Oct 18 Pismo Beach Dune Buggy!

After a quick breakfast of Oatmeal, we arrived at the Sunbuggy office at 9:30 AM to cool, overcast skies and about 15 other people also going on ATV or buggy rides.  After about a 15-minute wait we caught the Sunbuggy shuttle, which drove, along the beach to the buggy launch location.  Along the way, we passed other cars and even some motorhomes on the beach.  We found out that we could drive our RV onto the beach and camp there for about $10 a night but I did not want to risk being stuck in the sand and I am sure the cleanup after camping on the beach would be a nightmare. 

A quick 10-minute ride and we were at the launch site.  There friendly staff gave us helmets and goggles before giving us a 30 second lesson on driving the buggy.  It is not a very complicated vehicle, just an on/off switch, a starter button, gas, brake pedals and a steering wheel.  I took the first turn driving with Holly in the passenger seat and Olivia in the back seat.  It was fun to drive on the sand near the ocean although very bouncy even on regular sand.  I drove us another 10 minutes south to the actual dunes and spent a good 20 minutes driving up and down the dunes before getting stuck.  I called the Sunbuggy recovery number and had to wait 30 minutes before a Sunbuggy staff member came by hand helped get us out.  This was kind of a bummer since we only had 2 hours but it is what it is.  It seems that the buggies are somewhat underpowered and you really have to take a fast run and have a lot of momentum to go up any sort of hill.

By the time we got unstuck 1 hour had gone by and it was Holly’s turn to drive.  She had a blast driving up, down and around the dunes.  She also got stuck twice but I was able to get us out without having to call the recovery number again.  Holly found that the dune buggy was good at going along the side of hills, and loved to go around large depressions swirling around us like a toilet bowl. All too soon, our time was up and we drove back to the launch site before catching a ride back to our RV.

There we had a quick lunch right the RV looking at the ocean.  The nice thing about the RV is that as soon as you get to the parking lot you are home with everything right there, no need to drive back to the hotel or find a restaurant. 

After lunch, we drove to Santa Maria where we did some chores such as returning some items to Kohls and Home Depot, stopping at Costco for gas and a rotisserie chicken and then a propane refill.  It seems strange to me that we no longer have a big house, yard and multiple cars but we still have many chores to do.

From Santa Maria, we had a short 30-minute drive to Solvang.  Solvang is a unique town with a downtown area that looks like a Dutch town.  We arrived at 5:30 pm just as everything was shutting down.  We were able to get a Danish and walk around a little bit.  Holly remarked that it was a bit like being in Disneyland with all the cute buildings and stores. Of course, our first stop was one of the many bakeries to try a Danish after which we found a small farmer’s market. I had planned to just park on the street but we found dedicated free RV parking near the police station.  There were a good 20 RV parking spots but no one there so we had the pick of the place.  We found a couple of police there and they said it was fine for us to park for one night.  With those assurances, we made dinner, more homeschooling and turned in for the night.






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