Tuesday, October 9

Call of the Sea

We are feeling the generation gap, big time. Although David and I grew up in two totally different family environments, many things were constants. If our Dad said, "Let's go, kids!" none of us ever asked, "Where? Why? How long will we be gone? Do I HAVE to go?"

In my case, I remember leaving our S. CA home at 3:30AM with heavy canvas water bags tied to the grill of our Chevy Impala station wagon. Still in our pajamas, we kids slept through the pre-dawn trek across the Mojave Desert on our way to a family reunion in Mesa, Arizona. We were bothered by pesky little brothers, battles for what static radio reception could be had, struggles for a turn at a window seat and threatened repeatedly with mortal damage should we continue to kick the driver's seat or actually throw-up inside the car. We also sang with feeling such standards as "I've Been Workin' on the Railroad", "Clementine" or "Home on the Range. It was all enormously fun.

Last week we announced a surprise family road trip to the girls. They were not impressed.

Even the destination (San Diego) did not set them on fire. I wondered what planet they were from as I watched them reluctantly pack their sacred ipods & other relics of non-human interaction.

Here is the kind of view that thrilled my childhood heart; our first glimpse of the ocean (!) after several twists and turns through Topanga Canyon or some other quick route down from San Fernando Valley to Santa Monica, Malibu, or Zuma Beach. Friday evening at Cardiff-by-the-Sea I felt the same emotional rush as I watched the western horizon for that beautiful silver sliver of ocean meeting sky. The cool air was thick with sea and living things.

The freeway landscape is jungle-lush. Brilliant flowering trees and shrubs and plantings spoke to my soul. "LOOK!" I cried too loudly, wiping tears from my eyes pointing to the suddenly revealed ocean, "there it is!" No response. A slight grunt from Asia's corner as she shifted away from the bright sun, and Ray only stared passively from her open window. "I'm hungry," she mumbled.

A very fancy dinner, seated at the edge of a giant glass wall facing the glowing surf after sundown was definitely beginning to work its magic on our reluctant travelers. Finally fed, they were more willing to tolerate sight-seeing. David headed for the light be-jeweled pier at Oceanside.

Asia noticed the multitude of signs regulating parking, loitering, sound ordinances, campfires, dog-walking, life-guard duty times, used fishing line and hooks, recycling and practically every other rule or warning necessary to sustain life without a fine.

She was irritated.

Apparently the large type 'PLEASE' did not soften the regulatory message.
Mom's advice to bring a good sweater proved timely if not brilliant. Hugs help warm night time beachcombers. Asia wanted to play beach volleyball with a group next to the pier.

Check out this biker on our way to the Wild Animal Park; you can see his face reflected in each of his mirrors. Cool!

Here we are comforting some poor, dying deer in the petting area. They could barely lift their heads. We wanted to alert park officials about their appalling condition, but none could be found. Oh well.

Is this classic California, or what?
Growing up here, I never surfed - except for body surfing.

This group of surfer boys definitely interested the girls. I think they heckled several of them. Their little six-pack abs and stylish wet suits under curly, shoulder length manes prompted Asia to sing a couple bars of a Beach Boys tune for us. Although, we realize there are no stereotypes in our society.

This was a little cove surrounded by rust and caramel colored cliffs just south of Del Mar. High Tide was coming in, and we were entertained by several flocks of sea birds feasting on something near the water line. They were so cute with their little stick legs running gracefully back and forth as the water approached or receded. Being curious, I decided to investigate their sandy meal. It was too late in the season for sand crabs ~ GROSS! They were eating juicy white MAGGOTS! Thousands and sickening thousands of them, wriggling up out of the sand with the water and trying to burrow back in again before it left them stranded. Rachel worried they could get up into her skin. Asia told her yes, and one was on its way to her brain in her blood stream at that very moment. After we got home a little web search gave us the official answer to our nature question: Sea Weed Fly maggots. Yum.

Balboa Park is THE Most American spot I think; Garden of Eden landscaping, people, couples and families of all sizes, colors and creeds with their equally diversified doggy companions all coming together for a lovely, glorious experience in totally beautiful weather and stately old museums adorned with intricate sculptured facades. It was breath-taking and heart-warming.
We tipped this student violin/cello duet. They were performing Bach with a flair for the passionless.
This Black Mime was actually a very Angry Black Non-Mime. We would have taken a picture of his artful posing while balancing one legged on top of his suitcase, really, it was beautiful - but he almost assaulted an Asian tourist for taking too many pictures of his performance. He said, "If you take one more picture of me I'll..." none of us caught exactly what he was going to do because it was so shocking to see him launch himself away from a group of little girls waiting for their balloon creation and get in the Japanese guy's face. A large man with a camera seated on a bench next to ours yelled back, "You can't limit picture taking in a public place! It's my profession," raising his own camera and clicking a shot at the threatening Mime. "Thank you, Fat Man -" he yelled back, "looks like your profession should be a DIET!" Asia laughed out loud uncontrollably. The young father in the photo didn't change his expression at all, and all the little children except for his daughter ran away as quickly as possible once he finished their pretty balloon daisy bracelets.

Rachel wanted to know if Daddy could beat up that Mime if he needed to. Asia was trying to get him to walk right up to his face and start taking pictures just to see what would happen. We quickly finished our hot dogs and walked away, missing whatever artistic confrontation might have been ours.

Just a day at the park. A good time was had by all.


Bandanamom said...

This looks like a fabulous vacation. One of my favorite places to go. And yes, I think children are overly entertained and thus, JADED, these days (mine included of course).

cynthia said...

OOOOHHH-- I love San Diego! Dave and I had a marvelous get-away a couple years ago . . . whale watching excursion, shopping at Horton Plaza, exploring a light house, walking along the beach, breakfast at Hotel del Coronado. We suggested a similar family vacation to our kids for after Christmas this year and got the same reaction - "Do we have to go?" (What the heck?????!!! I guess in the future we will tell them what to pack and when to be ready and skip the part about including them in the planning.)
So . . . a mime that yells at people. Hmmm. That is an interesting angle.

the guitarist from hell said...

Those are great pictures!!

Cynthia said...

btw -- that is a GREAT picture of you and David!