By Julian

Alebrijes is a type of craftsmanship native to Mexico also called Nahuatkzosquit. These are handicrafts made with paper mache and wood that are painted with mostly cheerful and vibrant colors. The alebrijes represent beings that are several animals that have come back as spirits. Not only are they fantastic but also have a parade for dedicated to them in Mexico City. They were officially created by a Mexican artist Pedro López Linares (1906-1992) then people started to love them!! When we were just playing on the beach in Bahia Concepcion we saw a guy selling Alebrijes so I got one. Alebrijes are also in the movie Coco. this video is cool!!!!! (link below)

Building Beautiful Monsters in Mexico – Bing video

Cool photos 

alebrijes – Bing images

Bahia de Los Angeles and San Ignacio

After reading about the bay of angels we decided that we couldn’t pass it up.  It was described as one of the most beautiful bays on the Baja peninsula.  We finished traveling highway 5, which as newly paved was a pleasure compared to what Hwy 1 would bring. It was significantly harder driving, with shoulders much reduced and semi-trailer traffic increased, we had a lot more white knuckle miles. Bahia Los Angeles was about 30 min off the main highway but the road was pretty empty. 

We arrived at our RV park, mostly chosen because they had showers and it was on the ocean.  Probably one of our least favorite parks mostly due to the amount of dog poop around.  It was mostly geared toward fisherman with the accompanying flock of seagulls.  We got some paddle boarding in and lots of beach time and walks.  It was quite beautiful with azure water and islands off the coast giving an interesting sunset.  We liked it well enough but probably wouldn’t go back again.  The showers by the way were warm but pretty grubby.

Bahia de Los Angeles

The next day we finally crossed over into Baja California Sur, the lower half of Baja peninsula and halfway to Cabo San Lucas.  After driving lots of miles in Baja California we will be driving less per day and staying at places for more days and getting a bit more immersed in the culture.  We pulled into San Ignacio after driving through the desert on Hwy 1 and were surprised to see the verdant landscape of the oasis.  We brought our RV into the main square of the town, a typical Spanish quadrangle with a mission one side and administrative buildings on the opposite side.  We decided to get ice cream and enjoy the town square.  We camped on the reservoir dammed to provide the water for the oasis.  We have really been fortunate to get camp sites on the water almost wherever we go, not sure if it would be this easy in a non covid year.  There was lot of birds on the reservoir including a duck that when it quacked sounded like it was farting. We couldn’t stop laughing. Tomorrow on the Bahia Conception.

Bahia San Luis Gonzaga

By Caroline Niebauer

Bahia San Luis Gonzaga is a beautiful place and has amazing beaches. When we were there we stayed at an awesome beach campsite called Papas Fernandez, there were only two other people on the entire beach! When we parked Julie and I got our swimsuits on and ran to the waves, the water was so cold! Our mom brought us towels and hot cocoa, after we got warm we begun the hunt for cool shells. First we just checked on the beach then discovered a huge patch of rocks that after some exploration had tons of shells of all different shapes and sizes like Cowrie and sundial shells.

That night we ate shrimp tacos they were really good, really big shrimp! After watching the sun go down we discovered the time had gone out and so we went tide pool exploring and found several star fish and some colorful Chiton (a mollusk with a pretty shell), it was so much fun. if you ever find yourself in Baja be sure to check out Bahia San Luis Gonzaga.

Aguas Termales

We love our hot springs so when the opportunity to visit a hot spring right on the ocean presented itself we couldn’t resist.    We said goodbye to our gracious host in San Felipe and traveled down highway 5 to Puertecitos where the hot springs could be found.  We paid about $5 USD and gained entrance.  We were advised to get there in between the high and the low tides because the hot spring are naturally to hot to sit in when they come out of the earth but as the tide rises it cools down the water enough for you to get in.  There were three small pools that were constructed to contain the water.

When we first got there the first pool was already infiltrated with cold sea water and was already abandoned by the any bathers but the the next one was too hot so we milled around the edges of the pool as the sea rose.  Little by little the cold sea water cooled the pools to a nice 100 degrees.  It was fun migrating down the pools following the perfect spot.  After about 30 minutes of nice temperatures the pool was too cold.  The last pool was a ways up the shore so likely wouldn’t be cool enough for several hours. It felt like a really unique experience to have.  A perfect new years day activity!    

New Year’s Border Crossing

Although it has been reported that travel across the border with the USA and Mexico has been restricted, we didn’t have much trouble crossing.  We entered into Mexico at the town of Mexicali mostly to drive on highway 5 (recently paved) but this border crossing does typically have fewer people crossing per day than Tijuana. We completed our online FMM (immigration forms) in advance including paying the $30 fee for entering and noted we were there for education purposes.  We were stopped and inspected by Mexican authorities which lasted less than 10 minutes.  It seemed like they were quite happy to have RV tourists.  Once in Mexico we stocked up on groceries including lots of fresh veggies and fruits. 

We traveled as far as San Felipe and then stopped for the night.  We were going to stay at an RV park on the beach close to the center of town but pulled into the wrong entrance.  As we were turning around the owner of the small motel came out to talk to us and offered to let us stay in his parking lot free of charge for the night.  We had access to the beach and security of the place, no electricity, but we are self-contained anyway.  We parked next to the building to avoid the winds and headed out to investigate the beach. 

The town looked like it would normally be full of partiers on New Year’s Eve but was actually pretty.  We strolled on back to our RV to have some dinner and celebratory beverages before calling it a night pretty early. Adios 2020!

San Diego

After our visit on Christmas with Oma we traveled down to San Diego to see the Tregidga’s of San Diego (Maddy’s brother and his family).  The drive was uneventful and even traffic in L.A. was surprisingly easy probably because of COVID.  It was a quick visit in San Diego with a BBQ, Badger bowl win, frisbee golf and a full moon rise over San Diego.  We exchanged gifts and left new year’s eve day.

Sunset over the Pacific Ocean
Pool time with Aunty Kristen
Frisbee Golf with Matt
Do you see the resemblance?!?!

A California Christmas

By Mirabelle

You may have heard the song “There’s no place like home for the holidays.” Well, I think there is. And it is California! On our way to Baja Mexico, we stopped at my Grandma’s house for Christmas. We stayed there for 10 days, and we mostly just spent time at Oma’s house because California had a stay-at-home order because of COVID. Luckily Oma is a doctor and got her first vaccine shot while we were there.

We were able to get a Christmas tree by going to a Christmas Tree farm in the Santa Cruz mountains near her house. We took a twisting road up to the farm. Once we got there, we looked around and we hiked up a hill to find our tree. I helped my dad cut it down. We brought it back to Oma’s house and put it up and put on the ornaments. I got to put the angel on the top of the tree.

On Christmas eve eve, we made lefse and sausage for dinner, which is a tradition from my dad’s family. Lefse is a norweigian potato bread – kind of like a pancake but made with potatoes. In Wisconsin you can buy Lefse at the store, but we couldn’t find it in California, so we had to make it for the first time. Caroline helped peel potatoes, dad mashed them, and mom cooked the bread. It wasn’t quite like we are used to, but it was still delicious. We wrapped up little sausages, or just had butter and cinnamon sugar. Mmmm!

On Christmas eve we had a big dinner with crab legs, and we got to open a few presents, including a game called Exploding Kittens. I liked it a lot. We also got to open a rock-painting kit from our grandma.

On Christmas morning, we came to wake up our parents early, and then we got to open presents. Me and my siblings got hoverboards which we were really excited to play with. We rode them to the park. The rest of the day we had lots of fun hanging out with our family and cooking dinner.

The rest of our time there we went on lots of walks and hoverboard rides, and spent time with our grandma, Oma, and went in the hot tub. The pool was super cold but we jumped in it a few times too!

London Bridge

By Julian

After visiting the Grand Canyon we traveled to the see the London Bridge?!?!? It only took four hours of driving on a Wednesday.  We drove out of the cold weather into Lake Havasu and discovered that the London Bridge is located in Arizona!

 I was in the RV mostly just playing on my ipad until Caroline (my sister) yelled IN AND OUT. In-N-Out Burger is an American regional chain of fast food restaurants with locations primarily in the American Southwest and Pacific coast. It was founded in Baldwin Park, California in 1948 by Harry Snyder and Esther Snyder and it has fresh fries cut in the restaurant. we LOVE in-and-out-burger and they don’t have it in Wisconsin (we live in Wisconsin) so we had to stop. After I ate my burger underneath the London Bridge…   Wait Whatttttt!!!!    Yes, it’s true the London Bridge is in Lake Havasu Arizona.  

This construction of the London Bridge spanned the River Thames between 1830 and 1967 in the City of London.  It was purchased by Robent P McCulloch  from the city of London and shipped brick by brick to Arizona in 1967 and reconstructed in Lake Havasu City.  The Arizona bridge is a reinforced concrete structure clad in the original masonry of the 1830s bridge, it was opened to traffic in 1973.

After lunch we checked into our RV park which had a heated pool! After the cold weather of the Grand Canyon it was exactly what we all needed.

The Grand Canyon

by Caroline Niebauer

The grand canyon is a magical place with great views and amazing hikes. About 5.9 million people visit it annually, almost as many visitors as universal studios in Los Angeles, CA. We went on a hike on the South Kaibab trail, and we went as far as ooh ahh point. It lived up to its name. It was a two-mile hike into the canyon but it felt longer because of the steep trail.

While at the Grand Canyon we stayed in the RV and wore masks as well as staying away from people. Also while we were there it was very cold and in the mornings going down to 10 degrees F but it got into the upper 30s through out the day. On the first night we were there we caught a glimpse of the Colorado river through the cracks in the canyon at sunset.

On our last morning at the canyon, my dad went out at 7am and saw the sunrise over the canyon.

The Grand Canyon is beautiful and fun and I would totally recommend it to anyone. Especially in winter because of the much smaller crowds which is helpful during Covid19.

Snow, Snow and more Snow!

We anticipated leaving on Friday morning but just had a bit too much to do to get out the door. Oops

It snowed at least 5 inches Friday night, we had the RV completely packed with our stuff but our street was too snowy and icy to go anywhere before the plow came through. Finally around 11:00am we got on the road heading south through Illinois to avoid more snow.

After a slow start we navigated the snows and traversed the length of Illinois crossed over the Mississippi River into Missouri (got some nice pictures of the Arch) and ended up staying just West of St Louis. We went to bed right away as we knew the next morning was going to be early.

Maddy woke up before the sun came up and got us on the road at 6:00pm. By the time I had breakfast and started driving we had happened upon another winter storm just as we entered Oklahoma. Another 3-4 inches of snow centered around Tulsa. An accident stopped all traffic on I-40 forcing us to detour.

After a long day of driving we ended up at a McClelland Creek National Grassland east of Amarillo. Beautiful stars and a full hookup for $12 what a bargain.