Posts Tagged With: ca

Santa Barbara and Rancho Oso

After 7 weeks in California, it’s time to go.  I can’t say I’m very sad to leave.  It hasn’t exactly been my favorite state to visit during our travels.  I think I have a love/hate relationship with the state.  It is very beautiful and the weather is wonderful.  The lack of bugs is also very nice.  What I don’t like is all the crowds.  There is just way too many people in Southern California.  It was difficult to go anywhere that wasn’t overly crowded.  And in some areas the people are just not that friendly.  But for the most part we really enjoyed our stay, and I think I especially enjoyed this most recent stay in Santa Barbara the best.  It seems the further we got away from Los Angeles the better.  Santa Barbara was a lot less crowded and a lot more friendly!

We stayed at Thousand Trails Rancho Oso which is probably my favorite Thousand Trails (TT) we have stayed at so far.  It has all the normal TT park activities like a pool, mini-golf and candy bar bingo.  But it is also on a beautiful ranch where you can see lots of horses and amazing views like this one.


They even have a Stock Dog and Bucking Bull show that was really fun.  During the show they explained how they train dogs to round-up cattle and how they train bulls for rodeos.


Duke the dog, rounding up the cattle.



Duke trying to round-up the last bull that was not cooperating.


Pony training.


That’s not a real person on this bull.



We walked the hiking trail at the campground to the “waterfall”.  Since there is currently a drought in California, there was no waterfall, but we did the hike anyway.



You don’t have to own an RV to camp at this campground.  You can stay in one of these cute covered wagons.



Or in one of these little cottages.


Or even in a teepee!


Beautiful views at Rancho Oso!


An added bonus of our stay — we were parked next to another Fulltime Family (FtF).  We met this family at Wilderness Lakes in June and it turned out we were planning to be at this park at the same time.  We had so much fun spending time with them, and we look forward to seeing them again soon!


Our sightseeing from this location included a visit to the cute little Danish town of Solvang.  My sister gave me the t-shirt last Christmas and now I can say that I have been there.





Santa Barbara was absolutely beautiful and so much fun to visit since it wasn’t too crowded.


We still had the FtF mascot Rambler with us to take him on one more field trip.  Then we passed him off to the FtF staying next to us.  We enjoyed having Rambler travel with us for a couple of months and hope he enjoys his continued travels with the Smith family.



We also visited the Santa Barbara Zoo and the Sea Center.  We were able to go to both places for free because they are included on our Friends of the WNC Nature Center pass.  This pass only cost us $64 for our family for one year.  It gets us into many participating zoos, aquariums and science centers all over the country.  It’s a great deal for traveling families.

This spot at the zoo was so beautiful, you can see the Pacific Ocean peaking through the trees in the background.


The ocean on one side and mountains on the other.


Penguins in California!  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, they have them at the Jacksonville Zoo in Florida too.



Touching sea animals at the Sea Center.





And finally, for those of you who are wondering what Fat Cat was up to in Santa Barbara, see below.  Besides this, she stayed busy chasing squirrels outside of our camper.  The squirrels are very happy we left!


That’s all for now.  Bye California!  We’ll probably see you again next year to explore more to the north of where we went this year.

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Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

My parents have always loved Ronald Reagan so during their visit we decided to go to Simi Valley and visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.



What a beautiful and interesting museum!  We spent hours going through all the rooms and reading all the history of our 40th president.  The outside grounds had spectacular views of surrounding Simi Valley.




This was a piece of the Berlin wall that came down during his presidency…


President Reagan’s memorial…



The self-guided tour takes you through his history from his birth…


How neat to know that his mother instilled Biblical values in him…


I remember when this assassination attempt happened.  The quote is something President Reagan said later, “Whatever happens now, I owe my life to God and will try to serve Him in every way I can.”  I pray that I will live my life in the same way.


A replica of the Oval Office…


He loved riding horses when he had some time off…


Future presidents?



We were able to tour Air Force One, but we were not allowed to take pictures of the inside.  This was really cool!



There was so much more to this museum and it was well worth the visit.  One thing that really struck me was to see the election maps when he won in 1980 and 1984.  He won most of the states in the first election and won all states but one in the second.  It looked like our country was much more united back then.  In the last few elections, I have been saddened to see how divided our country has become.  Oh how I wish that we could have another president like Ronald Reagan, a man who loved God, America and freedom.

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Vasquez Rocks

We took the Grands hiking in Vasquez Rocks.  I am so proud of my parents!  They hiked up these rocks with us and I think they even enjoyed it.  I’m so thankful that they stay healthy and in shape so they can keep up with their grandkids.


What a good-looking set of grandparents…





That’s a cool dude right there…


And there’s another cool dude, he’s the “king of the world!”



Those 2 little people down there are Chris and Jesse…





The views from the top of the rocks was so amazing!  I could have sat up there for hours.  I love the peacefulness way up there away from all the traffic and busyness.



Have I mentioned that I am definitely not a city girl?  I’ll take these wide open spaces any day over a crowded, bustling tourist trap.  Well, with the exception of Disney World.  I think I’ll always love Disney.

Vasquez Rocks was named after this nice law-abiding citizen…


And many movies were filmed here…


Can you guess why I took a picture of this movie poster?


We had so much fun taking my parents hiking with us.

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Family Time in California


My sister Cheryl and her husband Chris have been living in Burbank, CA and we had plans to spend some time with them while we’re out on the west coast.  A few months ago they made the decision to move back east to Georgia so we knew we needed to get out here before they moved.  We spent some time at Wilderness Lakes Thousand Trails in Menifee, CA which wasn’t too far from Cheryl and Chris so they were able to come out and visit us there for a few days.  Wilderness Lakes was lots of fun and we met 3 other Fulltime Families staying there.  It’s a very kid-friendly park with train rides, candy bar bingo and Jesse’s favorite — mini golf.




After that we moved to another RV resort in Acton, CA which was a little closer to Burbank.  Fat Cat really liked this campsite where she learned to climb trees.  Chris had to rescue her once she got up there and didn’t know what to do.



My parents flew out from NC to visit for a couple of weeks while we were there.  The timing worked out that they were here at the same time that Chris & Cheryl were moving out of their apartment in Burbank so we were all available to help them move.  That was an interesting fiasco, but I won’t bore you with those details.  🙂  Besides helping them move we all did some sightseeing together.

The Los Angeles Zoo…



Travel Town Train Museum…



We caught a glimpse of the famous Hollywood sign…


Visited downtown Burbank…


And had make-your-own-pizza night at Chris & Cheryl’s place…


The last time I visited Cheryl in CA was 12 years ago and one of my favorite things we did back then was visiting Santa Monica and rollerblading on the bike path along the beach.  This time Santa Monica was not nearly as fun as it was 12 years ago.  It was so much more crowded than I remember and some of the people just seem really rude.  We locked up our bikes and sat on the beach for a while and walked out on the pier.  Then we were ready to go for a bike ride but when we got back to our bikes we found one of the locks had been cut and Chris’s bike had been stolen.  We just bought this bike a couple of months ago in Texas and it was a really nice bike so it was very disappointing to find it had been stolen.  So we never did end up going for a bike ride that day.  We tried to make the best of it and enjoy our day there, but after that happened it really wasn’t that much fun.  On a positive note I found out later that our credit card that we used to purchase the bike has purchase protection against theft and damage.  I filed a claim and it turns out we might be able to get the money back that we spent for the bike.  I sure hope so!




Riding the ferris wheel was really cool!


After helping Chris and Cheryl move, we all went back to spend some relaxing days at the campground.  It was a very refreshing change from the busyness and un-friendliness of L.A.  Now that my sister doesn’t live there anymore, I’m not sure we’ll ever go back there again.  I’m definitely not a city girl — I much prefer the wide open spaces and friendliness of some of the other states we have been to.



Such beautiful mountain views…




Playing Mexican Train Dominoes one night by the pool.  Our family loves game nights!


One evening we saw this spectacular rainbow and sunset at the campground…



And another night a beautiful full moon…


Time with family is time well spent.  We were so blessed to have this time together.  I wish they all lived in RVs so we could travel together more often.

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