Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Shakedown Cruises/RV Park Reviews - Calistoga, Patterson and Monterey

Other than a crisis shortened trip to Pismo Beach we had not managed to take a lot of trips in the Motor Home.  This was due to work pressures, Cruise schedule etc.  We also felt very constrained by not having a car for running around.

After we got the car (see Tale of the Toad) we took a short trip to Camping World Vacaville to see about some repair work.  We left the RV at Camping World and ran off in the Toad to see what kind of interesting things they had in Vacaville.  When the expected repairs failed to materialize we decided to try and salvage the weekend and go to Calistoga in the Wine Country.

Normally when we go to Calistoga, we stay at a very fine Bed and Breakfast called the Chelsea Garden Inn and in our previous stays we had noticed the RV park in the county fairgrounds inside town. 

Did we mention El Nino had arrived and we were in a horrendous rain storm?

So we pulled into the fairgrounds RV park and there were openings.  We picked a spot outside of a mud puddle and setup the RV.    We tooled around town in the car, had a fine dinner and a fine mud bath. 

The Napa County Fairgrounds RV park in Calistoga lacks resort amenities - which was expected.  Whenever you stay at a fairground RV park you expect a simple place to park hopefully with full hookups.  This RV park had full hook ups, was flat and clean. 

We loved it.  It was close to the attractions of Calistoga and what else do you need?
It's on the list for a return visit.

A little while later we needed to visit our Insurance Agent who lives outside the Bay Area in Patterson California.  We decided to make a night of it and have dinner with our Insurance agent and his wife (both of whom are old and dear friends).

We made reservations in the Kit Fox RV park in Patterson.  Kit Fox is just off of I-5 in Patterson and seems to be designed mostly for the overnighters.  It does not have a lot of amenities, though it does have BBQs and very nice shower/restrooms.  It was very clean and the staff was very friendly.  If we happen to be in the area, it will get a return visit - though Patterson California is not really known for being a destination.

A recent trip was to Monterey.  Driven by the work holidays we happen to go down the same weekend as the AT&T Invitational.   None of the usual RV parks had openings.

We were fortunate enough to discover that the Monterey County Fairgrounds has RV space and had openings. 

When we rolled up there, the RV park manager warned us the spots weren't exactly flat. 

He wasn't kidding.  We ended up at the far end of RV park next to an RV owned by once of the AT&T golfers.  A quick look up on the internet showed that his RV was on the order of $600k. 

I should have learned to play golf.

The site wasn't real level.  The front wheels were dangling in the air.  It was also unimproved - basically a place to park.  But it did have 50amp service water and sewer if cared to stretch our hose out to the max.  We didn't and used the tanks while we there.

The fairgrounds themselves were very nice and we enjoyed walking around and while we didn't partake of the restaurant/off-track-betting place, it is certainly on our list for a future trip.

It was also very close to the attractions of Monterey Bay:  The wharf, the Aquarium, Pacific Grove and of course 17 Mile Drive.

It is also on the list for a return visit.