Posted in: Campground Review, Exploring California, Halloween, Holidays

Chula Vista RV Resort: Campground Review

For our time in San Diego, we stayed in Chula Vista at the Chula Vista RV Resort*. This is a RV Resort; so there were RVs only, no tent camping. (*NOTE: This site closed in 2021. They opened a larger resort close by.)

Chula Vista is in a great location a little south of San Diego. It was close to highways for easy access to San Diego and grocery stores. The closest grocery store was less than 10 minutes away. There are a ton of Costcos in the San Diego area. Most of the beaches and attractions were within a 30 minute drive. Los Angeles was about 2 hours north. Chula Vista was also close to Tijuana, Mexico (we didn’t cross the border though due to COVID).

There were lots of amenities at Chula Vista RV Resort: an office store, a laundry, a heated pool, a hot tub (closed-COVID), a putting green, three horseshoe pits, two community charcoal grills, a fire pit, a nice sitting area by the bay with chairs, two bathrooms/showers, a fenced dog area, and a dog wash.

The laundry room had 8 washers and 10 dryers. It cost $1.25/load to wash and $1/load to dry. The coin machine was in the office. There was a small fenced dog area and a seating area with glider chairs by the laundry room. We often sat in the glider chairs while waiting for the laundry to finish.

The office sold ice (always a crowd pleaser) for $2.16/ 7lb bag. They also sold a variety of convenience type items: RV essentials, some groceries, and a few souvenirs/postcards.

You can get mail sent to the Resort as well. We loved this option. I even managed to sneak in a few Christmas presents (gotta love Amazon Prime)! The mail is sorted and stacked in the courtyard behind the office. It is covered, so we didn’t have any problems with weather while we were there.

Chula Vista is a gated RV resort, so the front gate locks around 7:00pm. There is a night guard on duty, so you had to call if you needed in after hours (or to get out before the gates open). There is also a gate code for the bathrooms, and the pedestrian door leading out to the bay.

This campground was really great at maintenance and garbage collection. There were garbage cans situated every few RV spots. If you had recycling, you just placed it at the base of the garbage can and they would collect it. I saw them coming around multiple times a day to keep up with everyone’s trash collection.

They also offered weekend events. These varied from food trucks, to drive by Happy Hour (a guy playing a guitar and singing on the back of a truck that drove through the campground), $1 donuts on Sunday mornings, light up bike parades (they also offered the lights for sale before the parade).

We were very excited to see what they did for Halloween, as campgrounds are normally known for being very festive at that time. However, due to COVID, they cancelled trick or treating through the resort. They did come up with a replacement event with some games, crafts, and caricatures. This event was lots of fun for the kids. They had bag toss into pumpkins, ring toss, pop the balloons while blindfolded (the balloons had a piece of candy inside), and an egg balance walk (while mummified in RV grade, toilet paper). The caricatures were amazing. We talked to the artist for a little bit. He was a math teacher who also does caricatures. His name was Scot de Pedro (email is scotdep@hotmail.com, shared with permission).

Although many people ahead of us took off their masks for the caricatures, we kept ours on. We thought it would be a great marker of the times we are living in.

The one slight negative of the resort, which they can’t really control, was some air noise. While there was not a lot of street or harbor noise, there was a lot of airplane and helicopter noise. It seemed like the helicopters were the main source of noise and they seemed to fly over frequently at all times of the day/night. (It was close to the Naval base and to the US/Mexico border.)

We stayed at Chula Vista RV Resort for a whole month. So we got the monthly rental rate, but we also had to pay an electric rate. Their rate was $0.22/kwhr. We managed to rack up a $200 charge for electric.

We really enjoyed this campground and would stay here again. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of regulations when it comes to calling yourself a RV Resort. In our opinion, Chula Vista lived up to the title.

Instituting a new campground rating system based on trailer hitches.

Chula Vista rated a solid 4 out of 5 hitches.

SUMMARY OF CAMPGROUND:

Our rating: 4 out of 5 hitches

Cell Phone Reception: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile

Laundry: Yes

Bathrooms/Showers: Yes

RV Sites: Pull Through, Back-in

Pop Up Tents/Gazebos/Outdoor Rugs On-Site: No

Amenities: picnic table, community fire pits, fenced dog area

Cabins: No

Tent Camping: No

Full Hook-ups: Yes. 30/50 Amps

Pool: Yes, heated

Food On-Site: When we were there there was food truck once a weekend and Donuts on Sunday mornings. There is a restaurant within walking distance.

Camp Store: Yes

WiFi: Yes

Accepts Mail: Yes

Fishing: No

Posted in: Costco, Exploring California, Halloween, Holidays

Finding a Pumpkin Patch in San Diego

One of our Halloween traditions has been going to a pumpkin patch with our friends Dave and Megan. We have been going for years, even before either of us had kids. We wanted to keep some of our traditions going while on the road, so we looked for nearby pumpkin patches. We planned on FaceTiming with our friends while they were also at a pumpkin patch.

This year’s group picture

We ended up choosing Bonita Pumpkin Farm. It wasn’t too far from our campground and it was listed as one of the “farm” locations for this company.

There was a line to get in, as they were limiting the number of people in the area (COVID). You entered under a tent, with hay bales and decorations for picture taking to the right, and the check out to the left.

Walking straight ahead through the tent area, there were rows of pumpkins. Off to the right were port-a-lets, a petting zoo (it looked like goats only), and a cut-your-own sunflower patch. They also offered a hay ride and a train ride. There was a small patch of pumpkins growing, just much much smaller than I was expecting. We did see large boxes of pumpkins behind the petting zoo by the bathrooms, so I think most of their pumpkins were shipped in.

Top Right Corner: You can see the small pumpkin patch and part of the sunflower field behind it.

The sunflower field was off to the right of the entrance tent, behind the petting zoo. You could use one of their clippers and cut your own for $2/stem. The sunflower field was bigger than the pumpkin field! They were really pretty (and one of my favorite flowers).

Back home, it can be a little bit of a hike through the fields to find the right pumpkin and they loved finding the biggest one. When they were younger, we carried the pumpkins, but as they got older we made it a rule that they have to be able to carry their own pumpkins. The kids have to be able to carry it back to the hay ride (to get back to the cashier), to the check out line, and to the car. It’s worked so far, and the kids love picking out their pumpkins. Here in San Diego, the pumpkins were a lot more expensive, so they had a price limit and ended up with smaller pumpkins that were very easily carried.

It was a different experience than I was expecting, or used to. I guess growing up in Ohio, we were spoiled and used to a larger sized farm for our pumpkins. It was still nice to catch up with our friends and do a virtual pumpkin patch together.

We did also get a larger sized pumpkin later in the day at Costco.

Comparison of Bonita Farm, Irons Fruit Farm, and Costco Pumpkins

Posted in: Exploring California, Halloween, Sightseeing

Drive-Thru Haunted Trail: Scream Zone, San Diego, CA

Ben heard an ad on the radio for Scream Zone, a drive through haunted attraction. California certainly is creative with keeping Halloween going through COVID. We tried to get tickets early in our stay, but the earliest we could get them was for 10/22. They sold completely out rather quickly.

It was quite an experience. It was held at Del Mar Fairgrounds. They had two events going that night: Scream Zone and Mainly Mozart (movie/music event), quite the odd combination! We drove on what looked like a utility road behind the fairground, past campers, storage areas, equipment. It was about 6:45pm, already dark, and it was a little unsettling driving back there.

Driving behind the fairgrounds: it’s almost like the haunted trail has started, but it hasn’t! Sorry for the lack of pictures. Photography and videos were not allowed along the trail.

We drove past a mini fairground food area with the option of funnel cake, gyros, and light up gear. They had a soundtrack you could tune to online while you drove through and had signs when to switch tracks.

Some of you may be wondering why the heck I was there, because although I love Halloween, I hate horror movies and haunted houses. You could customize your experience a little bit. If you wanted more of a scare, roll your windows down. Less of a scare, keep the windows up. I kept mine up the whole time. Ben and Will had theirs down. Nick mostly had his up, although he did try it down a few times. After he about hit his head on the ceiling from jumping after a startle, the window stayed up almost the rest of the drive.

The trail incorporated motorized figures, statues, and real people to create the scenes. The actors all wore masks (face masks/COVID, not just Halloween type masks) as well and were not allowed to touch you (although they did come right up to the window!). When it was your turn to enter the trail, you turned off your headlights and slowly traveled down the road (3mph limit).

At one point, Ben had a clown come towards the car, drop down, somersault, and pop up next to the truck and blow a horn. Everyone jumped on that one.

From my side, the beginning of the trail was a little scarier with more actors coming near you. We got there right when it opened, so maybe not everyone was in place yet? The exit gate was also still shut, so we had to wait a couple of minutes until someone came to open it.

It was a really neat experience for the boys, and I think they did a great job of working within the COVID restrictions to still be able to offer a Halloween event.

Posted in: Halloween, YouTube Video Link

Campground Light Up Bike Ride Parade

Our campground (RV Resort) has been really good about having weekend events. Thursday normally has BINGO, Friday has a movie by the pool, Saturday has a kid activity (decorating rocks, pumpkins, Halloween craft), there has been a food truck, and Sunday mornings they offer $1 donuts up by the office.

Last weekend, they had a light up bike parade through the campground. The boys really wanted to do it, but didn’t have lights for their wheels. They checked in with the front office who was selling and attaching the lights. They each got a color changing set for their back wheels (they’re getting a set for their front wheels for Christmas).

Everyone gathered by the office. There was music playing and a pretty large group. I want to say at least 30 people. It wasn’t just kids either! Most people were on bikes, but there were a few scooters, skateboards, and even some golf carts. Some were super lit up, some just had a glow necklace on. The campground led the drive with one of their decorated golf carts, while another staff member rode on her really cool bike playing music. The group rode down each street in the campground and then headed back to the office. VIDEO: RV Resort Light Up Bike Ride

The boys had a blast! It was fun watching everyone drive past.

Posted in: Halloween

Halloween In A RV

We finished up decorating the RV for Halloween this week. The decorations are mostly on the outside, although I do have a mini pumpkin and skeleton bat on the mantle/over TV.

We have a skeleton on the rear ladder, a spiderweb wreath on the front door, a skeleton hand sticking out of the marigold, googly monster eyes on the family room slide out, skull banner along the front and back, bat fencing by the right corner, and a solar eyeball on the left. Finally, we added paper bats* to the outside of the RV.

We have boo’d our neighbors for years and the boys wanted to keep the tradition going. This year, we just did one bag. It was a reusable pumpkin bag filled with a plastic skeleton, skull coffee mug, witch fingers suckers, 3D erasers, Halloween themed mini pens, Tootsie Pops, Halloween themed towel, and a candy corn container. We also added a container of Play-Doh. Last night we boo’d one of the RV’s in the campground. The kids picked one that was super decorated for Halloween.

*Amazon Affiliate Link

Posted in: Costco, Halloween

Mums, Costco, Pool

I really miss having more plants around. I didn’t have a lot inside at our house, just 4 plants at the kitchen window. I know some people travel with their plants, but we just don’t have the room in the kitchen for more than Nick’s Venus Fly Trap. Fall time always meant having mums on the front porch. Since we are stationary for a little bit, I wanted to get some for the outside of the RV.

After school was over, the boys and I went on a flower hunt. We ended up getting orange and purple small mums. I placed them on our picnic table near the front of the RV. We added a spider wreath to the front door and a skeleton to the ladder in the back. We have a couple of other decorations, but they are not up yet.

When Ben was done with work, we ran into…can you guess it?…Costco! This one had this amazing looking glass brandy holder in the shape of a dragon. I don’t even like brandy, but I was tempted by the cool packaging!

We found a few other neat things: a huge ball of Queso Oaxaca cheese, mantecada muffins (tastes like yellow cake), crab legs and lobster in the freezer section, and a money exchange station. Nick even got to try out a guitar. I bought a large yellow marigold for the front of the RV as well. I have noticed the Costcos around here do not have as many plants as back home, and definitely not any of the huge mums.

Outdoor food court requires a membership here, unlike at home. They had someone getting the drinks for you.