I bid a sad farewell to the Sonoran Desert with a lump in my throat, and drove over the hills and through the woods to meet up with my posse at the Viejas Casino in Alpine, CA, where we would overnight and descend en masse on San Diego the following day.
Leaving the serenity of a place like the Sonoran Desert for the 8th largest city in our nation, San Diego, there has to be trouble on the horizon, right? One does not go from a week of solitude to shooting the gap on I-5 without some form of cultural whiplash. Unfortunately, in my case, it came in waves.
Let me just get this out, so I can move on to telling you about the cool scenes of San Diego. I have in the past been accused of being “Pollyanna” or “writing fiction,” so it is my intent to share not only the beauty, but the beast. Everyone says the redeeming quality of the Mission Bay RV Park in San Diego is all about “location, location, location.” Well, for me, that was offset by “location within the location.”
Let me just be clear in saying none of this was the fault of the park. In fact, they went out of their way to accommodate me when I found myself surrounded on all four sides by RVs bulging at the seams with screamers. I knew I was in trouble when the giant 5th wheel pulled in beside me the Saturday before Easter Sunday. The first thing I saw come bounding out of the door was two young tots in frilly pink dresses. The second thing I saw was the side bay door open, unleashing what looked like a Toys-R-Us truck over turned. Add that to the fiberglass box pulsing with rappers on the other side of me in a rig so tall I couldn’t see the sky, and I had my own version of “I. Can’t. Breathe!” Had it not been for the kind woman Kat at the front desk, I am certain I would have sped out of the gate with my power cord and water hose dangling…
Spring Break Hell added to the glee, as bicycles, tricycles, scooters, skateboards, ball-toss games, basketballs, soccer balls, and remote controlled race cars all contributed to the cacophony surrounding me. The movie “Despicable Me” played on a continuous loop on the RV’s outdoor TV screen across from me. It was Vasa Park déjà vu all over again, without the innocence of puppies and balloon houses. An inner city playground where kids race around the rigs as if they were cones, shouting the word “Duuuude” back and forth, as if it were a new curse word they were trying on just for the SoCal occasion.
But that was not the extent of my misery here. When one checks in to the Mission Bay RV Park, they must sign a waiver that if a “hazardous waste spill” should occur, you will immediately notify the park office for a clean-up, resulting in a $50 to $200 clean-up fee. This rule serves two purposes, one to keep the waste out of Mission Bay. But given the close proximity of rigs spaced single-digit-feet apart, it also keeps the clean-up from splattering on your neighbor’s picnic table, brand new zero-gravity lounge chair, and bicycle.
Imagine my horror as I am laying in the bed in the early morning light, when I hear a huge splattering right beneath my bedroom window, laced with a string of curse words in a foreign language which I eventually determined to be “Quebec-ese.” Without gloves, he cleaned up the spill with a trash can and a chamois, and was one step away from hosing it down with his fresh water hose, when I had to open the door and shout, “STOP! You are not allowed to do that!” This resulted in an altercation with him insisting “I am a veddy clean puhhhson, Ma’dame!” to me telling him “You might be clean, but your sh*t is not, and you are about to splatter it all over my stuff!!” He refused to call the office, so I did it for him. Needless to say, it made for a tense remainder of my stay, and a lot of whining unleashed on my friends.
I watched him dump a second time, two days later. This time, the wife came out to hold the sewer hose on one end, while he held on the other…neither of them wearing rubber gloves, and both handling the water spigot and fresh water hose interchangeably during the process.
The lessons I learned in all of this? 1.) Never fail to spray down the fresh water spigot with Lysol before you hook up. 2.) Wipe down your picnic table with a Clorox wipe before using it. 3.) And think twice before you prepay two weeks in an RV Park with no refund policy again.
This post, brought to you by the Holy Trinity of Cleanliness, Clorox, Lysol, and Mr. Clean…
Now that I got that off my chest, I would love to show you the more pleasing sights of San Diego. Coming up, my five part photo-journalistic series on the “San Diego Scenes…And Beer!”