Published: October 14th 2008September 10th 2008
Time for some R and R. The last 5 weeks have been very hectic and it has taken us a couple of days to get over our trip....I don't know what it's going to be like after a year!
Great catching up with my cousin and his family. We don't see each other too often since he's been living in the States for the last 26 years. Fantastic meeting up with Lani again and catching up on all the goss. We haven't seen her since May so it was nice to hear about all her 'Summer Camp' experiences. This gal seems to fall on her feet. She was at a camp where the kids were only there M-F, 9-5. She started work at 11 each day, had evenings and weekends off, had accomodation and all meals provided by the school chefs and on the weekends when they weren't there the school took them to restaurants... AND she got paid more than one of her other friends who was with his kids 24/7 with only 2 days off a week.
Crunch time....what sort of vehicle to get? Buy/hire, RV/car or try to find a small campervan but in the end
settled for a hiring a car and buying some camping gear which suited us better since Lani decided she would like to accompany us as far as Vancouver and of course we love having her with us.
If our marriage is to survive we decided that we needed to get a GPS so immediately put in our order. Bougt online from Amazon.com and everything arrived within 3 days. Even allowing for our poor $$ the price was still cheaper than at home. Now we just need to learn how to use it and mentally adjust to everything being in miles and gauging how far a mile is.
Before we went anyway Lani had to change from a J1 working visa to a tourist visa ....now you would think it would just be a matter of going to the embassy and a bit of stamping and voila all done, but no you had to go out of the country and come back in...so we decided that the closest place would be to go would be down to Tijuana. So with Scott, another 'camp counsellor in tow, we headed off down to Tijuana....a tattier, run down place you wouldn't find
only in America
this was in the local newspaper
anywhere...definitely a tourist trap. We went to a restuarant for lunch and being the only people in the place and ordering only burritos we thought it would be quick but no, an hour and a bit later we finally got our lunch.
Next it was back through the border. Now they don't worry about you going into Mexico but it's a different matter coming back into the States. Lani got stopped at the border with renewing her visa. Lani's officer said that she was illegal because her J1 had expired and he couldn't understand that even though it had expired there was a 30day grace period.... he would have to ring his superiors. It didn't matter that Scott was applying for the same visa and his officer passed it through. Anyway, an hour and half later, very grudgingly he let her go through. Talk about men and their uniforms!!
Finally, with all that done and after much comparing, back and forward to the shops it's Thur 18 and we are ready to go. After 2 false starts we finally leave the OC (Orange County for the uninitiated). Ended up taking the 'scenic' route along HWY 5 which took us
right into downtown LA, we should have taken the 405 as suggested. Then it was onto the 101 which runs along the coast where the views are spectacular.
First stop was SLO - San Luis Obispo and also the Avila farmers markets. Lucky for us it's berry season, we have been able to fill up on every sort of berry and they are CHEAP. From here we drove down to the beach where we drove out along this rickety wooden pier. Saw the occasional sea otter and sea lion, we were directed by one of the locals to walk a bit further and look under the pier where we saw a whole colony of sea lions sun baking. There might be more at Fisherman’s Wharf but these ones were close enough to pat. Back to SLO (San Luis Obispo) where the night street markets were raging…it just happened to be WOW(week of welcome) week so the town was full of uni students.
Stopped the night outside of Templeton with Riggs and Margaret…now this is a man who knows all about ‘a man and his shed’. He has a shed which is the size of a 2 storey house in
fact it was a 2 1/2 storey house and jam pack FULL of everything!
There are more photos below