Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Camping, camping in the street

Over the summer, my childhood friend Dave McRobie found me on Facebook. Once we connected, he said to look him up if we were ever in northern California.

Which of course we would be.

Dave lives with his wife Jaime and their two-year old twins Hazel and Avery in Sebastopol, which is in Sonoma County, 56 miles north of San Francisco. Both East Coast transplants, Dave and Jaime have no plans of ever going back.

The only complaint, registered by Dave, is that the weather is TOO good. "This is going to sound weird," he confided in us, "but having sun every day of the year can be a bit much". We felt really bad for him.

Extremely generously, they said we were welcome to park up outside their house on Sunset Avenue (How cool is that to live on Sunset Avenue!) underneath a redwood tree. So we did.

It was great. We hung out in their house with them and then retired to the Airstream at bedtime. Neighbors stopped by at all hours to say how much they liked our rig (everyone in California seems to call trailers 'rigs') and have a look inside. A couple asked how much we had paid, most said it had always been their dream to own an Airstream.

It turns out that sleeping in a trailer on the street is illegal. A policeman stopped to tell us so one morning. "Great rig," he said. "I won't tell anyone you're here, but one of the guys could stop you, and if it's overnight you'd have to get out. Just wanted to warn you." He paused to have a look inside. "Wow, how much did you pay for that?".

Luckily, no one kicked us out.

Sebastopol is great. Ten miles from the coast, close to all sorts of agriculture and wine country, it's ideally located. Everything is organic, and everyone is green. It seems like the perfect place to raise kids, and it's not pretentious. It's hard not to be healthy there.

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