We collected the RV yesterday, returned the Escalade, transferred the house contents into the RV, handed the house keys over, and set off.
Simon was (possibly rightly) tense about driving the RV for the first time and to make matters worse, it was rush hour in Silicon Valley and got dark about an hour before we made it to the first campground in Big Sur – called Riverside Campground. See the images from this morning – our first morning in the RV…
We set off at just after 10am on the big 270+ mile journey down to Malibu. We stopped off to watch some seals playing in the surf and to grab a little lunch…
Then completed our journey down to Malibu with another stop @ Santa Barbara to re-fuel and to stock up on food for dinner. The RV was had just over 1/4 of a tank of fuel (takes regular unleaded) and it drank a further $190 of the 87 RON quality unleaded!!!! If we filled in the UK this would have been closer to 246UKP !! This was for approx 340 miles…
Hopefully tomorrow will be less time in the RV and more time in the sun – although it is considerably colder down here in the South than it was up North (or in Ossett for that matter). The boys did really well considering pretty much all daylight hours were spent in it today…
Finally, the rest of the gang are hoping to feel less sick during drive time tomorrow – less twisty roads and a more versed driver by then…
UPDATE – photos uploaded – follw us during our trip by watching the following folder
Simon definitely has the best wife on the planet (just in case you had not already realised it). Last week she suggested that Simon and Tim take a two day break to Las Vegas to shoot guns etc before we start the RV trip. So we set off on Monday morning and came back on Wednesday evening, and had a blast. Not only this but Vicky stayed home and completed the packing before the RV adventure starts later today…
We walked the strip seeing all the relevant sights, had a romantic lunch in the restaurant 911 feet up in the Stratosphere (revolving restaurant that makes a full 360 degrees every 1 hour 25 minutes), and of course went to the shooting range to watch others shoot. In this case, Simon watched Tim shoot and Tim watched Simon. This caused one of the biggest laughs of the trip – ask Tim about Simon and ripping through the belt- funny story about how instruction cane be interpreted SO differently by people in the same room listening to the SAME instruction 😀
We watched the sirens of Treasure Island and finished the trip off with a trip out to the Grand Canyon on a helicopter with Mustang Helicopters – for Simon this was the best bit – just an awesome experience.
To be sat in the basin of the Canyon was an experience to not miss if you ever get the opportunity – the helicopter dropped 4,000 feet into the canyon in just minutes. Once we had a bit to eat and a drink, we rose 5,000 feet to get back out again – an immense place made easy with this 8 seat jet helicopter – a mere $2.5m to buy 🙂
Oh yes, and we had to pass the hoover dam to get to the Canyon….
As you can maybe see, the lake caused by the dam (Lake Mead) is only half full at present – apparently not a great deal of snow up in Colorado (where the Colorado River that feeds the dam comes from). The dam was not anywhere near as impressive (in our opinion) up close, but from the air definitely looked as impressive as the movies portray it 🙂
Simon completed his last day at work yesterday (Friday) and is now free !!!
We have returned the VW so we now have both cars sorted out, and the rental Cadillac is well into use. We have got used to the thumping V8 already so hopefully we will not be wasting quite as much fuel just listening to the roar from the traffic lights 🙂
Simon and Tim went out for beers and dinner with the folks from Simon’s old place of work last night and Tim managed to lose his wallet 🙁 Thankfully, the waitress took it to one side and we collected it earlier today – all contents intact 🙂
We have moved pretty much all of the big furniture down to the garage ready for removal by the various customers next week. There is just our bed and Olly’s cotbed to come down next week.
Simon and Tim have booked a two night trip to Las Vegas starting on lunchtime on Monday to go and shoot some guns etc 🙂 Fun is going to be had. We got a pretty good del of around $700 each for two nights at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, the flights and a small car for hire 🙂
Vicky was out with the girls on Thursday night and again tonight – lets just hope that there food isn’t poisoned like it was on Thursday….!!!!
Simon collected Tim from San Francisco airport last night and he managed a few beers and to stay awake until gone 10pm – not bad… He brought gifts of chocolate AND noisy toys for the boys – suspect he will help them with the battery drainage in the next couple of days (once he has realized his mistake of noisy toys) since he is sleeping in the room next door to them 🙂
Simon is actually going to be finished with work by the end of this week so we have a couple extra days of stuff to figure out…
The X5 did go back to BMW yesterday without any issues and the GTI is going back to VW tomorrow – fingers crossed that will be similarly simple. It should be a simple transaction as the VW dealership is picking up a cheap low mileage showroom condition GTI at 17K that they will sell easily for 26 or 27K 🙁 If we had more time here, we would buy the thing and sell it for 24 making a tidy profit along the way also…
Last night, Vicky suggested to Simon that he should not get a VW Samba bus (Simon was somewhat disappointed by this obviously) but then threw a curve ball – why don’t you get a 5/6 year old Aston Martin DB9 instead….. Oh crap – that is a tough call – suspect there is going to be lots of autocar web traffic from our wifi over the next few weeks…. 🙂
Vicky’s X5 is to be taken back to the dealership in the morning and left there…. So we have rented a Cadillac Escalade for the next 9 days to take us through until we collect the RV next Thursday. Elliot’s comment following Daddy igniting the cheeky 8 cylinders was a classic – “Mummy, listen to daddy’s engine” 🙂 followed by “Mummy, make your car go fast like daddy’s” :-s
Mummy has been out in the Escalade tonight to the supermarket, and she definitely came back with a smile on her face – even she had wound the window down to listen to the growl of the large V8. By large, I mean more than 6 litres 🙂 It is definitely a car that would facilitate the loss of ones license if driven for long enough.
We are probably looking at a serious fuel bill for the next week or so, and then the RV is actually a V10 petrol engine (for some reason not a diesel) so another week of crazy fuel consumption. At least it will all be a pile of fun…..
Wow, time flies – 5 years ago we were waiting patiently at Pinderfields Maternity unit for our first bundle of joy to make his way out into the world. Here we are 5 whole years later on packing our gear up ready to head back to the UK from an adventure in California.
We let Elliot choose what he wanted to do for his birthday and incredibly he chose to stay at home and play with this toys. Oliver can’t wait to tuck into Elly’s cake, since not only is it cake but mummy made is specially for Elly with some of their favourite sweets / candy on the outside – M&Ms 🙂
Here it is with his presents….
So Simon has just TWO weeks to go at work, and then the mega relax can begin. The RV trip is set in stone, Tim will be here in 1 week and all bar one item of furniture is sold…
The cars are sorted in the respect of returning to dealerships and paying them (the leases) off appropriately, a car has been rented for the week before the RV adventure so that we can get around (BMW has to go back earlier than we ideally wanted) – it is one of these bad boys…
Finally, we rented a car to get us from the RV place to the airport (1/4 the cost of a taxi all told).
Olly has taken to needing mid day sleeps again :-S He has just 20 minutes ago dropped off on the couch (yes we do still have one at the moment) and will prob sleep for another hour or so.
Grandma organised the tickets for the Santa Special at the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway today / yesterday, so that will be cool and something to look forward to. It has become part of Elliot’s Christmas routine and soon will be Olly’s 🙂
We have heard that the gear has now all been loaded onto a container although not yet on board a ship, but we are close to that by all accounts 🙂 So, cross your fingers for us that we will see all our gear in Ossett a couple of weeks after we get back – that would be a winner 🙂