As 2018 winds down, we’ve been reflecting on some of our favorite places we’ve explored and people we’ve seen in our 9+ months wandering along the Pacific Coast. Here they are – in chronological order.
Long Beach – Washington
We were both surprised at how much we love Long Beach. It’s on the SW coast of Washington and, while I’ve been all up and down that coast, I’ve never been there – nor has Brian. It’s its own peninsula, which means it’s out of the normal route if you’re heading up or down the coast. You have to want to go there. We just never did because there were always reasons to be in other places. Long Beach has, well, a long beach. It’s incredible how much there is to explore just on the beach. There’s also a lighthouse, a museum that focuses mainly on the Lewis and Clark expedition, a brewery, and a few pretty great restaurants. Mainly, though, it was the vibe – relaxed and friendly.
Cannon Beach – Oregon
I think we both loved Cannon Beach for two reasons: The weather was nicer where we were staying just a few miles north in Seaside and the food was amazing! Seriously, it’s still the most memorable food we’ve had on this journey. Mind you, we haven’t been to New Orleans or Austin yet; but Cannon Beach has some supremely excellent restaurants.
Yaquina Head – Newport, Oregon
Beyond the surprise we got that day, Yaquina Head Lighthouse and the surrounding area is gorgeous! Brian and I decided to go see the lighthouse and maybe wander the beach a bit. We weren’t even thinking about seeing wildlife but got a huge surprise in the form of several gray whales and a humpback or two!
San Benito Thousand Trails – Paicines, California
This is definitely our favorite Thousand Trails park so far. It’s massive, with good-sized sites, and is out in the middle of almost nowhere. It does have a small store with a few RV supplies. If you want a good grocery store, you have to drive 20-30 miles away, which was fine with me. The wildlife is prolific, and the staff are awesome. I got to see my first bobcat too! It’s a great place to just ‘be’.
Elkhorn Slough – Moss Landing, California
I really just can’t stop talking about this place. If you follow us on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll know how much I love it…and I still have more photos I could share. If you want to see marine life and sea birds, go to Elkhorn Slough!
Pismo Beach, California
Pismo is a great little beach town with some decent restaurants. What I really like about it is that it’s walkable. Pismo Coast Village RV Resort is awesome. The spaces are decent, but you are literally just behind the dunes (short ones) that are along Pismo Creek, which is separated from the ocean by a sand bar. You can walk along the dunes to a local park and cross over to the ocean from there then loop to the main road and head into town for shopping and dinner. San Luis Obispo and all the big box stores are about 15-20 minutes north, but there are two RV supply stores and a good hardware store within a five-minute drive (one is across the street from the Pismo Coast Village.) The resort itself has a good-sized store, a restaurant that smokes its own meat, a large laundromat, and a nice courtyard in the middle of all those.
I should have a detailed article about Pismo Beach and Paso Robles up soon!
Sweetwater Summit Regional Park – Bonita, California
Wow! The views from this park are stunning! You’re at the top of a hill outside of Chula Vista, which is a suburb of San Diego. On one side is a reservoir and the other is Chula Vista, San Diego, and the ocean. Shortly after we arrived, a coyote wandered down the path across from our RV. There were owls, hawks, and plenty of squirrels and rabbits. Oh and ants. There were lots of ants. Luckily, they only showed up the day before we left and we were quick with the offensive and defensive measures. If you camp there, just be sure to bring peppermint oil or Pine-Sol or some other deterrent. It looked like we weren’t the only ones with issues, but hopefully it was just our little area. Oh and, yes, we had full hookups with 50 amp electric. We were easily able to get into San Diego and spent some time with family exploring the Midway and Hotel Del Coronado, both of which were decorated for the holidays. On the ferry ride back from Coronado, the Christmas boat parade came by. It was so fun experiencing San Diego during the holidays, especially with family!
It’s not possible to name all the people we miss up in Washington. I will say that it was great spending time with our good friends in Eastern Washington as part of our ‘shakedown’ tour and our last few weeks in Western Washington with some of our close friends and our family.
We’ve been lucky enough since we left Washington in July to have several people drive or fly to meet us in various locations, including Brian’s daughter, other family members, some great friends, and ex-coworkers (still sad about the ‘ex’ part of that). We also got to spend Thanksgiving with family that I haven’t seen for several years and hang with other friends who live along the coast. That’s what we love about this life. We can be in a place for a while and spend quality time with friends and family – some that we rarely get to see otherwise.
We’re so grateful for those of you who have joined us, who are thinking about joining us, and who we will meet along the way. We love this life and are so happy to share it with you!
This year, we’ll be moving eastward to visit more friends and family in Arizona and Colorado, all the way over to North Carolina and Georgia, with a couple of stops in Texas as well. I’m also working on a couple of projects and will talk more about those as the plans develop. And…I’ve had a few people suggest I write a book. Okay. I’m up for that! But…what should I write about? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Happy New Year, friends, and remember to live the journey…