Backtracking and Back to the Coast

When we left El Dorado Hills we backtracked a bit to visit Kevin’s aunts and uncles in Salinas, CA. Had we gone with our original plan of coming up through Los Angeles, we would have seen themRV Park Christmas before Thanksgiving. With our new route, however, we found ourselves heading south after the holiday instead of north towards home.  On the way to Salinas we encountered this very festive RVer when we stayed at a park in Gilroy, CA. We didn’t initially expect to be on the road this close to Christmas, but now that we are we may just need to step up our game and decorate the RV with a few strands of Christmas lights and some decorations.

When we arrived in Salinas we headed to Aunt Liz and Uncle Jeff’s house. Their driveway is actually set up perfectly for an RV. If this had been an RV park we would have called this Jeff and Liz's housespace a “pull through”, which is different than the typical “back-in”. Parks usually charge more for pull through spots because they’re easier to navigate, but Liz and Jeff didn’t charge us anything. (They might charge us next time though, now that they know what a premiere RV parking spot they’ve got out front.)

While we were visiting Liz and Jeff, their adorable grandson, Tyler, was a big help with the dogs. He’s a very smart little guy and catches on quickly. Suzanne was helping Wylie get back up into the RV after dinner one night and said, “C’mon little Monkey, you can do it.” Then from right behind her she heard a little voice say, “C’mon little Monkey, you can do it” and Tyler gently patted Wylie on the behind to encourage him up the steps.

For some reason neither one of The Campionsus remembered to get a picture when we had a family dinner with Aunt Liz and Uncle Jeff, their daughter Shelby, grandson Tyler, and Aunt Mary and Uncle Gene. Instead, we’re repurposing this beautiful picture of Kevin’s mom, Ginny, with all of her siblings and their spouses from our wedding last year. We didn’t get to see all of the Campion siblings while we were in Salinas, but with the fact that we didn’t give them much notice before we showed up, we think seeing 50% of them is a pretty good success rate.

After Salinas we turned north again and Suzanne settled down in Half Moon Bay, CA while Kevin headed out of town for a quick trip. Before Kevin left, however, we had dinner with his The Robinsonssister, Erin, his brother-in-law, Antoine, and their two very cute little boys, Jaiden and Cameron.  We’ll be seeing the Robinson family again very soon when we rendezvous in Seattle for Christmas, but it was so much fun to see their new home in Livermore and to see Jai and Cameron’s cute smiles as they ran around the room and showed us their new place.(Again, we forgot to take a picture so we’re repurposing this one from a recent family photoshoot they did. We really need to start remembering to bring our camera with us again.)

While Kevin was away, Suzanne had a chance to visit with our friend Laurie, who used to live in Seattle but now lives in Palo Alto. It was great to have some girl time and catch up with one of our favorite people. Laurie and her homemade cookiesLaurie made a delicious brunch for Suzanne, let her take a shower, let her do a load of laundry and sent her home with a plate of chocolate chip cookies that had just come out of the oven. Laurie is one of those warm and caring people who make you feel right at home while you’re in their home. While she was there, Suzanne also got to visit with Laurie’s son, Alex, and their dog, Nora. We miss Laurie and her family in Seattle but are happy to see them doing so well in Palo Alto. And, in case Laurie looks familiar to you, this is actually Laurie’s second appearance in the blog. Vaya con Perros rendezvoused with Laurie in Tampa a few months ago.

Half Moon BaySuzanne enjoyed her time at Half Moon Bay State Park while Kevin was traveling. This was the first time we’d been back on the coast since we left Galveston, TX last month. We have definitely missed our waterfront property and, when this trip is over, we’re going to miss getting these kinds of views for $20 or $30 a night. From Half Moon Bay we worked our way north through San Francisco (you should ask Kevin sometime what it’s like to drive a 36-foot RV through San Francisco and across the Golden Gate Bridge while also towing a car. Not many people can say that they’ve done that, or at least that they’ve done it successfully). While we were in San Francisco we had a chanceDSCN9798 to stop at our friend Cyrena’s brother’s coffee shop. It’s called Farley’s, named after their great-grandfather, and is definitely the neighborhood gathering place. We stopped by on a Thursday night after dinner and it was packed.

After surviving the Golden Gate Bridge we continued north along Highway 101, stopping in Ukiah, Arcata, and Bandon, as we continued up the coast towards Reedsport, Oregon, where we said goodbye to the ocean once again and headed inland to Corvallis, Oregon. That’s where we’ll pick up next time. For now, here’s an updated version of our route map.See you on down the road!

Route map as of 12.10.12

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