Last week in January

We arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base, located about 50 miles north of Santa Barbara, on Wednesday.  We got the camper set up – talked to Sue on the phone and then went to see what the Exchange had to offer.  We enjoy looking – did not buy a thing.  Came back to the camper and made dinner – read – surfed the internet and watched alittle tv. 

Thursday am we got up and took a ride around the base.  This is the largest base I have ever been on.  This base was first acquired back in 1941 as an Army Base called Camp Cooke.  They trained the troops here for many years and gave the base to the Air Force in 1957 to become a space and ballistic missile test facility.  You could actually imagine troops playing war on this land.  The land is mostly just land – very few buildings but massive in size.  The base is the only facality that launches unmanned satelittes into space for both the military and civilian companies.  It is 98,000 aces – swear the state of Connecticut could fit in it. You actually drive and go out a gate and go into another gate.  Very secure base – must have a military id card or be a guest.  We drove around and put 80 miles on the truck and never left the base.  We found a beach that was just beautiful.  These beaches have loads of rocks in the water and strong surf so no swimming is allowed.  It was fun to walk along the beach.  We got to see many launch pads for the Atlas, Titans, Minutemans and Peacekeepers.    Launch Complex 10 is classified as a National Historic Landmark because the first Thor ballistic missle and boosted the worlds first polar orbiting satellite back in 1958 and 1959.  Hard to believe that the space program has been around for so long.  They were actually going to launch the space shuttles from here before the program was scaled back.  They have a museum here that we hope will be open someday so we can learn more. 

On Friday we toured more of the beach – walked on another beach – found the Ronald Regan viewing stand where you can watch the launches and have the best view of the ocean.  Wow what a view.  Told Tim that the US government holds some of the best real estate in the world.  The land out here is hilling, flat, rocky coast – flat beach – just changes everytime you turn a corner.  This is just a beautiful state and base.  This base has been used in some tv programs Lassie, Perry Mason, Bionic Woman and Fall Guy to name a few. 

Saturday we woke up to rain – lots of rain.  We sat around for awhile and decided to go to Wal-Mart and get some little lights for the pantry.  I have a hard time finding things so lights seemed to be the best solution.  We got them and wow what a difference.  While out the rain stopped so we stopped at La Purisima Mission State Historic Park.  The mission was founded in 1787 and has many historical buildings.  The rain began again so we decided we would go back another day and tour.  Looked very interesting.  I was telling my granddaughter Emily and she sounds like this will be of great interest to her.  Emily I will try to get as much info as I can.

Sunday we took a ride into the town of Solvang, which was founded in 1911 by a group of danish educators.  They built buildings to look like their homes in Denmark.  They have windmills, loads of unusual buildings, wineries, shops and loads of bakeries.  We treated ourselves to coffee and a danish – wow was that good.  We looked in many of the stores – only bought two kinds of breads.  One thing nice living in a small space – you are not tempted to buy.  I did fall in love with a few quilts – they were just beautiful.  We enjoyed our visit and took a long ride coming back home.  We try to go different ways all the time.  Makes life more interesting.  Once back home I did two loads of laundry – still need to do those chores regardless where you live.  Then came back and made dinner of roast beef, fresh green beans and mashed potatoes.  Very good.

Today is Monday and again woke up to rain.  Around 9 AM it did stop so we took a long walk around the grounds.  We have decided to do our walk early in the day before getting tired.  As we were almost back to our little home we saw two coyetes.  I have never seen them before.  Very interesting looking and they just blend in with the brush.  They also have ground squirrels here – they dig holes in the ground and make tunnels – do not climb in trees like the squirels back home.  Very interesting to watch as they scurry all around.  After that we decided to take a ride.  We found the base stables – they have loads of horses.  We then took a ride to Oceano
Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area in Arroyo Grande.  We did not drive on the beach but got out and walked around.  We were watching a guy surfing but the waves were not to good today.  We then went to Pismo Beach and stopped at a restaurant right on the water for lunch.  They sitted us right next to the windows so we watched the water as we ate.  Just beautiful and the food was wonderful.  We then drove to Port San Luis Pier.  We walked the lenght of the pier and saw alot of fresh fish.  Very interesting.  We then stopped at the camper show in the parking lot of the outlet mall.  We did see a motor home that we loved – more than our budget can afford – but soooo nice.  We usually do not like motor homes – usually not homey but this one was.  We then came home for a relaxing evening.  On the way home Susan and the girls called.  Enjoyed talking to my daughter and two granddaughters.  Thanks Sue, Emily and Julia – grandmom loves you all so. 

Tim ordered something from B&H in New York City and we have no idea when it will arrive.  We had planned to leave on Wednesday but now have decided to stay another week.  We will leave next Monday instead and head south.  Will write more later.  Please visit our pictures and also see where we are by clicking on the link to the right.