Friday, July 29, 2011

-- Sweet Home, San Diego...

My dad said today was our last day on the road.  I said a fond farewell to Pismo Beach and we headed down the 101.  We met up with my bro, Rob, for lunch.  My mom embarrassed herself (and everyone else) by hugging my bro on the street and Rob did his best to tolerate it--probably out of sheer pity for the poor woman.  Sheesh Mom--contain yourself.  We are men now, and your P.D.A. is highly undesirable.

We ate lunch at a cool place in Westwood and food was coming at me from three different directions (well, just two really -- my bro thinks I’m a fatty, so he doesn’t sneak me any snacks under the table). 

Here is a photo of me with Rob:

Our drive home was ridiculous (ridiculous in a bad way--I have to point this out because Rob seems to think when something is ridiculous, it’s cool…).  We made the mistake of getting onto the 405 freeway at and the traffic on a Friday was like a parking lot.  Good thing my dad wasn’t driving or he would have been in an even worse mood.  Hah!

A would-be 2-hour drive from Westwood to San Diego turned out to be over 4 hours.  I knew we were almost there when I finally saw the sign.

After unloading the Supervan at the parking garage, we didn't get home until .  My bladder was stretched to capacity (I know, I know Mom…
I should have gone before we got into the van… geez, she’s such a mom sometimes). 

It’s been quite a super adventure of a road trip.  We put over 5,000 miles on my Supervan in 5 weeks. 

I definitely need a break from my mom and dad yapping at each other.  Here are a few examples from the past 5 weeks: 

“You missed the turn”
               “Why are you driving so slow, Sue?”
“I’m not going out there, Rich-- there are bears out there”
               “Why is it assumed that I have to empty the porta-potty?”
“Does the radio have to be that loud?”
               “What’s it take to get a meal around here?”
“Why do we have to take that sketchy road?”
               “You got anymore complaints, Sue?”
“Can’t we just buy more clothes instead of doing all this laundry?”
               “How am I supposed to record Fox News if we don’t have any satellite access?”
“These fricken mosquitoes are so annoying!”
               “Would you please stop typing on that computer?  I’m trying to sleep!
“Aren’t we there yet?”
               “Why do I have to do all the driving?”
 “I need a Diet Pepsi…”

Well, you get the idea.  It’s exhausting  being crammed up with my mom and dad for so long. 

I’m so tired, I just want to get in my sweet bed… 


Thursday, July 28, 2011

-- Hurry-- Get the Camera...

My mom’s back was really bothering her this morning.  She whined and winced all morning.  I don’t know why she needs her soft bed so badly.  Geez, Mom, I sleep on the hard floor every night.  Cry me a river.

No nature walk today, I guess.

We drove for a couple of hours while I slept, interrupted only by my mom’s moaning every once in a while when we hit a bump in the road.  We stopped for lunch at an Italian restaurant named “Il Davide” in San Rafael 
I got to sit on the patio.  Good bread, by the way…

After we finished lunch, my dad asked my mom to drive for a while.  She took over the helm and asked my dad to take pictures since she was driving-- and my dad pretended he couldn’t hear her cuz he was listening to Mark Levin on his iPod (as usual).  As we approached the McCarthy Memorial Bridge, my mom saw how awesome it looked and she handed her iPhone to him and said, Hurry-- get the camera!   My dad was all, Huh? What?”  By the time he got the camera out, the moment in time had passed. 

Here is a photo my mom found on the Internet of the McCarthy bridge.  This photo was taken at the same viewpoint when my mom asked my dad to hurry and take a photo:


Now take a look at the photo my dad took--
Good job Dad.  Nice effort.  

When we approached the Bay Bridge, we sat in a toll line for an hour.  My mom tried to change into a different lane that seemed to be moving faster (our lane wasn’t moving at all) and no one would let her into the lane.  They all looked straight ahead and pretended we weren’t there.  Where’s the love? 

Geez, how do people live like this every day of their lives? 

The whole traffic jam issue seemed to intensify my dad’s grouchy mood.  My mom asked him to take a photo of the Bay Bridge after we drove through the toll gate.  He took my mom’s camera and said, I don’t do pictures.  This is the last one I’m taking.” 

My mom knew better than to argue when my dad gets grouchy like this.  Here is his photo
Nice effort on this one too-- huh?

Maybe my dad should stick to driving...

My mom was naughty and snapped a couple of photos while she was driving with one hand.  Bad mommy.  But she did this for me and my blog, so I didn't get mad at her.



We stopped to get gas in Morgan Hill, California.  As we were pulling out of the gas station, my dad noticed a Jiffy Lube across the street.  Since we’ve already traveled over 5,000 miles on this road trip, my dad said it was necessary to change the oil in the Supervan. 
They were fast!  We were in and out of there in only 20 minutes!

My dad took over the driving and I called "Shotty-Noch" (that means
shotgun--no challenge).  My mom sat in the back seat and searched for more Advil in the cabinet. 

After listening to Fox News on the radio as he drove, my dad’s mood improved notably.  He called my mom babydoll and said he was going to take her out to dinner at F.McLintocks in Shell Beach.  

That made my mom happy.

F.McLintock's was a cool restaurant. 

Come on lady-- hurry up and take the photo so I can eat--
My mom said she and my dad had been there before back in the 1980s.  That must have been back in the day of my great-great-great-great-great-great-great--great-great-great-great-grandfather-- or close to it. 

Man, I just realized-- my mom and dad are old. 

After dinner, it was a quick drive to Oceano Dunes in Pismo Beach. 

My mom and dad have been here a few times before.  In fact, last time they were here, they drove a motorhome along the beach.  It got stuck in the sand on the way out and our friend Steve ("Wildman") had to pull them out with a winch.  Hah!  Hook 'em.

My mom had another cow while we were sliding around in the sand. 

video

My dad said we arrived here at high tide.  Yikes. 
video

Oh well, we made it. 

No grass or trees at this campsite, or squirrels for that matter-- but we have a front row view of the ocean and the sunset--

Time to have fun and play night-Frisbee...
video

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

-- California, Here I Come...

My dad and I have decided that Cape Blanco State Park in Oregon is the
#1 state park we have visited on our road trip.  Besides the large, private campsites, my nature walk was incredible. 

Through the copse of trees was a trail leading down to the Pacific Ocean.  I had no idea how close we were to the ocean until we stood at the edge overlooking the view.  However, it was a bit of a trek down to the beach.    

My mom and dad were being such slowpokes, so I started to run along the beach without them.  Then all of a sudden, I caught up with these guys--

video


There were some old logs strewn all over a section of the beach.  It looked like the bones of a fallen giant.
Ain't I agile?
Of course, I just had to walk all over the logs and look for squirrels underneath them.

My dad asked me to teeter-totter with him.  Are you serious?  Don't you agree that my dad is a little old for this type of juvenile behavior?  Ugh.  I gave it a try and held on for dear life.
You may notice that you cannot see my tail in the photo.  That's because I was askaird and my tail was between my legs.

Then it was time to head back up the trail to the campsite to pack up and get back on the road-- California here I come.


The drive along the southern Oregon coast reminded me a lot of California.  Except every once in awhile, there were these huge random rocks jutting out of the water.





We stopped at another Mexican restaurant named "La Flor de Mexico" in a town called Brookings, Oregon.  It seemed as though every time this restaurant changed their signage over the years, they just added the new sign and didn't remove the old sign...  so you get a choice of 3...
The food was good though-- at least I can vouch for the tortillas since that's all my mom ever brings back for me.


I was pretty anxious knowing that we were about to cross the state line into California.  However, I was a bit disappointed at our state's crummy sign...  it looked cheap and unkempt.  Kind of like the state itself.
And we almost missed the sign since it was so small.

There was some coastal fog as soon as we entered the state. 



My mom is so trigger-happy with her camera, sometimes she takes photos when she doesn't even know it...

Check this out.  We kept passing trucks full of huge trees.


We stopped for gas and there was this little house behind an ajdacent lot.  It looked like they were trying to sell something by the looks of that sign in the window.

 
I don't think they are gonna sell too many quilts with that piddly sign!

How is this for advertising...?  We passed this restaurant with a big dude in front of it wielding an axe.  Apparently he was trying to get seniors to come in and eat. 
I think they call this method the "fear sell."


Then, we arrived at the Kyen Recreation Area of Lake Mendocino in northern California:

The glare on my shotgun window got in the way of this photo, but the sign was a good one ...
I wasn't gonna be the first.

My dad got lucky again and found a campsite with satellite access.  It was probably the only one!  We parked and got ready for a walk down to the lake. 

I was in the water before my dad could even find a stick to throw to me!

Ha ha-- I found my own stick!

Too soon, the sun was setting and my mom said it was time for me to get out of the water. 

Reluctantly, I obeyed but before heading back to camp...
I had something I needed to doo-- I mean do
Well...  When ya gotta go, ya gotta go--

Since I was still wet, I was banned from the Supervan until I dried off.  Here is a photo of me guarding our campsite:

I haven't noticed any squirrels yet, but I see lots of lizards around this place.  Boring...
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

-- Unfinished Business...

My dad volunteered to take me out for my morning walk which was probably a good thing.  My mom didn't look so hot.  I think this camping thing is taking a toll on her and she just looks tired.  I think a day in the hair and nail salon when we get back home will do wonders... 

Squirrels were running rampant throughout the campsite and although I was able to take a pee, I was too distracted to take care of the rest of my business.  All I cared about was sniffing at gopher mounds and tree trunks. 

My dad told me to focus but that was easier said than done.  Frustration finally got the best of my dad and he had to call out for the heavy guns...  my mom.  She took charge and I got as far as my crouch, when a stinkin' squirrel ran right across the grass in front of me and up a tree, and I shut down the process. 

I was obsessed with that squirrel and I gave it my best shot to climb the tree after him. 
video

My dad started up the Supervan and it was time to get back on the road.  I would have to hold it until our next stop.  We said bubbye to the Roamer's Rest RV Park and headed west toward the 101. 

Our drive was chock full of activity.  I looked out of my window and saw a man wearing a magic turban driving an ice cream van.  He was staring at me. 
I said "hey" and he just turned away and ignored me.  I think he liked my ride better and he was jealous (although I thought the Shrek sticker on his van was pretty cool-- I'm gonna ask my dad if we can get one for the Supervan).   

A few blocks later, I saw a 747 sitting on top of a building.  You don't see that every day.

We pulled into a gas station and my mom noticed a telephone booth.  She said she hardly ever saw telephone booths around anymore because so many people have cell phones and don't use phone booths.

Apparently, no one uses this phone booth either, since the receiver was ripped completely off of it and all of the buttons were missing.

I looked across the street and started to drool.  My kind of restaurant...
The Pig 'N Pancake!

My mom and dad ate lunch at a place called "Tidal Raves."  When I heard my dad say the name, it sounded Asian to me. 

The view from the window was pretty nice.

We followed the coast down the 101--  I wished I could be running along the beach...

When we stopped at a signal in a little beach community, I looked out my window and saw a building with a strange sign.  I wondered what kind of business this was...
Hmm... and what am I being seen for?

Here are two of the many bridges we crossed today...


We pulled over at a viewpoint so my mom could go crazy taking photos. 



I pleaded with my dad to go down to the water...
Can I huh?  Can I huh?   Pleeeeease?
We walked down a path, but I wasn't allowed to go swimming today.

The trail back up to the top was covered by strange trees and plants.

One of the trees had moss all over it and I thought it looked like a camel without a hump.  Hah!

We crossed over another bridge:
video

Then I saw a funny house along the way:


The North Bend Bridge was the best bridge of all, but my mom got a phone call right as we were crossing it, so she couldn't take a photo when we drove across it:

The phone call my mom received was from her cousin, Bobby.  We stopped by to say hello since we were driving through his town, Coos Bay, Oregon

My mom must have hugged him al least 10 times.  Geez, Mom-- stop. 
You're embarrassing all of us.
Cousin Bob works for a paper company in Coos Bay.  He drives a big truck.  He was so cool-- I bet he would let me ride shotgun in his truck. 

We finally saw the sign for our next destination: 

The  campsites at this state park are really cool. 

All of the individual campsites have grass areas and hedges around them for privacy-- and speaking of privacy, that reminds me--
I have some unfinished business to do-- so if you will all excuse me...

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