We arrived in Oceanside CA on February 27 just before check-in time. It did not take very long to drive from Hemet, about an hour! Our site at the Paradise RV Resort was right across from the office, pool and hot tub, which was very convenient. It is by far the cleanest park we've ever been in. The staff is always raking and cleaning the RV sites. Two guys own it and their sons run it. The staff are all very young and friendly. In the office area they have a TV with leather chairs, pool table and shuffleboard table, very nice. At the back of the park is a gate you walk through, then down a path through a bit of a park, across the road and then on to the beach. Maureen went for some good walks while she was here and Larry rode his bike around the park and up and down the street while there. It was so nice to see the ocean again. The one problem with our site is that we were quite close to the road - lots and lots of motorcycles up and down the road all the time. Of course if you were at the other end of the park - commuter trains many times a day.
We easily found all the grocery stores we wanted as well as Costco, just up the road. We took one day and drove up as far as Huntington Beach to see where our next campsite might be. Unfortunately we either wouldn't fit in the numerous State Parks or they didn't seem worth the $60 per night charge. The maximum RV size is 34' to 36' and we are currently 40' but soon to be 43' with our new coach. To stay at a California State Park dry camping is $27, water and electricty was $50. Not only is RV Camping in California expensive but Diesel fuel averaged around $4.35 a gallon and Gas was around $4.15 a gallon.
We were quite close to Camp Pendleton, the major West Coast Marine Corps station. It is a prime amphibious training base. There were lots of helicopters above and many tents and men on manoeuvers.
On another day we drove to Mission San Luis Rey, about 5 miles away. It was very interesting. It is the largest of the California missions and was built in 1798. It is still home to ten Franciscan monks. It raises money through the gift shop, donations and offering retreats. We toured the old church, a museum and the cemetary. It is situated on 56 acres of land. It was sunny outside and Larry had his sunglasses on when he entered the church. When he walked into the church he heard this voice say welcome. Larry said he looked straight ahead, then left, then right, then down and saw nothing. He thought there was some sort of laser beam that he had walked through that started a welcome conversation. After removing his sunglasses and getting his eyes accustomed to the light he looked right and there was a guy sitting there. He scared the hell out of Larry.
Oceanside was great because it was the first time in months that we were able to bring out the BBQ and actually eat outside.
We left Oceanside on the 6th and headed for Malibu Beach RV Park. Even though it was only about 120 miles it took almost four hours, with traffic lights and delays. It was a beautiful drive up Pacific Coast Highway 1. Of course there is no where to stop so we pulled over at Huntington in some street parking spaces to make a hasty lunch.
Our site in Malibu is narrow as well - prime real estate - and dirt but oh well! what a view. The first afternoon we watched the fog roll in and sun peek out every so often. We had a cute little patio out the back that we could fit two chairs on. The second day we drove up the road at the back of the park - through Corral Canyon. We followed it as far as it went then had to come back down the same way. Quite steep and winding but they'll build houses anywhere! They're very careful about fires and fire department helicopters are flying over all the time. We then drove back down the Pacific Coast Highway as far as Venice Beach. It was too cold for muscles and bikinis but there were certainly some strange people to watch. It seems there are a lot of people out of work! We had lunch at an old 50's diner (actually open since 1984). Then we made our way back up to our RV.
A couple of days later we decided to go to Warner Bros. Studios for a tour. It was a 2 1/2 hour tour on a tram and walking. It was great! We've come to the conclusion that we watch too much television! Warner Bros. makes a lot of movies and TV shows. A lot of the sets in the backlot are made of fibreglass and/or plastic so they can be changed at will. A lot of the movies are done minimally outside and the rest done in one of the studios. Warner Bros Studios covers 52 acres. We saw most of the backlot and were taken inside (no cameras allowed) to the Big Bang Theory set. We were told that the show How I Met Your Mother is the only sitcom that does not use a live audience. Amber was our guide and did a very good job. This is also where Two And A Half Men was produced.
Friday we were on Tsunami watch. Our thoughts were with those in Japan while we awaited a bigger than usual wave. We sat in our chairs overlooking the ocean at 8:30am as they said there should be wave action between 8am and 10am but nothing materialized.
Saturday we picked up a tenderloin filet roast from Ralph's (they were on sale). The best roast we ever tasted! We BBQd it and had roast potatoes and Yorkshires as well. Good job Larry!
Sunday we headed to Bakersfield.