We’ve reached the Pacific Ocean – 69 days after leaving Des Moines, IA. Our home for the next few days is in New Brighton State Beach campground, in Monterey Bay just south of Santa Cruz. As soon as I’d levelled the RV, the children and I headed straight to the beach to look for shells and enjoy the sunset. Nina picked up a pizza at Pizza My Heart (the children’s favorite pizza place) and we ate it on the beach. This is quintessential California!
We arrived back in California two months after Rhys and left California and our first stop was Meeks Bay on the west shore of Lake Tahoe. For Nina and I, Lake Tahoe is probably the only place in CA that gives us a sense of being home. We’ve visited Tahoe regularly since we moved to CA in 2000/2001. For years, before we had children, we would travel from the Bay Area up to Tahoe on almost every free weekend we had – especially during the winters, when we had season ski passes for Kirkwood.
I love Tahoe. As soon as I catch my first glimpse of the lake whenever we arrive, it’s like all my worries immediately drain away. Admittedly, now we have children, the feeling of peace and relaxation doesn’t last long. But it’s still a great place to be, and our children also love it.
We’d never previously stayed at Meeks Bay Campground – I think we’d only visited that particular bay once before. Originally, we booked in for 5 nights but extended to 8 nights. October – part of the so called “shoulder season” in Tahoe - is a great time to visit the Lake. There are no crowds, very little traffic, the campgrounds and other accommodations are much cheaper and the weather is still great for most outdoor activities. It’s also good time to see the wildlife, including the kokanee salmon spawning at Taylor Creek. We’ve often seen black bears at this time of year, also – but not this time.
After Tahoe we had a short drive to Roseville, where we used to live. We needed to pick up a few things from storage that we couldn’t fit on the SUV when we left for Des Moines – important things like real wine glasses! Also, it was great for all of us to catch up with friends whilst we were there. There’s a different feel to RV campgrounds at or near large towns or cities that aren’t typically tourist destinations. A lot of the people staying there are full time residents. Their RVs may be permanently hooked up and may have fences around them and garden sheds next to them. Some may even be smoking pot at 3 o’clock on a Wednesday afternoon.
After Roseville, it was another short drive to another place we’re very familiar with – Campbell, CA. This time we boon docked on the street outside of Nina’s sister house. The children were keen (to say the least!) to catch up with their cousin’s, Liam and Gracie. The children had a great time and we all caught up with old friends.
So, as I mentioned, we’re now on the Pacific Coast. Even a couple of weeks ago we hadn’t decided whether we would head north or south along the coast once we got here. Now, as it happens, we’re actually heading somewhere completely different – east, I’m mean way east …… to the UK!
I’ll explain next time.