Follow our stories to learn where we have been, what we have been doing, and more about the life of full-time RVers. NOTE: Our site is being redesigned and rebuilt, so missing features from the old site will be here in the future.

On Q379    (Click for full story)

Posted: Thursday, October 30, 2014 - Phoenix AZ

Photo of sunset

This is a sunset as we typically see from our site

As home as home can be for a fulltime RVer, we are back at Royal Palm RV Park in Phoenix for another winter. We arrived more than a month earlier this year, on October 30, when we usually arrive in late December. We have a lot to get done this winter and wanted to get started on it. When we bought our first motorhome we parked it in the storage yard here at Royal Palm, and when we decided to go fulltime we had our first motorhome on lot K307 in this park. That was the winter of 2010-11, and we were on the same lot the next year. But when we traded for our current 2012 Phaeton it would not fit on K307 so we had to find a different lot. The rest of the time we were here that spring we were on J366, but requested Q397 when we returned that fall. We would have been on Q397 had we been here last winter (we were in NH last winter), but we still had a reserve on it.

Yup, there is traffic; In the desert    (Click for full story)

Posted: Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - Indio CA

Photo of OurHous on space 147

OurHous on space 147 in Indian Wells RV Resort

We knew that whichever way we went, we would have lots of traffic. From our site in Malibu, our GPS wanted to route us down the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway), CA 1, to I-10 in Santa Monica. But we needed to get fuel and I did not know if we would easily find diesel along the earlier part of that route. I asked the park hosts and they suggested going north up Malibu Canyon to US 101, where they said there was a station. Actually, there were four but only two had diesel and they were on the other side of the divided road. So I had to drive past and circle back through a neighborhood to get back on the proper side of the street and I put in $100 of diesel at a 7-Eleven. The price was $3.899, and I knew we could find diesel cheaper further out, so I only put in enough to get us east and then some.

Santa Monica Mountains    (Click for full story)

Posted: Tuesday, October 28, 2014 - Malibu CA

Photo of Visitor Center

The Santa Monica Mountains Visitor Center

The Santa Monica Mountain range is one of the few east-west mountain ranges on the continent; the Uintah Mountains in northeastern Utah is another. The Malibu area we have been visiting is bounded on the south by the Pacific Ocean and on the north by those Santa Monica Mountains. As such, those mountains form a constant backdrop for all of Malibu. The mountain range extends east into Los Angeles and west from the Malibu area. There are several roads that cross the mountain range, mostly following stream courses down the southern slopes. But except for those few routes, the mountain flanks are so steep that making a crossing would be prohibitively expensive. And today, the environmental concerns of disrupting those mountain ecosystems would overrule such construction.

Exploring Malibu    (Click for full story)

Posted: Monday, October 27, 2014 - Malibu CA

Photo of beach

Part of the 21 miles of pristine beaches that make up Malibu

In early mornings and evenings, when I have the door and windows open for the cooler air, we can hear the surf crashing on the shore below the Malibu Beach RV Park. I also get to hear it better when I take the dogs for a walk along the top of the cliff. So it does not surprise me that the name - Malibu - comes from the Chumash Indian name for the area: "Humaliwo" or "the surf sounds loudly". The "Hu" part of the name has become silent and the "maliwo" part devolved into Malibu. Those Chumash were the first settlers in the area, though I suppose they did not really create settlements. Spanish influence was established with the mission system and the area was part of Rancho Topanga Malibu Sequit—a 13,000-acreland grant—in 1802.

Pacific Coast Highway; Malibu    (Click for full story)

Posted: Sunday, October 26, 2014 - Malibu CA

Photo of  sunset

Sunset from our motorhome space at Malibu Beach RV Park

We checked in at the Malibu Beach RV Park this afternoon, looking forward to being near Malibu Beach and having some good views. I had checked out the park in satellite views, and could see that it is set up on terraces, with several levels giving good ocean views. And I requested an ocean view lot when I made our reservation. We were assigned to space V-7, probably the best space in the park. It is on a point of land, with lots of clear space around it, and not crowded. We had neighbors on each site, but both were back further away from the point where we were parked, so we were almost isolated. We had the option of backing in so that our dining and living room windows would have an ocean view, or pulling in so we had the ocean view from the windshield. We chose the latter. But then we realized the problem we would have.

Hearst Castle    (Click for full story)

Posted: Saturday, October 25, 2014 - San Simeon CA

Photo of bell towers

The bell towers of Casa Grande through the mist

Elaine and I visited the fabled Hearst Castle today, and came away with many questions. We had visited the Vanderbilt Estate in Asheville NC a couple of years ago and we tried comparing those two magnificent estates. We discussed our reaction to both for the next half hour or so after leaving the Hearst Castle Visitor Center, but never did reach any conclusion about how to characterize the two. Fascinated by Hearst, the person, after returning home I searched for a biography of him to read on our Kindle devices. There are several available, but it was while I was reading reviews of a couple of them that I figured out a significant difference between the Hearst Castle and the Vanderbilt Estate.