Road Trip Spot #4. San Onofre Beach, CA

It was just a quick jump to the northwest today. Our reservation ended at Del Mar Beach, but we wanted to spend some more time on the beach. So, we found a site at San Onofre Beach (also on the really huge Camp Pendleton) for a few more days.

We barely got 30 minutes of a Percy Jackson audiobook in before we made it to San Onofre.

The beach here is more rocky than Del Mar, but the view is still great. Our campsite was “upstairs” from the beach. Here’s a view from the building where you check in, which is just a couple hundred feet from out site.

They let us check in early – right as the marine layer was burning off. Travel days also seem to be restocking days for us, so we hit a few stores in nearby Laguna Niguel.

Sophia also finished up what I think is an amazing drawing of me. Camping dad.

We did a pick up at our second Amazon Locker for the trip. Some campsites have hosts who can receive packages, but many don’t. (Del Mar thought it was funny that we got a few Amazon packages while we were there. I really needed that USB cable and battery-powered soldering iron though!) It looks like that when you’re near decent sized towns, shipping goodies to a locker works pretty well. However, the two locker pickups so far have reminded me just how small southern California beach town streets and parking lots are…especially for a full sized pickup. Also, outside lockers are a pain since their screens don’t appear to be made for full-sun viewing.

We found a really nice Mexican Restaurant for lunch, South of Nick’s. They did a great job with gluten free dishes and the twins really liked their tacos. The guac was great. The chipotle chicken enchiladas were great. Even their yes-you’re-in-California mango iced tea was great. It was all great. We didn’t quite notice the prices on the website though. (We spent just over $100 for lunch for the 4 of us.) Again, it was great.

We made it back to the campground in time to see the sunset. Sophia and I stood on the ridge by our trailer and watched the sun dip below the horizon.

We’re about a week into the trip and it was time for us to knock out some laundry. We tried the laundry room near the campground, but it was slammed with clothes in machines & no clothe owners in sight. Tanya hunted down a laundromat a few miles away and we were able to get our week’s worth of laundry done in a couple hours.

We’re pretty happy looking in the shot below, but laundry is one of those not-so-glamourous parts of full time RVing that you just have to slug through. The laundromat was probably 90 degrees inside with no place to sit. After two hours there, we were ready to get our sweatiness back to the campground. Cameron & Sophia liked jamming quarters in the machines and we got to do some teaching on working hard so that we can play later.

We’ve been using our OTR Mobile internet hotspot quite a bit and it’s been working better than expected. Between some Netflix, finishing up some retirement paperwork silliness, doing some video game development downloads and surfing the web, we’ve used about 160GB of data so far. Definitely not off the grid.

Our OTR Mobile hotspot uses AT&T service. OTR was one of the few places that currently offers true unlimited hotspot service (we, of course, plan to test what “true unlimited” means). We don’t expect to have great coverage everywhere during the trip, but it’s working great so far. (I definitely enjoy being off the grid. Still, it’s nice to be connected too.)

So far our impression of San Onofre is: “I wish we were still at Del Mar.” It’s nice, but it has more of a parking lot feel, the fellow campers don’t appear to understand quiet hours or picking up after their pooping dogs, and some of the campground is more run down. This isn’t final judgment. I’ll share more thoughts in a few days.

Author: bryan

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