Water, Wine Country, Wildfires

Now that we have this whole “SoCal Tour Guide” thing down, I have to say that I really love having people out here! It is so exciting to show everyone our new life and give them a glimpse of what RV life is all about.

Alex slept in the hammock outside — because, you know, SoCal doesn’t really have bugs.

On Saturday, we took a tour of the coast, starting with the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla.


As animal lovers, we both had a great time.

Then we drove up historic highway 101 to see all the beach towns. He thought it looked just how he had imagined Southern California would look but was very impressed with all the different architecture.

He got his first sea lion encounter, though short because a boat scared them away. Then we took a walk down the pier — the longest one on the West coast.

Perfect day
Pelican waiting for fish scraps


On Sunday, all three of us toured wine country in Temecula.  I wanted Alex to have a real wine country experience and even though Ramona has over 30 in the area, it’s not the same as the rolling, endless hills of vineyards in Temecula.


Our first stop was Old Town Temecula where we had a delicious lunch.

The boys started their tour off with some beer.

Then, we stopped at a vineyard that I had wanted to go back to for some time.  They advertised a cave tour, which sounded amazing and we wanted to do it.  It was not a cave tour as you would imagine it to be.


For $30 per person, we got to try 6 different wines while touring a small, man-made cave. It was…unimpressive.  As were the wines.


The only thing that saved the trip was that our tour guide let us get a Groupon deal without having purchased the Groupon — this means that we received a small charcuterie tray at the end of our tour (a $22 savings). Not bad but I think it should be included without the Groupon.


The other couple of stops went just fine. We learned, however, that we need to plan more time for tastings since most of the vineyards close by 6 p.m. on Sundays. The cave tour took up almost two hours of our trip.

Waterfall at the last vineyard

Monday was Alex’s last day in town, he flew back to MN that night. We decided to spend the morning at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park before he left for the airport.

African Serval show

It was a fun way to end his short trip here and we saw some very interesting critters.

Sorry about the bad pic!

We got to see the cheetah with her six babies. Super cool!

We split up after the Safari Park, Alex heading to the airport and us heading into Escondido to run some errands. On our drive, I checked my phone for updates and found out that a wildfire had broken out 12 miles from Ramona. The wind was blowing at 13 mph, sort of in our direction.  I was very nervous to go shopping elsewhere so we drove back home in case we needed to evacuate.

Picture taken coming into town. That’s not a cloud, it’s smoke from the fire!

If the fire had entered Ramona, it is likely that they would have barricaded the entrances and not let us in to get our pets or home. Luckily, the fire started at 30 acres and they contained it by the time it reached 133 acres.  Had the Santa Ana winds been blowing, it would have been a different story! I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the idea of wildfires being this common…


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