Last week, we packed up the Airstream and headed south again. This time it was for our very first official rally. We joined the Families on the Road (FOTR) West Coast Rally which was held at the Newport Dunes RV Resort down in Newport Beach, California. Usually we travel by ourselves, but for the past two trips we’ve taken, we’ve traveled in groups. Last month we camped with a group of Airstreams in Malibu and this time we camped with a group of families in Orange County.
Don’t worry about the picture below. Ava sits in a car seat. All the time. No exceptions. I am sort of the seat belt police whenever we drive anywhere. I have a thing for following the law. Dan makes enough fun of me for being a rule follower so I don’t need any more comments from the peanut gallery. Plus, if you don’t wear your seat belt and you get in an accident, you are not only hurting yourself but the others around you too… and that’s selfish. Sorry, I think I was just possessed by McGruff the Crime Dog. Back to the story.
Last week we were graciously approached by a fellow Airstreamer from our home town to tag along with them and some others in the area on a trip to a local beach for the weekend. We were at the right place at the right time to get in on this trip as it had been planned for some time and one of the campers dropped out in the last moment with a non-refundable fee which we were happy to fill in for them.
We ended up camping at the San Mateo Campground in San Onofre during New Year’s week for 5 nights. If I had to rate this campground, I would probably give it just an average score. We haven’t been to too many sites so far with the Mali Mish Airstream but Catalina State Park in Tuscon, The Shady Dell in Bisbee and El Capitan State Beach just outside of Santa Barbara are still my top three campgrounds so far. And if these are my references, San Mateo is just “alright”.
We’ve blogged a lot about our stay in Bisbee, AZ. It really is a lovely little old mining town that we love visiting. As we are about to wrap up a series of posts from our 10-day Arizona trip, I want to give you another photo tour of the cool little RV park called The Shady Dell.
This is their famous mural on the street side of the office wall that greets visitors as they pull into the campground.
Just after taking Ava trick-or-treating for her first time around the neighborhood, we packed ourselves in the van and headed out of town for our VERY FIRST ROAD TRIP in the Airstream. Yeah! We decided to break up the drive into two parts, in order to make the drive more enjoyable for Ava, and therefore… for everyone.
Just around midnight, we arrived at a Walmart that sits on the outskirts of Bakersfield. It’s not the “ideal” place for our very first night in the Airstream, not even close, but it was the most logically place to stop prior to heading up the winding road to Lake Isabella. Walmart is known for letting RVers spend the night in their parking lots. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. RVers get to boondock for free and Walmart usually gets their business… because who doesn’t forget to pack a thing or two for a trip. Not us. We weren’t really sure where we should park when we arrived. A helpful security guard was on the scene and gladly guided us to a private corner of the parking lot. We decided to park just shy of the dirt patch designed for RVs due to the impending storm that was headed our way.
At 6am, we were awoken by a light drizzle. The sound of the rain on the Airstream made waking up just perfect. There’s nothing like sleeping in a warm cozy bed when it is raining outside your window. After a few minutes of drizzle, it started to pour outside. And on the inside? Well, on the inside it sounded like we were being bombarded by machine guns. Rata-tat-tat-tat!