Category Archives: Pio Pico

Pio Pico People


We stayed at Pio Pico for 5 weeks total and we really enjoyed it. We were away from the city and in a lovely community. Honestly, the community of full-time RV living families there are older retired couples. There are younger ones, of course, but the people we saw most often there were older and retired. We really got along with the people that we have stopped to chat with.

One couple in particular was very friendly and helpful. Joyce, Warren, and their dog Noel. Joyce immediately fell in love with our dog, Ana, and was talking to us because of her. While we were there, the family caught the stomach flu and Joyce came to our RV every morning for 6 days to walk Ana in the morning so that I wouldn’t have to both with both kids and a dog while ill. That was such a tremendous help!

We did meet a couple that was a little closer to our age and they also had two younger daughters. Unfortunately, they do a lot of traveling and we’re there for just the night. Since we are a military family, we have become experts and quickly becoming friendly with people, so we stayed late st their RV, had some beers, and watched the kids play together. I ended up talking about home births (the woman had 2 home births in Canada!!) and breastfeeding (of course). It was a nice little visit even though it wouldn’t happen again.

It’s not that many of the people are trashy, but they definitely have moments of lacking class, although I don’t know what I was expecting. On a couple of mornings when my husband played golf, I took the kids to the Coyote Canyon Cafe to get breakfast. Both times while I was there, I saw people bring in their own cans of cheap beer. I mean, at least make it a craft beer.

Unfortunately, we haven’t gotten outside furniture or an enclosure (for the kids) yet, so we haven’t spent tons of time outside of the RV. The times where we did spend more time outside while grilling, we did have some people stop by chat with us. We’ve met a lot of military people and people escaping from states like South Dakota. Everyone says ‘hi’ to each other and comments on our cute dog and cute kids. There was even a chili cook off and hot rod show there. I love the small community feeling! I trust this community more than I trusted the military housing community that we lived in before. I can even leave some belongings out front without the fear of it getting stolen.

Not only are the people in Pio Pico so friendly and kind, but the area is incredibly lovely. Pio Pico is in the unincorporated community called Jamul. It is just outside of San Diego City, so you get more nature and less sounds. We love escaping the city to be in such a peaceful area. There’s even a nice little trail deeper into the valley that Pio Pico in tucked into that has lots of great fields that would make for a perfect family photo opportunity.

Unfortunately we aren’t paying the extra money to rent a spot on a monthly basis, so we can only stay there for up to 3 weeks at a time. However, we can return after being off the resort for a week.

We’ve been staying at a campground in Bonita, which is another unincorporated community in San Diego, at a small daily fee, which is where we are currently staying.

Next blog post I will write about staying in Sweetwater. Do you feel like the area you live in has a nice community? If you could, would you like to be able to pick up and leave somewhere, with your home, to go to a better community? Do you think we will have the same opinion about Sweetwater?


The First 2 weeks


My apologies for slacking with a new post. I’ll do my best at playing catch-up.
So, I went to the office the next morning (after my last post) and we were able to get a spot for crossover. I had no idea what kind of spot I was getting since I wasn’t familiar with the resort. I was just excited to get a spot on the nicer side since there were so many people waiting for one.

When I went back to the RV and told my husband that we got a spot, we packed up our rig and got it attached to his truck. I drove over to the spot first and parked. My job is to direct him into the spot. This spot was more challenging than the last spot not only because it was smaller, but also because it was not a pull-through spot. This was my husband’s first time backing into a apot, which is a bit more challenging than you would think. His first attempt was done at the completely wrong angle, so he had to pull it out and try again. The spot was so shallow that the end of our rig was basically up against a dirt mound. His second try was much more successful, but still a tight squeeze with a 34 foot rig. It was also very uneven and we had to use leveling blocks, which were a bit of a pain to use. After we got the rig in place, we popped out the sides, which one barely missed the electrical box, and settled back in.

Whilst settling in, we discovered that the wifi wasn’t working. So, we moved to a tiny spot with no room, no cell phone signal, no wifi, and no TV reception. Awesome. It was a bit of a shock to just dive right in and be almost completely off the grid. I felt so disconnected from everyone because we had to drive out of the area or hike a little bit up a hill to get good reception. However, after a couple days of that, I had adjusted and it wasn’t as bad. I really wanted my husband home, though, so I wouldn’t feel so alone.

Last weekend, after a week of living in the RV, my husband came home from golfing with a dog. That’s right, he agreed to foster a dog from a rescue to see if she would be a good fit after we had only been living in a completely different way for only 1 week. Uh…thanks? While I was less than estatic, the kids were over the moon. At least now I knew why he was taking so long golfing since I started paying close attention to hours he was away while I was trying to adjust.


Sweet Ana relaxing in the back of our car

My husband brought home a husky mix. She is a sweetheart that loves to give kisses and get her belly rubbed. She is great with the kids, but not so great with peeing. The first few days, she had a very shy bladder. She wouldn’t go pee or poop outside while on walks!  It was very frustrating. Clearly, we do not have a back yard, but we go on a lot of walks to get out of the house and break up the monotony. At the beginning, I would spend a couple hours outside and she wouldn’t go. She ended up having an accident on our carpet. It was challenging to bring her with me as I went about my normal life of playdates and such out in town. I didn’t want to leave her alone in the RV. She went everywhere with us at first. She only started doing better these past couple of days. We decided to foster her another week before making the decision to adopt. It’s looking like we might keep her now that she is going normally. She sleeps on the ground and doesn’t jump on the furniture. She is so loving. My daughter was crying and she came out to check on her and give her kisses.

We had a bit of a storm not too long ago. It was a learning experience for us. The strong gusts of wind were shaking our RV because they were catching on our awning. When my husband opened the door, our awning was being bent by the wind. He had to pull it down while I retracted it so no damage would be made. The storm also soaked my jogging stroller and blew away our trash can. I thought the storm had messed with the wifi boosters and made them work, but it was actually being fixed my someone contracted through Thousand Trails to do IT work at their resorts. Bless his heart for working on it in the rain late at night! It was great to get working wifi again.

As we became more familiar with the RV resort with our walks, we really realized how awful our current spot was and we started to covet other peoples’ spots. We saw some with ample room for parking and others surrounded by grass. I always had to close the door to pee (haha) if our door was open because people could see right in. While we could see up a hill, where we once saw 3 deer in the distance, the view still wasn’t anything spectacular. We ended up talking with an employee and found out that we could switch to a different spot in the resort if we wanted to. Such a relief! The only downside is that we would have to, obviously, pack up the rig and move everything to a new spot, which is what we did today.

My next post will be more about the people here on the new side and moving to our new spot. I hope that you will continue keeping up with my blog! Enjoy my picture dump. I may end up doing a Wordless Wednesday to share my random pictures.



View from the hill we hiked to get reception


Babywearing happens a lot around here




Enjoying the toddler play area


Fun in the laundry room


Babywearing hikes with Ana



The Move


Two days before our move, my husband sprained his ankle quite badly. He was hopping off of his truck while he was installing a box on his truck’s bed. I took him to the ER after it started to swell up and an xray and hours later we found out it was just a sprain. They gave him crutches and said to stay off of his foot. The worst timing for an injury.

So despite his foot, I was able to get the trailer packed and ready to go with a little help from him and my friends. Saturday, our sweet Valentine’s Day, was spent adding the rest of our items to the trailer and checking in to the RV Resort. My husband left before me while I grabbed food and dropped something off at my friend’s. When I arrived, he had already found a spot on the less ideal side of the RV Resort here in Pio Pico.

There are two sides here. There is a side that is kept up better that includes all of the amenities and then there is a side that doesn’t have black and gray (urine and feces/shower and sinks) hook ups, pools, laundry, or anything else. Basically, it is just a slab of dirt with a grill in between the two campsites. You are able to hook up to electric and water, but that’s it.

It is the end of day two and our black (urine and feces) tank is already 2/3rds full! They come once a week with a truck to pump out your black and gray tanks, so you need to be careful, which we clearly have not been. So this last time that I needed to go pee, I just went to to bathroom/showers that they have on this side. While I hate using public bathrooms, it was very, very warm, which I appreciated. It is over 10 degrees cooler here than in the city and it takes some getting used to. Not only is it cooler at night, but it is also warmer during the day. That’s what happens in the desert. We’re used to living near the beach I’m the city.

Tomorrow, I plan on going to the check-in area to try and get a crossover site. We would LOVE to be over on the nicer side, but it has been pretty full here with “snowbirds”, which is people escaping the cold so they travel to warmer areas. You have to show up early, between 0830 and 0845, to hear your name called. If your name is called, you get to cross over to the nicer site that has sewage hook ups so thst you don’t have to worry about your tanks filling up too quickly.

Saturday we were able to get our place put together nicely and then today, sunday, we went back to our house to try and empty out more of our belongings along with sorting the rest into “store” and “donate” piles. We actually have a lot of storage on the trailer so we have brought a.lot of our things with us. We’ve also gotten rid of a lot of our things, which has been very liberating.

Today was the first day that I did cooking. I decided to bring two cast iron skillets and one stainless steel. The cast iron skillet are not well seasoned yet and I tried to make fried eggs in them but failed miserably. Not only was my cast iron giving me a hard time, but our trailer is on a slop and we haven’t gotten the leveling blocks yet, so everything in the pan slopes towards me, which leads to uneven cooking. I cooked dinner here, as well, and had some of the same issues. I was out of butter, so that messed up the rice pilaf and the slope made cooking very difficult. I attempted to make tacos. Hopefully we will go to the other side soon.

Not only is cooking different, but cleaning, as well. It is much easier for this small space to feel cluttered and dirty, so I have to keep up with cleaning more so than our house. I also have to get used to the fact that we don’t have a dishwasher. On the bright side, we have a very open (haha) floor plan, so I can see the TV from the sink.

Rememeber how I mentioned that the side we are currently on is not as nice? Well, here is a, um, gross story to prove that. A friend of ours that does fulltime RV living, too, called this side the trailer park and the other side the RV resort and we can see why. When we got home tonight with some extra things and packages from the house, we were excited. I opened the green rug for the dirt area in front of our RV and as I was laying it down. I could smell shit. Sorry for using such a vulgar word, but it smelled like shit. I was so confused. I wondered if we were doing things wrong with our trailer or if the neighbor was. I quickly scanned the neighboring campsite and immediately saw one of those toilets for someone that was disabled. You know…the with the bars? And yeah…there were flies buzzing around it. They moved their shit-filled pot to the outside. So disgusting. We called the main office to report them since this RV Resort is trying to keep the place nice.

I think there are two kinds of people that live here: the kind that live here out of necessity because maybe they cannot afford a better place, and then the kind that live here because they want to. We want to. We want to save money. We want to get out of the city. We want a new way of living. I feel sorry for those than need to do this.

Hopefully tomorrow we will be get off of this side and on to the nicer side. We really are already enjoying our time here. I took the kids on a little nature walk and my son played in the dirt. I played it off to my husband like I had no clue why our son tracked in tons of dirt. I secretly enjoyed it. It is nice to be able to quickly take the kids out for a walk without having to drive somewhere. This city girl is going to need time to adjudt, but I think it will work out just fine.


He loved finding a dirt wall to climb


She loved playing in the dirt


Could things be more perfect? Sunshine and dirt

Also, after 2.5 years of living in San Diego City, I forgot how bright the stars can be.