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  • Writer's pictureJ. F. Rowan

Best Laid Plans

Pacific Palisades. CA
A little reading and getting cozy with a pup.

Joshua Tree? Well, maybe not quite yet.

Its a few weeks before Thanksgiving and any glimmer of hope to visit and explore Kings Canyon, Yosemite or Sequoia NP have all been snuffed out. Early snows have reached far and wide at altitude and roads are closing faster than clams at low tide.

During our final night at San Simeon State Park, we scrapped all our plans to go into the mountains. Knowing we had only one house sit scheduled in Phoenix during the Christmas holiday time frame, we agreed it was best to skip ahead and lay tracks to Joshua Tree National Park. Which would at least get us going in the general direction for our next house-sit.

But the next morning, Yvette awoke before sunrise and commenced her mourning routine of scanning the internet for certain items as she does almost daily. One of the things she looks at is our house-sit service status report. We were trying to get a house-sit through the Thanksgiving holiday and an additional house-sit that would carry us over the New Years' time frame.

But success with booking house-sits has been limited, especially while we've been in Oregon and California. But lady luck shined on us after a long dry spell. Two house-sits popped up that was almost made to order. Scores!

Streets within Pacific Palisades.
It was fun walking the dogs down these quiet streets. We enjoyed seeing the grand homes and stunning landscapes.
A newer home being built around the corner. Not uncommon for folks to buy homes, tear them down only to build something larger.
Pacific Palisades
Not much room, but it was very quiet.

Background- The Christmas house-sit we had already booked would end before New Years which would leave us to find a place to stay over New Years. This is bad because everything is usually booked.


The first would take care of the Thanksgiving holiday just a few days away. The second new house-sit would be in Phoenix (AZ) exactly when the first, Christmas house sit (also in AZ) ended with only 15 miles between the two!

The first house sit would be in Pacific Palisades, just outside of Los Angeles. We had two days before it started so we departed San Simeon and headed down the coast, laying up in a small campground called Leo Carillo Beach State Park. $45/night, which in our experience is pretty high. But it was only for one night so we kept any bitching to a minimum.

Though we were not fortunate enough to meet the homeowners in person, the house-sit was pretty straightforward. All we had to do was take care of two dogs, and watch over the house. We did some grocery shopping beforehand so that once we were at the house sit, we wouldn't have to move for 5 days. But wow, the prices!


Gorgeous house and pool house. The grounds were very well kept and loaded with citrus!


To give you an idea of how expensive groceries are here, just go to your local Whole Foods Market, pick up almost any item, look at the price...then add 50%. Except for produce...add 60-75% to the price of produce. Just insane. Like avocados? No problem, $3.79...each! But the house sit was great and we loved walking the dogs along extremely well-manicured streets.

Not a traditional Thanksgiving meal, but pretty darn close. Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, mashed carrots and turnips, stuffing and assorted roasted vegetables and garlic.

We had a great time cooking, cleaning the rig and catching up on all kinds of tasks. And its always nice to finish up the day with a nice hot shower and comfortable bed.


We really enjoyed some of the design aspects of this house including a refrigerated wine cave, cool dining booth and orange, lemon and lime trees right outside the kitchen. Yes, we picked a few and they were awesome!


After 6 days, we hugged the dogs and said our goodbyes. It's off to Joshua Tree National Park!

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