Thursday, February 24, 2011

THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF D & B


In the old days, I sure wouldn't have been bragging about seeing para gliders. Ah, the drawbacks to becoming older and wiser. Apparently I'm too sane even to have any regrets about never fulfilling my hang gliding dream.  We spent a great few hours one afternoon watching more than a dozen para gliders and a lone hang glider soar off the cliffs at the La Jolla Gliderport. 

When I was here some 25 years ago, it was nothing but a few lunatics jumping off the cliffs above a nude beach with wings strapped on their backs. Now the land lies almost a foot lower, done in by the many cars and feet that made it vulnerable to erosion over the past decades. Everyone has to have a certification to use the port, and it's all much, much safer.  Heck, now the place is even on the map.


On Tuesday it was downtown to scope out the San Diego Maritime Museum--Bill got tickets to the Tall Ships Cannon Battle next Sunday and we wanted to see if I'd be able to get myself onto the boat with or without my scooter.  Answer:  yes--without.

Meantime, the museum itself enticed, and we had a great time there and on the other ships your stamped hand entitled you to board.  Here's Bill waving to me from a spectacular example:

Late yesterday afternoon I discovered my cell phone was missing. Finally, definitely, gone after all the false alarms I've had over the years.  Naturally, this was the one day I hadn't bothered to even turn it on so didn't know it was AWOL until about 3:30 in the afternoon. See that lovely ship above?  It probably fell within 30 feet of there when I was loading the scooter parts back into the trunk of the car.                                                                                                                                   
I've de-activated it but am still waiting for Verizon to update my usage online so I can see how many calls have been made to foreign ports.  To my surprise, Verizon won't charge me for any calls after the time I told them it went missing!  Call the home phone and get Bill's cell # if you need to reach us.                                                                                                              
Guess I'll be looking into that smartphone earlier than I had thought!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

SD UPDATE

Regarding SD:  Those of you in the know will not write me back asking what we are doing in South Dakota in this weather (as some have, by the way.)

Yesterday we went to the Birch Aquarium and spent hours there looking at fish and the global warming exhibit. Just us, a bunch of other Midwesterners in plaid shirts (I kept losing Bill), and a million schoolchildren.  Well, it felt like a million anyway.  Oh, I forgot the tide pools there--you are actually allowed to touch the "animals"  (Yes, they call all the fish, lobsters, starfish, crabs, etc "animals.") Bill can now add "pet a sea cucumber" to his list of lifetime accomplishments. Among my accomplishments of yesterday is the purchase of a very warm, hooded sweatshirt with a tasteful Birch Aquarium insignia at front left. It will be very good for Minnesota and it is already highly useful here.

Despite the intermittent rain, it was a great place to spend the afternoon. And may I say we are impressed with the salads that are invariably offered at these public places--very healthy--grilled chicken, nice greens and so forth. We found the same thing to be true at Balboa Park last Sunday. I hasten to add we have eaten at some rather nice places too, where they have actual waiters and all.  George's California Modern, The Cottage and Whisknladle, for example. 

On another day we hit  the Cabrillo Monument which has very high, startling views of San Diego and the ocean. Cabrillo was one of the explorers who wandered up here way back when from farther south. He was never to be seen again-many rumors about how he died and where he is buried. Nice monument, very old Spain in appearance. 

We are now the proud owners of a 50% off pass to 49, count them--forty-nine--separate attractions here in SD.  We are also holders of a 7 day pass to everything at Balboa Park so we need to hie thee down there again and hit at least 3 more museums before Monday.

Today however, is catch up Thursday. Get taxes finished, write various documents promised to people in MN, wash clothes, hair and other assorted niceties. 

Tomorrow we get to pick up the kids after school (we are now old hands at this) and have fun with them for a few hours. Fl is doing a Tri-athalon in Costa Rica this week & hope to get together with Fr over the weekend as well.

Other family news:  We are having dinner with cousins this weekend and a couple more are coming down early in March and all 6 of us will get together for lunch then.
We are also hopping up to LA in the next few weeks to see a friend from my old days of flying into LA every month.

Gee whiz, it was supposed to rain from Wed. thru Saturday; I just looked outside and the sun is shining and it's gorgeous--maybe we'll bag the taxes for today!


Sunday, February 6, 2011

CALIFORNIA IS NOT FOR WIMPS!

Jesse V has nothing on Bill and me in the shock and awe department. To our amazement, we turned out to be absolute wimps about the cold, cranking up the apt. thermostat to over 70 during the day and huddling under large comforters at night. I had to apologize to Fr and Fl last night for making fun of their complaints every time the temp has gone below 60 out here.

It's COLD, even inside. I blame it on construction--single pane glass, little insulation, and heat systems that pour their product from ceiling height, (and what's THAT about anyway?)

I peeked out the window at 7 am yesterday morning, my feet icy after only 30 seconds on the ground, and observed people walking on the shoreline sidewalk in shorts and tank tops. It was so shocking I had to climb back in bed to consider the madness and warm up again.

Bill (always prepared despite his Widji snootiness about the Boy Scouts) brought polar fleece jackets and warm shirts, but the heaviest thing in my suitcase was a denim jacket. I pine for my new Wintersilks long underwear, wasting away in my drawer back in Shoreview.

But enough. It is warming steadily and we should hit 70 by today and definitely if we drive a mile inland.

We are very near the beaches in La Jolla where the seals gather and can hear the waves and see the ocean from our windows--it's green, flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and there is not one single speck of ice or snow anywhere. Imagine such a land.

So far we have grocery shopped, (BTW, the prepared hot food bar at Whole Foods at Univ. Town Center rocks!) picked up G & T at school and transported to volleyball practice, scoped out the area and Bill finished "The Girl Who Played With Fire," which I observed to be truly addictive and am therefore avoiding. We shall undoubtedly have to go today to get the 3rd book.

I, who had planned to trade in my old cell for a smart phone while we were here, am now having doubts due to the reading of "The Winter of Our Disconnect" about an Aussie family who give up all electronics for 6 months.  If only she hadn't done her research so well... and that's all I'm going to say as I don't want you throwing it back in my face if I go ahead with it and become a texting, email-reading-fiend on the run. (No snide comments allowed here about my online posts at 3AM.)

We have lists of museums, attractions and etc to visit and eventually I shall have something to report. Until then......