Friday, March 20, 2009


After we started our fulltiming life, we joined the BPOE, the Brotherhood of the Elks. Many Elks lodges across the country offer RV parking. I think it started as a way for lodges to provide safe and friendly overnight parking to traveling Elks, but many lodges find that providing RV parking with a few amenities can provide a useful (and often, much needed) income stream for a lodge.

We particularly like the Elks lodges in California (our "home" lodge is the Placerville, CA, lodge). Lodges on our current route (up Hwy 101) have capitalized on their location, putting in utilities (several lodges have FHU) and dump stations. Add to that the friendly "local knowledge" available in the lodge and fees about half of what you might pay at a commercial park... what's not to like?

We left our site at the Santa Maria Elks lodge (
read our review here) a few minutes before 11 this morning and were in a site at the Oceano Elks lodge (read our review and see more photos here) half an hour later. It's not our shortest moving day ever, but close. :)

This lodge has a 50-site RV parking area on grass with an on-site host and water and electric hookups for $20/night. The state park campground across the street charges $29 for the same amenities, and commercial parks in the area run from $30 (for a cramped, ugly space) to around $60 (the mid-summer high).

We hit the beach, 2 blocks away, as soon as we set up. Pismo State Beach allows driving and camping on the sand. You see EVERYTHING on this beach! We walked quite a distance in both directions, ogling the stream of slow-moving cars, trucks, ATV's, and trailers... and this trio of buggy-pulling horses. We saw an ambulance (no lights flashing), and a tow truck with huge sand tires. Lots of ranger vehicles were on patrol, and trucks pulling flatbed trailers hauling rental ATV's cruised by.

When we walked back up to the street, a motorhome bigger than ours was in line at the kiosk to pay for beach camping. We were amazed to see it gun the engine to speed through the soft, dry sand at the head of the "road". They are far braver - or more foolish - than we. (Maybe it's a rental - ha, ha!)

After our exercise, we set off to explore. Oceano doesn't seem to be much of a town, but Pismo Beach is just up the road a couple of miles. Our friend Richard Dopp had traveled this route not long ago, and included some mouth-watering photos from a
lunch stop in Pismo Beach on his blog. We headed over to Pismo Beach to check it out.

Friday afternoon, sunshine, and the beach: the place was jumpin'! The Splash, Richard's recommended restaurant, had a line out the door. We dodged our way up and down the street, checking out menus to make plans for later, then walked out over the waves on the Pismo Beach pier.

What a gorgeous day! The people-watching was fabulous, the water glittered, the surfers rode the waves. What a difference from yesterday's beach-front experience! We were in California Coastal Heaven.

We strolled back to the main street and decided to take a seat outdoors at Brad's. Brad's patio was sandwiched between their seafood restaurant and their BBQ takeout stand, out of the (cool) ocean breeze.

A first for me: I ordered a Senior Meal. For $4 less than the "under 55" folks pay, I got 4 huge (and deliciously sweet and tender) deep-fried shrimp on a bed of "chips". Washed it down with a glass of white wine (full price, no senior deal there). Odel didn't order a senior meal - he still eats like a junior, and ate every last bite of his 3-piece Fish and Chips meal (washed down with two steins of cerveza).

Walking back to the car, we seemed full - until we saw a sign advertising a flavor of ice cream called "Motor Oil". The name sounds hideous, but the description: chocolate ice cream with Kahlua and fudge ribbons. Oh, what the heck - let's split one! Thank goodness we walk a lot.


  1. Sounds so great, and I sure do love your JACKET!!! :))))

  2. What a fabulous day! And by jingo, I want to try "Motor Oil" ice cream. :) By the way, I made your Baked Feta Cheese appetizer today (I hosted a bridal shower for one of my classmates), and it was excellent! I served it with the crusty bread like you recommended. Sure is nice having all the recipes you post... :) Thank you!