« Our Travel Map | Main | Budgeting Update »

Carpinteria State Beach, CA

Well, our luck has changed. Not only has the weather improved (upper 60s and partly cloudy), but we stopped in at a state beach and found a really nice spot to camp just south of Santa Barbara.

To be honest, it wasn't all luck. We picked up a copy of the California state park brochure called the "Guide to Reserving State Park Campsites" several weeks ago, and it has become our cheat sheet ever since. We knew that Carpinteria would offer us hookups. After three nights of dry camping we felt like not having to worry about using the lights and water as much.

Madonna Inn.jpg

On the way, we stopped at the famous Madonna Inn. The last time I was here was in 1979. I am pleased to report that the Men's room has not changed significantly. The waterfall urinal is still there. Those of you who have visited the Men's room at the Madonna Inn will know what I mean.

We also made a shopping stop, for Christmas stuff. Although we had Christmas in Vermont, we have advised Emma that Santa will visit us no matter where we are. Eleanor wants to get the trailer ready, so we bought a little potted rosemary plant, which looks remarkably like a small fir tree. This will get decorated with tiny ornaments, and after Christmas it will probably be eaten! Eleanor is hanging cards and stockings in the trailer as I type this, and Emma is making paper decorations. Everything is lightweight, small, and either recyclable or edible -- perfect for mobile life.

Our campsite at Carpinteria is right next to the beach, with full hookups. We are literally forty feet from the sand, and can hear the waves crashing and the beach stones tumbling with every wave. The evening is balmy, many of our neighbors have festive lights up, and there's even an Airstream Classic motorhome (a 290) parked just a few spaces away. (I'll go see them in the morning.)

We arrived so close to sunset that I pushed Eleanor and Emma out of the truck as soon as we pulled in, and said, "Go to the beach! Now!", which they did happily. They caught about 20 minutes of fun collecting shells and splashing in the surf before it got too dark to see. I ran over to join them as soon as I had the truck unhitched, but of course that meant I had to set up the utilities in the dark. Not a big price to pay.

We'll definitely stay a couple of nights here at least. Our thought is to try another state beach campsite in Huntington Beach and stay there through Christmas. If anyone has experience with that campground, let us know how it is.


So good to catch up with you!

Second only to seeing you all in person.

Great stories and pictures.

Emma - can you make monkey sounds for us?

Best to you all,


Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Please enter the security code you see here