San Diego Zoo

Our neighbors in the park

The beginning of 2022 has been quiet for us.  We have spent January and February tucked away at the Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve in Santee, CA.  Our original hope was that the pandemic would have lessened enough that we would be able to get out and enjoy all that the San Diego Area had to offer but the Omicron variant put a damper on all our plans.

In mid-January, our daughter Rebecca and her husband Jason were going to fly down from Seattle to spend a week with us at Disneyland celebrating Jason’s birthday.  As the numbers in California were still on the rise after the holidays, they decided to cancel the trip.  Though we really missed seeing them we

Soooooo many ducks!

knew they were making the right decision for them.  We also canceled our trip to Quartzite RV Show to have solar panels put on the coach.  Not only did we not want to expose ourselves to the 20,000 people expected at the event but our plans for the next year or so have changed (more on that later) and we will not be boondocking anywhere near as much as we originally thought.  So right now, it doesn’t make sense to put the big bucks into the installation.

As Covid surged in CA we decided that staying close to the coach made the most sense for us.  We did have two excursions, the first was a hike on the San Diego River Trail which is here in Santee not far from the campground.

We also took one day and went to Balbo Park and the San Diego Zoo.  When we lived just north of here in Mission Viejo in the early 1990’s I had always wanted to get down to the zoo and we just never made it.  I really didn’t want to miss it again, so we donned our masks and headed over to the parks.  We enjoyed the morning walking around Balbo Park and the Japanese Friendship Garden.

There are several fantastic museums in Balbo Park but the only one that enticed us enough to risk exposure inside a building was the new Comic Con Museum.  Now that was cool!  Having children and a husband that are completely emersed in the Comic/Sci Fi universe it was fun to see all the exhibits.  We especially enjoyed the extensive timeline on the life of Gene Roddenbury, he was an amazing man and had so many life experiences long before he thought up Star Trek.

We walked from Balbo over to the Zoo for a delicious lunch at Albert’s Restaurant.  Then we spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying walking around the zoo.  It is amazing how they have built the multi-layers on the hillsides that make up the park.  And the vegetation was almost more spectacular than the animals! 

Other than the two excursions we have pretty much just been homebodies.  We walk two or three miles just about every day around the Preserve as well as getting on the bikes occasionally.  We started betting each other on how many bounce houses there will be in the public part of the park each weekend.  This park is VERY well used and truly appreciated by the fisherman and the residents in the area.

We have also tackled a couple of projects around the coach.  One of the recliners was showing the same wear damage as the front seats so I made a cover to hide the damage and to brighten up the décor.  Jon worked on repairs replacing the door brace (the one that holds it open), keeping up with the monthly maintenance, and repairing one of the A/C units when it broke.

The other activity that has been taking up our time has been pickleball.  Yep, we have really fallen down that rabbit hole!  We are playing two to three times a week at Big Rock Park in Santee and have made some great friends on the courts.  Pickleball is HUGE in this area and the courts are full nearly every day.  We’ve gotten to the point where we know the rules of the game and can handle playing with the more advanced players.  We usually can tell you right away what we have done wrong with a shot, we just can’t seem to correct it! At least not yet but we are working on it and my favorite saying is that it is better to be lucky than good!

Big Rock Pickleball Courts

It has been nice to also reconnect with the Storytelling Community and I was invited to perform one more time at the Twisted Horn in February.  This time I took part of my GPS Wars saga and turned it into a love tale called Turn Around When Possible!   I really want to thank the Storytellers of San Diego, especially Li-Anne Rowswell-Mufson for allowing me to join in the last 4 months while we have been here in Southern California.  What an awesome group of tellers!!  

During our 4 months here in CA, we have made lots of new friends and our neighbors here in the park have been fantastic, but the time has come to hit the road again. 

Be careful feeding the birds … you might end up being in a scary movie!

As I have said in previous posts, we will be heading to Alaska this summer with stops at Yosemite, Redwoods National Forest, a month in Oregon and one in Washington before meeting up with the caravan in June.  After the winter here with not a lot to do (mainly due to Covid) we started thinking about what we wanted to do after the caravan and decided that we really wanted to get back to workamping so we started watching the job postings on Workamper News and  I was thinking it would be nice to work at a national park and we were working on developing a list of potential jobs.  Since we wouldn’t be available until mid-September at the earliest most of those jobs will not be posted until this summer, but we were getting a feel for what might be out there.  Then (just as happened with Barberville) a post came up on Workamper News that intrigued us.

Since we have been on the west coast now for almost 2 years (where we have been able to spend time

Looking for dinner!

with our daughter on multiple occasions) our son Alex asked if we could get back to the east coast where we would have more opportunities to visit with him and his girlfriend Erin.  Serendipity struck again as just a day or so after our conversation a job popped up on Workamper News in South Carolina.  We knew we did not want to be much farther north than the Carolinas in the winter, so the location was perfect.  It will still be a 12-hour drive for them to get to us but still very doable.  And though it was not at a national park as I first intended, it sounded like the perfect job for us.  So, we applied and within a day or two had been asked to interview via Zoom and an offer was made to join …. Drum roll please … the Hilton Head National RV Resort in Bluffton, SC.  Jon will be a valet escorting RVs to their sites and working on general maintenance and I will be working in the office and store.  It is 32 hours a week – four days on, three off.   This is a brand-new high-end resort, they had their first campers in February, with so many cool amenities – especially a pickleball court!!  Yep, that was one of the determining factors that made this opportunity so enticing.  Yeah, we really have fallen down that rabbit hole!

Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve

So once we are done with the caravan, we will make a fairly quick (for us) trip across the country with longer stops at Devil’s Tower, St. Louis, and in Pennsylvania near Erin’s parents to spend a week with them, Alex, and Erin before heading south to Bluffton.  It will be a VERY busy summer with a LOT of miles traveled but we are really looking forward to getting back on the road and to, hopefully, be able to do so Covid free.

After getting the yearly service on the chassis at Cummins and an Elite Mobile RV tech to service our AquaHot we are ready to pull up jacks on March 1st to start heading north.

I will try to keep the blog up to date as we travel so stay tuned!  We continue to hope that you all stay healthy and safe and that you will be able to continue on your adventures now that the pandemic seems to be releasing its grip on the country.

Till then,