Thursday, August 30, 2012
Home Between Trips (As Opposed to Vice Versa)
Yes, this is what we were fortunate enough to be gazing at each time we sat down to eat over these last four days of our visit to Crystal Cove Moro campground in Newport Beach, California. The views are so stellar we find it difficult to do much more than sit in our camp chairs and stare around us in wonder that all this is ours for the modest cost of $50 per night, all inclusive.
Of course, being that this is a campground, all inclusive doesn't necessarily mean what it might elsewhere. Here all inclusive refers to the site reservation, the easy access to miles and miles of hiking trails in adjacent El Moro Canyon, the easy access to a pedestrian-only walking tunnel that goes safely under Pacific Coast Highway and over to El Moro State Beach, and pretty perfunctory, but clean, restrooms and showers. Actually, the showers aren't free come to think - they cost .75 cents for three minutes of hot water. My husband and I have perfected getting very, very clean on one shared .75 cent shower. We get all set up, including having the bottles of shampoo and conditioner opened and ready to go, set our watch timers to "00.00," pop in the quarters, hit "start" on our timers and jump in. It's fun, actually, and we always end up laughing like idiots at our efforts to get soaped up and shampooed in the allotted time.
We hiked some 23 miles over the three nights/four days we were there, read tons, ate ridiculously well (that's Lemon & Basil Zest Pasta in the above photo, plus a crunchy salad, garlic bread and some very nice red wine) and enjoyed some terrific wildlife sightings, including two rabbits that visited our site several times daily, generally during meals to gaze at us beseechingly, a roadrunner spotted during one of our hikes, and a whale sighting this morning as we were sitting outside drinking coffee.
As usual, after some time away, my head feels clearer, my spirit feels lighter and the world makes a little more sense than it did before.
We're here at home for the long holiday weekend, then we leave again for a five night stay at Campland By The Bay in San Diego. (Winter rates go into effect the day after Labor Day, bringing this pricey campground's rates down to a more reasonable level.) We'll return just in time to make the first day of fall classes at our local university's Lifelong Learning Program for retirees.
Life in early retirement is good. Darn good!