Category Archives: Destinations

June 2 – June 9 – Coyote Valley RV Resort (Morgan Hill, CA)

The drive of about 60 miles from Marina to Morgan Hill was the shortest of our trip. It’s so cool to just pick up our house and move it up the road. We drove inland a bit from Marina, hooking up with Highway 101 and up to Morgan Hill. Boy, could we tell the difference in the climate. Morgan Hill was much warmer than Marina. We had almost gotten used to the cool weather, so it was a bit of a change.

On the road to Morgan Hill, CA

Coyote Valley RV Resort

Of the campgrounds that we’ve been to across the US so far, this one was one of the best. It sits at the foot of the Diablo Range, close to Morgan Hill and a short train ride north to San Jose. From our research, it was the closest campground to San Jose we could find. It feels very remote here, but right down the road are small to medium size towns with grocery stores, restaurants, big box retailers, etc.

Coyote Valley RV Resort
Office and rec. center

Coyote Valley RV Resort

Coyote Valley RV Resort
The shop in the main office

Coyote Valley RV Resort

Coyote Valley RV Resort
Laundry room

Coyote Valley RV Resort


As you can see by the screen shot of the map above, there is one major con to this campground…noise. Right in font is a major four lane road which, by itself, is noisy. When you add the CalTrain line that sits across the road from the campground, it makes for a sometimes unpleasant experience. Our campsite (not the maker on the map above) was right near the entrance, so we were close to the road. We knew when the train was coming because we could hear its horn long before it got to us. And when the train was right in front, it was pretty loud. If you are coming here for quiet, you may need to bring some earplugs.

Another issue we encountered while staying here was the disregard for campground rules. There was someone having their fifth wheel pressure washed an hour before quiet hours were over. When I called the office, they didn’t really seem to care. When I brought up quiet hours, they sent someone to talk to the owner and the wash crew.

San Jose

As you can see by the pictures, I was attending Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference in San Jose during this week. On Sunday, the three of us took the train to San Jose to pick up my conference badge. It was Christopher’s first train ride!

Christopher’s first train ride
San Jose
Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference

San Jose

San Jose
Guadalupe River Park, San Jose

San Francisco

What trip to the bay area of California would be complete without a stop in San Francisco. Since we didn’t tow our vehicle on this trip, we rented a car during our week stay in Morgan Hill. This allowed us to drive about an hour up highway 101 to San Francisco. It was Christopher’s first trip there and he loved it as you can see by his smiling (mostly) face in the pictures.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge
View of San Francisco From Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Bridge
Gold Gate Park
Pier 39
Sea Lions

Pier 39
Alcatraz Island
Pier 39
Alcatraz Selfie

Pier 39

Pier 39
Coit Tower and Transamerica building

Pier 39

May 29 – June 2 – Marina Dunes RV Resort

The drive today was about 224 miles through valleys and mountains. We saw oil rigs all over the place and we never figured California had them. We also drove by vineyards with what seemed like endless rows of grape plants. California has a lot to offer, climate wise. We drove through desert, fertile valleys and when we arrived in Marina, the climate was very cool with sea breezes and lots of fog.

Our Travels So Far

Marina Dunes RV Park

This was our second stop in California and it was a chance for us to see the Pacific Ocean. We could not have picked a better place to camp. Marina Dunes is as close to the Pacific as you can camp in this area. It is just across the street from the protected dunes, with a path leading to the beach. Aside from the location, the campground itself is amazing. We had all services, a fire ring and a big site. We can’t wait to get back there again soon.

Marina Dunes #1

Marina Dunes #2

Marina Dunes #3

Christopher loved Stetson
S'mores #1
A fire was nice on a cool day
S'mores #3
Smorey McSmoreface
S'mores #2
Christopher loves to read


I had never heard of Marina before this trip, but it’s proximity to Monterrey was why we chose to camp here. Just a few minutes north of Monterrey, it shares the beauty and climate of without the tourist feel. It was a bit of a walk, but we were able to share a Pacific sunset with Christopher for the first time. It is a great place.

Marina #1


Marina #2

Marina #3

As you can see, the weather changes quickly



Pebble Beach (17 Mile Drive)

I hadn’t heard of 17 mile drive, but Amber had. You pay a $10.25 fee at the gate and you can drive the 17 mile road around the golf course, beaches, wooded areas and multimillion dollar houses. If you in this area, this is a great way to spend a few hours or more. Sea lion spotting was great here also.


Yeah, this is actually a golf course…

So a seagull and a squirrel are sitting on the beach…
Sea Lions
More Sea Lions
The Lone Cypress

Pizza My Heart

We were hungry and saw the Del Monte Shopping Center while driving on Cabrillo Hwy (CA 1/68) in Monterrey, so we pulled off and decided to check it out. We wandered into Pizza My Heart and we had no idea that on Tuesdays, kids got to make their own pizzas. They delivered the dough, sauce, cheese and toppings and Christopher built it himself. Once he was done, they baked it and brought it back to the table. He loved it!

Pizza My Heart #1

Pizza My Heart #2

Pizza My Heart #3

Pizza My Heart #4


I’m sure there is more to Monterrey than Fisherman’s Wharf, but it is a must see when you are in the area. We love the scenery and sea food restaurants.

Monterrey #1

Monterrey #2

Monterrey #3

Monterrey #4

May 28 – Las Vegas, NV to Bakersfield, CA

This leg of the trip was about 276 miles via I15 and CA-58 W through the Nevada and California deserts to the orange groves of Bakersfield. It was extremely windy going through the desert and it was stressful keeping Irving on the road.

The Road to Bakersfield

The desert ended and we started seeing fruit and vegetable farms. It was nice to see some green after the hot, dry desert.

Bakersfield #1

Bakersfield #2

The California Fruit Depot

This shop is right next to the campground we stayed at, so before we set up camp, we decided to take a peek at what we could buy. We wanted to buy everything!

Bakersfield #3

Bakersfield #4

Orange Grove RV Park

I wish we had gotten more pictures of this RV park, but that’s something we intend to do more of in the future. If you look close, you can see the RV spots among the Orange trees. During orange season, people staying there can freely pick the oranges off the trees. When we were there, there were very small, green oranges on the trees. Christopher loved seeing them.

Bakersfield #5

May 26-28 – Las Vegas, NV

I was looking forward to this leg of our trip the most before we left. There’s something about Las Vegas that makes me want to keep coming back. I’m not sure what it is, but there is plenty to see there.


Not only is the Bellagio a place to stay, but it has many things to see for any tourist. The famous fountain show is probably the biggest attraction, but inside it houses an amazing topiary display. It was pretty fun to share with Christopher.

Bellagio #1

Bellagio #2

Paris Las Vegas

Christopher loves to look at maps and he loves the Eiffel Tower in Paris, so we had to get a couple of pictures.

Paris #1

Paris #2

Top of the Eiffel Tower, Paris Las Vegas

And of course, we had to take the elevator to the top and take in the awesome views of the strip and surrounding area.

Eiffel Tower #1

Eiffel Tower #2

Eiffel Tower #3

Eiffel Tower #4


Luxor is a great destination when in Vegas. Christopher loved seeing the Sphinx all the Egyptian themed items.

Luxor #1

Luxor #2


No trip to Las Vegas is complete without a trip to the top of the Stratosphere. As you can see, it offers amazing 360 degree views of the city. At night it’s extra special with all the lights of the Strip.

Stratosphere #1

Stratosphere #2

John Mull’s Roadkill Grill

We saw this place on Diner’s Drive-Ins and Dives. I love barbecue and hoped it would be worth the long drive to north Las Vegas. It didn’t disappoint. The food was amazing and Chuck was happy to pose for a selfie.

John Mull's Road Kill Grill #1

John Mull's Road Kill Grill #2

John Mull's Road Kill Grill #3

May 20-25 – South Rim Grand Canyon

It took a while, but I combed through all the pictures of our stay at the Grand Canyon and picked the ones that I thought came out best.

Visitor’s Center

When we arrived, we made our way to the Visitor’s Center, the center point of the south rim. There are trails that extend east and west from the Visitor’s Center and offer different views of the canyon.

Visitors Center

Visitors Center

Visitors Center

Visitors Center

Visitors Center

Visitors Center

Bright Angel Trail

West of the Visitor’s Center is Bright Angel Trail where hikers can descend all the way to the Colorado River. Fortunately, the upper sections are a fairly easy hike. But watch out, there are not hand rails or fences between you and the edge!

Bright Angel Trail #1

Bright Angel Trail #2

Bright Angel Trail #3

Bright Angel Trail #4

Bright Angel Trail #5

Bright Angel Trail #6

Bright Angel Trail #7

Bright Angel Trail #8

Bright Angel Trail #9


On the road into Grand Canyon National Park is the town of Tusayan. There are hotels, restaurants, gift shops and campgrounds. There is even a small airport where helicopter tours leave from. We just got one picture here at a sandwich shop we ate lunch and we didn’t stay very long. We just weren’t in the mood for spending an entire day on a tour.



Elk are everywhere at the Grand Canyon. As with any wild animal, it is NOT a good idea to approach them. It is pretty cool, however when they just stroll through the campground and pose for pictures.

Trailer Village Campground

Trailer Village Campground

Desert View

At the extreme east end of the South Rim is Desert View. Since we didn’t have a car and none of the buses went out this far, we hired a cab to take us there. It was pretty expensive, but as you can see, it was well worth it.

Desert View #1

Desert View #2

Desert View #3

Desert View Tower #4

Desert View Tower #5

Desert View Tower #6

Desert View #7

Desert View #8

Desert View #9

Desert View #10

Desert View #11

Desert View #12

Desert View #13

Desert View #14

Desert View #15

Bright Angel Lodge

Our Longer Hike

We took a bus to Bright Angel Trail head and decided to go further west. We got on another bus and got off at The Abyss. We hiked from The Abyss to Monument Creek Vista, which is about 1.0 mile. It was pretty isolated out there with only a bus coming by every 10-15 minutes or so. Good thing we brought plenty of water.

Hike from the Abyss to Monument Creek Vista

Hike from the Abyss to Monument Creek Vista

Hike from the Abyss to Monument Creek Vista

Hike from the Abyss to Monument Creek Vista

Hermit’s Rest

At the extreme western end of the South Rim is Hermit’s Rest. Great views, snacks and a gift shop highlight this area.

Hermits Rest

Hermits Rest

Yaki Point

On our last day, we decided to make our way to Yaki Point, which is east of the Visitor’s Center.

Yaki Point

Yaki Point

Yaki Point

Yaki Point