Taking in SoCal

The rest of our week’s visit with our friends Ali and Jared brought on much better weather.  After surviving our tornado, we actually got to enjoy some sun!

On Thursday, Day Four of our visit:

We took Ali and Jared to Oceanside, the city where Andy’s grandpa and aunt live.  We are really fond of it here since it is normally where we stay when we visit California.  It also happens to be the first place that I ever saw the ocean and holds those special memories for me (the first place that convinced me I couldn’t live without the ocean nearby).

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We started the day at the beach where we got the last of our bad weather for the week

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We got caught in a short-lived rain storm

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We walked around the harbor for a short time before we got rained out

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The sun came through momentarily to tease us
With wet pants, shirts, and shoes, we decided it was time to get lunch.  We walked along the Oceanside Pier where the sun truly started to shine.

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We met some friends along the way…and tried not to get bit…

Then we had lunch at Ruby’s Diner, a restaurant the just so happens to have a location at the very end of a long pier.

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The waves were so huge after the storms that we could feel the whole restaurant moving.  The threat of motion-sickness reminded me why I live in an RV and not on a boat, as much as I would like to (next journey?).

Burgers and shakes and an awesome ocean view completed the meal.  Then we went to the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla and made a pitstop at a winery in Carlsbad on the way home.  What a great day!

Day Five:

This was an eventful day for many reasons.  This was the day we went to the San Diego Zoo but the exciting events leading up to it are worth telling.  I was driving the Jeep down to the zoo and we were minutes from arriving.  Andy had his window open to let in the cool breeze since it was a nice, sunny day.  He opened the glovebox and suddenly yelled, “tickets!”  Our envelope of zoo tickets had flown out the window!  We were at a stoplight so he jumped out of the Jeep (in front of a cop) and ran back along the side of the road.  I drove away, pulled a not-recommended U-turn to pick him up again, and we were on our way back to the zoo.  I should add that it was on a very busy road.

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There are only 12 pandas in zoos in the U.S. spread out over 4 zoos–all on loan from China
After the zoo, we stopped at a beach to catch the sunset.  California sunsets are amazing and one thing we’ve noticed is that people take the time to watch them here.  They stop their busy lives for a few minutes to appreciate the beauty of the sun setting over the ocean.

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We capped the day off by having the BEST FISH TACOS EVER at a place in Cardiff that Andy and I found a few years ago.

Day Six:

We felt pretty guilty about leaving the dogs cooped up over the past few days so we were determined to include them in all of our plans this day.  We first went for a hike from our campground to the beach (1.5 miles each way).

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This wore everyone out enough so we all piled into the Jeep (dogs included) and drove out to Temecula where we had lunch at a dog-friendly restaurant.  I have never been to a place that has its own dog menu!

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Theo and Piper split the chicken breast with wild rice.  And they loved it!  Four paws up for 1909!

Afterwards, we went into Temecula Wine Country for a day of wine tasting.  Our first spot was dog-friendly as well so Theo and Piper got to come into the tasting room with us.

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We ended up only going to three wineries altogether because one can really only handle so much wine in such a short period of time.  But it was an amazing day and the dogs got to be with us the entire time.

Day Seven:

This was our last day together as a group so we went up towards L.A. to explore.  We hit up Aliso Beach in Laguna Beach which was absolutely breathtaking.

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Then we explored the Venice Beach Boardwalk after having a great lunch.  On the way home, one of our breaks went out in the Jeep but because Andy is amazing, he was able to fix it very quickly after we parked at home!  We hung out in the RV and played games on our last night, not knowing when we would see each other next.  That is one of the hardest parts about being on our journey.  Though we know we don’t want the life we had before, there are people that were in that life that we do not want to lose.

Andy and I are still in SoCal for an indefinite amount of time, just figuring out what we want to do from here.  Yesterday, we explored some tide pools that Andy’s dad had recommended to us.  They were really awesome and full of life!

We again watched one of the most spectacular sunsets of our lives.

 

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This morning, we moved from the campground we were staying at with Ali and Jared (the second one).  It is not quite as nice as the one we were at, which had larger sites that were further apart and more secluded.  However, since we did not need to have space for them to set up a tent and we knew we were going to spend more time further south, it just made sense to move.  The photos below are of the campsite we spent most of our time at with them (I unfortunately forgot to take a picture of our beach site).

Here is our new campsite:

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Today was a beautiful day.  We spent it moving sites and then driving around Oceanside, watching the waves.  We brought the dogs out with us for lunch at another dog-friendly place.

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Bagby Beer Company
We don’t know what the future will bring yet or where we will go next.  For now, we are soaking up the California sun and enjoying the beautiful ocean.

 

 

 

 

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