California Here We Come!

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While in Indiana, Grandpa Ed and I, Grandpa Tom, would go on walks together to places such as Potter’s Bridge, above.  Among the things we discussed on these walks was our pride in our grandson.  And the reason for that pride would be his parents.  His parents are such that they would Christmas gift to Grandpa Tom, A Curmudgeon’s Garden of Love.  For in my agedness I take great pride in my curmudgeoness.  I expect to quote often from this tome.  Curmudgeon, as noted in the book, once meant a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man.  Well, I have my moments.  But the modern meaning is anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner.  I can only hope.

Because this started mainly as a sports blog, I think it appropriate that I begin with Lewis Grizzard’s response, from the book, regarding the main difference between men and women:

Women have absolutely no idea, no ‘comprehension,’ of the infield fly rule.  The infield fly rule is one of the reasons that the planet keeps turning.  If you didn’t have the infield fly rule and you hit a pop-up, the runners on first and second wouldn’t know whether to run or not, and the infielder could screw around and not catch it on purpose . . . it would be chaos!  When I try tot explain the infield fly rule to women, they look up at me and say, ‘The what?’

I will admit that here in hockeyland, women seem to catch on pretty fast about icing.  But let us begin . . .

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[Regarding the covered bridge above.]

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[The White River – this is the river responsible for the great flood of 1913 in Indianapolis.  And it has also flooded in this area shortly before we arrived in Indiana.]

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[A sycamore tree – so famous in Indiana that it is the nickname for Indiana State University (as the supervisor says, “they are the Fighting Trees”!).

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[Grandpa Ed signals a howdy-do!]

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[As does Grandpa Tom.]

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[Evidence of the recent flood on the walking trail.]

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[If the river is at its normal level here, you can see the flood must have raised the river at least 20 feet based on the debris level on the trees and bushes.]

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[The bench was totally under water.]

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[A big ole tree.]

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[Next stop – Las Vegas.  I know, it happens like magic sometimes, doesn’t it?]

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[This was New Year’s Eve Eve.  We flew from Indianapolis to San Diego, with a stop and change of planes, in Vegas.  We wanted to be in San Diego for Rita’s birthday on New Year’s Eve and the supervisor’s birthday on New Year’s Day.]

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[It had been at least 30 years since my last visit to Vegas.  It is a great place to fly into though because of the natural wonders within a relatively small circumference of the city.]

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[Looks a lot different from the last time I was here.]

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[As we flew away . . .]

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[I tried to see if I recognized anything?]

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[The last time I was here, Caesar’s Palace was at the end of “the strip.”  It’s probably lost among the skyscrapers now.]

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[Doesn’t take long to hit “the surrounding wilderness.”]

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[Miles from nowhere . . .]

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[Ooops, the ‘burbs are spreading out here.  What they’re going to do for water, I have no idea?]

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[Interstate 15.  I forgot my “cub reporter hat” on the flight from Indy to Vegas.  Would have got some great shots of the snow-capped Rockies.]

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[If you had a car breakdown out here, the vultures would begin circling immediately!]

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[That looks like a dry lake in the distance – there are several of them in SE California.]

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[I was thinking it looked like we were coming upon Area 51 in New Mexico?]

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[Whatever these were, the were rotating and incredibly bright.  A communication system with the moon?  An NSA site?  The supervisor, with her Air Force career background, told me she know what it was but if she told me . . . well, you know!  😉  ]

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[Another dry lake bed?]

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[Interstate 40 – on the moon?  How did we know?  The supervisor was tracking our flight on her tablet.  A month later, however, I may be guessing wrong?]

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[Twentynine Palms (and not much of anything else!)]

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[State Highway 62, on the north side of Joshua Tree National Park.]

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[Joshua Tree National Park on the left.]

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[Our first glimpse of the Salton Sea.]

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[See the plane?]

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[More the Salton Sea.  We visited the two small towns on the Sea’s NW coast about 4 years ago. ]

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[A closer-upper view of the small towns.]

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[We say good-by, for now, to the Salton Sea.  On the return trip, we get to see the whole thing!  🙂  ]

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[Borrego Springs, another place we visited on our previous trip.  We had hoped to return – buy hey, there are only 24 hours in a day.]

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[A Borrego Springs, addition?]

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[All of Borrego Springs.]

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[Leaving Borrego Springs.  Why interest here?  It’s totally isolated from anyplace else . . . and it was kind of a neat little town.]

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[An inkling we’re finally leaving the desert.  Looks like green stuff on the left!]

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[Outliers of San Diego.]

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[The Gompers?  Only Basketball Dan would know for sure.]

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[San Diego]

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[San Diego.  Our only time spent downtown was this, driving away from the airport.]

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[Arriving at De-niece’s and De-nephew’s in San Diego .  The supervisor was delighted to see the progress their front yard garden had made since our last visit.

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[Nephew Chris and sister-in-law Rita at the entry to the front yard patio.]

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[A nice par-tay area.]

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[A half hour driving later, we (The Biddies and I) arrived at Rita’s rental house in San Marcos.]

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[The supervisor looks out onto Lake San Marcos from out guest bedroom.  We’ll take it!]

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[The kitchen table, where we spent most of our in-house time.  It doubled as my office for processing the daily photos.  And I could keep an eye on the hummingbirds from here.]

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[The TV/napping room, where I seldom had control of the remote.]

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[When it’s 75 degrees everyday, this is where The Biddies spent the bulk of their at-home time – catching rays.  I’m of the opinion the sun makes you wrinkly.]

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[“Our” lake and, yes, “our” pontoon.]

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[“Our” house]

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[“Our” hot tub]

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[“Our” view]

Let the adventure begin!

Up next:  The adventure.

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