Monday, 7 December 2009

Still on stay-cation

It’s now been almost two weeks since we arrived at our campground, the one at Santa Margarita, for almost two weeks.

The KOA staff now feels like family (they said they feel the same way), and we’re getting the monthly rate.

We’ve lost track of the days and were surprised to find out last Friday that it was the weekend. Once we found out, we got excited. New people! Kids for Sophia!

There was a decent influx of new campers, and the ones we became friends with was a big group of university friends reuniting from all over California. Spread across four or five of the cabins, they numbered thirteen adults, four or so babies and two kids aged 5 and 9.

Meeting them on our morning walk to the showers, Sophia and I were immediately invited to join them in the evening. Which we did, after watching ‘Shrek II’ on the computer.

They were all really cool, telling us about themselves, how they met, what their couple/family/friend formations were….and apple pie.

I got on really well with one of the girls, Krystyn, who had taken here older daughter out of school to spend three months with her husband in Switzerland. Now that she has a new baby, she's on extended leave from work. Hopefully we'll all meet up in LA.

One guy in particular could not understand what we had been doing for the last ten days. Once pressed, we couldn’t really say.

We’ve been doing lots of laundry, working on Sophia’s birthday party invitations and our Christmas cards, and getting our car looked at every couple of days.

The fuel pump has been replaced, with the mechanic saying the other new one we got before setting off from New York may not have really been new. He also replaced some other, smaller parts, so the ignition is working really well.
Today, he’s trying to figure out why we get occasional misfires, and why the ‘service engine soon’ light sometimes goes on. This, they are doing for free, since we’ve become such good customers.

Given today’s torrential rain, they even dropped Lulu and I off at the local Starbucks – to give updates, they call Daniel and send me email updates. Sophia and Daniel are back at the campground working on building bunk beds in the Airstream.

We’ve explored the area quite a bit, visiting nearby San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles and Atascadero – this last one we now know like the backs of our hands, and people are starting to wave at us.

Yesterday, we could no longer ignore Hearst Castle, the Mediterranean pastiche dream home of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst. Set up on a rugged mountain overlooking the Pacific, built tirelessly by the architect Julia Morgan and home to many a glamorous party back in the day, it was pretty impressive.

With a very theatrical lady as a guide, the tour was 1 hour and 45 minutes long and followed by a highly produced movie on a giant screen.
We would have liked to hear more salacious anecdotes about all the Hollywood people, politicians and titans of industry who hung out at the place, though.
Here are some photos.

We do have to get a move on, however. There is beautiful coast to explore, Santa Barbara and its vineyards to visit, and friends waiting for us in LA.

Maybe tomorrow will be the day.

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