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Sunday, May 20, 2012

San Diego, CA


It is not a long journey from Yuma to Pio Pico, south of San Diego.   However, when your gps tries to route you by the shortest route, ignore it and continue on to highway 78.  We followed the gps and exited I-8 at exit 60 or so and took highway 94 down toward Lake Otay and Pio Pico Campground.  Highway 94 is off limits to any vehicle over 40 feet long and it winds unmercifully with sharp turns (15 miles per hour) and a too-high speed limit (55 mph).  It took us over an hour to negotiate this part of highway 94 and while it was quite scenic, I don’t recommend it for a big rig. 

Pio Pico is a very nice campground located in a short valley (really a “holler”).  Its location lends itself to mild weather generally (for southern California), but little or no signal for either telephone or Internet connection.  Even with our signal booster and auxiliary antennae, we had a difficult time getting a sustainable signal.  Our greeting at the campground was very pleasant.  Like all Thousand Trails Resorts, you pick your own space (a practice that has both advantages and disadvantages).  Unfortunately, while the resort offers 50 amp for free, they don’t have a map of where these campsites are located.  We found one at site C-8 … a nice site with plenty of room, a bit of grass, and a lot of rabbits and squirrels.  During our stay maintenance allowed the weeds to get a bit high (3 feet), but all of the other facilities were first rate.  The adult swimming pool is nice and we had several relaxing swims during our stay.  Don’t forget to eat at the Coyote CafĂ© located on the grounds and featuring good food at a reasonable price … we recommend the breakfast burrito.  Overall we would give Pio Pico a solid 7 or perhaps an 8.

We had terrific neighbors while there.  We enjoyed several happy hours with Larry and Gretchen and their shih tzu Bandit and plan on meeting them again in Rancho Oso next month. 

Shortly after arriving we drove up to Riverside (about 100 miles) to attend our middle son, Shane’s, 40th birthday party.  Shane and his wife and two sons live in a nice home with a great view within walking distance of the historic Mission Inn.  We had a great time!  Shane’s wife, Dee, is an excellent organizer and had everything ship shape including a great Irish band.  We arrived back in Pio Pico around midnight, tired … but happy.  Here are a few pictures.

Lynda enjoys the music on the back porch

Irish Group

Our son Shane (right) and his friend Adam

 Since we retired out of southern California, we had been to San Diego many times.  So we skipped the obvious tourist places (the zoo and museums at Balboa park, Sea World, the gas light district, Old Town, the Midway, and Tall ships, etc.) and opted for a nice day at the Embarcadero.   We had a nice lunch of fish (what else?) and took a stroll through shops and along the water front.  Something new this time was a fellow who stacked rocks (without any glue or fasteners) to the delight of passer byers. 

Bird watches festivities with interest

Rock Stacks

Close-up of rock stacking skills

The USS Midway in background

Naval ship goes under Coronado Bridge ... just barely


One of the nights at Pio Pico was the night of the super moon.   According to Wikipedia, “the term supermoon is not used within the astronomical community, which use the term perigee-syzygy or perigee moon.  Perigee is the point at which the Moon is closest in its orbit to the Earth, and syzygy is a full or new moon, when the Earth, the Moon and the Sun are aligned. Hence, a supermoon can be regarded as a combination of the two, although they do not perfectly coincide each time. On average, about once a year the moon becomes full within a few hours of perigee.



The campground is located near Lake Otay which is just outside of Chula Vista.  Otay is a large lake with a lot of wildlife.  Here are a few pictures.




Finally, while out for a nice drive one day to the north side of San Diego (Mira Mesa) we ran across a delightful Afghan restaurant: Ariana Kabob House (9910 Mira Mesa Blvd Suite A, 858-578-1468).  Linda had the beef Kabob and the meat was moist, succulent, and literally melted in your mouth.  Kim had the Curry and it was delightful made with yogurt and a nice mix of curry spices.  If you are in the area … enjoy!

Until next time, keep doing what you love!