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April 1 - April 16 - Jojoba Hills

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

We left Mesa on Tuesday, April 1st and drove a little over 300 miles to Aguanga, California.  It was quite a ride once we got off the interstate.  We drove our final 50-60 miles on hilly, winding roads.  It was the first time driving on roads like that with the rig and Marty handled it like a pro! 

The view from our rig
Sunset over Aguanga, California
The park we are staying at is Jojoba Hills RV Park.  This is a very popular Escapee's RV Park and we ended up spending four nights in the boondocking area because there weren't any sites available.  There actually was one site but we didn't think our rig would fit so we decided to wait until something more "fitting" opened up.  This worked out for us since we got the one site in the boondocking area  that had hook-ups and ended up paying only 5.00 per night while in boondocking.   We also had a coupon for seven nights at 50% off so this is turning into a pretty economical place to stay.  Once we did get a site it was close to the Clubhouse and all the activities so I'm glad we waited.  We will be here until the 17th and then make our way back to the Midwest.

View from the pool
This park is an Escapee Co-op Park and it is the nicest park we've stayed at.  The amenities and activities are amazing, there is always something to do.  Marty has discovered the game of Pickleball which is a very popular game in RV parks.  It's like ping-pong and tennis on a smaller court using whiffle balls.  At this park the courts for pickleball are available only in the morning and they are busy all morning.   We've also used the pool and hot tub a few times.  The view by the pool is so pretty that the chairs face away from the pool and look out at the mountains.  They have an amazing book and dvd library, craft room, sewing room, card room, billiards room and a large community room.

The main reason we decided to head west from Mesa to California was so we could visit Marty's sister, Jan, and her family.   Todd and Dena were kind enough to invite us for dinner on Wednesday and then we had them over for a barbque on Saturday.   Jan even spent two nights with us in the rig and we had a wonderful visit catching up with her.   

Dinner at the Calbert's
Lunch at the Konopackis
 
The competition was fierce. . .
Maddie and Todd win! (thanks to Maddie's ringer)
Mason and Maddie "Chilling" at the pool

Lunch at Mom's Cafe in Julian, CA
Spending some quality time with Jan
While in southern California, Marty has had some more properties to photograph - I like these houses better than the ones in Arizona but everything here is also beige!  I guess it easier to rent houses that are painted with neutral colors.  We have driven up and down I-15 and are starting to know the area, too bad we're leaving soon. 

Maddie and Mason were on Spring Break and Dena and Todd took their vacation the same week.  We wanted to spend some more time with them and we also wanted to see the Pacific Ocean.  We decided to go on a bike ride on a trail in Oceanside that ends at the ocean - it was a wonderful ride.  The weather was perfect, it was primarily flat, and we rode about 17 miles - my kind of bike ride! We even brought Flat Stanley along for a photo op.   Jan met us at the pier and we had lunch outside on the pier - I love Southern California!
Flat Stanley is happy he made it to the ocean before heading back to Chicago

Yay!
We made it!  What a great ride!
Lunch on the pier

Maddie and Maddie hydrating back at the car.


Later that night there was a lunar eclipse - the "blood moon".   It started at 12:45 A.M. and Marty and I both went outside to watch it but only one of us could keep their eyes open to watch the whole thing - luckily it was Marty and he took some amazing photos!
WOW!

 Marty had one final property to photograph on Tuesday (4/15) so we drove north to Murietta to take care of that and then we drove to San Juan Capistrano to play tourist.  It was a beautiful drive over the mountains and the plan was to visit the Mission and then drive south along the ocean before heading east back to Jojoba Hills.  However, Marty checked his email and found out that he had just gotten one final property to photograph.  As luck would have it, it was close to the earlier one so we ended up retracing our route over the mountains.  No last look at the ocean for us :(. 

Mission of San Juan Capistrano

Senor y Senora Konopacki


Wednesday (4/16) was our last full day in California and Jan came over for a final visit.  She also brought us lunch and dinner and an Easter suprise!!  What a wonderful treat that was!  It would have been nice to spend more time with our California family but we need to be in Iowa by 5/15 and now that's less than a month away.   We had so much fun with the Calbert's and can't wait until we can come back.  The best part of being on the road is getting to spend time with people we don't see very often but the worst part is having to say good-bye.  

We are leaving Thursday morning but really aren't sure where we'll be on Thursday night.  We had every intention of taking I-40 west and then I-35 north to Iowa but now there is a possibility of a few photography jobs in another city that was hit hard by the housing crisis.  Here's a hint "cha-ching".  We will find out after we leave so we may be making a detour, I'll keep you posted :).