Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Is That Your Airstream?

I like to mix it up a little--a few nights camping followed by a night or two in RV luxury where I can catch up on laundry and get my fill of obnoxious cable news programming.

Talk about one extreme to the other: From the rustic campground of Yosemite we moved to a resort-like RV park in Paso Robles near the coast. For a pricey $46.50 a night we got a level piece of concrete complete with full hook-ups, cable, and amenities galore. The grounds were immaculate as well as the pool and hot tub (which we actually used.) Our Airstream Abby, which to us is a luxury apartment, sat like a pipsqueak among the McMansion motor coaches that filled the park. There must have been $50 million dollars worth of polished luxury units out there. However, we were not alone: I counted three other Airstreams, including this 1966 mirror-finished Tradewind.

Like Airstreamers tend to do, we gravitated over to the owners of this rig. Or maybe, they wandered over to us first, but anyway we got friendly and now we find ourselves having dinner together in our new spot--the rustic bliss of San Simeon State Park.
Our new friends are a wonderful couple from Seattle. We knew them all of 20 minutes before deciding to reunite at San Simeon. That's the weirdness of "Club Airstream"--instant friendship based on owning a certain aluminum tube on wheels. No back-ground checks necessary.

Here at our new digs we pay $20 dollars a night. We get a semi-level space with no hook-ups, but a partial view of the Pacific Ocean, a mere short walk from our door. The park is quiet and practically empty. Now that the generator is off we can hear the surf pounding the shore. The little town of Cambria is a couple miles away so we will do some exploring tomorrow after we stroll the beach. It is such a wonderful spot. We are thinking we might stay here a few days.

What we saw of Paso Robles was very nice. There are something like 200 wineries in the vicinity, but we didn't visit one. Again, with an 8 year old in tow, it is difficult. Instead, we went to a spa where we dipped into a mineral tub (stunk like sulphur) and strolled the historic square downtown and ate Thai food at a place called Basil. We kept wondering why the buildings all looked so new and we learned that a recent earthquake resulted in a lot of rebuilding. We also wondered why a place so temperate in climate and so close to the ocean is not a sprawling metropolis, but I'm guessing it may have to do with lack of water, or the occasional smell of sulphur, or maybe it's actively quaking. I don't know, but it seems like a lovely place to live.

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