August 19, 2019

Salinas & Santa Rosa, CA

Saturday, October 20, 2018
San Luis Obispo to Salinas, California
Salinas/Monterey KOA
Distance: 151 miles
Duration: 1 night
Cost: $68

Yep. Another KOA. I don’t remember why we chose this one. Probably because it's conveniently located right off the freeway.

The drive to Salinas was very pretty, with oleander decorating the median of the freeway, as well as large groves of eucalyptus trees scattered here and there along the roadside. Just seeing this vegetation brought back a lot of childhood memories of traveling from Northern California to my grandparents’ beach house in Leucadia. We also saw fields and fields of crops – tomatoes, lettuce, onions, grapes, etc.

We arrived at the KOA in the early afternoon, so I was able to do a couple of loads of laundry before dinner. The park isn’t really much of a campground, but rather a parking lot with shrubs & hedges between the sites. Nothing special and the approach to our site was too steep for our rig (we would have dragged as we backed in), but we were able to switch sites without any trouble. Situated so close to Hwy. 101, we heard a lot of road noise, but we were tired and didn’t have any trouble getting a good night’s sleep. Unless we have no other options, we won't stay here again.

One of the nicest rest areas we've been to!

Similar to the site we stayed in.
(Photo Credit: KOA Website)

Sunday, October 21, 2018
Salinas to Santa Rosa, California
Sue & Rob’s
Distance: 167 miles
Duration: 2 nights

Another slow, calm morning as we enjoyed our coffee and catching up on the news and emails. We eventually got on the road around 11:30(!). There was a lot of bumper-to-bumper traffic south of Gilroy, as well as in San Francisco, but the drive wasn’t at all bad. Hwy. 101 to 85 to 280 to 19th Street (in S.F.). I really wanted to walk across the bridge and get some photos, so once we got across we attempted to find a parking spot at the Golden Gate Bridge Vista Point just to the northeast of the bridge. Ha. Maybe on a weekday, but it was Sunday afternoon and the lot was jam packed with tourists wanting to do the same thing. There are only a couple of RV parking spots and it just wasn't my lucky day. Maybe next time.

Bumper-to-bumper near Gilroy, CA.

I have always loved this bridge, 
but have never walked across it!

We stopped for a late lunch at In-N-Out in Petaluma, then continued on to Sue & Rob's in Santa Rosa. It's always so nice to spend time with my aunt and uncle who are very laid back and easy to be with. After drinks, we relaxed over dinner and then Rod got his guitar out for a little music. It was fun to listen to Rob sing along with Rod. Lovely, lovely evening!

Rob & Rod
(Say that three times fast!)

Monday, October 22, 2018
Santa Rosa, CA
Sue & Rob's

One of the things I love about visiting friends and family who are also retired is the slow, peaceful mornings we all enjoy. We had our coffee and breakfast, and went for a walk after catching up on emails. No visit to Santa Rosa is complete without a trip to Sebastopol for fish tacos at Handline. It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon and we enjoyed sitting out on the patio while we visited and enjoyed our lunch. Rod and Rob decided to get ice cream (Tasty Freeze!), but I couldn't eat another bite.

Back at the house, we relaxed and caught up on various projects. A quick drink before dinner, then off to Jack & Tony's in downtown Santa Rosa. 

I always like to sample coffee from places we visit. 
Teaxs State of Mind's Red Dirt 
was big and bold, just the way I like it.

Two of my favorite people! 
Uncle Rob and Auntie Sue

Rob has such a great sense of humor!

These two became fast friends on our previous visit.
Cars, motorcycles, photography and writing. Lots in common!

My beautiful aunt - a kindred spirit.

Delicious dinner on our last night in Santa Rosa.

Another visit that was far too short. As I write this long overdue post, I am texting my aunt, making plans to stop by next month on our way to San Diego. We can't wait!!


  1. Your aunt and uncle sound like so much fun!

    1. Kathy, they truly are! We have such a good time when we visit them and we're looking forward to our upcoming trip down their way next month.

  2. Sounds like you had a nice time Les; great pics. I've visited Houston, TX a few times on business and once was in August - OMG, so darn hot!

    1. Diane, it was such a fun trip and I'm working hard to get caught up on all these posts before we head out on this year's adventure!

      I've only driven through Houston once and it was so hot & humid. There are parts of Texas that are beautiful (Hill Country), but I don't think I could live there again. Too hot for me!

  3. Yes, it's hot in Texas and is particularly hot right now. Houston is way too humid for me. We get a bit of it (or more than a bit) inland, but not to those coastal levels. Les, first of all, that coffee looks great and I've never heard of it. I'll look for it. Secondly, what a fun time you guys must have had with your aunt and uncle. Glad you'll get to spend some time with them again soon.

    By the way, looks like you are reading some wonderful books. I was looking at your sidebar. I need to update mine. Maybe in a few days. I'll likely not be blogging again until September at the earliest.

    1. So good to hear from you, Kay! I've missed you in the blogosphere, but hope you are enjoying your travels. You'll be back to blogging just about the time I will be taking a break while on the road for a couple of months!

      I wish I could remember where I bought that coffee. Probably at a grocery store in New Braunfels. It was pretty good. You'll have to let me know if you find it and how you like it. Yes, we had such a great time with my aunt and uncle. We've seen my aunt since that trip (at my dad's memorial), but it will be good to see both of them next month. They're already asking that Rod bring his guitar. :)

      I'll pop over to your blog in the next few weeks and catch up with you. xoxo

  4. How nice to “meet” your special aunt and uncle, Les! It sounds like it was one of those very special, memory-making visits.

  5. Robin, you would love my aunt and uncle. They are the nicest people and so much fun to hang out with. We're so lucky that we get to see them again in a few weeks!


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