California Dreamin’ (Part XI)

HAPPY EASTER!

RuthieIndy4-1-91[For all you snowbirds, I'm happy to report that we were able to "open up" the house this afternoon, and the supervisor was at long last able to get out in the yard and get all dirty (she has been pacing the house for weeks waiting for this day to happen!)]

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[As further proof that we are trending in the right direction, this afternoon I received this photo from my cub reporter (Paul "Rock" Fieldhammer) at the other end of beautiful Lake Darling.  The lake is still mostly covered by ice, but this is the first reported boat sighting of the season.  :-)  ]

We now return to our regular story . . .

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[January 11, a Sunday, Beth and Chris drove up from San Diego so was just decided to make a day of it in San Marcos.  First on the agenda for The Biddies and me was to eat lunch locally before "the kids" arrived.]

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[So, we began by perusing the city's famed restaurant row.  Based on her expression, a believe the supervisor has a target sighted!]

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[Oh, Tom, you really make me laugh.  I'm so lucky you married me!  (Did I really print that?)  ;-) ]

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[And here's a photo by the supervisor on her tablet.  I believe the first (and most important) things she reports on Facebook are where we eat!  Reetz and I are at the entrance of Acapulco, which gives you a clue it's not Chinese.]

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[And now it's menu time, an ordeal that now always begins with, "Are there any specials today?"]

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[It's always easy for me to order Mexican, as the supervisor captured on her tablet, just bring a dark beer, chips, and salsa and I'm good to go!]

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[While The Biddies figure out the bill (they used Mexican numbers), I meandered outside to shoot the neighborhood (this actually isn't very far from where we "lived").]

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[And here's where we were.  Spotted on day one, I said we gotta spend some time at this place!  :-)  ]

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[Bill figured out, half the meal in a Styrofoam box, The Biddies are ready to boogie.]

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[As I recall, after Beth and Chris arrived, we all spent the afternoon just vegging outside, in the sun, each totally concentrating on our social media devices, just like a bunch of teenagers.   And then it was time to go back to Double Peak Park, our third time up but a first for Beth and Chris.]

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[So we just mingled, awaiting the inevitable sunset.]

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[Where we were . . . ]

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[Where we're going.  We just stayed in the parking lot the previous night, so we decided to live dangerously with the five of us and go up one more "flight" all the way to the top.]

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[Shooting back to the university.]

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[A closer-upper of said university.]

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["Our two-week home."    ]

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[Creeping neighborhoods are moving up the mountain . . . ]

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[The supervisor doesn't like that at all.]

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[Looking toward the ocean.]

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[A little PDA photo from the supervisor.]

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[A much better night for viewing this time - no haze, marine layer.]

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[It would have been a great sunset . . . but note that dark cloud impinging from the right.]

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[Still getting some good shots.]

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[Looking east as the sun sets.]

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[Jostling for position.]

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[Or is it just quality family time?]

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[Oh, we're just so happy to be here!]

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[A perfect evening - light jacket weather, no wind.]

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[It's gonna happen soon!]

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[ Ahhh, great light disbursement by the clouds . . . no extra charge for the contrail.]

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[But the dark cloud did obscure the denouement (that's French, for denouement).]

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[But we came close!]

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[Now what do we do?]

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[Loved the contrast of the lone tree at the summit with the moon overhead . . . no extra charge for the jogger.]

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[Did anyone bring wine?]

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[When I first looked at this, I thought it was an optical delusion.  Their bodies say Beth is standing behind Reetz, but their heads say the opposite?]

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[Now the moon is tangled in the top branches of the tree.  Oy!]

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[It may be mine, but I like it.   ;-)  ]

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[And this one, too.]

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[And now it's time to go . . . ]

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[Rita, you take the point . . . ]

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[But don't get lost.]

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[Say good night, moon.]

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[Good night!]

We’ll leave you now with three more photos from “Rock.”  He and Pris had been home (from Arizona) for less than a week when he shot these two days ago.  He saw the eagles pulling up dead ducks from where there was now open water.  There must have been terrible attrition on the water fowl that wintered here:

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Up next:  We may actually be able to get some spring sports events in next week!

Any idiot would know women’s needs are simple.  All we want is your basic millionaire/brain surgeon/criminal lawyer/great dancer who pilots his own Lear Jet and owns oceanfront property.  On the other hand, things being what they are today, most of us will settle for a guy who holds down a stead job and isn’t carrying an infectious disease.  ~  Linda Sunshine   [Editor's note: And takes out the garbage and doesn't play with his navel lint?]

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California Dreamin’ (Part X)

The day of pretty pictures . . .

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[January 10.  After two days in the desert we were anxious to get back to the water.  Rita was feeling much better - probably just needed two days of rest, free from her annoying relatives.  Here The Biddies frolic on the jetty at South Carlsbad State Beach, a/k/a/, Ponto Beach.]

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[Shooting back at the Pacific Coast Highway, and a light rail train.]

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[The supervisor works on her foot work.  Reetz hangs back displaying a reasonable caution.]

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[Proto-typical Midwestern tourist.]

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[Someone shouted, "Surf's up!"  So he looked at the sky?]

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[Couldn't miss an opportunity to display his beautiful smile.]

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[The plight of the lonesome surfer.]

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[Beach volleyball . . . well, it is California.]

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[Having once been caught in one, I now appreciate oceans from afar.]

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[Practicing the avocation of mature women everywhere . . . shelling!  ;-)  ]

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[Beautiful Lake Darling?]

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[Goofy-footer waves?]

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[Here's where we practiced our Midwestern charm.  Beach access, with views, are at a premium.  We turned in here for some photo ops only to discover it was a "pay for the day" kinda place.  We schmoozed the nice lady ticket-taker into letting us park there for 20 minutes to run and take some pictures.]

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[Hi, Reetz!]

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[The Biddies just love beaching.]

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[House with a view.  Or maybe a resort?]

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[Can't tell?]

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[A nice spot to catch some surfing.]

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[Wet suits are a necessary in the cool Pacific.]

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[Beach walking is an addiction.]

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[We have numbers . . . mid-week, morning?]

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[I count 15 in this shot.]

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[24?]

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[Surfer Dude?]

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[Then it was on to Torrey Pines Golf Club in La Jolla.]

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[The Biddies and I had lunch here in 2009.]

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[A public course that hosts many PGA events.]

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[In fact, they were putting up stands for the PGA tournament that would be there in two weeks.]

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[Pro shop and putting green.]

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[Best displayed with a male model.]

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[I suggested dining here again, for old times sake.  The Biddies would have none of it!]

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[So we were on the road again, and this is across the street from the U of C San Diego campus where Reetz's daughter Beth professes.]

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[It's the Torrey Pines Gliderport, which I believe is part of the university.]

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[It was nice to re-visit here again, too.  I believe there is a clothing optional beach down there some where, but, again, I didn't feel like trying to find out.  ;-) ]

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[The way down?]

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[Venturing to the edge, outside the roped bounds.]

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[Nice view, and about as close I was going to venture to the edge.]

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[I suggested dining here.  Shot down again by The Biddies!]

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[The "Gliderport" was closed while we were there - no hang gliders taking off.  :-(   ]

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[OK, not great food but an unmatched view!  The Biddies are such gourmets!]

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[So, we say adios to the Gliderport.]

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[And on to downtown La Jolla (pronounced: lah-jaw-lah (OK, the same as Georgetown University's nickname).  A classic "woodie!"  (Sometimes "woody," the symbol of California beaches.)    ]

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[Driving around La Jolla looking for an eatery to satisfy The Biddies' exquisite tastes.  I believe at the base of the park below is Children's Beach, which has been taken over by sea lions, much to the consternation of the locals who don't know what to do about it?]

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[OK, I called this one.  We all liked the location, outside with view, but they would have preferred the Italian restaurant above us.]

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[We can get Italian anywhere - this was Thai, and I was aching to have my mouth set on fire.  I remember I had "naked salmon" (memorable name) and it was fire engine hot.  I don't usually care for REALLY hot, but I want a good tingle.  An extinguisher would have been nice when I finished - and I did - and loved every minute of it. The Biddies each dipped their fork tines in my sauce and proclaimed it inedible!  :-)  ]

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[La Jolla-ish.]

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[Parking is always at a premium - you just drive around and hope.]

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[Oy!]

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[Where we are in relation to where we've been.]

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[The U of C San Diego campus.]

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[Where we are in relation to where we've been.]

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[I got a little excited when I first saw this . . . ]

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[Later research indicated this is a space rental company.]

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[Don't know where the "Alexandria" came from?]

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[Where we are in relation to where we were.]

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["The 5" paralleling the Pacific Coast Highway.]

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[We're heading north and back "home" to San Marcos.]

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[Once home, we thought a good night to catch the sunset from Double Peak Park.  I guess what is a usual crowd for this daily event was gathering.]

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[Bit of a haze this evening, but we're looking at the ocean.]

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[Two hot air balloons!]

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[A closer-upper view.]

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[And a solo.]

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[San Marcos]

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[Any event such as this is just an excuse to pack food and beverage.  Nobody does that better than The Biddies!  :-)  ]

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[Tom, are you going to open the wine?]

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[Coming down.]

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[I believe that's called the moon?]

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[The Backlit Biddies!  ;-)  ]

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[Reetz soaking up some vitamin D . . .]

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[And squeezing the last bit of it out of the sun.]

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[The Backlit Supervisor.]

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[The Biddies, contemplating life on the grandest scale.]

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[I think there really is a Macy's.]

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[Snapping the supervisor snapping.]

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[And as the sun sinks slowly in the West . . . ]

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[The supervisor reaches for one last shot . . . ]

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[For who knows when such will happen again?]

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[Going . . . .]

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[Going . . .]

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[Gone!]

Women speak because they wish to speak, whereas a man speaks only when driven to speech by something outside himself – like, for instance, he can’t find any clean socks.  ~  Jean Kerr

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California Dreamin’ (Part IX)

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[January 9, our second day in the desert, awoke that morning and went out onto Beryl and Don's backyard.  They have a view that's not bad!]

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[They have tall palm trees . . . ]

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[Overlooking a golf course . . . ]

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[Don wanders out to make sure my code of conduct is up to community standards . . . ]

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[The backyard is artificial turf - NO MOWING!]

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[The putting green is a nice touch (Beryl, you're going to have to give me strokes!)]

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[Don in his heyday?  Fore!!!!]

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[My shadow's in the lap pool.  Hope it can swim!]

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[Plotting the day's strategy over Beryl's wonderful B&B breakfast.]

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[They may be in Palm Desert now, but their hearts are still at Lake L'Homme Dieu!]

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[And the Twin Cities!]

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[Despite warning lights and chairs blocking the exit, I still stumbled on the step coming out of the sunken living room and almost had a head-on collision with a rather sizeable mirror.]

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[Of course, I was planning to say this was just the sitting room off our bedroom . . .]

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[Which is right here (sweet suite).]

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[We had initially thought a trip to Borrego Springs for lunch, but it's a long trip and we went there on our last visit.  So, Beryl thought a day in Palm Springs would be fun - and we agreed, because we had never really spent any time there before.]

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[So, first we had to get up close and personal with Ms. Monroe.]

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[A woman to whom you only come up to shin level is intimidating.]

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[But I didn't mind.]

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[OK, I'm overplaying my hand here . . .]

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[But . . .]

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[BTW, Beryl, to her everlasting credit, thought I should have stood between Marilyn's legs and looked straight up for a photo op! ;-)  ]

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[Lucy!]

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[Yes, I'm probably getting a little too familiar here.]

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[Beautiful downtown Palm Springs.  Once home to the rich and famous, now a little more avant-garde.]

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[It is a spectacular setting.]

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[The supervisor and Beryl check the theatre billboard . . . ]

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[It's the last year for the Plaza Theatre. All the performers, including on this poster, are our age - including Susan Anton! :-)  ]

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[The barker gave us the hard sell but we just didn't have the time.]

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[Sonny Bono, once mayor here.]

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[At the tourist info center with the mountains in the background.]

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[Lookin' good, ladies! ]

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[The mountains seem to be in the city's backyard.]

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[Heading into Beryl's favorite Palm Springs restaurant for lunch . . .  ]

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[Terrazza!]

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[A driving tour took us here, at the edge of town . . . ]

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[Home to Melvyn's Restaurant . . .]

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[Hidden away a bit from the teeming masses . . .]

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[It's where the famous entertainers escaped for dinner.  We were under surveillance as we drove through.  ;-)  ]

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[Melvyn's flora.]

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[Bob Hope's!]

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[Yup, the real Bob Hope!]

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[OK, had to make sure I got a good shot.]1-9-14-63-1 - Copy [We actually did drive around a bit to find the right angles.]

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[It was time to leave the desert and go back to the beach. ]

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[Adios, Palm Desert.]

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[I have no idea who Roy Wilson is, but I thought I'd make him famous.]

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[Instead of going back on the interstates, we went over the mountains.  Palm Desert in Coachella Valley below.]

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[The road switchbacks all the way up.]

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[If you miss your turn???]

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[Not a good idea to be texting on this highway.]

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[I wanna take you higher . . .  ]

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[Welcome to the surface of Mars.]

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[Where most of these photos were shot in the run, we obviously (based on my shadow) stopped at an overlook here.]

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[The whole of Coachella Valley.]

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[Just about to the top.]

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[Now heading down the mountain on the ocean side, while still arid, wet enough for trees.]

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[Neat, huh?]

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[Hiyo, Silver!]

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[And whatta way to . . . ]

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[End this chapter!]

Old age is having a choice of two temptations and choosing the one that will get you home earlier.

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California Dreamin’ (Parts VII & VIII)

January 6

The Biddies and I were obviously pooped from the previous day’s safari as this was really a low photo day:

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["Our" pontoon was still there in the morning . . . ]

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[The big plan for the day was to go to "my" burger place.]

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[Started by a guy named Nick.  Now run by his three sons, Peter, Perry, and George.  So obviously it was named "Tom's"?]

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[Though a burger joint, Tom's signature sandwich is the pastrami.  So I had to get it.  A really good choice!!  :-)  ]

January 7

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[Road trip day to the desert.  To see some friends from the Minnesota.  If you're away from Minnesotans too long, you stop swallowing your "o's."]

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[Rita wasn't feeling well that day, probably some sort of jungle fever hangover from the safari, so the supervisor and I headed out on "The 15" alone.]

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[While she drove, I took photos of hilltop houses that will eventually come down in a mudslide or earthquake.  I scares me just looking at them!]

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[Ahh, there's a reminder of the ole home state ahead!]

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[Ski-U-Mah!!]

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[We were driving from San Marcos east to Palm Desert.  A rather scenic topographical adventure.  As you will recall regarding the First Amendment, George Carlin once noted you are totally free to yell "TOPOGRAPHY" in a crowded theater.  But if you yell "FIRE," and there isn't one, you will be arrested.]

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[A vista (well, I had to say something).]

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[It's a good thing they don't have to worry about ice and snow here.]

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[We have driven north on "The 15" to Riverside (population 350,000, another huge southern California suburb) and then turned east on 60 to Palm Desert.]

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[Through the mountains to the desert . . . ]

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[And we have arrived in Palm Springs . . . but not with incidents.  We were very late.  A late start to make sure Rita had everything she needed while we were gone.  We came to a dead stop on "The 15" just outside Riverside where we sat on the interstate for 45 minutes while they cleared a semi that had jackknifed and caught on fire (it happened again at almost the identical spot while we were out there?).  And then our Tom-Tom died (our GPS guidance system) - we had no directions and in our rush to leave had forgotten the maps.  We limped into Palm Springs, stopped at an information center, and called our Palm Desert hosts, Beryl and Don Waldeland, for directions.]

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[Oh, and this is Marilyn Monroe . . . ]

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[Shot while driving by - they were having an international film festival in Palm Springs.  We recently heard that Marilyn was dismembered and returned to her "home" in New Brunswick, New Jersey.]

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[Since nothing comes easy, we drove all over Palm Desert and had to call the Waldelands two more times to figure out how to get to their place.  Every road is named for a famous entertainer and we obviously found that confusing . . . "turn left on Bob Hope, right on Dinah Shore . . . "]

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[Nope, not there yet but at least kept running into photo ops!]

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[Well, we eventually made it, and Beryl and Don had the rest of the day all planned out for us.  First, Cabot's Pueblo Museum, in one of the driest and hottest spots in the country, Desert Hot Springs, just a little further into the desert from Palm Desert.]

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[You can read all about it below.]

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[Now you know.]

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[If you take pictures of the signs, you don't have to explain anything.  :-)  ]

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[The requisite photo op at the totem pole - Beryl, Don, and the supervisor.]

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[Don's a big guy if you're looking for perspective.  ;-) ]

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[Two Gals and a Guy!]

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[Now, looking for a place to picnic.]

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[Not a lot of rain here.  Even the dust has dust.]

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[Beryl thoughtfully packed a picnic lunch.  Whatta gal!]

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[In the summer, I hesitate to think what the temperature would be here.  Oy!]

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[I heard they go for your chips and salsa!]

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[Where we are.]

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[We are here.]

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[A retired teacher led us on a tour of the house, built by Cabot all by his lonesome.  An excellent presentation, but no photos were allowed inside.]

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[Quite a place, but a bit claustrophobic inside.]

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[And then it was on to Joshua Tree National Park.  I was glad we did this because the last time we were in the area, we decided we didn't have enough time to do so.]

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[Ladies and gentlemen: The Joshua Tree.]

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[A very unique landscape that I found more fascinating than I thought I would . . . if that makes any sense?]

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[I think I'll just let the photos speak for themselves.  It was getting late in the day, so we didn't have time to stop much so a lot of these shots are out the car window as we're driving.]

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[A climber at the top.]

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[I believe that's Abe Lincoln . . . or Richard Nixon, I forget?]

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[A Henry Moore sculpture?]

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[Oy, the infamous "jumping" cholla cactus.  They'll "attack" you if you try to walk by them.]

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[Though our trip through was rushed, I'm glad we were here at this time of day.  Dawn or dusk provide beautiful lighting for photo ops in the desert.]

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[Love the lighting contrast.]

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[The end of a cowboy movie?]

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[We exited the park toward the Little San Bernardino Mountains, I think?]

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[Don and Beryl display what would have been Rita's room.]

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[Fortunately, we were able to make use of the wine that was left on the bed for her.]

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[That evening we were all invited for dinner at Sara and Jim Sevey's in La Quinta.]

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[Wow, I love that!]

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[Alexandrians in the desert!]

No one can be so welcome a guest that he will not annoy his host after three days. ~   Plautus

The first day a guest; the second, a burden; the third, a pest. ~   Edouard R. Laboulaye

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Catching Up With Music and the Last Throes of Winter

March 27, Matt & Julie Velline at SAWA

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[Julie caught Facebooking the evening's festivities.]

Our Thursday night home away from home!  [p.s. Ruthie woke up this morning and said she feels like she's living Groundhog Day.  Every day a "winter storm warning is in effect."]

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 March 28, Lisa Lynn at SAWA

I’ve been asked by her East Coast fan club to comment on whether Lisa is back in Minnesota to stay.  Dunno, but at least for the short term.  I think, however, she will continue to be California Dreamin’, so in the long term?

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March 30, Anthony Miltich at Carlos Creek Winery

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Over 50 degrees today – first time that’s happened here since 1938! People were sitting outside at winery! Photo of Ruthie at the winery we took for Rita!   We don’t know who the sisters are but they volunteered to pose for the picture when we told them we liked their shirts.  The two women at the end are from the Cities, and we e-mailed them a copy of the photo.

April 5, Anthony Miltich at Carlos Creek Winery

Another afternoon with Anthony Miltich at the winery yesterday. And a chance to show the “state of the ceiling.” The framework is in for the soundproofing panels to be hung to improve the acoustics – and mood lighting with chandeliers! May be ready by next weekend? Anyway, Anthony had the full repertoire there yesterday – the 6-string, the 8-string, and the 12-string guitars. He’s next there May 3, hopefully outside then. Are you listening, Martha Williams?

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April 6, Yardwork Begins

NOW I REMEMBER WHY I LIKE WINTER! I rediscovered how the supervisor got her name! It was sunny, in the 50′s today, most of the snow is gone, that means . . . . arrgggghhhhh, yardwork. She had me out there at the crack of noon cutting off tree limbs (you can hear their screams!) and otherwise picking up winter’s debris around the yard. And she was going around to our each corner evergreen shrubs de-limbing those sunburned to death. Then it was all piled for the eventual conflagration in the burn pit. And if you didn’t read James Lileks in the Strib today, it’s road maintenance season: “Interstate 94 (between St. Cloud and the North Dakota border [i.e., us]): Road will be removed and replaced with something that’s absolutely straight. Single lane for both directions. Expect delays, weeping, fistfights, gunplay.”

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Up next:  Softball Thursday?

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The First Softball Game (That Wasn’t)

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10-12-05-2 - CopyWhat happens when you don’t read the program ahead of time?  Today was supposed to be the first softball game of the year v. Sauk Rapids-Rice.  Nice day, sunny, a tad chilly with a north wind.  But when I arrived at the field at the appointed time, no sign of a game?  Hmmm?  It was then that I noticed the above sign for the first time and I thought . . . they have a ‘kissing’ lot at the elementary school?  (Well, obviously others must have noticed in the now several years the school has been open, so I wondered if I was missing something.  I checked the dictionary when I got home to discover that ‘busses’ is an allowable plural along with what I thought was the solo version, ‘buses’?)  BTW, I checked the Cardinal Connection when I got home to discover the game had been postponed – I thought I had no reason to check because the weather was fine?

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[Then I thought, well maybe they've moved the games to the new high school now?  Nope, but as long as I was there, I hadn't included a construction update in the blog for a while.  So, this is the state of the new school, as of April 8, 2014, scheduled to open next fall.  This is the first time I'd entered the property from the south side road.]

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[Looking through the football "stadium" to the school.]

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[Looking east toward Grand Arbor, the building in the left.  Everything else in the complex - various forms of housing - has been built in the last year.]

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[Lotsa land here.]

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[Puts places like the Big House to shame.  Artificial turf, too.  Those are the visitors stands - so they have to look into the setting sun.  ;-)  ]

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[Home stands side with the press box.]

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[The whole thing.]

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[The school from the football field.]

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[The football field from the school (north) side.]

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[The Little Field on the Prairie]

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[I can see Dave up there now . . . and it's Cardinal ball on their own 45.]

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[The ticket office/concession stand.  I understand they'll feature foie gras on a stick.]

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[Tennis courts]

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[Tennis courts and ball field behind (west side) the school.]

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[The parting shot.]

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California Dreamin’ VI (Part II)

Because this is a Part II, there must have been a Part I (can’t get anything by you guys!).  So, when last we left you, we were surviving the wilds of the African plains in . . . southern California.  Oh, and I forgot to point out in Part I, though you probably already know it, there are only two mammals that cannot jump:  elephants, and – me!

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[Master of His Domain.]

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[The Master says, "Feed me!"]

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[Who you lookin' at?]

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[OK, now we're going to do the ole horizontal ladder trick!]

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[And away we go!]

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[Come to momma.]

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[Red birds, likely not related to cardinals.]    ]

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[Frogs and weeds, frogs and weeds . . .]

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[Parrots strafe the crowd.]

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[That was neat!]

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[Mr. Piggy!  OK, I forgot what his "real" name was, but this guy made several cameo appearances during the bird show.]

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[Exit, stage left.]

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[Another feathered beast.]

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[Unknown variety, and the research seems daunting.]

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[The talking parrot show!  :-)  ]

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[Uh-oh, here comes a bad dude!]

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[Don't be unafraid because of  his relatively mild sounding appellation - secretary bird.]

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[These bad boys stomp their victims (usually snakes) to death.]

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[Run for your lives!]

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[Too late, he's got his eye on me!]

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[I put this in because I don't know why?  See anything?]

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[I think we were waiting for these guys to come flying over the hill.]

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[Obviously some brand of guinea hen?]

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[Raptor!]

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[There's our guy again.  Obviously a camera "hog!"]

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[Artsy shot, I guess?]

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[Bird show's over, what's happenin' at the lagoon?]

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[Reetz out on the trail, looking for more excitement.]

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[Chain-saw eagle]

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[The supervisor doesn't quite measure up to a condor.  But then, she seldom flies.]

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[Trees . . . are they torrey pines?]

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[The Biddies enjoy a vista as we're in search of . . . the condor!]

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[Looks promising ahead.]

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[Ooops, farther away than I thought?]

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[The national symbol.]

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[Raptor, a hawk, I guess.]

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[Owl!]

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[The valley where we trammed.]

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[The coastal sage scrub habitat in this area is unique in the world.]

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[Yup, we don't even have this around beautiful Lake Darling.]

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[A scenic view, so named by me.]

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[We finally made it to condor ridge.  A long slog through the groomed trails and walkways.]

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[The supervisor shoots . . . and scores!  The next three shots are hers!  :-)   ]

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[These condors are being rehabilitated.  I don't know what crimes they perpetrated?]

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[I was here first!]

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[No, I was, carrion breath!]

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[Issues were eventually resolved.]

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[Can I take one home?]

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[Leaving the condors, we pass various ungulates on the way down.]

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[I'd recognize a bighorn sheep anywhere.]

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[Hiding behind their what-passes-for-a-tree.]

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[It's so dry here that if you expectorate you double the normal annual precipitation.]

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[But again, a scenic view.]

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[Everything you ever wanted to know about coastal sage scrub habitat.]

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[Without question, a cactus.]

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[Back to the owls.  Nicely camouflaged.]

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[Guessing a Harris hawk.]

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[The Biddies are excited.  We've found the bonsai garden.]

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[I want one, I want one!]

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[They all have name tags, so I'll let them speak for themselves as we roll along.]

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[At least they can't shed much in the fall.]

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[Neat-o!]

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[So I touched the benches and sat on the trees.]

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[What a nice day!]

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[As the sun began sinking slowly into the ocean . . . ]

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[We began our ambling exit from a long day at the park.]

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[There's the door!]

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[Now where's the main entrance?]

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[Oh, but first we had to see the new lion cubs.]

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[The supervisor elbowed her way past older women and children for this closer-upper shot.]

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[We're getting close - found one of our pigs again.]

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[And back to the big pig with the horn . . . and then we were outta there!  Escondido, vaya con dios!]

Up next:  Rushed to get this out (though still a lot of California left) – the first girls’ softball game is tonight.

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