Man, there is nothing like reconnecting with a good buddy. This weekend was a “double date” camping trip in beautiful Napa Valley. Right in the heart of some of the most famous wineries and restaurants in the world, and what did I do? Talked and napped. Didn’t leave the campground. That’s it. Heaven.
Friday, we went to a memorial gathering for Richard’s dad. It was a nice family event with great food and funny stories. We stayed as long as we could before having to head back home where Dory was all packed up and ready to roll. It was about a two hour drive to the campground and we got unhitched and indoors around 9:30. Dory sure is a quick set up. I should time us some time, but it seemed like no more than 15 min from finding the site to lighting the LED candles and settling in.
We officially like our wool bedding. We have ordered a 1″ piece of foam to go underneath, but we’re both sleeping soundly with no cricks and no overheating.
Saturday, I went over to my buddy’s trailer before I’d even finished my morning coffee and we just started talking. It was awesome. Just that really easy kind of talk where you understand each other immediately. This is the same person whose driveway we camped in a while back and it was just as fun to couples camp. I’m not sure our husbands agreed, but I’m ok with that.
The site was fantastic, right by a river, so you could hear the sound of rushing water in the background all the time. The only downsides were the copious amounts of poison oak all over the place and, so we heard, numerous ticks waiting to jump on you if you went hiking.
I understand this park can get very hot and attract yellow jackets during the summer, so Spring is the time to go. The sites were nicely spaced and offered good privacy and screening from each other in the way of bushes and trees. No hookups and not much solar because of the trees. It was also mostly overcast and actually started raining Saturday night.
We tried turning off our fridge at night and that did seem to help. The battery got down to 65% by the time we pulled out Sunday, and some solar was going in during the day, but that’s pretty good. As long as it’s not too close to 50%, I’m comfortable with it. I think we could have pushed it to another night and would have been fine. We also seem to have the water thing figured out since we’ve been using the Aquabot. Weekends are all dialed in I believe. Pushing boon docking stays to longer than weekends would perhaps take some more planning but we’re good through three nights with our current set up.
Saturday was really all about chatting, but I did work in some margarita time as well. I got a nifty pre-mixed margarita bottle that just goes right over ice. That will definitely be my go to plan for future cocktail time. That way, I don’t have to carry separate bottles of tequila, triple sec, and mixer. It’s called “Laughing Glass” and I give it a thumbs up. We did a little walk in the campground and saw a T@DA, the big brother of the T@B, and that was cool. Those are rare to spot and very cute. There was also a Subaru Outback next to us with some kind of roof mounted tent system that was pretty clever. All in all, we were very glad not to have any canvas on any part of our set up, given the rainy departure on Sunday. Richard spent the day Saturday on a spectacular bike ride around the hilly areas outside Calistoga. He was a happy camper.
For dinner, we had thermally cooked Teriyaki chicken and minute rice . The Shuttle Chef managed the marinated chicken thighs and mixed stir fry veggies quite nicely. We also got some semi dried fresh ginger to try and that provided the fresh taste without the messy cleanup. The garlic was fresh and the teriyaki sauce bottled. All went into the inner pot, simmered about ten minutes, and into the outer pot for two hours. The minute rice is easy peasy. You boil a cup of water, put a cup of rice in a thermos, pour in water, close, wait 30 min. We got a steaming hot meal with minimal stove time and easy clean up. We also invested in a fancy digital thermometer so we can have dinner AND data. Pinch me! *note: Teriyaki chicken read 185º after 2 hours in the cooker. For future rice meals, we’re going to try a half brown, half white, Minute Rice layered effect. We tried it at home and it actually works and that way we can each have our own preferred rice. Our latest motto has become: “I’m almost 50, I don’t like ________.” Fill in the blank; goat cheese, jazz, brown rice, whatever it is we’re tired of trying to like anymore.
Sunday was a rainy hitch up and a bit of a drive to the Napa Valley Fairgrounds to use their dump site. The campground does not have a dump, but it’s $15 and a short distance to the RV park, so no big deal there. We passed many famous wineries on our way out of town but this was not a drinking trip. That comes next weekend for me as I celebrate the twentieth anniversary of my thirtieth birthday. Couple of crazy girl friends and a full day in wine country should be good for some stories. Private stories. Stories that will not be appearing on this blog.
Total miles: 66.4, Engine time: 1 hour, 56 min, 17.8 mpg
Site: 11 – very nice. We didn’t do the tour of the campground thing this time, but our friends’ site, #10, was also very nice. We were right by the bathroom, but also next to the river. Lots of space, and enough cell service for bouts of email and Facebook.