According to plan we pulled into Malibu Beach RV at 1:02 PM, in time to register without causing any complaints about early arrival. These people do not seem to understand that we are customers and they are in business to provide us with service that will encourage us to return. I will not blame them for the rain which began as we arrived and continued for five (5) days with very little relief. But they were less than accommodating. There idea of explaining their rules comes across as if they expect everyone to be rude and inconsiderate and the rules are to be enforced with an iron fist. As an example, as we were position Gee 2 on a none too spacious site, Carol left the RAV with two tires on the pavement while she guided me. A resort attendant stopped by to tell her that she must park with all the tires off of the pavement. Given the width of the pavement it seemed obvious that if we didn’t want to get hit we would pull off as far as we could, once there was someplace to pull to. Here is the view out the windshield after I finished setting up:
Because of our rescheduling we needed to change sites on Tuesday. I suggested that I might move as soon as the previous renter moved out. The man at the desk said “no you must wait until 1 PM.” I was about to lose it with this nincompoop when the manager stepped in and said that since no one would be inconvenienced and we had to help care for the grandchildren, we certainly could move as soon as the site was clear. Yesterday Carol went to the office to let them know that we were moving at 9 AM since the site had remained empty for five days and the same guy tried to tell her we couldn’t and again the manager had to tell the power hungry one that it really was okay. Oh, the site we had to vacate is still empty.
Rain! If you have seen the news, you might have noticed that it has been raining in Southern California. It has rained in inches per hour fashion on and off since we got here. In fact from Friday until Tuesday night it rained over 8 inches in places. Given that normal annual rainfall is 10 inches and they had 30 inches in January this is overkill. People live on the sides of sand and dirt cliffs that turn to mud in the rain. Roads are cut through these bluffs and through canyons with steep sided walls. All of these bluffs are poised to slide to a lower place given any chance. In Rochester we have a furnace Red Tagged when it an inspector finds that it is dangerous. Out here they Red Tag the whole house when its location becomes precarious due to sliding mud, either under it or above it.
Last night, Tuesday night, we left Miriam and Yechiel’s home at about 8:15 to get to bed early. We had to be back by 5:30 so they could get off to the hospital with Azriel for a small medical procedure (which has gone just fine). Depending on traffic the ride has taken as long as 50 minutes, but generally it is about 30 minutes. As we turned on to PCH (Pacific Coast Highway also CA rte 1) we saw a sign that a slide had closed the road. I said “they must have cleared it by now” – wrong! As we approached Topanga Cyn (that’s California for Canyon) Road I knew I was wrong because there were lights and barriers all over the place. There is no real alternate to PCH at this place. We turned up Topanga Cyn, which was going to be closed in 15 minutes so the flagman could go home, and called Yechiel to see if he could look up an alternate route. His map was not fine enough detail and he had little enough knowledge of the area that he could not help us. I knew that, if I could get to the 101, I could get to Malibu Cyn Road which would bring me back to PCH past the slide. I did not have any assurance that Topanga Cyn would get me there. Eventually I got to the flagman and he said we could indeed get to the 101 on this route. He did not have time to tell me that I would drive 16 miles of road to cover 6 miles as the GPS points. We got to the turn for Malibu Cyn and I said to Carol that this road had been closed by a slide in the morning. “Surely it must be open by now” – Wrong! Five miles from the freeway (FWY) there was a little sign in the middle of the road “Road Closed.” I turned back just a bit desperate by now, so desperate that I pulled into the first gas station I saw to ask for directions, without any prompting from Carol. To our great good fortune there was a police officer filling his vehicle and he said that just a few miles further North (sure looks like South or West to me on the map) on the Ventura FWY (the 101) I would find Canaan, well that how I heard it, it really is Kanan and it was a straight shot south to the PCH. Straight shot relative to what, he did not say, in this case 13 miles of road to cover 6 miles as the GPS flies. We got back to Gee 2 at 10 PM.
Since we had no idea what the morning would bring, we set the alarm for 3:30 (who said this is a vacation?) to allow plenty of time to get to the house by 5:30. We retraced the route up Kanan to the 101 to the 405 to the 10 (I know back east that would be route 101, to I 405 to I 10, but Californians use the definite article for all of their major roads) and arrived in just under an hour, about 5 AM. Fortunately we had keys and let ourselves in quietly to await their waking up.
They were off by 6, the doctor got the timing wrong and they were waiting for her until 8:30. Carol has taken Avtalyon to a Mommy and Me program and I am alone with the computer and the cat. The SUN HAS COME OUT!!! I can see mountains and the Hollywood sign. The sky is blue and I didn’t have to take and airplane up to 30,000 feet to see it. In two days we will begin driving east into the back side of the storm that has passed over us. I will drive slowly and hope not to catch up with it.
Here are some family pictures:
Avtalyon, 20 months old
Azriel, 4 years old
Avtalyon with Bubbeh