Friday, April 29, 2011

Farmers Market

We have continued to enjoy relaxing, reading,etc with Joe working part of each day. We went and checked out Lake Lopez which is outside of Arroyo Grande, about 1/2 hour from where we are staying. It has 22 miles of shoreline with plenty of activities such as boating, hiking. The campground is nice but area closest to the lake have sites pretty close together and it was pretty crowded considering it was midweek. Perhaps we will come back to kayak but still like our current location better.

Friday night we decided to go to the Farmers Maket/Fish Market. It is right in Avila on Front Street which is right next to the beach. It is only about a mile or two from where we are staying but we took a trolley that stops at the Pier and also the Front St area as well as around the surrounding area. We read on the internet that no dogs were allowed and so left Savannah home. Well when we got there, yes there was such a sign but we saw a number of dogs while we were there. I guess just some kind of law that notice had to be posted but not enforced. Anyway, sometimes we need to get away from the kids, fur type included.

It was not really that much of a market selling produce but had booths selling food, such as crepes, Indian food, fish dishes, strawberry shortcake and other desserts, etc. They also have music, which this week was Reggae. It is a nice area with several restaurants with large outdoor patios overlooking the water. Also lots of sitting areas all over.
We sat in one of the patio ares at the Custom House for a drink and steamers. Also had some large onion rings. We then walked around, and shared some clam chowder and some NYstyle cheesecake with strawberries and chocolate and carmel drizzles. Very filling and good. We listened to some music and bought some strawberries and cabbage and cilantro.

We had to catch the last trolley at 7:30 and so headed on home to our waiting puppy who had to give us lots of kisses.                                            

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

San Luis Port Harbor District

An easy walk from our site is the Port Harbor District and Pier. There are a number of restarurants including two at the end of the Pier.  Also on the Pier is a Fish Market and a small gift shop. The Harford wharf and pier had been built back in 1873 and had been used by smugglers to illegally move liquor during the prohibition days. In the 1950's, the district was created and funded to bring new life to the dilapidated area.
We had lunch at one of the restaurants on the Pier, Pete's Pierside Cafe. You order your food at an outdoor window and take a seat on the outdoor patio. It is a pet friendly place and there were a few other tables that had dogs sitting under them. We got fish tacos and beers. The tacos were very good with lots of fresh fish. More than you usuallly see in tacos. We just sat back and relaxed in the sun.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Avila Beach by way of Morro Bay

We left Jalama on Monday and made our way to Morro Bay State Park. We have stayed there before. It is a nice campground with lots of trees and across the street is the boat marina and a nice restaurant where you can sit outside with your dog. Once we set up, we drove to Pismo Beach for some shopping and decided to stop in Avila Beach to check out a camping area Joe had read about. It is Port San Luis RV Camping and is right near the Pier about a mile from the town of Avila.  There are some full hook up sites against the side of the hills and some dry camping in several turnout areas and also more camping up above.
They all have great water views and we decided to come back the next day to get a spot. They are all first come first serve. The next morning we headed back to Avila and got a great spot in one of the turnouts. It is one that we could park parallel to the shoreline so we have a great view out our big side windows.
Our motorhome above the beach area

View from our site

Another view from our site

Full hook sites

Nice hook up site on one of the midlevel sites

                   Another great things about this area is that the beach is pet friendly and dogs can be off leash. Savannah gives this place 5 paws up. The day we first checked the place out we walked on the beach and she met a miniature australian shepard puppy named Sadie and they had a ball chasing each other and wrestling as puppies will do.

We signed up for two days but are thinking of staying through the weekend. Just a great place. What this life style is all about.                                                        


Chilling in Jalama

No cell phone or internet so Joe gets a little time off from work. We just relaxed and took a lot of walks on the beach. . The beach was also different than we had seen it before again due to our being here earlier than we have ever been here before.  There were many more rocks than you see in the summer as a long of the sand was gone due to the winter storms.

    Savannah is a true beach dog. Dogs can be off leash and she had a lot of fun romping around on the beach making new friends with other dogs and people.

Yummy, Crab

I love the Beach

Jumping for joy
One day we had to have the famous Jalama burger. So good.

We ran into a couple who were parked next to us at Cattail Cove. They are Canadian and are making their way back to Canada. They have to stay in Canada for six months of the year and so only travel in the US for the other six months. They just love the places they have been in the US and really enjoy the campgrounds here. It was fun seeing them again.
We would love to stay here a few weeks but Joe needs to have internet for work and so we will leave Monday to spend some time where we know we will have that. We will leave Monday for Morro Bay.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Jalama Beach

We arrived at the Newport Dunes Monday afternoon. Joe spend most of Tuesday at his office for meetings while I did some shopping at Whole Foods and Trader Joes and a little clothes shopping as well. Wednesday we went down to Mission Viejo to see my Dad. He is on our Verizon phone plan and was seriously in need of a new phone. We got his phone and went to the nearest Verizon and picked out a new one for him. He was really happy to have a new one. We talked awhile catching him up on what we were doing and thenn headed back to the Dunes. We also dropped off our inflatible boat at our boys house as we didn't have any more room in our storage unit for it. Casey and Karol were there and we talked with them awhile.
Thursday morning we headed out and made our way to Jalama Beach Campground. We have been here many times on week vacations over the years and is one of our favorite spots. We have never been here this early in the year, The earliest was probably in early June. Athough the 14 mile drive from Lompoc down to Jalama is always pretty, it was especially beautiful this time. The hills were green with big patches of yellow flowers and some displays of some other colorful floweres. You drive through farm land, then the rolling hills and lots of twists and turns through the trees.

         Jalama has three levels. There are sites at sea level, some of which look right on the water. In fact, some of the sites use to have sand berms in front of them but they seemed to have been leveled so that you can now see the water from the camp sites. There is a midlevel that has good views of the water and then a top level that gives you the best view of the whole area. The top was filled and so we picked one in the midlevel which has electric.

Jalama is a county park and we were surprised when we got there as they are in the midst of making some changes. There is a large area on the lower level that is behind berms and the store,cafe and they are redoing that whole area. In fact some of the many trees have been removed. Also one section of the midlevel is being set up for 5 or 6 cabins. They are going to be around $85 a night and more on weekends in the Summer. Also they are going to go to a reservation system. Now they are first come first serve. We didn't have any problems getting in as it is still off season. However, in the summer, we have had to wait a day or two to get in. They have a system where you get a number and then there is a camp call  at 3 in the afternoon and they call numbers until the open spots are taken.  When we have to come back the next day we will stay at a campground in Lompoc. Usually you go the next day and a number of the people will have gone elsewhere and decided not to try again. The longest was three days and that was a time where Joe went ahead of time as he had more vacation time than me. I then came up on the train and got off at either Santa Barbara or Golets(did this a few times). It is worth it though as just a beautiful spot.                                                  

Monday, April 18, 2011

Races in Parker

We just loved staying at Cattail. Such a nice state park and so relaxing. Friday we headed back to Blue Water Casino in Parker. Casey and Michael are coming in Friday night for the hydroplane boat races. The drive between Lake Havasu is reallly a nice one if I didn't mention it before. Lots of rolling hills and views of the river here and there.
We got set up and went down to the cafe for some beers and sat outside overlooking the water. Our sons arrived around 9:30 and they are staying at the Casino. Saturday morning we walked down to the water where they were set up. Michael was having trouble with his engine again in one of his boats. He borrowed someone else's motor and by the end of the weekend ended up buying it. It worked much better than his which he has had a lot of problems with.  All the people who race are really nice and everyone helps each other out. Everyone seems to be more interested in just having fun than being overly competitive.
Michael raced both Saturday and Sunday and got a few third places. They left Sunday to head back to Huntington but we stayed until Monday.

We are going to stop back in Newport for a few days and then start heading up the coast.                                                     

Monday, April 11, 2011

Kayaking with Sailor Savannah

We decided to try out our inflatable 2 person boat first as we weren't sure how Savannah would do kayaking.
We walked over the boat to the shore. It was pretty choppy as the winds were starting to come up but it was still a nice paddle and Savannah sat on my lap and was just fine looking around and then settling in for a nap.

Another day we went to the Bill Williams National Wildlife Refuse to paddle in our hard shell kayaks

The Refuge is between Lake Havasu and Parker right off Highway 95.  It is 6,105 acres  and has one of the last stands of cottonwood willow forests along the Colorado River.  As we paddled down the river we saw cattail, cottonwood trees and saguaro cactus. The unique ecosystem creates a good habitat for both resident and migratory wildlife. It was a beautiful place to paddle. 
We did have a little adventure or at least Savannah did. She started in Joe's boat and had her paws hanging over the side of the boat and leaned too far and fell in. Luckily she had her leash on and thought she was swimming to get back to the boat, Joe had to pull her close and get her out of the water. Joe gave her to me and she finished the trip sitting on my lap, shivering from cold or being scare but was fine after awhile and we had no further incidents. We decided to use the hard shells in the future and will put our inflatable in storage when we stop off in Newport on the way up North.                                                  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Parker and Lake Havasu, AZ

AFter having to make an overnight stop at Temecula RV to have slide adjusted again and a few other things fixed, we were finally able to get back onto the road for next chapter in our current life style. We knew we would be getting there Thursday night and so decided to stay at the Blue Water Casino in Parker. We have stayed there before and is a good overnight place to stay especially as it is free which a lot of the Casinos are for RVers. On Friday, April 1st, we decided to check out some different campgrounds. One of them was Cattail Cove State Park, which we stayed at for a few days last year before ending back to Newport. One of the sites that is nearest the river with an unobstructed view happen to be open and so we decided to reserve it right away. We got signed up and then went to pick up our motorhome and got back to Cattail and set up late afternoon. The weather is hot in the ninetys. We wanted warm weather but yikes what a change from the 60s at Newport. But won't complain. Cattail is right on Lake Havasu and has 61 campsites and a boat launch which gets a lot of use. It has a large parking area and so is extremely popular in the summer when all the boaters arrive. Lake Havasu, by the way, was formed when the Colorado River was dammed near Parker.

Sunset View from our Motorhome

The campground is surrounded on two sides by hills heading towards the lake at one end. There are quite a few trees planted throughout the park. In fact many of them have markers identifying them, such as Willow, Cottonwood , Lemon and Sissoo. There are trails for hiking. Most of the beach area is off limit to dogs. However, there is a small section where they are allow. Savannah is very happy for that as she likes hunting for shells to eat and seems to like the water. When we were at Blue Water Casino we took her down to the river. She walked right in and even swam a little. This is the first dog we have had since our dog Sky that we had when our kids were growing up that liked to swim.

Yeah, my own beach

Joe enjoying the view