight o’clock for our caravan rendezvous point in Hollister, CA.

Saturday February 4, 2017

Magnificent scenery is all around us; mountains or steep rolling hills that rise up from the highway with outcroppings of rock, were visible all the way to Hollister.  We have only been to CA a couple of times and each time we drove along the coast or in San Francisco.  Today we drove north on route 5 and across CA 152 to Hollister it was an “eye opener” for us.  The mountains and farm land can only be described as spectacular!   We are in a gorgeous CA valley as far as the eye can see is beautiful farm land and what we believe are almond trees.   We read that one sixth of the irrigated land in the United States is in this valley.  Driving to the Safeway in Hollister today we drove past farms with the richest black earth that we have ever seen.  Canada and California have about the same population, approximately thirty-three million people.  We expected to see dense population everywhere in CA but it isn’t so, there is a lot of open land, wildness, and large farms in California.


Lush Farmland and Landscapes Everywhere


We Are In Serious Farming County


Sunday February 5, 2017

Sunday morning begins cloudy and chilly.  We use a small ceramic heater instead of our furnace to keep the Airstream warm it does a great job and it saves our propane.  It is so relaxing to lay in bed, drink a cup of coffee, while looking out of the frosted window at beautiful CA scenery!

Time For A Super Bowl Party

Time For A Super Bowl Party

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Peacocks walked Around The RV’s At Casa de Fruta


Vegetable Stand At Casa de Fruta RV Park










Fruit & Vegetable Stands Everywhere

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One Of Many Happy Hours With Old And New Friends


More Picture Book Perfect Scenery!


Wow – Is All That We Can Say


More Wow!!


Bargain Hunting For Avocados


Majestic Landscapes Around Every Corner

Sunday & Monday February 6 and 7 2017

We are near Hollister, CA and the much-talked about drought in CA is over!  It rained most of the night.  We were supposed to leave for Greenfield, CA at 8:00 this morning but it is raining so hard that after talking with friends of ours on the caravan who live in CA and know this area we decided to delay leaving Casa de Fruta RV Park until  10:00 AM.

Yesterday we drove to Salinas, CA and toured the John Steinbeck museum.  One of the things that we liked most was seeing the custom pickup truck with a camper shell that he used to travel the U. S. with his dog Charlie (Travels With Charlie). The Holister/Salinas area is lush with green hills, they aren’t mountains, rather they are very steep rolling mountain-like hills unlike anything that we have ever seen.  Words don’t describe the beauty of the area adequately and our pictures won’t show the beauty either.  This part of CA is much different than we expected; it is lush farm land.  The soil is so black and rich that we think that it could grow rocks, but what is grown is lettuce, broccoli, cherries, almonds, grapes, asparagus, artichokes, apricots, cherries, garlic and we’re sure that we have omitted some crops.  Our friends Stan and Valerie Braga farm here so it is interesting for us to see what they have tried to describe to us.  It is indescribable; you have to see and experience it yourself.


Hollister, CA



Steinbeck Was An RV’er Too – This Is The Camper He Used Traveling With Charlie

The last night that we were in Hollister there was a group dinner at one of the restaurants at Casa de Fruta RV Park.  Of the twenty-three Airstream Trailers on the caravan we know the people in five trailers.  We are continuing to meet new, interesting and nice Airstreamer’s!  One of the benefits of owning our Airstream that we knew nothing about when we purchased it are the AS Caravans and the interesting Airstream owners whom would meet on the organized caravans!  Airstream owners are a diverse and interesting group of adventurous people!!  It is nice caravanning with other AS owners because of the community effect and if anyone needs help or gets lost there is always someone to help.  The caravans are led by experienced caravan leaders who have gone through a training program.  They know what to see and do in areas that are visiting.


Rolling Down The Highway – In A Caravan

We arrived in Greenfield, CA, a short drive of sixty to seventy miles from Hollister at  noon.  Yank’s RV Park in Greenfield, is new clean and very nice.  The western United States has much nicer RV Parks than the RV parks found back east.

Wednesday February 8, 2017

Wednesday the group took a boat trip around the Elkhorn Slough.  We thought that the name of the boat was the Elkhorn Slough.  Wrong; the Elkhorn Slough is a shallow marshy body of water that supports many different plants, birds, and mammals.  Our understanding is that a “slough” pronounced slew is formed when a river runs into an ocean and drops lots of silt making a delta.  We saw so many seals, sea lions, birds etc. that by the time that the tour was over we were numb to seeing more.  The Elkhorn Slough is somehow associated with The Monterey Aquarium and scientific research is done by the Monterey Aquarium at the slough.  Just outside of the slough in the Monterey Bay there is an underwater canyon that we were told is two and half times as deep as the the Grand Canyon.   Researchers are finding an average of one new species a day in this under water canyon.


Elkhorn Slough – Seal


Boat Ride On The Elkhorn Slough


Boat Ride On The Elkhorn Slough


Had Lunch At Phil’s Fish Market


Are These Seals or Sea Lions?


Sea Otter Having Lunch

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Thursday February 9, 2018

We drove to Oceana, near Pismo Beach where we stayed at The Pismo Sands RV Park.  That evening we went to The Great American Melodrama where professional actors present top-notch musicals, comedies, and classic melodramas in a casual atmosphere.  We saw a comedy, “The Foreigner”.  We had a good time the acting was good and the melodrama was funny, there were lots of funny scenes.  We sat with an interesting couple Steve and Yoshi Deiwert, Yoshi is an artist and Steve is a retired engineer who work with NASA.  It was a fun evening of light entertainment.

Before The Show Begins

Before The Show Begins

Great Amerrican Melodrama

Great Amerrican Melodrama

Great American Melodrama

Part Caravaning Is Making New Friends

Part Of Caravaning Is Making New Friends At Happy Hour

Friday February 10, 2018

We drove to the Madonna Inn, a funky local Inn that we were told had over the top decorations and a waterfall urinal in the men’s room is should not be missed.  http://www.madonnainn.com/ Every guest room at Madonna Inn has been decorated with a unique theme, from Fabulous Fifties to Jungle Rock to Mountain Cabin. Gilt furniture and kitsch wallpaper, rock walls, are all part of this unusual inn.  After visiting the Madonna Inn we drove to Avila Beach, San. Luis Obispo, and to Morrow Bay. The drive along the ocean was spectacular. We enjoyed a good lunch with friends at a restaurant in Pismo Beach, After lunch it was raining so we did not walk out on the pier.  All and all a nice and relaxing day.


Pismo Beach Pier


Morrow Bay


Pacific Coast Highway (PCH 1) We’ve Driven The Entire Coast



Beach Just Outside Of Monterey

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Getting Ready For Valentines Day At The Madonna Inn

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Saturday February 11, 2018

We drove north on PCH 1 and toured The Hearst Castle, which we had done on a previous trip to CA.


Hearst Castle

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View Of Hearst Castle

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Intimate Dining Room


Looking Up At The Hearst Castle


Hearst Castle


Looking Up At The Hearst Castle

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Indoor Swimming Pool Hearst Castle

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The Hearst Have Castles Airstreamers Have Palaces

After touring the Hearst Castle, we drove a few miles further north on PCH 1 to Piedras Blanca’s, the southern end of Big Sur where the Friends of Elephant Seal support the seal rookery.  The location is ideal for the seals because it is protected from storms and has wide sandy beaches.  There were hundreds of huge seals  asleep on the beach.

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Giant Elephant Seal


More Elephant Seals


Elephant Seals At San Simeon

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We high tailed it back to Pismo Sands so that we wouldn’t be late for “Spam Night”, a contest that the caravan leaders thought up for fun.  The object was to see who could be the most creative chef with spam!    Each couple was given two cans of spam when the caravan met at Hollister and each was asked to think about a creative spam recipe.  There were some very creative and artistic entries, including spam sushi!


How Do You Make Spam Look Appetizing – Janet Soucy Knows How


How About Spam Sushi?

 Sunday and Monday February 12 & 13, 2017

Sunday was a drive day.  We drove to Buellton, CA where we stayed at the Flying Flags RV Park, a very nice clean RV park.  We unhooked and got set up quickly and then drove to Santa Barbara with Mike and Jane Malone and John and Mary Diamond.  We enjoyed a late lunch on Sterns Wharf.  The drive from Buellton to Santa Barbara on 101 was beautiful.  After lunch and a walk on Sterns Wharf we drove around Santa Barbara.  We ended up at Whole Foods where we bought dinner and headed back to Buelton. The Santa Barbara area is one of our favorite places and definitely gets our VSP (very special place) award. The architecture and Mediterranean feel to the area are beautiful.


Sand Art Beside Sterns Wharf




Sterns Wharf Shop


View From Sterns Wharf Santa Barbara


Stern’s Wharf Santa Barbara

Monday, we started the day visiting an Ostrich farm in Buelton and then headed back to Santa Barbara where we met Randy and Xan and took at trolley tour of the area.  One of the areas that we drove through on the trolley tour was Montecito.  We drove back to Montecito after the tour and walked around on our own.


Ostrich Farm


Miss Ostrich Of 2017


State Street Santa Barbara


Ed, Roberta, Xan, and Randy Santa Barbara Mission

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Mendocito – Santa Barbara


Santa Barbara


More Of State Street

We ended the day driving to Solvang, CA a small town a few miles from Buelton that was founded in 1911 by a group of Danes who traveled west to establish a Danish colony far from the Midwestern winters.  The city architecture is Danish and there are lots of bakeries, restaurants, and merchants offering a taste of Denmark in CA.  We arrived back at Flying Flags RV at 6:30 exhausted but feeling as though we had seen everything.


Solvang Main Street – Danish Village

Tuesday February 14, 2017

Valentine’s day was the longest and hardest driving day on the trip.  We left Buelton for Newport Beach a drive day of about 180 miles.  Part of the driving was on the 405 around LA, the best way to describe the drive is that it Is “white knuckle” driving.  We left early and apparently we lucked out and hit the traffic just right, some or our group that were behind us complained of being at a dead stop for quite a while.   They might have been the lucky ones, we experienced fast driving cars weaving in and out of traffic on eight lanes of highway.  Driving anywhere near Los Angles is anxiety producing and should be avoided if at all possible.  We arrived in Newport Beach in the early afternoon.  We were not planning to go to dinner at the Elks Club that night but two couples had cancelled and a fellow caravaner (Bob Vasser) had kindly made arrangements with the Elk’s Club to have a special dinner catered for Valentine’s Day.  He would have been charged for the four meals so in order to help Bob we said that we would go.  We’re glad that we did the meal was good but even if it hadn’t been the view was worth the price of the meal.  The Elk’s Club in Newport beach is right on the harbor and we were there at sunset.  The service was fabulous, accommodating Eddie’s vegan diet without missing a beat.  We had a nice meal surrounded by new Airstream friends!


View From The Elks Club – Newport Beach

The next day we took a boat cruise around Newport Harbor with the boat captain pointing out interesting sights and sprinkling his talk by pointing out homes that belong to the rich and famous.  After the cruse we took a short ferry ride (about 100 yards) to Balboa Island where we walked along the board walk looking at homes then to the downtown commercial area.  Balboa Island is a fun place to stroll around the site see.  We ended the day at Whole Foods buying prepared food for dinner.


Board Walk Balboa Island


Balboa Island Ferry


Locals Call This The “Jaws House”


Balboa Island Board Walk


Over 3,000 Teddy Bears – Balboa Island – Eccentric People Live Everywhere


Newport Harbor Cruise

Brown Pelicans Tour Of Newport Harbor

Lots Of Brown Pelicans – Boat Tour Of Newport Harbor


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Saw This On The Newport Harbor Boat Cruise

Thursday we toured John Wayne’s yacht “The Wild Goose”.  The “Wild Goose” was originally a Navy ship built as a mind sweeper for use in WW II.


The Duke’s Poker Room

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The Duke Loved The “Wild Goose”

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Friday, we drove up the coast to Dana Point for lunch and to Laguna Beach everyone was talking about the expected storm.  At the restaurant, where we had lunch they were putting out sand bags in anticipation of the storm.  Just across from our RV site at Newport Dunes RV there is a steep bank that they have covered with black plastic and staked with sandbags in order to hold the hillside in place.

Saturday February 18, 2017

We have experienced lots of rain in Southern California.  A song that was popular for our generation is “It Never Rains In Southern CA” we’ll it’s not true.  The CA drought is officially over!!  The flooding and rain in CA has been in the national news lately due to worry about the possible breach of the Oroville Dam and the evacuation of 200,000 residents.  We do not think that we are in danger however it disconcerting to see sand bags being put up along with black plastic being used to cover the hillside behind our trailer to hold the hillside in place and to prevent a mudslide.

Newport Beach RV Resort

Newport Beach RV Resort

More Happiness

More Happiness


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Sandbags With Stakes Driven Through Them To Hold Hillside In Place

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Remember The Song “It Never Rains In Southern CA”…….. Fake News

Our southern CA trip is coming to an end, there are only six rigs left at Newport Dunes RV the rest of the group left for Bakersfield.  Some of us are skipping the trip north to Bakersfield, we did,  because it involved driving north and then driving south again to get back to Phoenix.  Our friends Mike and Jane Malone are headed to Mesa and we caravanning back to Phoenix  together.  We are hookup and ready to leave Newport Beach by 10:00.  Since we only plan to drive eighty miles today to the Morongo Casino where we stayed on the way to CA we are not in a rush to get on the road.   With help from the people at Newport Dunes RV Resort we found a way to get to I-10 without driving near the 405 or Los Angles.

We are new to casino parking having only parked in casino parking lots three times previously. They are safe, convenient and they welcome RV’s they are nice places to stay for a night.  We stayed at the Morongo Casino RV Parking lot on the way to Hollister, CA to begin the caravan.  We decided to spend the night there on the way back to Phoenix.  We arrived at about 3:30 Saturday afternoon.  We had dinner at one of the casino restaurants Saturday night and then spent a chilly night before leaving for home on Sunday morning.


Morongo Casino With Mike And Jane Malone

CA Windmill Farm

CA Windmill Farm – Near Morongo Casino

Another adventure is coming to an end but the memories of the places that we visited, what we have seen and learned and the new friends that we made will remain with us for the rest of our lives!



20 thoughts on “Chapter 6 | California Dreaming Feb. 2017

  1. Bob & Cathy

    Ed & Roberta thanks for sharing the pictures and adventures of your great trip. It must have been a blast and glad you got home safely. It was fun seeing you in Scottsdale and look forward to getting together back here.

    1. Ed & Roberta Post author

      Bob and Cathy, the trip was great! We had driven up the coast of CA but we had never been inland to the farming country. It is just as spectacular in its own way as the coast. Look forward to getting together when we’re back in Cville! Enjoy the nice weather that you’re having!

    1. Ed & Roberta Post author

      Thanks Dick! Glad that you enjoyed the blog the rain only dampened our spirits slightly. The trip was still an over all success! Look forward to getting together with you when we return to Cville.

  2. Barb and Gordon

    Ed and Roberta, you do know how to have fun in this life! Your trip sounds great and we love that you can combine sightseeing with wonderful friendships. In one of your photos, I see a bunch of airstreams and one “alien”. So your membership is flexible. Nice to be tolerant of all species.

    1. Ed & Roberta Post author

      Tolerance is a virtue but the “alien” is actually an AS. AS made a motorhome until about 2007. The “alien” in the picture is actually an AS motorhome. But don’t worry we are a tolerant group of people.

  3. Mark Kington

    Eddie and Roberta–our Virginia diplomats to the rest of the country! Great of you to share, glad to see you having so much fun. Check in sometime.

    1. Ed & Roberta Post author

      Thanks Mark, I loved seeing you before we left this fall. Emory and Mark seem to be wonderful young people. I was so impressed with Emory’s Urban Farm project that I drove by to take a look at it.

    1. Ed & Roberta Post author

      Thanks Will, not as much fresh air as your Harley but we do spend a lot of time outdoors when we travel 🙂

  4. Dickie Brawley

    Ed and Roberta,
    I really enjoyed your blog and I can’t wait to show it to Joanie. We have talked about takinging a RV out west but have never pulled the trigger. Maybe your blog will inspire us to follow our dreams. Thanks for sharing, it was a pleasure to follow your trip.
    Dickie Brawley

    1. Ed & Roberta Post author

      Dickie, nice hearing from you it has been too long. RV’ing is a time when I truly relax, it’s not for everyone but I sure enjoy it. I don’t know if you are aware of this or not but Greg Wall and Kelly Sutton bought an AS and took off for five months fly fishing across Canada several years ago. Kelly has written a book about the trip. I would love to get together sometime when you are in Cville

  5. Alden

    Beautiful.The Mamas and the Papas would be envious as am I.Two Questions..did you know the other prescient line to the song is(It never Rains in California0…is…”but man it pours!’
    Also do you find the 1 and 101 more beautiful than lunch at Fresh Market,Charlottesville
    in April?”…..just sayin’

    1. Ed & Roberta Post author

      Alden, thanks I didn’t remember the other line of the song “but man it pours” all that I can attest to that statement being true! The 1, 101, and lunch at Fresh Fields are each special in different ways, hows that for being PC?

  6. Julie Speasmaker

    Thanks for sharing. Your pictures are wonderful. Makes me want to see that part of the country. See you back in C’ville.

    1. Ed & Roberta Post author

      Thanks Julie, it was a great trip! We have been up PCH 1 all the way but had never done much in the farming areas of CA. CA is “big time” farming country.

  7. Lynda Jervinsky

    Hi Ed, You may not receive this because I see it is dated 2017. But, I was looking for info
    about rv rest stops and this popped up. We took a Mindfulness class together
    a while back. The hubs and I are now owners of a motor home, yips, and so if you have any
    good web sites to check out, please let me know. I am looking for a book on all the rv rest
    stops in the USA, but so far no luck. We have a GPS system for truckers which works for
    rv’s too, but just wondered if may there is a book out.
    All the best,


    1. Ed & Roberta Post author

      Hi Lynda, I just saw this post I do not go to our blog often unless we are traveling. I do know a good book that shows rest stops and much more, the book is “Next Exit” I actually have two copies one I leave in my truck all of the time. It will tell you rest stops and tells you what restaurants services etc are available at which exits. You can purchase the book on Amazon.com I highly recommend it. Hope that this helps.


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