Yesterday BOLT had lots of fun being Ensenada tourists for a day. While Kathy and I are enjoying the simple life here at the Mona Lisa RV Park, there is not much excitement. So, along with our neighbor we set out to have some fun. We caught the mini-bus just outside our gate and within thirty minutes we were in the center of town. From there we had a great day! Let me show you in pictures. Our first stop was lunch. We ha a delicious and inexpensive meal at Antojitos Lula. Three meals, including soup, appetizers and beverages was 300 pesos ($15) total! Definitely a place where we will return. We worked off our lunch by strolling through the busy streets of downtown Ensenada, window shopping and just taking in the sights, sounds and colors. We visited this really cool museum. The Museo Histórico Regional is a small museum set on the site of a former prison. You can visit the former cells and there are exhibits about early life in Baja. I especially enjoyed practicing my Spanish with one of the curators. We both agreed that: “En todo el mundo la mayoria de los prisioners son inocentes.” That most are imprisoned for lack of money. Our walk continued to the cruise ship harbor. A big ship was in port so there were lots of vendors out. We are savy enough to know not to buy anything, it was all overpriced but fun to see. Our last stop was the beautiful Instituto Nacional de Antropologia y Historia. This is a fairly large museum and we didn’t have time to explore it all. The part we visited replicated a cave and had anthropological finds exhibited throughout. Another place we will definitely return to. We most definitely had the perfect day of tourism and we were happy to return to our peaceful Mona Lisa home.
It is truly a wonderful life for a dog here in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico! In the U.S. Kahlo was almost always on a leash when outdoors and she spent a lot more time with us in the R.V.
Here at the Monalisa R.V. Park Kahlo has found a new way of life and we have too. There are a lot of dogs living here (at least 9, including Kahlo). As there is no traffic here, they all run free during the day. At first, I was very cautious about letting Kahlo join in the fun but now she runs with the pack for hours out of each day.
All of the dogs and their owners are very friendly. It is interesting to see dogs playing together in this way. Nikko, the alpha male, keeps everyone in line. Kahlo is very submissive towards him and he is very gentle but firm with her.
Another big difference from the states is that dogs run freely on the beach here. Kahlo absolutely loves this! She is a really fast runner and loves to chase and be chased by her buddies.
I love all the dogs here but I think Lucky is one of my favorites. He was a stray, in terrible shape, until Javier took him in. Javier is the groundskeeper here and a lovely man. Thanks to him Lucky is in great shape now!
We are really happy to have found this puppy paradise and I am pretty sure Kahlo is too!
The Mona Lisa RV Park and Motel is far from the fanciest or most modern place in Ensenada but we find it absolutely perfect for BOLT!
We are right next to the Pacific Ocean, separated by a rocky breakwater. There is a stone stairway that leads down to a clean, shell strewn beach. When the tide is out you can walk along the ocean for miles.
Of course, the ocean is beautiful, but the uniqueness of the Mona Lisa is all the art work here. There are murals and sculptures all over, many of them depicting Mexican history and Toltec and Aztec sacred figures.
All the necessities of life (groceries, laundry, drinking water) are within walking distance. Plus there is a sweet little mini bus that comes practically to our door and takes you right into Ensenada Centro.
Things are a little run down but the staff is wonderful and very helpful. We have a great spot for our Winnie. It looks out onto the crashing waves and has a little table, outdoor kitchen and a palapa (thatched shade). There is really good wifi and our spot has electric, sewer and non-potable water hook ups. A spot like this in California would be at least $65 a day. Here at the Mona Lisa it is $20 a day and a month is a huge discount down to $330 a month.
We are really enjoying the mild weather, relaxing lifestyle and affordable prices. We will probably be here for a couple of months. Ensenada is a less than 6 hour car trip for our So Cal friends and there’s an airport for everyone else. We sure would love to see you!
It’s December, and Kathy and I have been traveling North America for over a year now. We’ve been to Canada, Mexico and 24 of the United States in our Minnie Winnie RV. As full time RVers on a budget we are always looking for great accommodations at affordable prices.
We’ve stayed in Walmart parking lots, state and national parks, casino parking lots, on city streets and in private RV parks. Right now we are staying at one of our favorite places: Mountain Lakes RV Resort. This is a private, members only park. I joined over 20 years ago when I was tent camping with my sons. This membership is really paying off now that we have the Winnie. One reason for this is that our Mountain Lakes membership entitles us to membership with nation wide Resorts of Distinction.
For $140 a year our Resorts of Distinction membership allows us 2 weeks of free camping at over 50 RV parks in the U.S. and Canada. We were pleasantly surprised at the ease in using this product. A simple phone call or visit to the website creates a reservation within minutes. We kept expecting to see hidden costs or catches but have found none. We visited the one park in Canada and several in the U.S. All have full electric, water and sanitation hook up which are included at no charge.
Each park we visited had its on unique character, amenities and community. We were welcomed warmly at each park and every stay was a positive, hassle-free experience.
All of the parks we visited had some sort of body of water. Our favorite was the one in Oklahoma, situated on beautiful Grand Lake.
Some of the parks had very distinct communities, some with options for permanent residence.
Use of recreational facilities, like miniature golf, swimming pools and basketball courts, is also included in our free stays.
Many of the parks were very close to sightseeing attractions. Niagara Lazy Lakes RV Park was less than 30 minutes away from the falls.
Kathy and I both enjoy our daily walks. All of the parks we visited were great for walking!
We look forward to visiting more parks in the Resorts of Distinction system as we continue our travels. Perhaps we will visit one in a place near you. Please let us know!
Gichigami is the Anishinaabe name for the largest freshwater lake in the world. It has been given the name Lake Superior by the United States and Canada. The Anishinaabe are the First Nations Peoples who are from the areas surrounding this great lake. They are also known as Ojibwe, Ojibwa or Chippewa. I vaguely remember hearing Longfellow’s 1855 poem about this lake and more clearly remember a racist I Love Lucy sketch. It saddens me that I didn’t know, until 62 years of age, that this is a real place and with real people.
We have had a lovely 2 weeks driving and staying along this amazing lake. Our Gichigami drive started in Minnesota, continued in Ontario, Canada and concluded in Michigan. We’ve only driven about 2/3s of the lake!
We stayed at wonderful campgrounds with winding trails that led to the lake.
Along the way we got to learn a little Anishinaabe history. They were integral to the vibrant fur trading industry of the 1800s.
In Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada there is a beautiful trail called Bimose Kinoomagewnan (Walk of Teachings) trail. Along it you can read and learn of the Seven Grandfather Teachings from Anishinaabe elders and enjoy art work, representing the teachings, from the younger generation. The teachings are love, honesty, respect, wisdom, truth,humility and bravery.
In Sault Saint Marie, Michigan we saw the locks which enable ships to travel from Gichigami to the lower great lakes.
We are now on Anishinaabe land, staying at the Kewadin RV Park and Casino. It’s a beautiful and restful place. We are looking forward to attending a pow wow on Saturday. I’m really humbled by how little I know about this area and First Nations Peoples. I’m really grateful for any opportunity to learn even a little bit more!
There are many different types of recreational vehicles and probably almost as many articles written about them. It took me awhile to learn the difference between a class C motor home (like the Minnie Winnie we have) and a behemoth class A (like the one in the hilarious movie RV) and then there are all the trailers.
There are 3 basic types of motor homes and they come in all sizes. Class As are the ones that resemble buses. They are built on a chassis and have large front and rear windows. They often have slide outs and can be quite large and luxurious.
Class Bs are also called campervans. They are easy to park and drive and are great for weekend trips. Not so good for full-time RVers like us.
Our Minnie Winnie is an older class C. The way I can identify class Cs are by their cab over design. They come in many sizes, with and without slide outs.
Then there are all types of pull behind trailers like cute little teardrops.
In Minnesota we have seen several of these ice fishing trailers. They drive them right onto the ice in the winter!
There are pull behinds that pop up into tents and pull behinds that are long and luxurious inside. I really love the retro ones!
Fifth wheel trailers are another option. Instead of being towed the coupling is actually in the bed of the truck.
I had fun taking most of these pictures here at at Lake Bemidji State Park. Kathy and I are always exclaiming over fancy new ones and really cute older ones. You can get lots of information on line or by visiting an RV dealership. We are really happy to answer answer any questions you may have.
Kathy and I are very blessed to live a life which affords a lot of opportunities for serendipity. When we were working, vacations and travel took a lot of planning with deadlines and time constraints. Retirement is truly glorious! We rarely have set time lines and we often make spontaneous plans, one day at a time.
Our puppy, Kahlo, is a great example of the gift of serendipity. We had no plans of getting her and yet she has brought so much joy to our lives!
Whale Watching in Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur, Mexico
The White Temple, Chiang Rai, Thailand
Charlotte and Pete Hill O’Neal, Arusha, Tanzania
Serendipity has given us fabulous adventures, visits to so many great places, and led us to meeting unforgettable and wonderful new friends.
Now we are in Minnesota, a place I thought we’d simply be traveling through. We love it here! There are beautiful parks, affordable campgrounds, friendly people and lots to see and do. Thanks to serendipity, we’ll be here a few weeks.
We’d love to hear about your experiences of serendipity as well as any comments, suggestions or questions you may have. As always, thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog and for your support.
Kathy and I love the National Park Service. There is such an abundance of nature, history and wonder within the parks, monuments and forests that it administers. We’ve found something to love in every place that we’ve visited.
However, there are often things we find disturbing to our Black American and People of Color consciousness. This week we visited the Little Big Horn Battlefield Site. It was essentially a monument to the fallen soldiers of “Custer’s Last Stand” and to American imperialism. There was little mention of all the injustices perpetrated against First Nations Peoples that led up to the battle. The memorial to Native Americans there was much smaller and felt like an afterthought.
When I was in the gift shop I watched a little white boy playing with the toy guns and knives for sale there. All I could think of was Tamir Rice and how it is not safe for black children to play in this way.
We visited “Pompey’s Pillar”, an ancient geological site sacred to the Crow people. The park service felt it more important to highlight the fact that explorer William Clark (of Lewis and Clark) wrote his name there.
Now we are at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It’s breathtakingly beautiful here! It’s very fitting that “Teddy”a great conservationist is honored here. But he also embodied military might and colonialism. Kathy reminded me that the saying he is credited with “Speak softly, and carry a big stick.” is one he appropriated from West Africa.
So what do we do with these thoughts and feelings? We try to find beauty and enjoy it where we can and to tell the truth about our history and our present. We try to learn more about our own and other marginalized people’s history. We show up and make use of these parks and forests, knowing that our ancestors did much to make them possible. We write these blogs, share our pictures and adventures. We try our best to share our truth. We hope to affirm that America is beautiful, still and America is ours.
BOLT had a wonderful week, one that makes me appreciate RV life even more. We’ve stayed at a variety of places and had nothing but positive experiences. I am reminded that, despite the insanity of our current political situation, all the tragedies and injustice, America is beautiful.
From Walmart parking lots (great spots for RV overnight stays) to private RV parks with pools and casinos we’ve encountered friendly, helpful people and great natural beauty. RVing is a great, relatively inexpensive, way to see the country and meet interesting people.
This week we traveled five states (Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana), visited 2 fabulous national parks (Grand Teton and Yellowstone), went to a wonderful museum (the California Trail Interpretive Center) and stayed in 2 national forests (Targhee and Gallatin). We hope you enjoy these pictures of our week. We love getting your comments and please, ask any questions you may have.
The Grand Tetons were magnificent and we got to see bison.
A highlight of our week was our visit to Yellowstone National Park. It has great boardwalk walking paths, views of the Snake River, lots of crowds and of course “Old Faithful”.
We find the national forest campgrounds to be wonderful: very beautiful and inexpensive too. This one in the Targhee National Forest on the Idaho – Wyoming border was only $12 a night. This compares really favorably to the private RV park prices. The one we stayed at in Elko, Nevada was $30 a night for really just a big parking lot but it did have a pool and great staff.
So that was our week, we hope yours was fabulous as well!
As you can see from this picture, Kahlo likes road trips as much as Kathy and I. We really enjoyed our time in Southern California, seeing family and friends. But we are excited to be on our next BOLT adventure.
Right now we heading north on beautiful Highway 395. The scenery is amazing! We’ve seen pristine lakes, the majestic Sierras and even some snow.
Our intention is to slowly travel up to and then through Canada. I’m really looking forward to seeing Niagara Falls. We plan to be back in the USA in time for a visit to the Smithsonian African American Museum in late September and back in California by November. As always we are traveling serendipitously, fearlessly and fairly pennilessly.
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for our current locations. Please let know if you have suggestions of things to see or places to visit (especially if you are on our route).