Sheeet. As they say in these parts. Here we are again! How did that happen?
Well, let me go back a week or so first, and tell you that I joined Laura in Sacramento, with Tommie and Tom's fantastic help, and we spent a few days driving from Sacramento, around the Napa valley (Laura got a marriage proposal from some 70 year old guy), and around the coast before driving down through SF to LA to collect the RV (slightly early--thank you Shalini; but more on that below)!
...I know...I'm rushing that bit. This was the pre-holiday, which was a chance for Laura and I to spend some father-daughter time!!
On the way Laura took this amazing picture of the Golden Gate Bridge through the fog.
Anyway, we got to LA, picked up the RV, and went to Disneyland!!! (Poor qual photo proof...)--
Laura's special birthday request!
The next day we travelled down the coast to San Diego, where en-route we stayed a night at a State Beach campsite at Carlsbad... ...no hook-up, and we were struggling to get battery power in the RV, so no electric at all that night! The next day we went looking for a solution, in the end driving over to San Marcos where we were ignored for an hour at Camping World. The technician who eventually helped us was a nice guy, and after some trouble searching he found the problem and resolved it. Auxiliary power! Hooray. Hooray; except I got stung by a bee while we were waiting...... (I hear you, I hear you).
By this time I had discovered that despite barely using the toilet (so-called black water tank)--and even then only for 'number ones' (!) not 'number twos', we were also full (the tanks, you understand? :)) and needed to empty both black and grey tanks!
Arriving in San Diego, we found our own unique new version of 'Evil Creep RV Resort'. Was just outside San Diego, called Los Coches. Not dreadful all-in-all, but we had another skirmish with sewer issues, and an over-helpful neighbour.
Solved the sewer problem by buying special solvent to deal with the solid elements of the black tank. It seems that although the tanks may have been dry when we picked it up in LA, they were not empty! Lets just say that the dried solid contents in the hot sun became an embarrassing issue. (Still haven't manage to sort the grey tank a week later! It wont empty!! But obviously grey-solids are not quite as intimidating as black (and here I mean brown) solids, if you follow me....).
Tried to find a similar solution for our neighbour (who had lived there for 4 years). Unfortunately bio-chemical technology is still apparently too primitive for some types of effluent. I kid you not; at one point he was so insistent that he wanted to explain the way to his favourite restaurant again that, as I pulled away (desperately trying to pretend I hadnt seen him and accelerating hard), he ran in front of the RV waving a map.
"See, its here! Best restaurant in town, I tell you. In Little Italy; Best Italian you'll get outside of... outside of..."
"Italy?" I offered, slamming on the brakes to avoid wearing him as a new type of windscreen accessory.
"Where's that? No, outside of New York!"
Anyhow, we complained to the site manager about the smell coming from his rig, so accidentally we got our revenge for the punishing boredom of conversation with the man.
We drove back into San Diego the next day, now Monday morning; Laura's birthday!! After a bit of extra shopping (more sheets, pillows etc for the guys) we headed out over the Coronado Bay Bridge (nice views for the passengers; a little disconcerting for the driver), and onto the Silver Sand State Beach.
Guess what you find on the Silver Sand State Beach??? NO... you're wrong. GOLDEN sand.
A lovely place to camp (except no hook-up) right on the ocean. We spent a short time preparing the RV space-wise, and then headed off for the airport. Tom had warned us that it was small; and he was right! But we managed to squeeze into the kerb at Terminal 2 to meet the others!!!>>>>
Boy, had I missed them all.
We hit the road......