Saturday, June 23, 2012

6-23-2012 Bad Fruit, Hats, Dog Beaches, and Going Home!

Yesterday was a lounging and beach day. But it wasn't all fun and games. I had some honeydew melon for breakfast that had apparently gone bad. This resulted in me turning green and without giving too many details, I ended up having an empty stomach for breakfast. After the offending melon was rudely escorted from my digestive system I actually felt better, so this unfortunate event did not ruin our day.

Levi had been dreaming about going into the cold water since we arrived; that morning was his chance. We drove around to the south side of Morro Rock where there is a little beach that is calm and protected by the breakwater. Levi got his wet suit on and snorkle equipment and practically skipped out to the water.

I took a much more relaxed approach and read a book in the truck with Brewy. I would have gone on the beach but it was a bit cold for my taste. If you go to Morro Bay, dress warm; unless your like Levi, then bring a light sweater and a pair of swimming trunks. He is not entirely human when it comes to temperature . (Remember, he was enjoying the Pacific Ocean while I was freezing above the water.)

After Levi finished his arctic snorkeling adventure, we headed over to some public showers that were free and the water was warm. Levi changed into his dry clothes and we went for lunch. We decided to go to Rocca's, the resturant we ate at our fist night in Morro Bay. We have dubbed Rocca's our favorate place to eat in Morro Bay. (If the owner of Rocca's is reading this, we are more than happy to accept donations as a thank you for free advertising. ;-) )

After lunch we decided to go back to the trailer and ended up resting for a while. I fell asleep and Levi took a little walk to the beach in front of the rv park. I woke up after an hour or so because I was cold. Did I mention it is always cold in Morro Bay. I wished I had brought a knitted cap or something.

After explaining my temperature issues to Levi, he agreed to go to the rv park store and get me a cap. It was one of the best decisions we made this trip. I love the cap, it's one of those kind that cover your ears and has the long tassels hanging off the sides.

After taking care of my climate issues, we were ready hit the beach. So Brewy, Levi, my new cap and I piled into the truck and headed out to find the "off-leash" dog beach. It is right before the Morro Bay city limit sign if you are headed south on the I-1.

Brewy loved the beach, she spent the whole time chasing seagulls and running around. Levi and I ran around with her; she look so excited. Levi attempted to coax her into the water by calling her from, you guessed it, knee deep in the cold water.

After the beach, it was dinner time at a local pizza place called The Port. The pizza was OK and then it was off to bed.

We woke up this morning, packed up the trailer and sadly said goodbye to Morro Bay. It was a fun trip but we now have the journey home.
The trip home took us about 8 hours. We had less supplies and less water weight on the trip back so our gas mileage was a bit better going home. California drivers seem to drive in packs, we noticed. We were the only ones on the freeway for a while and then a herd of 4 to 6 cars would pass with California plates. Strength in numbers, I guess.

That is where this Little Nomad adventure ends, but we are already planning the next one...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

6/21/2012: Adventures at Sea and Other Places

The weather picked up tonight....rain clouds and wind...and where was Levi? Out on the beach with his tripod and camera taking shots of the sunset and grey clouds.
Levi getting some good shots!

 Brewy and I finished putting away the clean dishes...well I did...Brewy watched me before we raced out onto the beach after Levi. We all came in about 15 minutes later to take showers before settling in for the night.

We had a pretty eventful day! We slept in since we were so tired from all the hiking yesterday. Breakfast consisted of toasted bagels with cream cheese and fresh fruit. Our first stop was to the Kayak Shack located in Morro Bay Park. Brewy was all set with her new life jacket we purchased weeks before at Petsmart back home. She was very unhappy in it but it was just a safety precaution. She did get alot of "Aww"s from passer-byers. We rented a canoe ($14 for the first hour and each additional hour is $7). Turns out we used it for about 2 1/2 hours but they just charged us for 2 hours...nice! The gals there were very nice and informed about areas of the bay. Levi took the rear, I took the front, and Brewy hid under my seat.
Napping at the Sandspit

She did not like the experience of the first hour. We paddled down the northern portion of the bay crossing various birds and a whole slew of sea lions. They surrounded our canoe at one point, their heads
Canoeing with Levi and Brewy 

 bobbing in and out of the water, sometimes just a few feet away, as we made our way down what we think was Los Osos Creek. The whole time we were excited but praying they wouldn't get agitated and flip the canoe. Next, we paddled against the current to the Sandspit located east of the bay. The Sandspit is a long beach with sand dunes. We got out of the canoe here, ate some snacks we packed earlier, and laid down for a bit. Brewy even ate a whole bowl of doggy food. She was much more comfortable and calm when we got back on the canoe. One last stop to see the bird estuary on the west bank before we circled back to the rental station.

There was a little restaurant located just steps away from the rental station called Bayside Cafe. It was time to eat! Levi had a Wet Fish Burrito ( cod, coleslaw, Mexican rice, topped with red enchilada sauce)
Lunch at the Bayside Cafe

and a coconut pie while I had chicken enchiladas with a key lime pie. Everything was yummy!! It was chilly outside but the patio areas had lots of heaters spread about.

After lunch, we headed off to Los Osos, a neighboring town about 5 minutes away. There's a wildlife preservation area called the Elfin Forest that we saw online and wanted to check out. (We try to make all of our RV trips pet friendly. Leaving Brewy in the trailer is not an option. She gets really paranoid when she's alone and can be destructive...she takes after me, alot.)
On the boardwalk at the Elfin Forest
 This is a one mile boardwalk trail that runs through the 90-acre natural area. Among the many plant and animal wildlife contained in this land, the most notable is the pygmy oak trees. These aren' t your run-of-the-mill 50+ foot oak trees.
 Pygmy Oak Trees

 Instead, these oak trees are stunted reaching heights of about 12 feet due to the coastal winds and poor soil environment. There are amazing sights of the bay in areas of the trail. Information signs are located throughout, as well.

A friend of ours told us about a Farmer's Market held in Morro Bay every Thursday from 2 to 5:30. It is located just off of I 1, north of the 41 Junction. This was very general, but we found the gathering located in the parking lot of the grocery store,
Farmer's Market

Spencer's Fresh Markets. No dogs were allowed so Brewy stayed in the truck with the windows rolled down. We ended up purchasing strawberries, a variety of zucchinis and squashes, gourmet coffee, beef fillets, and sourdough bread. We had enough to make dinner for the night!

We came back to the RV park and did some laundry before firing up the grill! The zucchini and squash were sauteed in a butter and garlic sauce, the meat was cooked over the fire-medium rare, strawberries were cut and served with some wine, and butter was spread on the sourdough bread. We should open up a little pet-friendly restaurant out of the trailer!

Tomorrow is our last full day here...boohoo! I think we're going to spend it on the beach!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

6/20/2012- Adventures on Foot

We sat around the campfire (barrel) tonight reminiscing about our day.
We woke up to a cool morning and a nice fog outside. After Levi cooked egg, sausage, and cheese bagel sandwiches, it was time to head out. We decided to explore the touristy harbor town by foot. Our first stop was the beach, which is a three minute walk from our RV park. Our dog loved the sand and chasing the sea gulls. The surf was nice and high so naturally there were plenty of surfers in the 56 degree water already.
We made our way to Morro Rock. As it turns out, it was originally an active volcano that plugged itself up. The rock is huge and the bay around it is beautiful. The rock stands at 576 feet and is a designated wildlife sanctuary or natural preserve  specifically for the endangered Peregrine Falcon.  The public is not allowed to access the rock directly anymore. After exploring around the rock a bit, we gave our dog Brewy a break. We also took this opportunity to get the beach sand out of our shoes.
From Morro Rock we walked into the town. The road, Embarcadero Street, that runs along the bay is full of shops and resturants. There is actually a trail that runs parallel to this known as the Harbor Walk.  We spent a couple of hours exploring them all. I got some salt water taffy and Levi got a bacon chocolate bar. Brewy got some gourmet pup treats...spoiled.  Both of us got t-shirts that said Morro Bay...the usual overpriced souvenirs.
Our Harbor Walk around the shops ended when we arrived at the Tidelands Park, which is a large park at the south end of Morro Bay Harbor. We took a little break to take in the scenery and Brewy tried to eat a few vicious!
We decided that we were done with walking for the day and went for a drive to see the rest of the town. We ended up at the trailhead for Black Hill in Morro Bay State Park. Black Hill stands a bit taller than Morro Rock at 665 feet. We quickly decided the we had a little walk left in us and we were glad that we did. The top of Black Hill has breathtaking 360 degree views of the area including a bird's eye view of Morro Bay with the rock in the background.
After the hike it was time for some dinner. We chose this place called the Dockside II that was not only pet friendly but they had a horrible live band playing hideous versions of classic tunes. It was great! The food was good and we gave the band an A for effort and was a tough crowd to play.
And to top off the day...we had birds eat from the bird feeder!!! I have no idea what kind of birds they were but Levi and I were excitedly shooting pictures of them as they took turns and sometimes fought over the seeds. Brewy, through this whole ordeal was fast asleep!
Now as the fire dies down, all that is left to do is wonder what awaits us with canoeing tomorrow....

Closing the day and being antisocial with other RVers. 
Another souvenir.

View from the tippy top of Black Hill.

Great signs just outside the Docckside II. 

Love this pic.  In case you can's see, the read sign says, "Restricted Area. Keep Out." Levi, Brewy, and other sight-seers are just beyond the sign. 

Yipee!!! A bird came to our bird feeder...finally!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

6/19/2012: Good-byes and Hellos!

We ended up calling it an early night last night and ended up sleeping in the trailer since it was a cooler night. Levi and I spent the first few hours of the day packing up the trailer. Hitching it to the truck went rather smoothly, as well. Levi made arrangements with his buds to stop by the house with Pizza Factory pizza bread to enjoy before our departure. This is a pretty popular small chain restaurant out here in California. We've come across some in northwestern Nevada, as well. Levi and his friends grew up on this stuff. It's pretty delicious if I say so myself.

We said our good- byes to family and friends. And as we were driving away, Levi started planning a future camping trip with the boys. Levi took the wheel for our 3 hour trip to Morro Bay. The drive was mainly ranch land, rolling hills, and winding roads. I wasn' t sure if we were going to make it at one point when the gas light turned on and we were still a ways from any town. With 2 gallons left,  we were able to pull into a station just 30 minutes out of Morro Bay....whew!

We did make it here! Our first stop in Morro Bay was the Morro Dunes RV Park. It is crazy packed here for the summer! There is little room for privacy. Our back- in site consists of a few trees around the perimeter, a picnic table, and fire pit barrel. Levi and I didn' t have any trouble setting things up. I even put up my suction cupped bird feeder in hopes of getting a bird or two.  We have never had a bird eat from the feeder in past trips.

Brewy stayed on a 6 foot leash attached to the trailer. We sat down with her and her bowl of food after we were finished setting up. She hasn' t eaten too much since we started the trip. This is typical for her on many of our vacations. She' ll usually gain her appetite back by the 2nd or 3rd day. She' ll usually snack on treats or human scraps before then. She did eat about half of her bowl before we headed out to eat.  Another unfortunate thing about this park is the location of its one tiny dog run which is located at the far south end-- opposite end of our site. The park managers are very adimate about dogs ONLY going potty in this area. I don' t think Brewy can hold it for that little hike considering she goes potty every few hours...oh brother. 

We drove to the main drag along the shore line and ate at a little  restaurant called Rocca's. Their outside seating area consisted of two tables in front of the restaurant...shade from the sun but no view of the sunset:( The food was delicious!! Levi had a Blue Moon with his fish 'n chips and clam chowder meal. Brewy "sampled" some of Levi' s meal, too.  I had a Chardonnay with my fish tacos and chips. We had a cinnamon roll and chocolate treat from a neighboring bakery afterwards. 

We were planning on taking a walk on the beach but decided to call it a day once we got back to the park. I only got through 2 pages of my book before I dosed off. Levi said he would take a shower and watch some of his prerecorded shows (Fringe) before going to bed.

I woke up about an hour ago to the smell of firewood burning and what sounded like small fireworks...but I still can't be sure on the latter. Levi is sound asleep as I write. Glad we made it here and so excited about our adventures to come! Wish we could start our full-time RVing life now...I've had enough practice!

Monday, June 18, 2012

6/18/2012- Meandering Around

<p>Levi and I safely made the trip to his grandparents' home yesterday. **The dry ice was a success, by the way. We took turns at the wheel...well, I only did an hour behind the wheel. Levi drove the remainder of the way. The gas prices seemed to increase the more we ventured into California.</p>
<p>We hung out with Levi's relatives for awhile and had his grandmother's homemade chilli dinner. I really like their home. It's tucked away in the midst of trees...or what Levi refers to as the sticks. They have tons of animals roaming around their home (Brewy raced after a bunny) and an elaborate porch his family built. There is even a little cowboy town his grandfather built for Levi when he was a little boy. <br>
We met up with his friends later to chit chat before calling it a night!</p>
<p>We took our time getting ready this morning before heading out to Shaver Lake in the Sierra National Forrest for a day of hiking. Levi's family and friends had a lot of fun here back in the days. We were meeting Ben, Ben's gf Elsie, and Justin. We stopped by Dinky Creek before hiking to the Old Logging Town. The creek water was very refreshing in the warm climate. The creek and surrounding trees were beautiful...especially because we don't see it all too often...boohoo! The buildings in the Logging Town were created between 1937 to 1959. They include cabins, a school, sawmill, store, office, and incinerator.   We drove into the town of Shaver to get a bite to eat at a burger hut. The burgers and shakes were good but pricey. Off to Shaver Lake we went next. I waded in the water with Brewy while the gang swam. I didn't bring my swimsuit. Levi didn't have his either. He just stripped down to his undies and jumped in:) Brewy swam back to shore each time Levi carried her in the lake.
We arrived back at Levi's grandparents' home in the early evening and are contemplating if we should go out and meet up with the gang once more tonight...

Hiking up to the Old Logging Town in Shaver friends to the end! Dinky Creek with the gang.  Looks like Elsie is taking a picture of the boys too.
Observing the giant fire pit in the middle of the Logging Town's Incinerator
Cabins at the Old Logging Town
Levi, his grandpa, and aunt at grandparents' home
Levi and Elsie swimming in Shaver Lake.  Levi would carry Brewy into the lake and she would quickly swim back.
Brewy (A.K.A Boo-Boos) swimming to shore. **And yes, she does respond to "Sit, BooBoo, Sit. Good dog."

Saturday, June 16, 2012

6/16/2012- California Bound!

In less than 12 hours we should be headed towards California for a week long adventure! We're taking our pooch Brewy (like we have been on all of our other trailer trips)!

We'll be traveling to two locations. One to Fresno to visit Levi's grandparents and buddies, Ben and Justin. We'll travel to Morro Bay for a little get-a-way a few days later.

Levi and I have been spending today getting the trailer packed and prepared! It's also been a lovely 107 degrees! Levi has done most of the dirty out the water tanks, checking tire pressure, and attempting a makeshift air conditioning unit since we can't run the air conditioner on such a low voltage parked outside our house.

Last to go in tomorrow is food. The refrigerator is an issue we have at the moment. Since the trailer is parked at an incline, the refrigerator does not function properly. Levi had to explain the reasoning behind this several times to me before I semi understood....I need pictures to understand. The inclined slope of the trailer basically does not allow the refrigerant ( special fluid) to flow downwards cooling the fridge. Instead the opposite happens...the fridge overheats. Plus, it takes 8 to 10 hours for the fridge to cool down - which is about the time it takes to get to Fresno.  We didn't want to carry a big bulky ice chest so Levi problem solved ( like he always does). He purchased some dry ice to store in the fridge and hopefully bring down the temperature overnight. (A side note: this typically isn' t a problem. We store the trailer at our friends' home. The trailer sits on a flat surface and they plug it in the night before. The trailer is ready to go when we hook it up. This time we took the trailer early. We had alot to prepare for this longer trip and it was just more convenient to have it at our residence. Not so convenient with troubleshooting, though.)

Looks like we have the majority of our tasks done for tonight. Time to get some shut eye!