Sunset December Del Mar Beach Camp Pendleton

California Dreaming

2019 Year in Review – 2020 Preview

We are California dreaming, currently camped on the sand, right on the beach at Camp Pendleton. Sand, surf, and traffic.

We have gone from Ventura County, across Los Angeles County, Orange County, and are now at the north edge of San Diego County. In that short two hour drive, we crossed the huge basin which is the home of about 20 million people. The majority of our drive was on Sunday morning, all planned to have the lowest traffic on the route. The first leg of the route was in heavy rain, also probably contributed to light traffic on Sunday morning. A weekday on that route in heavy rain, driving an RV would have been a nightmare.

Garden at the Getty Center
Garden at the Getty Center

More Presidential Libraries

 After having such a great time visiting the Reagan Library we decided to visit the Nixon Library.  Since both of these were museums, not a book in sight, I wonder if I understand the term Library.  Are there any presidential libraries with books? I can’t answer that, but I can say that we learned a lot at both stops. 

Nixon Library Reflecting Pool
Nixon Library Reflecting Pool

I had forgotten about many of the things that both presidents accomplished during their terms in office.  One of the new things, that I didn’t know, was that President Bill Clinton gave the eulogy at Nixon’s funeral. Since I am sure that Clinton wasn’t a fan of Nixon I found this interesting. Clinton said that Nixon should be judged on the totality of his accomplishments.  It is hard to argue with that logic.

The presentation at the Nixon Library addressed the Watergate break-in in almost the very first sentence. Overall the library was a very impressive and honest assessment of the service Nixon provided for the country. Plus it made me want to see other Presidential Libraries.  

We also saw the Regan Presidental Library noted in this post. Anniversary: Point Mugu and Seal Beach

Art and Culture

While at Seal Beach we also visited the Getty Museum and the Queen Mary. Perhaps this was too many museums in too short a time frame. This was our second visit to the Getty Museum and also had visited the Getty Villa in Malibu. The Getty fine art underlined our visit to Hearst Castle. The primary difference between Getty and Hearst is that fine art at Hearst was often reproductions and at Getty, the art was the original piece.

Vincent Van Gogh Irises
Vincent Van Gogh Irises

We had the clearest day I have ever seen in Los Angles, when at the Getty Museum; with visibility was 90 miles. Ninety-mile visibility is unbelievable in Los Angles, but I have proof and it is also a good time to show off my camera. The following three pictures were taken all at the same time and place. The third picture shows San Nicolas Island, 90 miles from the Getty Museum.  Just so you don’t overrate my camera, much of the zoom was done on the computer after the picture was taken. I get lots of zoom from the camera, but not enough to impress you with the incredible visibility.

Getty Museum View of Courtyard & Pacific Ocean
View of Courtyard & Pacific Ocean at Getty Center
Getty Museum view of Pacific Ocean
Getty Museum view of Pacific Ocean
Getty Museum view of San Nichols Island
Digital zoom of San Nichols Island from the patio at Getty Center

Old Ships

After the Falkland’s War, the Queen Mary found a new life, as a hotel and tourist attraction in Long Beach, less than twenty miles from our campground at Seal Beach. We had planned on a drive to the Getty Museum that day and one look at LA traffic convinced us that perhaps a weekday drive up the 405 wasn’t the best idea, so instead we stayed local and went to the Queen Mary.  We saved the Getty Museum for Sunday morning.  I’m glad we did. The Sunday drive was half the time as it would have been during the week.

Queen Mary in Long Beach Harbor
Queen Mary in Long Beach Harbor

Even better, since it was a weekday, Queen Mary was not over-run by visitors. It was interesting to see the ship, all the decorations (and the rust in the boiler rooms and engineering spaces). I was very surprised that the ship, which had to be revised and rendered inoperable, was so intact and refined. Luxury was the goal associated with the design, not so on my Navy ships. The boilers were removed, but all the turbines and reduction gears were left in place so for me the engineering spaces were the most interesting.

Submarine

Next to the Queen Mary was a Soviet (Foxtrot Class NATO codename) submarine – tourist attraction. I can say that it was junk – even worse than the Soviet submarines that I chased when in the Navy. To the best of my recall, I have only set foot on one submarine, one time, and it also was tied to a pier. That is enough for me.   

Soviet Submarine next to Queen Mary
Soviet Submarine next to Queen Mary

Seal Beach started our annual Doctor and Dentist visits schedule, which will all be done this week. So far both of us are still alive. We each have one more appointment.  The next year, 2020 will bring some changes to Doctor stuff because our current plan does not include a visit to California for at least two years, although perhaps, we may need to fly back to California just to visit doctors.

2019 Review

Distance traveled 7138 RV miles, 12 states – 6 new states.  (Texas, Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Montana)  Nearly all our travels were never seen before (by us).  The familiar terrain was San Diego to Yuma and Portland to the Oregon Coast. The remainder of the route was brand new. Overall our best location was Yellowstone followed by the Southern Oregon and Northern California Coast. 

2019 Route
2019 Route

As you can see from the combined view of all three years routes jumbled into one picture, we still have most of the mountains in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho unvisited. We also have a huge hole in Nevada although I have to admit the attraction to fill in that blank isn’t so concerning. Northern California and the Sierra Nevada Mountain range is also sadly un-touched.  

2017 to 2019 Combined Route
2017 to 2019 Combined Route

The combined map comprises about 17,000 miles of RV travel. I have to admit, that we are almost always missing delightful locations only a few miles away from each stop.

2020 Preview

Our current plan is to cross Texas and after that spend most of the next 24 months east of the Mississippi. We are very envious of some friends that are currently in Key West and hope to spend next winter there – with them.  Tropical sounds good right now. Overall we found 2019 colder, all year long, than we wish.  We also may have some big surprising changes to announce as the year progresses. However, that is as big as the hint you get.

Here is a link to the google map for the southern California area

Link to our 2019 Route

Link to our route Oregon and California Coast

Our blog page doesn’t allow comments after one month…  So much for me controlling it – I am not a coder…  Please comment anyway by filling out the form at the bottom. I will be glad to manually insert them.

4 thoughts on “California Dreaming”

  1. It looks as if your future plans are getting boulder as you become more comfortable with the RV life.
    If you plane to spend most of the next 2 years east of the Great Muddy we may have to fly to catch up with you all for a visit. I have always wanted to visit Key West, FL.

    1. I too have wanted to go to Key West for years. I’ll let you know how all this works out. Plans are like jello, a little temperature change can change the shape of things very fast.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *