Wednesday, June 20, 2018

El Prado and Blackstar campout.

It's been a while since we have had the opportunity to camp so our most recent outings filled the void. El Prado is one of the largest VW shows of the year in Southern California and I have tried to make this an annual event. Even though I was still recovering from a cold, I managed to pack up the van for an overnight with Brooke and Catherine (sans wife!!). After circling the campground a few times our friends Pam and Andi offered a perfect spot on the grass with a great vantage point of the lake that was also close to the show the next morning.

After an early night, we were woken up before sunrise to the familiar sound of air-cooled engines passing by as they set up for the show.

It seems like this show just gets bigger and bigger every year and we saw the nicest collections of Type 3 and VW Things I have ever seen in one place.

I consider myself a VW fanatic so it is always a joy for me to see not only the sheer number of vehicles that gathered but also the passion that others have for the brand. Knowing the day's forecast was going to be a hot one, we left quite early but not before seeing a very rare VW Kubelwagen - the original light military vehicle designed by Ferdinand Porsche.

Dana Point

Living in the Los Angeles area does have it's benefits and our proximity to the ocean and beachfront camping is a major plus. When the forecast called for temps in the 90's, we decided it would be a good idea to cool off at Doheny State Beach campground for the night. As with all our trips, getting the van prepared is a task by itself but it's a good thing I have a helper.
One of the aspects we enjoy about this park is it's proximity and that it is at ocean level so you can simply walk out to the beach. We arrived at 2pm and quickly set up.
Then we took advantage of some beach activities.

As this campground is almost always full, the girls did some people watching.
Then we all did some exploring before dinner.

The van is always a fun place to both relax and play.

Camping with both girls is definitely a more difficult activity so we have been trying to shorten our outings to simple overnighters. With that said, the trip was quickly over and we headed back home.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Silverado (and O'Neill Regional Park)

Moving to the West Coast has provided us opportunities that simply cannot be matched anywhere else. The exemplary weather and lack of salt on the roads provides an ideal environment to preserve older vehicles meaning the vintage VW community lives strong. It's no surprise that a brand new VW camping event and show was organized this year and we were fortunate to be able to attend. Being a new event it was only an overnight show so we decided to camp at a nearby location beforehand.

Located along the Trabuco Creek, O'Neill Regional Park is a major park in northeast Orange County encompassing 4,500 acres of beautiful parkland with trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. As with all our camping excursions, our van has to get ready which includes packing and washing.

Just over an hours drive and we were all setup at our campsite for the next 2 days.
Although the riverbed just behind our site was dry, there was plenty of space to explore and play.

We even managed to catch some wildlife.
Cooking and relaxing in the van is always a bonus after our busy day.

With the big event/show on Saturday I arranged to have a few members of the San Diego Vanagon (Vandiegans) group join us for the trip, luckily our site was large enough to accommodate all of us.

Saturday morning brought the big show and the accompanying rain but that didn't rain on our parade of fun!

Multiple awnings saved the day and made our experience enjoyable despite the clouds and rain.
Silverado (Oak Canyon Park) is a perfect location close to Los Angeles with plenty of flat open grass making it ideal for a VW camping event. Our Vandiegan friends managed to take some time for the environment to collect cans and bottles.
The chili cook-off was a hit.
The best part is that kids just don't care about being wet.

 It's not what you may be's mud!
Silverado was a great success and I look forward to attending it in the coming years. After 3 days of camping in the van we were both exhausted and looking forward to seeing my wife and other daughter at home.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Leo Carrillo

It's been well over a month since our last camping trip, so with two days off we wanted to make this one a good one. Leo Carrillo State Park has 1.5 miles of beach for swimming, surfing, beachcombing. For the kids there are tidepools and caves for exploring. The campground itself is a bit inland but has it's own beauty and features large campsites. For this trip we were also lucky to have another air-cooled friend and his family join us.
Of course before every trip there is a lot of work getting ready and here's my crew in the back of the van on our way to pick up mom.
Here we are all set up for some fun.

The main attraction of this campground is of course the beautiful beach and our short time there didn't disappoint.

There was plenty to do in and around our campsite including hiking, scooting, singing and playing the Ukulele!



We also had time to eat, sleep, play and watch movies in our vans.

Our friend's campfire ring and "add-a-room" had us nice and toasty during the cool evenings, don't tell my wife that it might be a new addition to our van in the future!

California State Parks can be a little expensive but sharing the sights and fun with our friends made it all worthwhile.