What you do not want to miss at 5 California destinations

Going to California? Lucky you, because the golden state is over-the-top with contrasting scenery and every kind of attraction. It can be difficult to plan a route in an area where there is so much to experience. If you like to stay away from large cities but enjoy adventures that include a little bit of history, the outdoors, lots of local food, and sometimes wine, we can help you. These five destinations are in the southern portion of the state.

1. San Benito County

Located south and slightly inland from San Francisco, San Benito County has two towns – Hollister and San Juan Bautista. Hollister has all the amenities of a modern city. San Juan Bautista is historic. The Mission San Juan Bautista is the largest church on the California Mission Trail. Both towns are surrounded by country roads and rolling hills. Vineyards and row crops share space with cattle ranches.

Things you do not want to miss:

2. Solvang

Located north and west of Santa Barbara, Solvang, California, is more Danish than Denmark. The architecture is strikingly European with cross-beamed timbers and thatched roofing, hanging flowers, courtyards, windmills, and lots of bakeries. The Little Mermaid, a copy of the statue in Copenhagen, greets you on the main street.

Things you do not want to miss:

3. Oxnard

Along Highway 101 on the Pacific Ocean, north of Los Angeles, Oxnard, California, is the place to appreciate nature in close proximity to city living. Pristine white sandy beaches run for miles alongside gentle desert-type sand dunes.

Things you do not want to miss:

4. Temecula

Set inland, in the Temecula Valley, north of San Diego and south of Long Beach, Temecula offers a Mediterranean climate that is perfect for growing grapes. The many vineyards are small and predominantly family-owned. For that reason, the wine experience is personal, for everyone from winemaker to wine appreciator.

Things you do not want to miss:

5. Julian

Away from the coast, high in the Cuyamaca Mountains east of San Diego and just off the Great Southern Overland Stage Route, Julian is an old gold mining town known for its apple orchards.

Things you do not want to miss:

Basil Balsamic Bagel Burger

(Makes 4 servings)

Place the sundried tomatoes in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside. After 5 minutes, drain the tomatoes and discard the water.
Place the sun-dried tomatoes and garlic in a food processor. Process until almost smooth.
Add the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
Preheat the grill to high (550-600°F/290-315°C) for 10 minutes with the lid closed. Using a pair of long-handled tongs, oil the grate by wiping it with a piece of folded paper towel dipped lightly in canola oil.
Grill the beef patties about 5 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature registers 160° F (71°C) on an instant-read thermometer.

While the patties are cooking, cut the bagels in half and brush each cut side with olive oil.
Toast the bagel halves cut side down on the grate until golden brown, about 2 minutes.
Place the toasted bagel halves open-faced on serving plates. Spread all 8 bagel halves generously with the sun-dried tomato mixture.

Place 3 basil leaves on the bottom half of each bagel. Place the cooked beef patty on top of the basil. Follow with the tomato and mozzarella.
Leftover sun-dried tomato mixture can be kept in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to 1 week.

Other grilling and smoking recipes can be found in our latest cookbook, On The Road With The Cooking Ladies, Let’s Get Grilling, available on or bookstores everywhere!

His & Hers RV Breakfast Recipes

When I excitedly told James I just finished writing an article highlighting our favorite healthy RV breakfast, the conversation went like this…

James: Cool! Everyone will LOVE my muesli recipe!Pic-1-His-Hers-Article

Me: Yeah, but, uh, our favorite RV breakfast is my

homemade three-ingredient-pancakes recipe.

I wrote about those.

James: Why would you do that? They have BANANAS

in them. The world hates bananas.

Me: The only world that hates bananas is Planet James.

It’s a good thing opposites attract.

If you asked me to describe James in a few words, I’d probably use: mind-numbingly organized, tenaciously meticulous, highly-intelligent…all which are nice ways to say he’s an obsessive geek. I mean, really? Building a clear blank tank to run RV dump experiments?! Who would do that?

Pic-2-His-Hers-ArticleIf you asked me to describe myself the same way, I’d say I’m: affable, occasionally erratic (come on, I’m female), and significantly less systematic than him. I’m okay with a little disorder and my floor being slightly crunchy (because apparently the RV floor is “crunchy” whenever one of us [not me] feels a speck of dirt).  Luckily my go-with-the-flow nature counterbalances James’ need for rules & strong opinions. So it works. MOST days. But as I sat there listening to him criticize our favorite RV breakfast, and it dawning on me I’d have to completely rewrite the article just because he was unable to understand that my pancakes were his favorite breakfast, I realized this wasn’t one of those days.

I guess they say compromise is the key to a happy marriage, right? So now, you get two healthy RV breakfast recipes. His favorite: Muesli. My favorite: Banana Pancakes. And, okay, I’ll be honest; I really do love his muesli recipe. I just don’t plan to ever admit that to James.

Stef’s Three Ingredient Pancakes Recipe

Pic-3-His-Hers-ArticleI adore these so much. First, they are so simple it’s ridiculous. And simplicity is a requirement of mine whenever cooking during our RV trips. Second, the texture, sort of like a crustless French toast, is dreamy. I love the creamy spongy way they sort of melt in the mouth. And lastly, the taste…oh so enjoyable. When eaten plain, you can definitely pick up on the mild banana flavor, which I love. I’ve never been a big fan of traditional pancakes. The taste is a little too bland. Perhaps that’s why I love these so much. There’s actually something happening in there.


1 banana
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons quick oats

Mash the banana up with a fork VERY thoroughly. This step is important, folks. If you leave chunks, it’ll be more like eating scrambled eggs mixed with banana pieces. Not pleasant. Next, add the eggs and whisk everything thoroughly.


Once you’ve got yourself a lumpless batter, stir in the oats. Spray or grease your griddle however you prefer, and then just cook them like you would regular pancakes. Easy breezy!


In the picture, I topped them with my healthy homemade caramel sauce and some crushed walnuts. The caramel recipe’s a super simple healthed-up version of regular caramel sauce. I make the caramel sauce ahead of time and take it with us on our RV trips. It’s also a great dip for apples and mixes well with Greek yogurt. If interested, you can see the recipe here. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with good old maple syrup, strawberries, or whatever your preferred pancake toppers might be. (I’d actually love some topper suggestions for these, so leave me some comments!)

James’ Favorite Muesli Recipe

James eats this muesli recipe before any cycling competition. Not only that, it has come to be a popular breakfast whenever we are RVing and have a big day of activity ahead of us…hiking, exploring, sky-diving, what have you. Well, okay we’ve never actually sky-dived. But if we did! You can be sure we’d eat our muesli first. This muesli recipe has a great ratio of protein, fat, and fiber…which works to slow how fast the carbs are absorbed. Its carbohydrates are low on the glycemic index, which can help prevent blood sugar spikes. So, a breakfast like this will give you long-lasting energy. This is why James uses it as his fuel of choice for bike races. Plus, I love that we make it before bed. No food prep in the morning, bonus!

1 cup oats
1 cup milk
1/3 cup of non-fat vanilla yogurt (or just use 1/2 the yogurt cup)
1 apple, diced
3 TBS chopped walnuts
2 TBS honey
2 TBS raisins

Combine all ingredients THE NIGHT BEFORE, and store in the fridge overnight.


Eat it cold right out of the fridge; do not heat it up!


So there you have it! His and Hers favorite breakfast recipes. Healthy, yummy, and packed full of nutrients to start your day’s adventures. But which should you make tomorrow morning for breakfast? My advice? Keep peace in the RV. Make both.