Day 8 – From Barstow to Alamogordo

Wait a minute!  What happened to Days 4 through 6?  Yes, I know, I HEARD you ask that question!

In my last blog entry, Scott and I, intrepid explorers that we are, had safely arrived in Barstow, California.  Okay, really we had arrived in Yermo, California, which is about 6 miles east of Barstow on I-15.  The KOA there in Yermo was a pleasant little community, nestled in the trees and bushes, giving a sense of privacy to each lot.

Well, after Yermo, life got pretty busy; Scott and I just didn’t have a lot of time to spend writing.  We do apologize for that.  I’ll take up here where I left off Friday evening.

Saturday morning, Scott and I quickly packed up and hooked up, and were on the road by 8:30 a.m.  The drive south from Yermo, along I-15 to “the 91” and then on toll roads right to Newport Beach, CA, was relatively uneventful.  We arrived at Newport Dunes RV Park at 11:15.  Setting up the camper in record time, we met Bob & Marcy at the front gates, then zipped off to Balboa to The Crab Cooker for lunch.  Well, okay.  I’m not sure “zipped off” is the right phrase… we took the ferry over to Balboa, so we probably sat waiting our turn for a half hour or more!

We ran a couple of errands with Bob & Marcy, then went to see the movie “Blind Side” – the movie for which Sandra Bullock won the Oscar.  It was a fantastic movie, far, far, far better than I expected it to be! (Neither Scott nor I are football fans, and I expected it to be a “football movie”.  We’re both of the opinion that football itself is pretty boring… and a movie about football… well, why bother!?)

Sunday, Scott and I were at Bob & Marcy’s for breakfast by a little after 8 a.m.  Bob made the world’s best pancakes (Bob I hope you’re reading this… and if you are… please send us the recipe!)  And about the time the pancakes were done, the house exploded with the arrival of my nephew Brad and his daughter and son, Karen & Bennett.  I was really disappointed that Brad’s wife had to work Sunday.  But there will be other opportunities to see her and hopefully get to know her!

But, let’s be honest here… about 75% of the purpose of this 10 day trip of Scott’s & mine was to see Karen & Bennett, and that we got to do!  They’re the sweetest little ones imaginable… and considering that Brad was such a monster growing up… okay, bad joke, you weren’t really Brad!

Over breakfast, I had a brief opportunity to reconnect with Brett, as well.  I’m impressed by both my nephews, how hard they work.  It was Sunday, but Brett was off to spend a day working.

I also have to say I was extremely impressed with Brad’s parenting skills.   There is a quiet, unassuming air of self-confidence about Brad in his approach to raising both Bennett & Karen.

After breakfast, we spent the day, Bob, Brad, Scott & I, at the Montage resort in Laguna Beach, walking in the park overlooking the ocean, then walking down to the ocean.  I had to get my toes wet.  I can’t get anywhere near an ocean without making sure my feet come in contact with the waves!

The evening ended for us after a dinner of salad and some of the best pizza!

Monday morning, Scott and I were a little slow getting started.  We left Newport Beach, heading for Scottsdale about 9 a.m.  I have to say that while Newport Dunes is nice enough as an RV Park, it certainly disappointed me.  Perhaps I’m spoiled by the campgrounds we normally stay at, but I felt Newport Dunes grossly overcharged us for our stay.  Scott and I have stayed in RV Campgrounds for less than half what we were charged at the Dunes, and yet were provided with much nicer facilities than those at the Dunes.  I’m just not really sure we’ll stay there again!

We had little trouble with traffic for our trip to Scottsdale… just as Bob predicted.  I worried for nought!  We stopped at Chiriaco Summit for lunch, and as recommended by Bob we had the Date Shake.  Bob, your memory is a bit faulty.  The Date Shake at Chiriaco was no where near as good as the Date shake at the Shake Shack!

I had originally anticipated that we’d get to Scottsdale about 7 p.m. but we made far better time, and in addition, I had forgotten that because Arizona does not participate in DST, we didn’t lose an hour.  So, we were in our site and set up, and ready to head to Aunt Jeanie’s by 6:05 p.m.

As a result, Aunt Jeanie & Uncle Lew, with Scott and I, went to Busters, had a GREAT dinner (I’d never tried Lahvash before… Yum!!!!) and enjoyed a really nice conversation.  I fear that Scott and I may have stayed a little too late at Aunt Jeanies, but we really had such a nice time!

Here it is Day 7, and Scott and I are once again on the road.  We’re on I10, just passing the exit for Bowie, AZ, about half way to today’s destination!  Of course, by the time you see this, we’ll have arrived in Alamogordo.  And we’re on schedule to arrive there in about 4 hours.

UPDATE: Since I wrote that yesterday, we have arrived safely in Alamogordo, NM, and are set up at our site.  The problem is while the campground does have WiFi for internet, the site we are in does NOT.  When we arrived yesterday, Scott was in a hurry to get to his folks place… and rightfully so!  So, here we are, on Day 8, really!  If I have some time today, I’ll try to put up a post with pictures!


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