Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Grand Canyon Trip!

After several smaller trips to adjust ourselves to being in the RV, we set out for a great trip across the beautiful Southwestern states.  Our first visit was to the Grand Canyon.  Our drive across California into Arizona was windy!  It was amazing though how quickly those hours went by though with fun things to keep us busy like several rounds of Uno, a car BINGO game we printed out ahead of time, lots of snacks, and lots of chatting.  Wilson, our Great Dane spent most of his time with his head on Rob's lap-- he is turning out to be quite the road dog!

Arriving at the Grand Canyon's South entrance, we were greeted by mule deers everywhere.  Em and Ro loved looking out the window to see the grazing deer who seemed utterly unperturbed by the humans in their big boxes driving by.

We opted to buy a National Park Pass as we plan to visit several parks in the next year.  Fiscally, it made sense to spend the money on the pass and we had budgeted for this.  We went right in to the Mather Campground to check in and begin exploring.  The campground (site 114) was very clean but required a bit of finessing to get in and out of as there were trees on both sides of the site.
Parked and leveled, we our RV to stretch our legs and explore the campground.  The air was wonderfully chilly and crisp and we felt invigorated and excited about exploring the next day.  For the first evening, we stayed at the campground familiarizing ourselves with everything.

The next day dawned with light drizzle and utter quiet.  The campground was about 1/3 full and our neighbors (RV/trailer and tenters alike) were courteous and friendly.  We chose to drive down to the Grand Canyon rim.  It's funny... I know how big the Grand Canyon is, but I'd forgotten how BIG it was!  

Campground Review:
-$18 a night.  Drydocking only, with dump station and water fill-up in campground.  Water faucets nearby as well.
-Clean bathrooms spaced around with dish sinks outside also.
-Lots of roaming wildlife in campground, very calm but still wild of course.
-Fairly busy for mid-May but not sold out when we were there.  Tent, trailer, and RV campers alike.
-Excellent trail guide info., educational talks, etc. available all over.
-Easily park and walk/bus around the Canyon.

Monday, March 9, 2015

RV Camping at Sycamore Canyon in Point Mugu

For our first RV trip, we decided to try a quickie extended weekend not too far from home.  We settled on Sycamore Canyon Campground in the Point Mugu State Park, California.  While there is a great on-beach setup at Thornhill Broome, we wanted the ease of hiking in the hills and a wind-free site protected by the mountains.  

Arriving with our reservation in hand as this place sells out nearly every weekend, the state park employees opted to assign us a teeny weenie spot in the middle of tent campers, that was impossible for our 28 foot RV to fit in!  Luckily, we arrived early enough to look around and found the larger RV-type sites to the left of the entrance that we could change to.

While the adults set up camp and prepped for dinner, the kiddos explored the dry creek bed collecting driftwood and avoiding copious amounts of poison oak!

The campsite was spotless, the firepit was empty (and deep!) and our camping neighbors were nice and fairly quiet.

We spent our days at the beach and hiking in the mountains.  There were even migrating whales pods to be seen!

Campground Review:
-$45 a night!  Drydocking only, with dump station in campground and water faucets nearby.
-Nice facilities, working showers and bathrooms nearby.  Park rangers were on hand all day.
-Campground host was never seen, never stopped by, nothing.
-A busy campground, sold out all three evenings we were there (in March).
-Excellent beginner to advanced hikes easily accessible.  No pets on trails.

Friday, November 7, 2014

this moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual.  A single photo, no words, capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special moment.  A moment I want to savor and remember.  Inspired by Amanda of SouleMama.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Bread Spot

Finally, cooler temps are gracing our mornings in Southern California!  My kitchen window faces the rising sun and warms the kitchen up to uncomfortable baking conditions from June to October typically.  Most cooking these past months has been outside on the BBQ or in a crock pot with, sadly, very little quality baking lessons for Em and Ro.  And, very very little baking experimentation time for me.

Then, as if by magic, (which I equate my own earlier rising time with the ending of Daylight Savings Time really)  November comes around with her lovely morning chill and brings out my inner baker from hibernation.  With the boys still sleeping, I look through the pantry supplies, I pore over my baking books and find tasty inspiration on the pages of books by Peter Reinhart, Nancy Silverton, King Arthur Flour, and Alice Medrich to name a few!

The light streaming in in this photo was taken at 10:30 this morning, just as I had done my stretching and folding of a batch of San Francisco Sourdough from Peter Reinhart's artisan breads every day.  With the angle of the sun hitting it at right place and without the searing summer heat, this spot is perfect for warm, slow rising bread to sit and bloom.  Bread bakers will understand my happiness at this as bread dough, particularly mine, is uber temperamental!  After this comes the cool down rising time in the fridge and tomorrow I'll have lovely loaves for us to eat.

Trying to live, learn and adjust my baking based on the light and the seasons has been an ever evolving quest for me.  As my children grow older and want their own lessons in the kitchen, I work to make sure I have time for slow bread as well as quickie cookies and cakes.  Each baked good comes from our hearts, so this time of year is especially full of baked love!

Happy Thursday!!

Friday, October 31, 2014

this moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual.  A single photo, no words, capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special moment.  A moment I want to savor and remember.  Inspired by Amanda of SouleMama.

Happy Halloween!!

Friday, October 24, 2014

this moment!

{this moment} - A Friday ritual.  A single photo, no words, capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special moment.  A moment I want to savor and remember.  Inspired by Amanda of SouleMama.

Happy Weekend!