How I spent my summer vacation, Part 1

Regardless of how many times I experience the concept of “the best laid plans of mice and men”, I still have a bit of a hissy fit when I have to rethink my gameplan in our travels. JJ and I planned to stay at the Escapees Resort in Southern California for about a week, and then move on to other areas we’ve been meaning to see (Anza-Borrego State Park, Organ Pipe National Monument). As we’ve so often experienced on the road, the weather did not cooperate. The desert southwest has been *HOT*, with all the interesting locales around us sweltering in the upper 90s. I keep looking around at where we could go and enjoy pleasant weather, and the coast was the only other option. While it is indeed lovely, the California coast is far from a budget choice, which nixed it. As I kept looking, I finally came to an understanding: as weather goes, where we were was the perfect place, and at $5/night, the price was perfect too. So, one week morphed into two, and here we still are!

Our first order of business was to get all the RV chores done. We sanitized the drinking water system, and washed and waxed both the RV and car. These are huge, multi-day jobs that generally involve a lot of fighting, because we just hate them. We made sure to have ice cream on hand, and we made it through, relationship intact.

Very clean girls:

Since we would be between Los Angeles and San Diego for a few weeks, I searched out some fun day trips. We hiked in the mountains to the northeast, in the Volcan Mountain Preserve. It was a great hike to a high point that overlooks all the hills of the area and even the desert floor of the Coachella Valley.

Artistic gates lead to the trail head:

We also went out jeeping with our friend, Dave, purely for scientific purposes. See, Dave’s jeep had been having trouble with overheating, and he recently had work done to correct the problem. He wanted to tackle a steep mountain and check on whether the “Lobster” would perform any better. Palomar Mountain is right across the street from the Resort, and it’s covered with winding dirt roads that lead to highpoints. We went to a specific highpoint, High Point Lookout Tower, a fire tower staffed by volunteers. Good news: the Lobster climbed the grade like a champ, not even getting a little hot, and we enjoyed the awesome 360 degree views.

That little snaking ribbon of brown is the road we came up:

Besides the official outings, we’ve been hard at work relaxing everyday. I’ve been enjoying getting my 4 things in everyday (walk, exercise, yoga, and sunbathing) and we generally get to the pool and hot tub daily, too.  The park is surrounded with mountains that catch the sunrise and sunset, and sand dunes with hiking trails.  We’ve read a lot of books from the little library in the park, and have slept in every day. Plus, we found Mariposa Ice Cream, where we had the biggest sundaes EVER!  It’s been a great couple of weeks.  Stand by for the next installment, How I Spent My Summer Vacation, Part 2!  Spoiler alert: you will learn about the sex lives of dates. 🙂


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