Tag Archives: rv resort

Sweetwater People

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Owen is always excited to explore outdoors

The people of Sweetwater are more of a camping crowd rather than a majority of them being a full-time RVing crowd. The full-timers that end up there are usually doing it to get out of Pio Pi for the one week that you need to be out of the campground before checking back in or they might just be quickly passing through. There are TONS of open spaces, so the crowd is more spread out. Everyone generally keeps to themselves. People will say ‘Hi’ and chat a little bit, but it isn’t anything like the people that are in Pio Pico.

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Enjoying the campfire

Sweetwater is more inside the city of San Diego instead of being ‘back country’, as they would call Pio Pico. Because of that, there is a lot more city sounds than Pio Pico. It seems people keep to themselves a bit more or perhaps it is that they are out in the city more often. Our dog, Ana, gets greeted less frenquently and we see less people out for a walk. Ana is such an attention craving dog. She needs to see others out on her walks or she starts to get antsy…or so it seems. I haven’t really asked her much about the matter. Either way, while there, she gets less attention from neighbors.

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Nice defined front area with fire pit

Other than the social aspect, there are still a couple more downsides, like the fact that they do not have a laundromat. So to do laundry I either have to take the kids to a laundromat or go to a friend’s house. Lucky for me, I have a couple great friends that let me do laundry at their house. They do generally charge visitors a parking fee when they come to visit us, and once we were even charged a fee for our extra car. It also costs us to stay there where it costs us nothing extra, aside from our membership dues, to stay at any of the Thousand Trails resort.

The main perk of staying in Sweetwater, other than being closer to the city and friends, is that we can actually have a wood fire there. In Pio Pico, you can only do composite wood or coal. It’s nice to have an actual wood fire and roast marshmallows over it. Here in San Diego county, we take fire safety seriously. It is so easy to spark a wild fire, so campgrounds like to have more controlled fires. Also, here in Pio Pico, they don’t have fire pits at every site like they do in Sweetwater.

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Getting ready to leave

Another good thing is we do have cell signal in Sweetwater, but no wifi as we do in Pio Pico. However, that doesn’t help us any when we put on a (educational usually…hah) show for Owen. Streaming eats up our mobile hot spot data. We can still easily make phone calls, which we are not able to easily, or reliably, do in Pio Pico (it involves hiking up a hill for guaranteed signal or hoping wifi calling works).

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They played around with snails while we prepped the rig to move

After spending a couple of weeks in another Thousand Trails resort, we decided we probably will only go to Sweetwater when we are wanting to have friends over for a campfire. Basically, just for a fun weekend. There are some really pretty views, hiking trails, and a concrete slab to park our rig on, but it isn’t enough to keep us there regularly.

Have you stayed at many different campgrounds? Do you have a favorite that you always return to? Next blog post will be about why we move every 1-3 weeks!

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Pio Pico People

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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

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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.

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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.

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View from the hill we hiked to get reception

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Babywearing happens a lot around here

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Enjoying the toddler play area

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Fun in the laundry room

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Babywearing hikes with Ana

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