December 6-31, 2002 - Trip to California

On December 6th we headed south to make our appointment for factory service at National RV.  We left in the evening after dinner expecting to get to Chehalis, but hit thick fog and ended up pulling off at the Wal-Mart in Lacey, WA.  The fog was so thick we got lost finding the entrance to the store and had to backtrack.  We had gone 74 miles.

The next day (7th) we pushed through 301 miles to Sutherlin, OR.

The next day (8th) we went over Siskiyou summit and stopped 291 miles later in Red Bluff, CA.  Now we will not have to push so hard, we are below the snow belt.

On the 9th we drove to our friend Brian's house in Martinez, CA, and spent a couple days with him.  We had last seen Brian when he visited us in Redding, CA in April.  One day we went to a local park and could see the city from the top of the hill:

On the 12th we drove to CA99 and headed south, expecting to make a long day of it.  When dusk fell the fog came in thick and we had to find a campsite, ending up in Goshen, CA.  It was foggy enough we could barely see the other end of the motorhome getting it into a campsite.  

In the morning it was sunny and clear, the campground turned out to be decent.  We drove the rest of the way to Diane's sister Misty's house in Hesperia, CA that day. 

We stayed by Misty's house and visited for a few days.  Diane's parents were also parked there with their motorhome.  On the 16th we planned to drive the hour-and-a-half to the National RV factory service center in Perris, CA after breakfast.  The weather did not cooperate and we had very high winds and they closed El Cajon pass since trucks were getting pushed over. The sand blasted our motorhome and car and we could barely go outside into 60 to 80mph winds.  After dark the wind subsided and they reopened I-15 so we headed to Perris.  No problem, it was mostly calm.  We set up in the "campground" and went to bed, they start at 7:30AM.

Here is what it looks like at "Camp National RV":

Each morning they would take our motorhome about 7:30AM and bring it back after 3PM and we were on our own.  We explored, we hung out at the customer lounge, we shopped, we got our battery on the CRV replaced at Honda since the old one failed a load test.  We met Carolle and Ken from Jacksonville, FL in the customer lounge, who became like family when we visited them in 2003 and 2005.   We also got many windows replaced on the CRV, the sand had etched them in the high winds.

Finally on Friday everything was supposed to be finished so the service writer came out to see what we thought.  Our bedroom slide was now being very noisy, so we demonstrated it to him.  Diane said, "is it just an annoying sound or something more serious?"  He said, "it annoys me, when can you come back?"  Her also determined our slide topper had a broken spring, they would replace it for the cost of the new topper when we came back.  We arranged to come back in March before the Owners club rally to get our slide fixed.  They fixed everything else, we now had dash A/C, we had good seals on the front slide, our electrical issues were gone and the motorhome didn't hum between 35 and 50mph. 

We headed the 64 miles back to Misty's house so we would be there for Christmas.  Here is how were parked, with Diane's parents next to the house:

We visited, we shopped, we ate, we helped decorate.  Here is what things looked like Christmas Eve:

Here is how it looked Christmas morning before the stockings were touched:

It was early, but it was Christmas so we had the opening of gifts:

Diane had her glasses on since she needed to rest her eyes for lasik, no contacts for three months:

It got to be quite a mess:

Then the opening was over and here is the tree without the presents:

It was portrait time with Misty's family and the dolls Diane's mother made:

Aunt Claire and Diane's parents:

The full family portrait:

Back row: Claire (Diane's aunt on her father's side), Kimberly (Diane's youngest sister), Dennis (Kimberly's husband), Marc (Misty's husband), Misty (Diane's middle sister)

Front row: Diane, Bill, Gregg (Diane's father), Sabrina (Misty's oldest), Rosalie (Diane's mother), Taylor (Misty's youngest)

Missing: Diane's brother Leo's family, who were in Kennewick, WA

On the 28th we headed north, again stopping at the campground in Goshen for the night.  We then headed to Portola Valley to visit a coworker of Bill's who he had never met in person.  For nine years they talked on the phone and in email and knew they thought alike, but Roger and Bill hadn't met.  We stopped at Casa de Fruita on the way and picked up a hostess gift. 

Roger had arranged for us to park behind a store so he met us in the parking lot and made sure we were set up before showing us to the house.  Roger and Barbara were wonderful and we got along really well.  We were parked behind the store because they had a construction dumpster by the house, but once we found out a storm was coming Roger measured and said we would fit.  It had been three years since an RV had parked by the house and the driveway had overgrown a bit, it took 1-1/2 hours of pruning and maneuvering to get the motorhome up the driveway and into its spot, but we made it. 

None of us managed to stay awake until midnight on New Years Eve, we called the year over before 11PM.

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