Trip Start Jun 01, 2011
56Trip End Ongoing
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But I digress...
Over many years of leading music, I had the pleasure of meeting and working with a number of wonderful people. These next few days turned in to somewhat of a reunion tour. A girl that I had the pleasure of singing with, one of the most enjoyable singers I have ever heard, lives with her husband in the foothills of the Chino Hills, about 20 miles to the southeast of LA Proper. The drive into the dense foothills was like a jungle Disneyland ride - steep grades, blind turns on roads hardly wide enough for one vehicle, all lined with tall, thick, lush vegetation and thousands of silver-dollar sized red flowers. The road ends at their home, isolated, the Chino Hills surrounding it and coming right out of their back door. Hard to believe that crazy, nasty, hectic LA was just a few thousand feet away.
A cradle robber, she wed a younger man, with whom I hit it off with and liked instantly. One of those couples that bickers and fights a little bit, but in a very healthy, non-uncomfortable, and actually quite humorous way. The couples that I enjoy spending time with the most, whom I respect and admire, the couples who seem the happiest and best fit, have this same sort of energy to them
She happened to have the next day off, so after cooking them some of my [someday famous] mixed berry almond butter crepes, she played tour guide and took me out to Laguna Beach. Thousand Steps Beach, to be specific, aptly named - a staircase of Aztec temple proportions led the way down (and back up...ugh) to the beach. A fantastic, uncrowded beach with soft sand, clean water, and more girls in bikinis ("skinny bitches", as referred to by my company). We also discovered a great little coffee shop and sandwich place - probably the only place in Laguna where you can get a good meal for under $20. Koffee Klatch - good, big, cheap sandwiches (like $7!), eclectic atmosphere, gay magazines, and Christian music. This plave has it all!
Individually and together, I had such great times with my hosts. It had been nearly six years since I talked to her (since I left Reno), and did not meet her husband until arriving, but it felt like an old friendship, not moved or hindered by the passing of time. We talked of the old times, the old people, our experiences (and grievances) with the church, where we've come, where we're at, where we're going, had some tender moments as well as many that led our cheeks and abs to hurt from laughing so much.
The only part of the visit I did not completely enjoy - that damn bird. Each night, late, like clockwork at 11:30, a bird that screamed like a fog horn in the night. Perhaps a nightengale. Loud. And nonstop. Unlike most birds (to my knowledge), that usually one have a couple different sounds, this bird made dozens of different calls
Tweet <whiiiiiiiir> tweet <whiiiiiiiiiir>
pick ME up. pick ME up
Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark!
jin gle bells. jin gle bells. jin gle bells.
It reminded me of the Family Guy episode where Stewie is trying to get his mother's attention: "Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Momma! Momma! Momma! Momma! Momma! Ma! Ma! Ma! Ma! Ma! Ma! Mom! Mom! Mom!" This poor bird, starving for attention, just trying to get SOMEONE to pay attention to it!
I had heard so many good things about San Diego over the years that I couldn't pass it up while being that close
People always say San Diego feels like a small town, and now I can see why. Well, first of all, it feels like driving through Jurassic Park - steep mesas and corridors between them, thick, huge plants and palm trees, the atmosphere moist and saturated with ocean air. Due to the natural landscape, you don't really feel like you're in the middle of a city, because you can't see most of it, unlike LA, that stretches on and on and on through the flat valley.
The next day, while they both unfortunately had to work, I showed myself around town. A local La Mesa coffee shop. Balboa Park, being practically buzzed by planes heading in to the San Diego airport. Home of the Rose and Cactus gardens. I took time to smell the roses. Thousands to choose from, all equally delicious and vibrant
I notice that, with a number of different types of palm tree, the trunk and basic shape give away the age of the tree. With one type the palms grow out the top, eagerly reaching to the heavens. As time goes on, as they grow old and weary, they slowly reduce their angle, toward the ground, making room for new growth. Eventually, a palm points straight to the ground, forming a shield around the trunk. Younger trees are given away by their bare trunks. As they age, the tired, sleepy palms form increasingly thick bushes around the the truck of the tree. Other palms, taller in stature, I saw in sections: the top section containing large, thick palms growing upward and outward; a middle section, rough and thick in diameter, littered with the stubs of palms that have long since broken off and become part of the earth; and a lower section, smooth and smaller in diameter, where the stubs seems to have either shrank and smoothed, or perhaps eventually dried and chipped off to reveal a smooth trunk underneath.
I eventually made my way to Pacific Beach (I know, this is sounding a lot like another "dear diary" entry), of which I had heard good things
PB provided me with a cozy coffee shop and iced chai to get some contract work done, and even an open mic to play a few songs at that night.
A night on the antique couch, a fine breakfast and refreshing conversation with my wonderful host, a full tank of gas and a [much needed] carwash. In the southwestern most part of the country. Time to head north.