Monday, January 21, 2013

We're visiting in Vacaville, CA :)

My last day in San Diego started out cold and foggy - this is the view out my window.  Just beautiful.

After visiting with my son and his family in Diego, I decided to travel north to visit with my daughter and her family in northern California.  Last time I traveled to Vacaville, there was snow on the Grapevine (Highway 5) and I had to take the coast route. I checked on-line and the road was clear this time, so I went up that way.  There was still some snow visible, but not much and it was really pretty.

While I'm here, for three or four weeks, I'll schedule my medical, dental and vision appointments which will be in San Diego.  Then when I travel south I'll take care of all those things and be free to head east to Arizona again.

It was a grueling 9 3/4 hour drive from San Diego to Vacaville. I used to make the drive in 7.5 to 8 hours in my car, not a bad drive, but with The Palms, it's just a longer drive.  California's rest stops don't allow overnight parking and their Walmarts aren't always as welcoming as other states I've traveled through, so that kind of leaves casinos for stop-overs.  Next time I'll check my casino listing and see if there are any about halfway to Kristy's house, but this time I just pushed through until I got there.

I was surprised at how bad the 5 freeway was; even before we got to Los Angeles, the 5 was in such bad shape that I actually had a cupboard open, a drawer open and spill contents on the floor, my computer fell into Katie's bed on the dinette seat, and a couple of other things.  I have things pretty well buttoned up by now when we're traveling and haven't had any problems like this in a long time, but those freeways were so bumpy, before, during and after Los Angeles, that I finally took an off ramp and pulled over to put things back where they belonged.  I think Katie was afraid to move for fear of something falling on her. 

You'd think that with all the taxes we Californians pay and the high price of gas here, some of the taxes would be spent keeping ALL of our roads in good repair.  I guess I'll go around The Palms with a screwdriver to make sure some of them having gotten loose during that trip.  I'm not looking forward to driving back along those roads, that's for sure!

I wanted to add a little warning to RVers on the road to watch out for the way some gas stations are posting their prices.

I pulled off the 5, I'm sorry I don't remember which off ramp it was and there was no identifying address on my receipt.  There were lots of gas stations, all with their prices posted.  I like Shell and their price was the same as some of the other lower ones, so I pulled in.  After filling the tank I checked my receipt to log the numbers, and found I had paid 20 cents more per gallon than the posted price.  I checked the big sign again, sure enough, it said $3.59 and I was charged $3.79 per gallon.

I went into the store and told the cashier I wanted my 20 cents per gallon back, because I wasn't charged the posted price.  She kind of snickered and said I'd have to contact the owner if I wanted to complain, but the posted prices WAS $3.79 - but only for cash.  When I went back out, I noticed the "cash" on the sign, but it's small enough that I never saw it, even when re-checking the sign after filling up.  If you click on the photo to enlarge it, would you have noticed it?

I told her both prices should have been shown on that sign, and she said there IS a sign at the corner of the gas station that clearly shows both prices.  This is the sign, in the middle of the others signs - the one with the very small numbers in black on a yellow background strip:

I had to walk closer to it to read it, and never even noticed it the entire time I was there before having it pointed out.  Which, I guess, is the idea.

I CALL THIS A BAIT AND SWITCH - AND TOLD THE CASHIER I WAS GOING TO PUT THIS IN MY BLOG TO WARN OTHER RV'ERS.   She couldn't have cared less.  So, be warned, check to make sure you are paying the CREDIT price if you are using a credit card, which I always do in order to track the expense.

Anyway, we're here, parked in the street with an electrical cord hooked up to Kristy and Matt's garage, so we have electricity.  It's been really cold, so I've been going out early in the evening and turning on a space heater so it's warmer when Katie and I return for the rest of the evening, and then to sleep.

On the evening of the 19th, when I had gone to The Palms for the evening, there was a knock at the door, and this is what I found when I opened the door - Drew had just lost his first tooth.

It was pretty wiggly for a few days and was bothering him when he ate, and now it's gone.  I think he looks pretty darn handsome without his bottom tooth!!  The Tooth Fairy left him $5, which he was pretty happy about!  :)

Friday we had a ladies day wine-tasting. Kristy and I went with one of her friends, Deanna, and her sister-in-law, Alison, and mother-in-law, Marie, up to the wine country in Amador County.  Allison and her husband belong to a wine club at one of the wineries that has a free lunch every Friday, so we went with her to have lunch and taste some wines at other wineries, too.  The lunch was delicious - this photo was from Villa Toscano's website.  It was a beautiful day and we had our lunch outside - right where the umbrella is in the photo.

We had tastings at four other wineries.  I think I've re-acquired a taste for red wines, some of the reds I tasted were very good. I know a glass of red wine in the evening is good for us, but I've been enjoying white wines more for quite a while.  I'm going to go back to reds, I think.

It was a really nice day, but boy were we tired when we got home. I went back to The Palms at 7 and was in bed by 8.  Unfortunately I didn't get any photos, but it is really beautiful country.

WELCOME to our newest followers:

Gay and Joe, who are traveling with four - yes that's four - dogs, and have completed their first year as full-timers.  You guys must take a lot of walks!!  Check out their blog, good-times-rollin,

Jo, who is married to Rick, has a blog entitled Rick and JoAnne's RV Travels. There is one scary photo of their motor home in 2000 - it's on January 14's post - you have to see this.  Unfortunately the blog doesn't go back to 2000, so I guess we'll never know how that happened!

Katie and I are happy to have you all following along with us - Welcome Aboard!  :)

And that's about it for now. I have new curtains in The Palms - they look pretty good and I'll post photos next time.

From Me and Katie, have a great Monday, everyone!  :)


  1. The 5 was terrible back in May of last year when I was helping our kids move to Oregon, doesn't sound like it has gotten any better. The cash price deal on cash drives me crazy, there was a 10 cent difference last year, sounds like they are getting bolder now going with 20 cents. Glad you made it safe and sound.

  2. Seems like forever since we heard from you
    $5!!! from the tooth fairy, prices everywhere have gone up!!
    That gas was stupid!! I would have been upset too.. here at Arco they charge extra 45 cents i think to use your debit card & they only take debit & cash, NO credit cards...

  3. I always loved Amador County red Zinfandels, although now I prefer Fetzer Reisling and Gewurzstraminer. The last bottle I bought was Croft's ruby port, and I had forgotten how much I like port. It's much stronger though and I have to drink much less of it.

    I only took the 5 over the Grapevine one time in my RV and swore I would never do it again. Not the bumps, but the traffic was horrendous.

  4. Whew.....that was quite a long driving day and a bumpy road to boot! I know you are glad to be at Kristy's and enjoying more family! Can't believe the tooth fairy left $5.
    Looking forward to pics of the new curtains.
    Thanks for the warm welcome...

  5. Glad to hear from you again.... you have been missed!! Looks like we'll have to come up with alternative tracking ways to fix the bate and switch problem!! Enjoy your visit but keep us posted!

  6. Check out a program called Harvest Hosts. They have a webpage and are on Facebook. Membership is $40.00 for the year and you can stay free at wineries and farms. When you mentioned visiting wineries that made me think of it.
    Happy to see you back - missed reading your blog!
    Connie in PA

  7. Oh I hate bumpy roads, and we have some bad ones in Indiana too. We pay such a high excise tax so you would think we would have great roads. At $5 a tooth he will pulling them all out! He's a cutie!!!!

  8. Pretty sneaky with the bait and switch. I have noticed to, on the trip out west, that some gas stations on the interstate (especially ones in more remote stretches with no competition) don't post their prices. You have to exit and drive up really close to see.

  9. Yeah, we've noticed that cash vs. credit deal at gas stations. Since we're sitting in California for 4 months, we've signed up for the Safeway card, and are using our groceries to help lower the cost per gallon of diesel. Every little bit helps!

  10. That was one long drive, Barbara! Thanks for sharing the great photos. I've been suckered in by those types of gas prices too. There are a lot of stations that use that method to catch people's eye. I use a card when traveling so have to be watchful whenever I pull into a station. All too easy to be in the wrong place. Enjoy your time there. Give Katie a hug from me, and a smooch from Donna.

  11. There are several gas stations in Illinois that post those lower prices for cash purchases or if you pay for a car wash. I can't drive that many hours in one day, don't know how you do it. I need to make several stops to get out and stretch - even for a 3 or 4 hour drive.

  12. There is I believe and Arco down the street that does that bate and switch. It comes up on the machine after you have placed your card in the slot and have taken it out. I can understand charging the extra for card use once but on every gln. No thanks.

    I'm with Teri, can't do long drives.
    Enjoy your visit.

  13. I had to google Vacaville to see exactly where it was. Now that is NORTH !! Brrrr I would never be able to drive that distance in one day.

    I don't even like looking at Snow anymore. LOL

  14. I blogged about that gas difference last year. I was so angry when I pulled into a gas station, only to discover that the cost on the sign was for cash as I had frequented that station weekly! Then the sudden change! So I try to avoid stations that do this. A 20cent difference is big! And quite irritating for sure. Ours is usually a 10cent difference.


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