Saturday, April 12, 2014

The California Coast - Part 1

I think the easiest way to catch you up on our travels in California is to do it in three parts as we moved up the coast.

About a month ago we joined the Thousand Trails Campground network by purchasing the southwest and northwest divisions for $545 - a really good deal that we hoped would cover our overnight costs as we made our way back to Canada. We used it to stay 4 nights in Palm Desert and were very pleased. The RV spots were small but the resort was well run and well located for what we wanted to do and see.

Then we moved over to Menifee, south of LA and closer to the coast. Again a excellent location halfway between LA and San Diego in the heart of California's wine country. From here we set out to explore the area around San Diego.

The city was pretty confusing - lots of people and a lot of construction along the waterfront area. so we found an interesting spot along the waterfront for lunch:
 And then headed north along the coast. First stop:
Located in La Jolla, this course is the home of the Farmer's Insurance PGA Tournament each year. It is a public course owned by the city and only costs $30 for residents of the county to play. But $150 a round for visitors, so we moved on. But not before taking he requisite photo under the Rolex sign:
This area of the California coast is very built up with beach access limited to laneways and narrow streets that run between homes and businesses. We stopped to check out several beaches - all very beautiful, but the water was a little cold for swimming. Great for the surfers tho:
Our final stop at the day was at Rockin' Baja Lobster Coastal Cantina in Oceanside - a spot highly recommended by Steve and Kay whom we met in Yuma. It was indeed a rockin', happenin' place:
The food - sort of Mexican seafood - was excellent. And there was an all-you-can-eat salsa bar at no charge. A choice of 7 different salsas and warm tortilla chips. Yummy.
And a great vegetable sizzler dish that I really appreciated:
An interesting bathroom is always a great feature in a restaurant. I got a kick out of the little signs posted in the lady's. These two are a sample:

Thanks Steve and Kay for the great recommendation. Incidentally, on our last night in Yuma we went to a neat little restaurant there - Juliana's Patio Cafe - also recommended by Kay - she has great taste in restaurants. Friends Becky and Lonnie and, of course, Steve and Kay joined us that night:
Steve (standing) Kay, Lonnie, Becky
Safe travels home folks.

And here is a recipe for a great homemade salsa from my favourite recipe source: Chef Michael Smith. I really recommend his cookbooks if you like simple delicious food that is easy to prepare in a RV kitchen.

spicy fresh salsa

A jar packed with freshly tossed salsa, full of juicy ripe tomatoes and aromatic flavours, is easy to make and easy to enjoy. Sweet tomatoes, sour limes, aromatic herbs, salt and spicy pepper all balance each other in a vibrant harmony of tastes. A good salsa doesn’t ruin your day with too much spicy heat; it brightens it with just enough.
Serving: Makes about 2 cups


2 or 3 ripe local tomatoes, finely chopped
1 chili pepper, minced
1 bunch chopped cilantro
1 or 2 limes, zest and juice
a big splash best olive oil
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
a sprinkle or two salt 


Toss everything together in a bowl until well combined.

Garden tomatoes have the most flavour—when they’re in season. If they’re not, look for organic or vine-attached types, take them home and ripen them for a few days on a sunny windowsill. In a pinch, a small can of whole tomatoes is more flavourful than a few hard unripe ones and will add lots of deep, rich tomato flavour.

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  1. Beautiful header photo!

    We didn't get to Oceanside during our visit to San Diego last winter. We'll have to make sure and stop at this restaurant next winter. I love chips and salsa. This bar of seven salsas sounds like me.

    My husband said he knew there was a big difference between a resident and outsiders to play at Torrey Pines but he was surprised it was this much. I guess moving on is the correct way to go.

    1. The restaurant is well worth a visit. At happy hour you can enjoy a beer and the salsa bar - a very good deal.

      Tell John I was mistaken. Arch tells me the non-resident rate at Torrey Pines was $170 :)

    2. Ouch! That's worse! I think we like our fee for the last two if you walk:) Of course, Torrey Pines rough is nicer than this whole course. But we are parked off the first tee, the course is very challenging with tough water holes, and we are only paying $16.50 a night for FHU with Passport. Not too bad.


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