Slow off the mark in leaving the majestic redwoods of Jedediah Smith, we had to stop earlier than expected - in Trinidad, California, instead of further south.
As winter sets in, night falls in minutes. This is no good when you've got a trailer, as it becomes much harder to read signs, navigate steep gradients and dirt roads, or make judgements on how suitable/scary a campground is.
Frightened off by the completely empty Patricks Point State Park (which cost $35 with no hook-ups...which is standard for California state parks), we opted for the first private place, Azalea Glen RV Park and Campground.
And boy, did it work out. As soon as we arrived, we met up with a very well traveled lady, Danika, and her super daughters, Freya and Solveig, ages 7 and almost 4. Within minutes, Sophia had run off with them to their trailer. She ended up staying for a snack, game of dress-up (princesses, of course), TV and dinner.
Daniel and I hoped she wouldn't mind coming back to our family later on.
Come back she did, together with her new friends. Bringing a bottle of wine, they stayed for drinks and more dress-up.
We were so sad to leave. They gave Sophia a souvenir of an awesome necklace made of huge purple beads. Sophia had so much fun she gave them a pair of her beloved princess shoes.
Claire – On maternity leave from career as editor of monthly finance trade magazines, and occasionally a freelance translator. Half-American/half-English, raised in the suburbs of New York, has lived in London for almost nine years.
Daniel – Furniture designer/maker based on London’s Columbia Road flower market, for ten years, also an aspiring painter and DIY supremo. On one-year career break to reconsider options. English by birth, but mother is half-American and spent part of her childhood in Bronxville, New York.
Sophia – 3.5-year old spitfire who loves school, singing, swimming and being a big sister
Lulu – Born May 8 of this year, a model baby who eats, sleeps and gurgles.
Special guests – American, British and international friends and family who drop in along our trip to see whatever part of the country they fancy. They’re welcome to travel in the car with us and sleep in an adjoining tent.