"Back from the California in time for winter, eh? " That's what I've been getting from my Ontario friends these last three weeks since returning home. They don't realize I'm glad to be home because this is where I get to rest, take my time and really look at the many photos we took, Randy and I will rehash our experiences and begin to plot and plan new ideas, our next trip, and more. I'm even glad we're moving into winter - I won't feel so guilty sitting indoors and writing.
But first things first - family time was, of course, the main priority as soon as we got home. My grandson had his second birthday that very weekend. That was well-planned, wasn't it? Are the terrible twos upon us? Not with MY grandson - at least not yet. What a perfectly adorable age! Thanks to those skype video calls, when I walked into my daughter's house, he knew me right away but still, he and I have spent lots of time catching up. To tell the truth, of everyone back home, he's been the most excited to hear my trip stories! Of course, when I tell him about our adventures it sounds something like this:
"At this beautiful park called Yosemite, there were so many people that the campgrounds were all full. A grandma and grandpa had no campsite for the night and it was getting dark. They were getting scared and worried . Where ever would they sleep? When they drove around the campground one last time, a friendly, red, furry guy waved to them. You guessed it - it was Elmo. Immediately Elmo invited the grandma and grandpa to share his campsite. Of course they had a campfire that night and Elmo even shared his s'mores.
Another time, a grandma and grandpa were climbing a very high mountain. After a long, long while, they got to the top and could see all the way to the ocean. They had a nice picnic, then started the trail back but, somehow, they got confused and took a wrong turn. Oh no! Luckily, Dora the Explorer was also hiking the trail that day......."
I think you get the picture! I wonder if you find, like us, that after you're back home from a trip for a week, a day, or maybe even after just an hour, it soon feels like you never left. Sure people politely ask, "how was your trip?" and you joke that you'll invite them over for the three-hour slide show. But really, it was YOUR adventure, not theirs and, unless they happen to be interested for their OWN reasons (plan to follow in your footsteps) you're wasting your breath. That is, UNLESS, you can find the right audience and can tell them stories they want to hear.
It worked well for me with two-year old Pieter. And, from the comments I received from you, my loyal blog followers, I must have caught your interest from time to time as well over the past half year.
Something I learned through my trip-blogging is that it's difficult to find the time to sit at that computer and write. I have to marvel at the many RVers out there who post blogs daily. Of course, with a travel lifestyle, there's no shortage of new material to write about but kudos to you for getting it done. You'll notice I barely managed to post bi-weekly.
Six months on the road and now it's time to tell the story from a different perspective. Over the next few weeks and months I'll be posting some different types of blogs. First there's my "financial report" - details of all the trip expenses we incurred. Some of you have been asking about that. California turned out to be (no surprise) one of the most expensive states we have visited. Ouch!
The good news is, despite California's dense population, there's still lots of free and inexpensive camping in great scenic locations - if you know where to look. Some of it we knew from previous trips and some of it we'd heard about and needed to verify personally. Many other great campsites we found by spending hours hunting them out - all just so that I can write about them and you won't have to. It looks like RV Boondocking in California will be a big fat guidebook. I hope to have it finished before the Snowbirds fly south. I'll keep you posted.
I've also got a big secret I'm holding back for the moment. Buzz Lightyear and Bob the Builder are in on it but I've sworn them to secrecy. Sooner or later, one of them will spill the beans, I just know it. So please stay "tooned."
The end. Good night!
Our 2011 California adventure is over.
Total days on the road: 184
Total Camping Costs: $378.00