Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Vacation from the vacation

We’ve now spent more on repairs to our car than the $5000 we spent on the vehicle itself.
This is despite having spoiling the darn thing, replacing all manner of oils, plus windshield wipers, brake pads and rotors, tightening up the steering (“removing the play”, Daniel says that's called), new drums.
And now we’re replacing the fuel pump for a second time.
There’s more, but we can’t remember the details right now.

Right now, the car is at Mike Howe’s Automotive in the neighboring town of Atascadero. We have a courtesy car, a white Toyota Camry – the same exact one my
friend Katie Gleason’s family had in high school, automatic seatbelts and all.

Daniel had to sign something saying he was insured to drive it, which may or may not be the case.

So we’re extending our stay at the KOA campground at Lake Santa Margarita, which is a quiet, rural place nestled among sudden, rounded hills covered with that soft, native Californian grass.

Our site has plenty of space, and actually, we have the run of most of the campground since aside from a few Montana snowbirds, we are the only residents.

As soon as the Thanksgiving crowds dispersed, all manner of birds – from hummingbirds to sparrows to hawks – took back their rightful land.

When it gets dark, we hear a yelping of unknown provenance, the screams of coyotes, the hiss of something that might be a raccoon or bobcat, an unknown yelping and a mysterious thumping, galloping sound.

By day, we’re having a whale of a time entertaining ourselves. I’m working on the blog and reading (Vanity Fair from a month or two ago and ‘America and Americans’ by John Steinbeck; Daniel’s doing sketches and watercolors; Sophia’s working on painting and song performances (delivered from a giant tree stump); and Lulu is getting very close to crawling – she managed to move herself about two feet the other day.

This may sound surprising, but it’s only the second time we’ve had time to stop and relax since we started out in the Airstream in Iowa. We are on an extended holiday, yes, but being on the move all the time is exhausting.

This break is great, and perfectly timed since we have nowhere to be until the morning of December 15. We’ve been here nearly a week, long enough for the staff here to give us a night free of charge (thanks, KOA!).

We’ll send photos once we retrieve the camera charger from our (hopefully repaired for good) car.

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