I was planning to retire in a few months and had been interested in getting a 5th Wheel and truck at some point to travel around in. Actually, I have had this fantasy of some sort of travel trailer, 5th Wheel or Motorhome for some time. When he had bought the Ford Ranger back in the 90’s, we got the tow package because we had been looking at Hi-Lo trailers that are lightweight enough to be towed by a small truck. We got the truck but never did get the trailer.
Over the years, my trailer fantasy morphed into a 5th Wheel fantasy. I discovered how much head room you have in a Fifth Wheel. Milton and I are both 6’4,” (although I think he has shrank an itch somehow over the year, lol!). Trailers usually have ceilings of about 7 feet. A Fifth Wheel can have a ceiling of 10 feet or more.
Since I was getting so close to my retirement and the possibility of something like a Fifth Wheel, I thought it would be a good idea to actually spend a few nights in one. I searched the internet for somebody that would rent a 5th Wheel and set it up in a park. I found just such a place in San Diego. They had a 34′ Forest River Sandpiper that would be available September 4th through the 8th. We found Mission Bay RV Park, where they would deliver the Sandpiper and set it up for us.
We had planned to take the train across country but then we got preoccupied with putting in the new shower and kind of lost interest in the train trip and decided just to do a road trip. Milton is going to give one week of his vacation back so will just be off a couple of weeks. I will take the whole three weeks. At this point, we have a reservation for a night in Santa Cruz overlooking the beach and boardwalk there and then a night in Morro Bay. Then we would arrive in San Diego on the 4th.
We decided that we would essentially follow the same itinerary that we did about 20 years previously. On that trip, we were still living on Waller Street in San Francisco and got a great rental deal on a Ford Mustang Convertible. We drove down Highway 1 with it’s spectacular views through Big Sur. It is probably one of the most incredibly drives on the planet.
Twenty years previously we had stayed in a room in Santa Cruz overlooking the ocean and boardwalk. I had long forgotten the name but remembered the location well and was able to track it down. Now named “The Dream Inn” or maybe it was always named that. It is a great place to stay in Santa Cruz! We had room 927. The view of the beach and boardwalk was breathtaking. We overheard people from the next-door room to us out on the balcony talking about seeing a whale. We went out on the balcony and looked and, although I couldn’t see it at the time, I could see it in the video I took.
After settling into the room, we took a walk down to the famous Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Like the other time we had stayed here, the park was not operating rides. The roller coaster was silent. Sea gulls sang. The sun shined down. It was a beautiful afternoon.
After our walk, we were getting hungry, so we walked back to the hotel and got the Prius. We drove around looking for someplace to eat. I think we ultimately just got Subway sandwiches and came back to the hotel.
The next day, after leaving Santa Cruz, we would drive through Monterey. As we were leaving Monterey, we kept seeing all these cars parked precariously along the highway and bunches of people looking out at the ocean. It finally dawned on us that they were looking at whales, too! We stopped the car and, again, Milton was able to see the whales but my vision just didn’t go that far.
That night, we had a reservation at a Best Western in Morro Bay. It turned out that Milton remembered our staying there on the trip we had taken in the Mustang twenty years ago. It looked like it hadn’t been remodeled since. The carpet had terrible stains. It looked like it might have been blood stains but I’m not sure of that. It did get my imagination going though! Was someone murdered in this room? Did they bleed out right here where we are spending the night? Milton didn’t think it looked that bad so we stayed. We walked down the waterfront looking for something to eat. We found nothing there and so we returned to the motel and got the car and went driving through Morro Bay looking for food. We found a super market where we got some chicken and some sides and went back to the motel.
We had a great time in San Diego. I remember living there as a teen and under-appreciating it at the time. Of course, I used to get harassed quite a bit when I lived there because I had long hair and the police in San Diego at that time were like gestapo. It is a totally different experience as a conservative looking white senior citizen with gray hair. I had been to San Diego a couple of times as an adult and love the beauty of it. It is so impressive to me that they don’t have high rises along the beaches and that so much waterfront has been set aside for the public.
I was especially glad for the opportunity to sleep in a 5th wheel for the first time. It was interesting. Neither of us realized that they jiggled so much! That took a little getting used to like being on a cruise and getting used to the motion of the ship. David said that you can minimize the jiggle with some accessories and we would probably want to do that if we owned one.