Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A well hidden gem!

Vicki and I pulled out of Anaheim, having had our fill of traffic, tourist attractions, crowds, and the elementary school across from our site. We headed east toward Palm Springs and settled into Sam's Family Spa, a real hidden gem! The website wasn't much to see, but the campground reviews are good. Upon arriving, we found the entrance interesting, with a large neon sign featuring "Sam" with a huge beer belly above a nice looking waterfall... As we pulled in, it seemed like we were pulling into a basic trailer park. We went into the office to sign in and were asked to go find a spot we liked and then check in. After looking around for a bit and determining which spots were the most dog friendly and had great views, we set up and checked in. The office/store is nicely set up and well equipped and the staff couldn't have been friendlier. The big surprise came when we walked into the pool and spa area which is only accessable through the office. The courtyard and pool areas are unbelievable! Beautifully maintained with outdoor aviaries, a beautiful lake (pond) and many separate areas for grilling, eating, horseshoes, volleyball or badminton, etc. all beautifully maintained and hidden from view until you seek them out. The Spa boasts a childrens pool, a large naturally heated pool which actually allows diving, a sauna, and four hot tubs that are heated by water drawn from four separate hot springs. No chlorine or other added chemicals. The four hot tubs each hold about 20 people and are all different temperatures. Heaven!

The views in all directions from the campground are absolutely fantastic! From the miles of windfarms in the valleys to the snow-capped mountains and the desert hills in full bloom, I am enticed in every direction. The snow covered mountain in the photo with the American flag is San Jacinto Peak at over 10,000 feet. Oddly enough, the Palm Springs airport is at the foot of this huge mountain and from here, the approaches look really scary! That airport must scare the heck out of incoming passengers. There are many miles of accessable dirt roads and rediculously rough trails through these hills and mountains, a lot of them seem to be for quads and motorcycles, but if you are careful, the Jeep fits. Loving it here, we signed up for another week.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Last day at Disney and another Diner from DDD!

We had one last day to spend at Disneyland. There were a couple of rides that we didn't want to miss. We started the day with a fantastic roller coaster ride on "California Screamin", a very good coaster that really gets your attention! From there, we rode "Soaring", a very smooth and fun attraction. We also couldn't resist taking a ride on The Tower of Terror. The line was fairly long and when we first got in it, the funniest thing happened, there were a couple of sparrows involved in some sort of domestic dispute. They were going at it like gangbusters when apparently, Vicki's head got in the way and they flew right into her... A totally new Disney experience. The kicker was the one hour wait in line for the Indiana Jones Adventure ride. After winding through the cattle chute for an hour, the ride broke down... This was the last ride we intended to ride that night, but they were kind enough to give us a free pass to ride any other ride that night... as the park got ready to close. Oh well, Disney is usually very accomodating and we love them anyway!

We also got to eat at another Diner from Diner's, Drive-in's, and Dives! I insisted on taking Vicki to see where I lived in Seal Beach California after I moved away from Pennsylvania in 1979. The place on thirteenth street hasn't changed except for the huge sand berm blocking the view of the ocean. We took a quick glance at the apartment and then set out to find the Schooner or Later Cafe. It turns out that it was less than a mile away. The Cafe is accessable from the water and has it's own dock in the marina. It was very crowded, and for a good reason. The food was incredible and the atmosphere is fantastic as well. The prices are surprising low for a dockside diner that is so busy. We are updating the blog from Desert Hot Springs, so, another update will be coming soon.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Heading North Slowly

After three very comfortable months in San Diego, we finally decided it was warm enough to start moving north. So we loaded up the bus and we moved to Beverly. Hills, that is. Swimming pools... movie stars! Well, Anaheim actually.
We can see Disneyland from here and the fireworks every night are fantastic. OK, they are fantastic if you are me. If you are Vicki, the fireworks are noisey and can be annoying, kind of like humming birds... I like humming birds. We both like Disney though, and seeing the original park is very exciting. Every time we have been to Disneyworld in Florida, the submarine ride has been closed. We finally got to ride it here. We rode the old classic Matterhorn Bobsled rollercoaster ride and several others, but we're going back tomorrow to complete our Disney craving. One particularly interesting thing I've seen at Disneyland is the ASIMO Robot demonstration. We've all seen ASIMO on TV commercials for Honda, but to see this robot in person is amazing. The future possibilities of this machine as an aid to the handicapped population are incredible.

Then there was Hollywood... A mere 35 miles from where we are sitting, lies Hollywood. We had to remove the roof rack from the Jeep before we drove to Hollywood Boulevard because the parking garages seem to feel that six foot six inches is enough... We are six foot nine inches with the rack on. Vicki helped remove the rack, it's heavier than we thought. Anyway, the rack is back on and Hollywood was very interesting. The old town part of Hollywood is almost gone, but the tourist trap Hollywood Boulevard section is alive and well. So many charactor actors and impersonators line the streets that it is hard to walk. Try walking past Michael Jackson on a 9 foot wide sidewalk while people take pictures. There is a nice mall there where you can see the Hollywood sign from the outdoor eating area. The mall is connected to the Kodak Theater where the Oscars are awarded. I've never understood an award named after a green puppet who lives in a trashcan, but all the really good actors seem to win them and Vicki assures me that there is no connection. Of course we walked down Hollywood Boulevard on all the stars, some that you recognize, some that you hardly even heard of... The Chinese Theater with the hand and foot imprints from the stars imbedded in the concrete was crowded, yet interesting. I think Hollywood was probably way more interesting in the 1930's through the 1950's.

The traffic between Anaheim and Hollywood was a whole new experience. I-5, six lanes wide, bumper to bumper traffic. Average speed about 9mph... Then 75mph until they catch up to the next group of vehicles and slam on the brakes. The drivers in the LA area are some of the most rude and unaware that I have ever seen. The slinky effect that all truckers are aware of is beyond the grasp of the average LA driver. Hurry up and stop rather than slower and smooth seems to be the standard. I can't wait to get out of overpopulated areas.

By the way, we were awakened at 4:04 am by a violent shaking caused by a magnitude 4.4 earthquake with the epicenter only about 8 miles away. This is our third earthquake in just over three months in southern California. Our first one was more fun, we were in San Diego with our daughter Kacy and the ground just rocked back and forth for a minute or so. This one was different, with a couple of sharp jolts. The news said it was a garden variety earthquake for this area but we beg to differ... No place could be safer than a parked RV.


About Me

My photo
We began full-time RVing on 06/30/2009 starting immediately after settlement on our home in southeastern PA. We hope to see a lot of what this country has to offer in the next few years.