Tag Archives: Road Trip

Four Foto Friday – Cali Capers Continue

It’s Friday again! We’ve just arrived at a KOA south of San Francisco and we’re still finding lots to enjoy about California. Here’s a little glimpse of the past week…

Auto Tour and Santa Monica Pier
As we left the San Diego area, we decided to do a bit of a driving tour of some well-known spots on our way back to pick up Harvey (the RV) near LA. We saw the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese Theater (which is now renamed TCL Theater and oddly enough, had a Jack Sparrow look-a-like and a Micky and Minnie walking around out front), got a glimpse of the iconic Hollywood sign, and drove down the palm tree-lined streets of Beverly Hills and Rodeo drive. Our driving tour ended at the Santa Monica Pier, which also happens to be the end of the old Route 66 and was crowded with people enjoying a warm evening at the beach.

This photo was taken at Pacific Park, a mini-amusement park that sits right on the pier. The boys used a bit of their “fun money” (saved last spring from selling some of their things at the ISB car boot sale as we were getting ready to pack out of Beijing) to enjoy the rides and games.

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier

Monterey Bay area
After a brief stop in Oceano (near Pismo Beach) that included time at a pool with water slides and a hot spring mineral bath, we got on the road to the Monterey area. A big highlight for us here was the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The Aquarium sits near the old Cannery Row (for you Steinbeck fans), which has now been converted into a touristy, but pleasant, walking area. The aquarium did a great job of combining the animal exhibits (puffins, tentacles, jellies, touch pools were some favorites) with raising awareness about conservation and research being done to support these aquatic animal populations. Of particular interest to me was the sea otter exhibit (I just love those little creatures!).

If you happen to like sea otters, too, you might be want to watch an older movie called Ring of Bright Water – it is a good film, but I’m giving you a warning now so that if you watch it, you aren’t taken by surprise like I was (yes, MKS, I’m lookin’ at you!)…the otter star of the movie meets his demise during the film.

In other sea otter news, there was a wild otter that visited the boat basin behind our RV park each day, and I enjoyed just watching him floating around, grooming himself, and just being otterish. Ahhh, the simple pleasures.

Sea otter cuteness at Monterey Aquarium

Sea otter cuteness at Monterey Aquarium

Big Sur
This week, we’ve frequently said that we understand why so many people love California. It has beautiful shoreline, green mountains, lots to do, nice weather, and friendly people. As we drove along Highway 1 through the Big Sur area, we were constantly oohing and ahhing. We stopped in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and had a picnic lunch in view of a waterfall that falls into the ocean and then made our way to Pfeiffer Beach where a gorgeous, beachy cove appears at the end of a long, bumpy road, and a short walk through a tree-lined path. While here, he boys enjoyed skim boarding in the freezing water. We ended the day in the quaint town of Carmel-by-the-Sea where we had dinner and were able to catch the sunset on a beach that is backed by some of the most unique beach homes we’ve seen. We even got a view of an interesting Frank Lloyd Wright house that is shaped like the prow of a boat and sits on an outcropping of rocks on the beach.

Pfeiffer Beach

Pfeiffer Beach

This week saw us in the car a lot but luckily, many of these drives were beautiful and so the miles seemed to pass by quickly. Take a look here at a gorgeous section of Highway 1.

Highway 1, California

Bixby Bridge, Highway 1, California

And from here, we continue North and look forward to some time in San Francisco!

Four Foto Friday – Hitting the Road

This past week took a lot of energy… unpacking our shipment from China, getting our home ready for the house-sitters, gearing up with supplies for our first big trip, and learning all that we could about the new RV. That said, we enjoyed a great Labor Day weekend at the Goshen Fair. We’re also looking forward to this coming weekend, as we made it (today) up to Acadia National Park in Maine. Stay posted for more pics from Acadia. Here are four from this past week: Jen and chicken Goshen Fair: This is an annual event for Jen’s family. The agricultural fair in beautiful Litchfield County is a Connecticut tradition that we’ve truly missed each year while overseas. The fair itself is a throwback to much simpler times, when swine judging, tractor pulls, log rolling, and carnival rides all made for a memorable day. I have so many great photos of Jen to choose from – beating Miles in Whack-a-Mole, grinning ear to ear with a steaming bag of fresh apple fritters, competing against a field of much larger women in the “skillet toss” event – it’s too bad I have to pick just one. But this one really captures Jen’s enthusiasm for everything at the Goshen fair, even the chickens. Truth be told, they were pretty amazing chickens.

Hit the Road Thursday, Sept 4: The official start of Gold Family Road Trip. As you can see, the RV is loaded, the truck is hitched up, and the Golds are ready to go. There’s an air of excitement, but also apprehension about driving such a formidable beast. This was taken just seconds before our departure. So glad to finally be hitting the road!

Welcome to MaineWelcome to Maine: Our first drive took about 4 hours and ended at this campground in Old Orchard Beach, just across the border in southern Maine. Getting through traffic and construction in CT and MA was a challenge, but the open road and beautiful scenery of Maine made for an auspicious end to our first day of driving.

IMG_5072 Our new home: This was also our first night in the RV, which will serve as “home” for much of the coming year. We testing out the equipment (with a few quick peeks at the Owner’s Manual), had a simple meal of pasta and veggies, then settled in for a long and much deserved rest from a very exhausting week.

In many ways, it feels like we’ve left our home and stepped into a whole new world. It’ll take some time to adjust to life on the road, but if Acadia is any indication of what’s to come, then I think it’ll all be worth it.

My Home on Wheels.

IMG_5061So, on Thursday we finally picked out the RV that we will be using on our trip around America. This RV was one of the first of a lot of RVs that we looked at and Owen and I both liked it as soon as we saw the bunkhouse. The bunkhouse is the place where the bunks are kept. In this RV the bunk house is a loft and under the loft is a comfortable area with a fold out couch. This is good because the loft is very big and we would have a lot of space to play in under it, the only thing that I don’t like about this is that I have to pull out the couch every time we setup camp. When you first walk in to the RV there is a couch directly in front of you on the opposite side of the RV and a booth next to it. Also in the main room is a TV already hooked up and a kitchen with a microwave and stove and some places to put food. The master bedroom has a big bed and a shower and bathroom and some closets. Overall I can’t wait to try out our new RV. I think that it will be great for what we are doing.

Besides the RV that we bought, we got to look at some big RVs just for fun. Thesewere really cool even though we knew we wouldn’t buy them. They were so big you could probably use them instead of a house!My favorite big one was a 45-foot Predator. Inside there was a place for a car at the very back of the RV in a separate room. In the living room there was a loft above the door to the car storage with a queen sized bed. Also in the living room there was a big kitchen and a 4 person brown leather couch and next to it a huge dining booth.On the wall of the living room was a 55-inch flatscreen TV and the master bedroom had a king size bed with a big shower and another large TV. Even though we won’t buy this RV I think that it would be a lot of fun to live in and maybe some time in the future we can use it.

I think that the RV that we bought will be a great one and I can’t wait to use it on our trip.