We've been in CA for a month, but until a week ago, we were seeing California, the desert. We visited all of the major desert ecosystems in a couple of weeks: Sonoran, Colorado, Mojave, and Great Basin. It is particularly interesting to see the desert when it rains, as you get a chance to see how alive it is.
However, when most people think of California, they think of the beach. We finally got a glimpse of the Pacific a week ago as we drove out of the rainy desert and drove to the (also rainy) coast.
Many of the beach towns could be overrun by RVs, so there are signs everywhere making it clear that one should "move along". While we have yet to stay in a WalMart parking lot, we took advantage of the graciousness of my client here and stayed in a relatively quiet corner of their parking lot.
You might be thinking "oh, how grim". But actually, it's been nice. From one window, we have a view of a wetland. We can walk to grocery stores, a laundromat, restaurants, and a UPS store (where we get our mail). We've hosted more than a few tours to the curious, and don't have to deal with a commute. Its actually worked out pretty well, and I've gotten a fair bit of work done. Nancy also has the camper to herself, all day, allowing her to get some painting done.
Over the last weekend, we camped in another irregular (for us) place; an RV Park. However, it was a really nice RV park, one that lets us avoid hunting for the important mundane stuff, like a dump station, laundry, and a place to fill the water tank. Also, within walking distance were brew pubs, wine tasting rooms, and really good restaurants.
And friends! We had a great dinner one night with friends; we only stopped laughing when we saw how late it had gotten.
We also got an Uber to take us a few miles away to lunch. When the driver, a really good guy, saw our truck, he took us "off the clock" and drove us into the countryside to show us places we can boondock (camp for free).
Another night we splurged and had an exceptional dinner at a winery down the street.
We have always dreaded when we had to stay at RV type places, where trucks are jammed cheek to jowl and all you can hear is the rumble of generators. This place was pretty much not like that at all.
Today (MLK day) we left and came back into our spot in the parking lot. We'll be here for most of the week, working and dealing with a schizoid weather forecast. Next week, we will work our way north, trying to see more ocean.
Living in a less structured environment provides a wider-open schedule and the opportunity to take advantage of impromptu invitations. A former client who has become a good friend invited us to dinner....a quick Uber ride to her house led to an evening of laughing and stories and sharing. Once again, the evening had flown by and we returned to our little camper warmed by growing friendships. We feel very fortunate for our life and our friends.