Sunday, June 28, 2015

Pacific Dunes

I'm not really liking Pismo Beach.  We're not having the awesome experience here that we had in Morro bay.  Pismo Beach is Morro Bay's more crowded, overpriced, touristy older sister.  I'm disappointed.

We can never find parking in town so today (Sunday) I became determined to walk to the beach from our RV park.  There is access at the back of the park to what I presumed was beach, but what I've learned is a mile of dunes before getting to the ocean.

The first day here I tried to walk through the soft shoe-sucking sand to get to the ocean and gave up.  Today I was determined to make it.  I'd checked on satellite and it was about a mile.  It would be a rough hike over high loose sand dunes, but I just wanted to get to the ocean, dang it!

Here is the Google World picture.  These dunes are gigantic.  I had to scramble on all fours to climb them, and climbing is tough.  Your feet sink in the sliding sand and it's hard to make progress.  Your feet are sucked by every step anyway.  It got exhausting in a hurry. 

I walked far enough out to not be able to see anything in front of me or behind me.  It would be so easy to get lost.  Eventually I did make it to the ocean, but it was a weird beach.  There's a two lane road right where the water meets land.  The whole beach is a parking lot.  Many people were towing Toy-haulers to bring their ATVs out to the dunes. 

I still enjoyed walking barefoot in the water for a long stretch.  The ocean waves gave me a second wind.  I had loads of energy and enthusiasm.

I saw two clammers.  The first one was an adult man who would not look at me for me to greet him.  I presume he's clamming without a license and wants people to leave him alone.  The next clammers were two little boys getting clams for their father to use as bait.  I asked them if they got any clams and they showed me their small white steamer proudly.  Then their father (who was fishing nearby) yelled at them not to talk to me, because I presume he was fishing without a license.  Like I really give two shits?

I started back with achey legs and I knew I just could not climb another avalanching 30 foot dune.  I saw people riding horses and followed them because there's no way the horses were going over those dunes.  They must ride out to a road.  Once I get to the road I can just walk my way back to the RV park on pavement.

But of course I got lost.  I'm at the edge of the dunes now looking down a 100 foot sheer drop to where people's houses are far below me.  Houses and an area filled with old bath tubs for some reason?  There's no way I could get down to the private property even if I wanted to, so I didn't trespass.

I skirted the edge of the dunes where the sand was hard packed enough for me not to sink.  I was trying my darndest not to have to scramble.  I kept finding the easiest paths with my only navigation tool being the ocean behind me, so the RV park was somewhere in the opposite direction.

Thankfully the park is so huge that I was able to spot it.  Hallelujah!  I wasn't going to die out here.  I was seriously praying and freaking out.  The dunes were precarious.  I could have twisted my ankle and be seriously screwed.  It was a stupid thing to try.

Oh...but it took so long to finally make it back!  And the last stretch was scrambling up steep dunes.  I was so achey, thirsty, and exhausted!  I was also grateful to have made it back safely. 

After I recovered I took my mom out to dinner because I was too exhausted to cook.  While Pismo Beach and Oceano (where the park actually is) kind of suck, Arroyo Grande is a really nice little town.  We went to a Mexican/Seafood restaurant and had a delicious meal that was reasonably priced. 

Then I got stupid again.

On the way back I went down Pier Street to drive onto the beach and show my mother this strange beach where there was vehicle traffic.  We paid $5 to drive on the beach.  The woman at the gate should not have let us in!  The tide had already covered the hard packed sand.  We drove on fluffy sand and got stuck!  AHHH! 

Then like an idiot I turn down the first guy who wants to help us thinking I can dig myself out.  I CAN'T.  Thankfully my mom gets out to push and more men come to help.  We promptly GTFO of there before the tide eats our car.  OH THE CALAMITY!!!

This is when I decide I think Pismo Beach sucks and I don't want to come back here.  Maybe this will change tomorrow.  I'm hoping Monday will mean less of a crowd and that I can actually get on the pier to fish.  That might just make me fall in love with this place...but only if we can find a parking spot!

Saturday, June 27, 2015


Wow...that's a horrible title for a blog post, but it does speak to what I'm feeling today.  We drove from Acton to Pismo Beach without a problem.  When we got to the RV park I was thrilled to get a pull-through spot.  Hooray! 

I have a problem I'm trying to work see, when things are in disarray I get stressed and snappy.  I found that this happens every time I move the RV.  In order to move we have to disconnect everything, pack everything up that's on counters and shelves, and I have to take all the stuff down from the shelf behind my bed.  Also we usually find that a cupboard has flung open during the drive to scatter it's contents everywhere.  Evil bitch Milly comes out when my world is in this situation.  She doesn't go away until every thing is back in place.

Well...this time would be different!  (I said)  This time I'm not even going to go into the RV once we're parked in our spot.  This time I'm going to unhitch and go out to dinner.  It will give me time to decompress from the journey.  Then I can get back to the RV and deal with the drama with a cool head.

All I did was open the slide and plug in the electric so our cats had A/C.  Then we headed for a seafoood restaurant I'd researched online. was terrible.  So overpriced, snotty, and with such low quality sea food.  I got really annoyed that we spent so much on such crappy food.

So I was in kind of a bad mood when I got back to deal with the mess.  My clever scheme hadn't worked at all.  I was still pissy and annoyed.

Well, I saw to hooking the water and sewer and trying to balance the front of the RV just right.  My mom handled the interior mess and cat comforting.  (Our cats are travel champs now.  They don't hide for hours after a move anymore.  They're such adaptable furry babies!)

Then she tells me that the RV is unlevel.  I go in to see that, yeah, we're seriously unlevel.  The kitchen drawers won't stay closed.

If it was just me I would have said:  Meh.  And lived with it.  Maybe that's a major RVing sin...maybe that will screw up my fridge or something...but I'm kind of stupid like that.  But since it's me and my mobility impaired mother I know I have to try to get this righted.  I put out some blocks with the idea of moving one side of the RV on them.

So I take out my stupid piece of crap tow dolly to save me from having to rehitch, and after going through all the trouble of connecting this to my battery and what not it can't get traction in the sand.  -_-  Ugh.  I'm really starting to hate this thing.  It's a pain in the ass to set up, heavy as all f*ck and and only works on hard packed dirt or pavement.  Anyone want to buy a barely used Parkit 360?  (I'm serious).

Now I feel I have to rehitch to move the RV on the blocks.  In retrospect I should have taken out my jack and just jacked up the tires.  In futurespect though, I don't know if that tiny jack will work with this huge/tall RV since I bought it to use with my tiny old RV.  But whatever, it didn't occur to try that shit at the time.

I want to rehitch but it's TIGHT.  I start struggling to position the SUV under the ball connection.  AHHHHH!  Why is it so hard?  It seriously took me 5 minutes to do this at the Acton campground.  I mean...I may not be able to back up an RV to save my life, but hitching?  I GOT THIS.

Except I didn't.  I struggled.  I was angry that I struggled.  A guy offered to move his truck to give me more room and I growled, "NO!"  On the inside I was saying, "Stay away, man!  I am not a pathetic woman!  I can hitch up my own damn RV!  I don't need you.  I DON'T NEED A MAN!!!"

Oh.  My.  God.

After struggling for a while longer a guy came up to the SUV, opened my driver side door, and told me to get out.

So...I got out.

Then he and the first guy I'd growled at worked together to get me on the blocks.

It hurts people.  I don't want to be that person.  I don't want any woman to be that person, but I, in particular, have no excuse to be so helpless.  This ain't my first rodeo.  I know how to hitch up my own damn RV.

Oh...and after all this...the RV is still out of whack.  I came to notice that all the RVs around me are up on blocks on one side.  We're on a hill.  My mother is complaining of vertigo.  FML.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Finally Leaving Acton!!

Well, my mom has a clean bill of health, we've visited my brother and seen his new babies, and it's gotten insanely hot.  TIME TO GET MOVING!!

We should have gotten out of here much sooner.  The 100 degree (Fahrenheit)  desert heat made going outside during the day impossible.  I got very lethargic.  Staying cooped up in the tin-can all day was not the life-style I signed up for when I decided to go RVing full-time.

So we're OUTTA HERE!  We're headed to Pismo Beach!  It's only seven days (our 'out days' for Thousand Trails) but what a great place to be out at!  We have a campground right on the beach.  I'm so excited!  I plan on fishing, clamming, beach combing--and if conditions permit I might even get back to doing some body surfing.

We'll reactivate our active selves and hopefully lose some of this heat weight gain in the process.

Today is the last day at our Acton campground.  I took advantage of our proximity to Los Angeles to pitch two screenplays I've had in my portfolio for a while.  (Well, one of them was in my portfolio, the other I came up with recently).  I have interest in BOTH projects.  I want to say more than that, but nothing is signed yet.  One thing I will say though, is that Hollywood is not as intimidating as I thought it was.  I really should have moved on these projects a long time ago.

I hosed out the black tank hoping I could clean off the sensors so I'll finally have a clear reading of how much poop is in my poop tank.  Well, no such luck.  It's reading half full.  :/  Apparently this is a common problem and I need to put a cup of dish soap and a cup of water softener to fix it.  I can't find water softener anywhere!!!  ARGH. 

I've hitched and disconnected everything except electric.  Tomorrow we just need to put in the slide, unhook the electric, batton down a few things and head north! 

See you on the beach!

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Key To RV Harmony

I meant to post about this a long time ago.  I need to do my work a lot when my mom wants to watch TV.  There's no room for me to escape to.  No door for me to shut.  I knew we needed to set up a way for her to watch TV without disturbing me.  Here's our lifesaver:

These wireless headphones hook up to our speaker system which gives TV sound.  She can press a button on the stereo DVD player thing and that turns off the speakers and turns on the headphones.  So she never has to miss watching TV when I need to work.  The stand is a charging bay for the headphones.  I'm seriously glad we have these.  They're a lifesaver.

Monday, June 8, 2015

My RV Kitchen

When we were shopping for the travel trailer that we now live in I thought the kitchen was kinda impractical.  The sink was huge and there wasn't any good open counter to put down a cutting board and use as my work space.

You may think I could use the covered sink as my cutting board...but what do I do when I need to rinse veggies?  The covered stove might have been a good place to cut...but I need to add my ingredients to the pan as I go.  Stuffs going to be cooking there.

The solution?  Well...I don't really have one.  I made grilled cheese with tomato yesterday for lunch and sliced the tomatoes on that little ledge in front of the sink.  :/  It's not ideal.

But it *is* workable!  And there is plenty of counter space for all the things we need to have living on the counter.  Here's my RV kitchen today: 

The built in spice rack has all my go-to spices, but I also have an entire cupboard below our pantry cupboard for additional spices, vinegars, and the like.  That cupboard is pretty crammed with stuff...BUT I NEED ALL OF IT.  Seriously.  I got rid of a lot and I use most of it at least once a month.

I found room for my Soda Stream.  I've had this for years, but stopped using it when we lived in our old house.  It was actually cheaper to buy bottles of club soda rather than get the CO2 tank refills.  Now we just don't have room for all those bottles of club soda and don't go to the store often enough to get the 6 liters I drink every day (I need tons of fluids due to no large intestine, for some reason carbonated water is absorb by the body better).  Now it just makes sense to keep my six Soda Stream bottles filled with tap water and carbonate them manually.  I am constantly rotating and refilling bottles throughout the day.  The bottom shelf in the fridge door is designated to my water needs.

The big sink is a good thing to have when you don't have a dishwasher.  We have a soapy water tub in one half and a drying rack in the other half.  You can't let dirty dishes pile up to dishwasher load size, but we keep up with it.  (Okay, my mom does.  I'm the cook, she's the dishwasher.)

Other counter necessities are our coffeemaker.  The measuring cup on top lives there to fill it with water every day.  We're Puerto Rican, so coffee is always mandatory.  Puerto Rican's ALWAYS have a pot of coffee going all day long.  It's just how we do.  Our grounds, creamer, sweetener, and filters all have designated space on the counter.

The toaster also gets a place of honor, even if we don't use it every day.  Between the coffeemaker and toaster is the designated spot for EITHER the slow cooker or rice cooker.  When I need to use one the other gets put away in the cupboard above the couch.  There's only room for one or the other.

Now we wittled away at our kitchen appliances before we went full-time.  There's no big blender, counter top grill, panini press, yogurt making machine, or huge bowl mixer.  But I'll be DAMNED if I get rid of my rice cooker.  Yes, I realize you can just boil rice on the stove or even get one of those 'make rice in the microwave' doohickies.  I DON'T CARE.  I love my rice cooker.  I put water and rice in it and get perfect fluffy rice every time.  I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT IT.

The slowcooker we're using a lot less lately.  We've come to realize that our two 5 gallon tanks of propane last a heck of a long time.  Also, the propane is only $1.55/gallon here.  That's insanely cheap, isn't it?  I haven't been buying propane for long but I'm just saying that seems cheap to me.

Other fulltimers were telling me to get Nuwave ovens and cooktop things so I could use electricity to cook or bake.  I don't really feel like adding to our kitchen gadget pile.  The oven bakes well and it's awesome cooking with gas.  If propane gets crazy expensive maybe I'll consider investing in the electric gadgets.  We're talking super crazy here, because I only have 5 gallon tanks.  Even if it goes up to $5 per gallon we're talking $20 every other month to fill it.  I can swing that.

Anywho, I know I have neglected this blog to focus on my writing projects.  We're still in Acton.  We haven't left since we first parked the rig here.  We've bought our out days twice with Ready Camp Go and after this out day stint I have another two weeks booked here.  We're still waiting for my brother to let us visit.  He has two newborns and my mom wants to be all over her grandbabies.  They were premies though, so we're being patient.  He'll give the word when we're welcome (hopefully before the end of June).

After the visit is accomplished we're heading up north.  We're still bouncing around Thousand Trails campgrounds.  That's going to end in September when our membership is up.  We've decided we need to get untethered so we can go to the places where we want to be.  Hopefully we won't regret that decision!