Sunday, 31 May 2015 01:37

2014- September Road Trip to San Diego

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CIMG3553I was planning to retire in a few months and had been interested in getting a 5th Wheel and truck at some point to travel around in. Actually, I have had this fantasy of some sort of travel trailer, 5th Wheel or Motorhome for some time. When he had bought the Ford Ranger back in the 90's, we got the tow package because we had been looking at Hi-Lo trailers that are lightweight enough to be towed by a small truck. We got the truck but never did get the trailer. 

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CIMG3539CIMG3540CIMG3542CIMG3543Over the years, my trailer fantasy morphed into a 5th Wheel fantasy. I discovered how much head room you have in a Fifth Wheel. Milton and I are both 6'4," (although I think he has shrank an itch somehow over the year, lol!). Trailers usually have ceilings of about 7 feet. A Fifth Wheel can have a ceiling of 10 feet or more. 

Since I was getting so close to my retirement and the possibility of something like a Fifth Wheel, I thought it would be a good idea to actually spend a few nights in one. I searched the internet for somebody that would rent a 5th Wheel and set it up in a park. I found just such a place in San Diego. They had a 34' Forest River Sandpiper that would be available September 4th through the 8th. We found Mission Bay RV Park, where they would deliver the Sandpiper and set it up for us. 

We had planned to take the train across country but then we got preoccupied with putting in the new shower and kind of lost interest in the train trip and decided just to do a road trip. Milton is going to give one week of his vacation back so will just be off a couple of weeks. I will take the whole three weeks. At this point, we have a reservation for a night in Santa Cruz overlooking the beach and boardwalk there and then a night in Morro Bay. Then we would arrive in San Diego on the 4th.

We decided that we would essentially follow the same itinerary that we did about 20 years previously. On that trip, we were still living on Waller Street in San Francisco and got a great rental deal on a Ford Mustang Convertible. We drove down Highway 1 with it's spectacular views through Big Sur. It is probably one of the most incredibly drives on the planet. 

Twenty years previously we had stayed in a room in Santa Cruz overlooking the ocean and boardwalk. I had long forgotten the name but remembered the location well and was able to track it down. Now named "The Dream Inn" or maybe it was always named that. It is a great place to stay in Santa Cruz! We had room 927. The view of the beach and boardwalk was breathtaking. We overheard people from the next-door room to us out on the balcony talking about seeing a whale. We went out on the balcony and looked and, although I couldn't see it at the time, I could see it in the video I took. 

After settling into the room, we took a walk down to the famous Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Like the other time we had stayed here, the park was not operating rides. The roller coaster was silent. Sea gulls sang. The sun shined down. It was a beautiful afternoon.

After our walk, we were getting hungry, so we walked back to the hotel and got the Prius. We drove around looking for someplace to eat. I think we ultimately just got Subway sandwiches and came back to the hotel. 

The next day, after leaving Santa Cruz, we would drive through Monterey. As we were leaving Monterey, we kept seeing all these cars parked precariously along the highway and bunches of people looking out at the ocean. It finally dawned on us that they were looking at whales, too! We stopped the car and, again, Milton was able to see the whales but my vision just didn't go that far. 

That night, we had a reservation at a Best Western in Morro Bay. It turned out that Milton remembered our staying there on the trip we had taken in the Mustang twenty years ago. It looked like it hadn't been remodeled since. The carpet had terrible stains. It looked like it might have been blood stains but I'm not sure of that. It did get my imagination going though! Was someone murdered in this room? Did they bleed out right here where we are spending the night? Milton didn't think it looked that bad so we stayed. We walked down the waterfront looking for something to eat. We found nothing there and so we returned to the motel and got the car and went driving through Morro Bay looking for food. We found a super market where we got some chicken and some sides and went back to the motel. CIMG3557

We had a great time in San Diego. I remember living there as a teen and under-appreciating it at the time. Of course, I used to get harassed quite a bit when I lived there because I had long hair and the police in San Diego at that time were like gestapo. It is a totally different experience as a conservative looking white senior citizen with gray hair. I had been to San Diego a couple of times as an adult and love the beauty of it. It is so impressive to me that they don't have high rises along the beaches and that so much waterfront has been set aside for the public. 

I was especially glad for the opportunity to sleep in a 5th wheel for the first time. It was interesting. Neither of us realized that they jiggled so much! That took a little getting used to like being on a cruise and getting used to the motion of the ship. David said that you can minimize the jiggle with some accessories and we would probably want to do that if we owned one. 

The living space was in the 5th Wheel we rented adequate but decor a little dated. We brought all of our own blankets, pillows and linens so it did get to feeling homey right away. One of the things that was nice was that the ceiling in the bedroom was high enough that we could stand up. Of course it was still a tight space. I was glad I brought a face mask to sleep with as the window treatments still let a lot of light in even when the shades closted. One thing I have never been able to understand about traliers and 5th wheels is that almost all the companies use a window valance and most of them are pretty awful. Milton and I would need black out curtains as we take naps during the day and like it to be dark in the bedroom. I am not sure that any of the 5th wheels would come with that standard.
 
Besides horrendous window treatments, most trailers and 5th wheels we have seen down through the years have garish coordinated uphostery and wallpapers with flowery or filigree designs that are rarely to my own taste. If I do decide to get a 5th wheel, I would only buy a pre-owned one as I could never bear the enormous depreciation with a new one. I would be fine with doing some renovations- in fact I would probably enjoy the opportunity to make it my own and decorate to my own taste. The first thing to go would be the window treatments! Then I would probably want to paint over or recover the wallpaper. Almost all of the ones we have seen come with very dark wood and so I would probably want to reface with something lighter or paint a lighter color. Any carpet would have to go and be replaced with something easier to keep clean. In our house, I replaced most of the carpet with engineered maple wood and would probably consider doing the same in a 5th Wheel if the weight was not an issue… otherwise a laminate. So, besides being a way to do some traveling, a 5th wheel might also be a redecorating “project” to do in my retirment. 
 
We are not really interested in “camping” so much as having a “second home” that we could move if we got tired of one place. I imagine staying in any one place from a week to several weeks- possibly even months in the winter. I would be like a snowbird but just getting away from drizzle rather than snow. The main things I like about the idea of the 5th wheel is the ability to load it once at the beginning of a trip and then not having to lug a suitcase in and out of hotels. It is kind of like a cruise in that regard. I also like the economy of it- at the Mission RV Park in San Diego where we stayed, they had a monthly rate for their premier site overlooking the water for $1200 a month. It was a nice park and a very reasonable price to be in such a central location. I could certainly see staying in San Diego for a month at a time in the winter months at that rate. Of course, this was a pretty nice park right in the heart of everything and right on the water, so I a sure there are many that are less expensive if cost became an issue.
 
One pleasant surprise was the lack of out of control screaming, whining, crying children. That was one of the things that concerned me about staying in an RV park. I had read reviews and someone complained about Mission Bay RV Park being “too quiet” and there not being enough activities for kids. That sold me on it right there!!! I think we would usually travel when kids are in school anyway. I love the Bay Area in the summer so no need to really go anywhere in the summer. We mainly want to get away in the winter.
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2014- Road trip to San Diego- Click for story.
2005 Darlene Visit for Gay Pride- Click for story.
Palouse- Click for story
Me in my 20's in 1970's- Click for story.
1974- On Larkin Street- Click for story.
1973- Psych Tech Program- Click for story.
Grandview- Click for story
Darlene Marries Chuck- Click for story.
Women in Oils- Click for story
1970's Promiscuity- Click for story.
2001 Trip to Cancun- Click to read story.
5th Grade in Abilene Tx- Click for story
Escondido 1960's- Click for story
My Mother- Click for more photos.
1974- First Trip to Europe- Click to read story.
Beatle haircut- Click for story.
Me in first grade- Click for story.
2005- Darlene Visits for Gay Pride- Click to read story.
2001 Trip to Cancun- Click to read story.
Amber- Click to read story.
Black Men in Oils- Click to read story
1957-1958 1st Grade- Click to read story.
Gay Disco 70's- Click for story
Where I was born- Click for story.
Me in 3rd grade- Click for story.
Summer of Love- Click to read story.
1973 "You have to be hurt..." Click to read the story.
The Psychedelic Experience- Click to read story.
2015- 2nd Gay Cruise- Click for story.
Photos of Dad & His Family- Click for story.
Second Gay Cruise- Click for story.
1964- Luv Please- Click for story.
2015- 2nd Gay Cruise- Click to read story.
My Dad's Family- Click for story.
Click to read "Introduction."
1982-1993 Waller Street- Click to read story.
4th Grade- Click for story.
Earthquake! Click to read story.
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Forbidden Dreams of Love- Click for story.
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Article

01. Introduction

03- Dads Family

03- Photos of my Father and his family

04- My Mother's Family

04- Photos of my Mom

04- Video of my Mom

04- Walling Family Reunions

04-Audio Files of My Mom

04. Billie

04. Ole

04.1. Forbidden Dreams of Love

04.2. Flames of Forbidden Love

04.3 Mom Writing Her Life Story

05- Jim Tarbert

05. Roger

1950's Grandview to Toppenish

1957-1958 1st Grade

1958-1959- Third Grade

1959- Palouse

1961- 4th Grade- Last time I wore a dress

1962- Abilene

1963- Escondido- Early 60's

1964- Darlene Marries Chuck

1964- My Beatle Haircut

1964-The Luv Please

1965 or 1966- Steve Castle

1965- In Foster Care

1966 Living with Darlene & Chuck in Seattle

1967- Juvenile Hall

1976- I Praise Thee (poem to Stanley)

1976- My Second Lover, Stanley Dunne

1976- Paul McCartney and Wings

1976-1330 Bush Street #9J

1977- 1667 Haight Street

1977- Trip to San Diego with Mary Jo

1977-1980- Tumultuous Relationship with John Perry

1978- 525 Haight Street

1979- September- Dad is Murdered

1980's- AIDS- Death and Dying

1980- Winter- First Trip to New York

1980- Word, Sound and Power

1981- Milton- Falling in Love

1982-1993 465 Waller Street

1982-1994 Computers to MacNursing

1984- 33rd Birthday

1985- Graduation from Nursing School

1985- Trip to Hawaii (Oahu)

1988- MIdnight Caller

1989- Earthquake!

1991- Aug 10th- Mom Passes Away

1991- Black Males in Oils

1991- Crack of My Life

1993- Move to Vallejo & Our First Home

1995-1. Road Trip to Washington

1995-2. Surprise Trip to Vegas

1995-3. Grandmother Rogers & Aunts Visit Darlene's

1995-4. Amber

1998- Camping at Russian River

2000 -Thoughts about Progressive Christians

2000- Resignation from John George

2001- April- Trip to Cancun

2001- Peace and Justice

2001- September 11th

2002- April-Puerto Vallarta & Blue Bay Getaway

2002- Nov 12th- My Stepfather, George McHenry Passes Away

2003- Trip to D.C. and N.Y.

2004- Feb- Road Trip to Baha Mexico

2004- Walling Family Reunion in Spokane

2005- Christmas Poem

2005- Darlene Visit for Pride Celebration

2005- Trip to Orlando

2005-1. Europe- London

2005-2. Europe- Paris

2005-3. Europe- Venice

2005-4. Europe- Florence

2005-5. Europe- Rome

2005-6. Europe- Athens

2005-7. Knee Surgery & Tongue Biopsy

2006 Christmas Poem

2006- February 23- Times Herald

2006- Palm Springs White Party

2006- Trip to Seattle

2006-July 8th Solano Peace and Justice Coalition BBQ

2007- Feb- Carnival Destiny- Our First Cruise

2007- Tre and Casey Visit

2008- Aug 15-18 Spokane Visit

2008- Psycho Song

2009- Honored by Vallejo Gay Network

2009- Women in Oils

2010 Christmas Poem

2010- Feb. R.C. Mariner of the Seas Mexican Riviera Cruise

2010- June 24- Badlands

2010- Trip to Seattle

2010-1. Europe- Amsterdam

2010-2. Europe- Paris

2010-3. Europe- Barcelona & Sitges

2010-4. Europe- Madrid

2011-1. Feb. My Fabulous 60th Birthday Weekend

2011-2. April- L.A., Palm Springs & "The White Party"

2011-3. Poem- Girl From Medical Lake

2011-4. Old Man Dancing

2011-5. May- Misty and Alex Visit

2011-6. August- Darlene and Sean's Visit

2011-7. Alex 16-18 & Pics

2012- March- Carnival Splendor Mexican Riviera with Family

2013- Wedding

2014- Christmas Poem

2014- First Gay Cruise

2014- September Road Trip to San Diego

2015- Seasonal Affective Blues

2015- Second Gay Cruise

2015- War on Christmas poem

2015-"Badlands" and Gay Bar Etiquette

2015-September 8. Political History

2016 Do Not Speak for Gay Males

2016- April- Palm Springs RV Adventure

4/4/2016- Not Going Along to Get Along

9/4/15- Liberals vs Conservatives

1974- On Larkin Street- Click for story.
2015- 2nd Gay Cruise- Click for story.
Beatle haircut- Click for story.
2005- Darlene Visits for Gay Pride- Click to read story.
Black Men in Oils- Click to read story
Me in my 20's in 1970's- Click for story.
Cockettes & Angels of Light- Click for story
1970's Promiscuity- Click for story.
2015- 2nd Gay Cruise- Click to read story.
1957-1958 1st Grade- Click to read story.
2005 Darlene Visit for Gay Pride- Click for story.
Grandview- Click for story
Where I was born- Click for story.
The Psychedelic Experience- Click to read story.
1964- Luv Please- Click for story.
Click to read "Introduction."
Amber- Click to read story.
2001 Trip to Cancun- Click to read story.
My Mother- Click for more photos.
Women in Oils- Click for story
Second Gay Cruise- Click for story.
Palouse- Click for story
2014- Road trip to San Diego- Click for story.
1973- Psych Tech Program- Click for story.
1982-1993 Waller Street- Click to read story.
4th Grade- Click for story.
Escondido 1960's- Click for story
1973 "You have to be hurt..." Click to read the story.
Me in first grade- Click for story.
My Dad's Family- Click for story.
Me in 3rd grade- Click for story.
Forbidden Dreams of Love- Click for story.
2001 Trip to Cancun- Click to read story.
5th Grade in Abilene Tx- Click for story
Gay Disco 70's- Click for story
1974- First Trip to Europe- Click to read story.
1958-1959- 3rd Grade- Click to read story.
Darlene Marries Chuck- Click for story.
Earthquake! Click to read story.
Summer of Love- Click to read story.
1967- Summer of Love- Click to read story.
Photos of Dad & His Family- Click for story.