Where We've Been (46 out of 50 States)...Where We Are!

Where We've Been (46 out of 50 States)...Where We Are!
We are extensively traveling around...working and having a blast...Life is Grand!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

San Francisco RV Resort

700 Palmetto Avenue
Pacifica, CA 94044

We paid $60 per night, a big splurge for us and they did not honor any discounts. The staff was knowledgeable of the local area, including the public transportation and they were also very accommodating with all other aspects.

The laundry room was filthy but while we were doing our laundry, the crew came in to clean it up.

The sites are short and not very wide but the ones located right on the cliff with an ocean view are spectacular. Hearing the sound of the ocean throughout the day or night and the views alone was worth the overly inflated rate they charge. There was nothing very special about this resort except the view and the sounds of the waves beating against the rocks. We would possibly stay there again but the price is hard to pay when there is nothing else special about the place.

Upon arrival, they gave us a site that was located next to the road so we opted to change it to one that was located right on the cliff, of course there was an additional charge but after all, it was Christmas and we were worth it.

The sound of the crashing waves on the rocks was soothing and very spiritual, that is until the news broadcasted about the adjoining cliffs that were crumbling and putting many residents at risk. They had evacuated several of the apartments and were concerned about securing the area soon enough before the next storm comes through, which according to the weather folks was coming in just a few days. Even though we were told we were not at risk, I became overly concerned and in the middle of the night after a nightmare we moved back to our original site near the road.

Of course, this was all in my very vivid imagination but at the time it was real for me and I am very grateful that I have such an understanding husband who didn’t hesitate to move our rig at midnight…oh, by the way, the cliff is still standing but they did not refund us the two nights left on our stay for moving to a lesser site. Never quite sure why they will charge you for upgrading as they did, but will not refund for downgrading. At the time, I was not going to argue with them because I was now feeling safer sleeping at night and for me that is more important then money.

On Christmas day, we were going to walk to the nearest grocery store but they were closed so we unhooked and drove to the one a few miles down the road. We opted to splurge and have a baked spiral cut ham, potato salad, and for desert, a pumpkin-cheese-chocolate pie. Turned out to be one of our better Christmas dinner ideas, since we already had pizza for Jerry’s birthday a few nights before we really were not ready to have it again. We had Viva Italiano deliver a pizza and some chicken wings to our site. The wings were sauceless but had some rub on them and they were delicious, like no others we have had before.

The rain was coming and we had seen or done almost everything we wanted to in San Francisco so we chose to leave the day after Christmas. We will be returning some time soon because we really did want to tour Alcatraz Island and take a boat cruise around the area to see the sights from the Bay but were unable to this time because of the holidays.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas in San Francisco

Christmas Tree lot is complete and vacation time is here! The drive from Concord, California to San Francisco was beautiful, we took a little northern route so we could come across the Golden Gate Bridge in the rig. Wow…what an amazing sight it was!

Each part of the transportation was part of the experience. First we rode the city bus, which picked us up right in front of the San Francisco RV Resort, the bus drove through some streets that were so steep that there was no way our rig would have made it up and then down those hills. We then got on BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit). We had heard a few remarks about this form of transportation but in all honesty, we assumed it was like the light rails we experienced while we were in Houston…NOT! Rapid transit, felt more like warp speed on a roller coaster ride, with the only difference, there were no loop-de-loops but there were tunnels and the noise that exploded from it made every hair on my body stand straight up. How does a city that is so prone to earthquakes, build a transit underground? We don’t know, but we arrived at our destination in no time at all and without incident.

Coming out from underground to see the skyscrapers of San Francisco was in some ways spiritual. The streets were packed with last minute shoppers and tourists wanting to do as we were and spend time to see it all. The wait for a cable car was well over an hour, so with the help of a vagrant man we opted to take the trolley to Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39. Seating on this was a bit tight, most of the seats were facing inward and in order for me to avoid anymore motion sickness that was creeping up on me, I needed to face forward. There were single seats facing forward along the sides but Jerry would be in a spot where he could not see out but the choices were slim and we only had a short trip to the Pier.

Upon arrival at Pier 39, we were greeted by the biggest Christmas we had ever seen and it was real.

We walked all the stores, bought our souvenirs and then chose to have lunch at Bubba Gump Restaurant & Market. We have shared all of our reviews on our website, but let me say, that if you are ever in the area of one of their restaurants, be sure to check them out, you will not regret it.

Since we had not rode the cable car yet, we walked to Ghiradelli Square so we could catch it there but the line was so long and we were once again advised by a vagrant that there was a shorter line a few blocks down which we took his advice and he was right. What a ride it was, the steepness of the city is amazing and no wonder why there is transportation everywhere. Even the fittest could not walk without becoming winded and the transportation eases that for people who live there as well as the tourists.

There was one annoyance for us about the city and that was the vagrants, yes some were very helpful and of course expected a tip in return for their assistance, which we did when we felt it was warranted. What we did not like was the many different times we were approached by them and if we did not give, they became very rude and insulting. They assumed that just because we were dressed up in our NASCAR gear that we had money, which is a very wrong assumption. We work hard for our money and for them to make a comment about wearing a Daytona 500 jacket and not be willing to share the wealth was uncalled for and really rubbed us wrong. The sacrifices we made to make that dream happen and for someone to think that it came easy is just asinine.

Otherwise, the entire trip was fabulous and we would recommend to anyone who might want to visit San Francisco to use the public transportation because it is a trip in itself, plus, we were told that driving and parking was outrageous.

For more photos from this road trip and more, check out our Picasa Web Album.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Bubba Gump Shrimp Company Restaurant & Market

Pier 39 - Box M-210
San Francisco, CA 94133

What a fun place…the environment and the happy employees make this restaurant stand out…blend this with the magnificent views of the San Francisco Bay…along with the aroma throughout this place…then include the scrumptious taste of the food…well, you have a winner! Even the prices won’t break the bank…we were in the holiday spirit…feeling very generous and tipped the waiter $20...otherwise it would have been very reasonable.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Almost a Missed Birthday

We have been so preoccupied with this darn Christmas tree lot that I almost forgot to wish Jerry a Happy Birthday this morning. Usually upon awakening we give our greetings but instead since today is the day we are finally able to leave, the greeting was towards that instead. Once up and into our emails and reading the greetings sent to him, well…then I finally remembered. It will definitely need to be made up to him and with our upcoming “vacation” plans that can be arranged.

Since there is only a few last minute items to take down today, poles, electric and the main fence around the lot, we should be on the road early enough to make a Wal-Mart stop and onto San Francisco for some much needed rest, fun and good times. Because Wal-Mart’s are rare in California, especially the super ones, we will have to go out of our way about 20 miles but we really do need to stock up, it has been a very long 30 days but it is almost over.

Life is good today…

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sad News Today

We received a Christmas card from my aunt Maryann from Michigan who shared some sad news. There have been a few deaths of cousins, one was my age and the other was a year older, one was her son. Once again it reminds me just how short life really is and how glad we are that we got out here following our dream lifestyle instead of idling our life away. Even though in the process we lost our relationships with our daughter and grandson, we still believe we are doing what needs to be done at this time in our lives.

The tent takedown went so much smoother this year, it is down and the lot is looking bare. We are almost done and might be able to leave tomorrow, Jerry’s birthday. We have sold out of trees, 3 times, each time they find us more trees from the other lots. This time we were told that there are no more trees, so once we sell these, we are done…we only have 4 left. If you are in the area and need a tree and are reading this…come buy a tree…please!

Looking forward to getting back on the road again…sightseeing…relaxing…having some fun!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Missing the Dry Desert

First we got hit with the cold snap with temperatures below freezing, lines freezing overnight and not thawing until mid morning. Then a warming trend but with that came the rain…will it ever stop? Our lot is soaked, the tents are showing wear from the water accumulating on them and let’s not forget the wind. There are times in the booth when it sure does feel as if the tent will be coming down earlier then expected with the wind whipping the not so tightened down poles waving around, the good news is that it is still hanging in there, just as we are.

The numbers, we are told, are down a bit from last year but that doesn’t seem to be stopping folks from coming in the rain and buying a Christmas tree. Not a little drizzle but pouring down rain with wind and we even heard a few rounds of thunder, all has not stopped the tree shoppers. Now the economy may have made them a bit apprehensive about paying a high price for a tree so the negotiating started very early this season but we still have folks not even flinching about the prices.

Only about a week left and the weather forecast is for sunny skies…good fortune has been bestowed on us. Truly anticipating some vacation time for some fun, laughs and recuperation from this very strenuous time we have had for the past 30 days. It does look as if we have learned our lesson and will not be returning to do trees again next year, we will look for other avenues to make a buck, ones without so much physical usage involved. Every bone in our bodies ache right now and a few in places we never knew we had, the late night cramps and screams of anguish are getting to be an every night event. But, we have maintained as usual our wonderful sense of humors, without them we would never have made it through.

Life is good today…

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Back at the Christmas Tree Lot

We still haven’t quite figured out why we are back but we did return to do another lot again this season. We are located in Concord, California, a suburb of San Francisco and this time we will be staying a few days sightseeing the San Francisco area before we leave…we hope…if the weather holds out. So far the weather has been extremely marvelous…with that being said…a very strong cold and wet front is moving through and they are now expecting rain for the next 7 to 10 days and extremely frigid temperatures…yuck!

Once again, we find ourselves wondering why we thought this was good idea to put ourselves through this once again. The funny thing is, we really researched this type of work thoroughly for years before jumping in and even though we knew the work is very physical and the hours are long, it wasn’t until recently when we calculated the actual hours and divided by the amount paid that we began to feel a bit…well…grossly underpaid. We also had several good reasons to give this particular company a try but unfortunately those reasons went out the window this season. Last year we had a couple that relieved us from the lot one day a week, and even though they only worked out for a few weeks, we did get some time off at the beginning. This year we aren’t that lucky, it’s all work with no time off and to make things even worse, we really liked not being micro-managed last year, but because the owner is stressing about the economy, this year is a bit different in that aspect as well.

The good news is, even though there doesn‘t seem to be enough time in a day to do much of anything but work which explains our not updating our blog too frequently, we only have a short time left and then we can get back to traveling, sightseeing and enjoying our journey. In the meantime, we hope you all have a marvelous Holiday Season!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lake Elizabeth Golf & Ranch Club

42505 Ranch Club Road
Lake Hughes, CA 93532

We used our Coast to Coast at a rate of $10 for a FHU.

The area was majestic, peaceful and if you are a golfer, it is heaven. The sites were wide, long and dirt/gravel which could be a concern if it rains but it was dry the day we were there.

The pool was huge and inviting but the weather said otherwise.

It is really out of the way, but well worth it if your plan is to stay awhile, not so good for an overnighter as we did.

Be careful of your GPS leading you out on a very wicked, winding road, there was another way that we think was going to be better but at times we seem to throw common sense out the window when the electronics tell us otherwise.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Phoenix to the Coast

From the dryness of the desert, to the moistness of the coast…life is good today!

We finished working the trams at Phoenix International Raceway without a hitch, it was really a smooth weekend. The fans were great as usual, the group we worked with was wonderful and our main go to person, Dusty was awesome. There was a new head of the Guest Services department this year and he allowed what was already in place to continue, which was an excellent call since Dusty had it down to a science.

As usual, we got to the nearest campground to hookup, clean and take some long, hot showers. As much as we love being at the races, the dust and limited water reminds us how nice it is to have hookups. We stayed once again at Colorado River Oasis located at the Arizona/California border in Ehrenberg, Arizona for an extra day to rest and do some laundry too. Our review remains the same, this is a very nice place and now with Coast to Coast, we may be staying there more often.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Life Is Good Today...

Have had a few mishaps with the RV, not only the manufactured defective tire, but we also had to replace both of the belts and now upon arrival at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR), our house battery was dead. We thought it might be an issue since we allowed the battery to run out of water while we were on the Outer Banks but we thought we could revive it…NOT! It has been a long time since we have had to check water on any of our vehicle batteries but now it will be part of our regular maintenance.

Spent the past few days catching up with the folks that we haven’t seen since last November and just enjoying the desert. It’s nice looking at the weather report and it states highs 80’s, lows 50’s, Sunny, Mostly Sunny, and Partly Cloudy…no rain…no humidity! Life is good today…

Friday, November 06, 2009

Towerpoint RV Resort

4860 E Main Street
Mesa, AZ 85205

Discounts they excepted were Coast to Coast, Good Sam, AAA, AARP, and most RV Club discounts were available, we paid $15 per night for a FHU using C2C & $22 per night for 2 extra nights with Passport America.

What an exceptional park. Activities were abundant and the pools were absolutely great.

They had a unique table, it was for anything that was being donated which was perfect for us since we were purging. Everything we put on the table was gone within hours and what a good feeling that everything was going to be reused.

The laundry facilities were fabulous, there were so many washers and dryers that worked properly, the only thing we didn’t like was that it took a card to use them, as usual the amount was off.

Our site was level with a huge slab for our patio. Our Verizon card worked wonderfully but they also offered WiFi.

If we were to ever settle down, which we do not ever plan to, but if we ever did, this would be one of our top choices to settle in, the sunsets are spectacular!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Was This A Scam?

Dealing with people that say what they mean and mean what they say, has always been something we always look for, especially when it comes to work. Unfortunately, that was not the case with the folks at azcarsandtrucks.com, as a matter of fact, just the opposite. We are now seeing it as more than just somebody not living up to their word, but more as a planned scam.

We answered an employment ad that was posted in a “Work for RVers” website that we have used several times before. Of course, it was a great fit for us, we could continue our travels while working virtually and the pay was really enticing. In the years we have been out here the opportunity of virtual work has always been appealing. Looking back I see that the red flags began early on with this company and we did not feel comfortable giving them our personal information, at least until we could get a better understanding of who they were but we did begin working for them.

My project was to assist redesigning and then maintaining their website. I worked about 20 hours before the red flags really took a turn for the worse and the owner began showing some very noticeable signs of unstableness. At this time I felt it best to cease any further work with her and then in reply to my invoice requesting payment of hours worked, she sent a very nasty, threatening email, stating she will be contacting the local authorities to possibly have me prosecuted. I still don’t understand how she feels that she can have me prosecuted where it is the total opposite, they most definitely can be prosecuted for not paying me for my work performed. We checked into the laws and are following the steps to take action against them and according to the laws, they will have to pay us three times what they owe because they have not paid us in the time allowed, it may take a few months but we are willing to take it all the way.

Hindsight…I know…after the fact…I checked out the BBB and their rating is an F, A being the highest and F the lowest. They also had several complaints from folks accusing them of not returning calls, emails and not refunding when it was warranted, they also refused to reply to the BBB on all accounts.

We are so grateful that we were only associated with her for a few days, since her actions continue to become more bizarre, more threatening and even more malice as the days pass. And, we are even more grateful that we never gave her our personal information where it now looks as if it could have been some sort of identity theft scam or worse.

Life is full of different types of people and for us we choose not to create bad karma. If they are in that much financial troubles that they can’t afford to pay me for the work that I clearly did, then they will be the ones who have to deal with the bad karma. As for us, we are clear of any misgivings on our part and will not carry this on with us, but we have learned to always pay attention to our guts, always follow our hearts and learn to let it go.


Once Again…Luck Was On Our Side!

Arriving in Saint David, Arizona, we planned to stay about a week or two before heading to Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). Even though we are vigilant about maintaining our rig and always checking to be sure all is going well, there are times when things just happen.

We settled in at the campground and noticed our front passenger tire was a bit different. As well as a separating, balding Good Year Wrangler tire, we also found that one of our belts was shredded and had come off. This belt was controlling the alternator, crank shaft, water & smog pump, not sure how long it had been shredding and not working properly but once again we were lucky that this mishap did not happen while on the road.

Jerry put the spare tire on and we have an appointment at the nearest Wal-Mart in Tucson to have it looked at and get a new one installed. There was a NAPA Auto Parts store, located just 8 miles down the road that carried the belt and the maintenance man for the park was gracious enough to drive us there and back and Jerry installed it without any problems.

There was a time in our lives and sometimes even now where we find ourselves whining about the things we don’t have but then something like this happens and once again we realize just how really lucky we truly are. The what ifs that could have happened are a mile long but instead it happened at a safer time where we could deal with it…lucky…absolutely! We are learning more every day that we of all people really do not have much to whine about, we are so lucky in all we do and we have so much more to be grateful for then most people can even dream about having.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino

1200 Futurity Drive
Sunland Park, NM 88063

Memberships Accepted / Price Paid - None / $10 W&E, Dump on premises

They have under 10 sites with water and electric hookups only but they have a dump station located on the premises. Because they do not take reservations, it is first come, first serve when you arrive, pick a spot, settle in and then go to the security office in the Casino to register and pay.

The casino was small and not too many penny machines, mostly quarters and dollars and very tight. It was so crowded, smoky and just not very inviting place to play and have fun. At the time we were there, they did not offer any incentives for joining their club.

We did feel safe at night as it was lit up very bright and security was apparent through the night. If we are ever in the area, we would definitely stay there again.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Comanche Land RV Park

1900 W I-10 North Service Road
Fort Stockton, Texas 79735

Memberships Accepted / Price Paid - None / $16 FHU

Many of the reviews we read were not the best but all said it was a place for a good night’s sleep and nothing more and we agree 100%. No facilities, just a flat, very small gravel site with water, electric and sewer only, no WiFi or cable. A bit overpriced, for $10 we might return but for $16, we will look elsewhere the next time we are in the area.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Oakwood RV Resort

78 FM 2093
Fredericksburg, Texas 78624

Memberships Accepted / Price Paid - ARVC, Good Sam, AARP, FMCA, TACO, & Passport America / $18 FHU/Pull Thru using PA

This had the makings of a really nice place; sites were level, grassy, gravel with a cement patio and picnic table.

Restrooms and showers were adequate and very well maintained.

The staff was courteous and very knowledgeable of the area. WiFi and cable was free and both were ample enough for our usage. The pool looked refreshing, even though we did not use it because I was too busy working on my computer for over 11 hours for that virtual company that never worked out…an entirely different story. If we are ever in the area again, we would surely return.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dixieland Texas Retreat RV Park

249 Dixieland RV Park Lane
Carmine, Texas 78932

Memberships Accepted / Price Paid - Passport America, Camp Club USA, Recreation USA, Happy Camper, Escapees, Freedom Resorts / $12 FHU using PA

The entrance into the campground is a bit deceiving, you actually go through a neighborhood with broken down trailers that are not really appealing but keep driving to the park. The new owners, who were full-timers for 4 years are in the process of updating and making this place really inviting.

We stayed in a pull-thru site that was flat and grassy with free internet and no cable but clear skies for our satellite dish.

The restrooms are outdated but were very clean.

Even though it is located close to the highway, it was peaceful, quiet and dark where we listened to the sounds of nature through the night.

We would recommend a short and even a longer stay here.