On Sunday the wife and I put the bikeracks on the car and drove to Coronado. From there we rode on the Silver Strand bike trail. About 25 miles (there and back) of the bay on one side and the ocean on the other. We rode along sidethe Coronado golf course and then headed down the bike path of the narrow length of land that attaches Coronado to Imperial Beach. We saw the SEAL training grounds (one lone guy humping a big pack across the dunes) and the Navy antenna that featured prominently as a background shot for John from Cincinatti. Silver Strand beach looks very nice, we may have to try it out some time.
The ocean breeze on the way out turned out to be a headwind on the way back so I was huffing pretty bad by the end of it. We wrapped up with a lunch by the ferry dock. Fun day out and about in SD
It’s been over three years since I’ve moved to San Diego. This morning was the first time I’ve ever surfed.
Oh, I’d like to say it was easy and fun and I’m a natural but the reality of it is much more mundane. Think about a slightly rounded slab of foam and fiberglass as wide as your shoulders and as tall as you are. Now lie down flat on it. Now put the whole thing in water and don’t tip over.
Most of my first time out was just finding my balance. I could blame it on the time (7 am on a Saturday) but mainly it was because I’m out of shape and a total newbie. So once you’re on the board then you have to move. This involves pulling yourself by your hands through the water (quaintly known as “paddling”). This will involve muscles you haven’t used before in your life.
Then there’s the whole art of catching a wave. I understand why there’s a whole language to waves (much like eskimos and snow) considering the variety. I am proud to say I was pushed towards shore by something other than my own paddling so I guess you could say I surfed.
But there was a real surfer out there this morning. He was thin but healthy. Looking like Sam Elliot in Road House with his hair down. He barely touched the water the whole time. He’d calmly kneel on his board (so that’s front to back balance not just side to side) dipping his long arms into the water to effortlessly paddle out. He’d catch every wave he wanted to walking back and forth on his board while shooting down the beach. As the momentum slowed he’d kneel back down and start the cycle over again.
I’ve got a way’s to go before I reach the Sam-Elliot-Zen mastery of surfing, but the morning was beautiful, the water was warm(ish) and I’ll be back to try again soon. Next time I might even catch a wave.
For those of you who’ve been wondering at what point the strange califronia lifestyle will start to corrupt our hardy midwestern roots, the event horizon may be in sight.
Sunday morning bright and early Paul zipped himself into a full body wet suit and headed off with friend Scott to have his first surfing lesson. Alas, the weather did not cooporate and the waves were deemed unsuitable for a beginner. The rest of the day was spent playing rock band instead so the day was not a total loss.
Sunday will be “take two” and I think I might go along to see what all the fuss is about. First, I am inspired by my husband bravely stepping out to try something new and since everyone around here seems to think it’s the greatest thing in life to go surfing, I guess we can’t knock it until we try it.
Things are getting back to normal here in San Diego. At least as normal as can be when over 1,000 families have lost their homes. I’ve been back at work since Wednesday. Amy’s work was in the path of the smoke for a few days of the Witch Creek fire, so she’s working from home until the cleaning crew gets the office a little less grimy. Joe hasn’t worked all week since the hotel his current job is at has been renting out even half-finished rooms to refugees. I guess the only consolation is demand for residential construction in the county will improve due to rebuilding efforts.
The fires are still going, but the air here is cool and moist from the ocean breeze. They’re getting fires under control but still threaten rural areas. One political comment: the fires started in rural areas and affected them the most. SD (being a military town) is more “red” than “blue” to begin with but there’s some real Republican hardcore in those areas like Ramona and the city areas threatened were pretty affluent (a lot of local sports and celebrities homes were lost or threatened). It’s sad to think that some people lump all who live in CA as one kind of person, but as we’ve seen from the aftermath of Katrina there’s a lot of people who will take any attention-getting event to further their agendas and cause no matter how tenuous the link.
Thanks everyone for the kind thoughts and well wishes. The firestorm was pretty different compared to the storm seasons I know growing up in the Midwest. I guess I have to move out to the Gulf Coast now to survive a hurricane to complete the weather trifecta.
There’s still a lot of dangerous fires out there, but the wind is transitioning to come from the ocean and the Santa Ana is weakening. Now the fire crews should start to be able to contain fires instead of getting out of their way. The air quality at home and work isn’t bad, but everything is covered with a fine grit that I’m sure will get annoying in the weeks to come. We’re all okay and getting back to work and back to some normal life activities.
Doesn’t look like the wind will be dying down anytime soon. They’re now evacuating people all the way down to the coast. Here’s a link to a Google Map that shows the evac areas and places of note. We’re a little to the south and west of Mirimar Marine base. There’s no danger of any fires getting to us.
[UPDATE]: Another fire/snow day. Everyone is home and they’re asking people to stay off the roads and cell phones. It looks like the winds may be shifting which makes things more unpredictable, but we’re still in no danger. The air is a little worse than yesterday, but not bad. A friend got evaced last night so him and his 1 year old daughter spent the night. Her mom is flying back from the east coast today but in the mean time Roe has made a new friend.
Just a head’s up for friends and family outside of CA. We’re not really in the path of the San Diego wild fires, but there’s plenty of friends and co-workers that are being asked to evacuate. We’ve smelled smoke since last night around dinner. I guess as the sun comes up we’ll see where things are at and if the wind shifts. If anything happens I’ll try to post it here.
[UPDATE]: Got word that all personnel in my department should stay home unless needed. Amy’s work is covered in grime and they’re evacuating all the horses to the Del Mar fairgrounds next to there so she’s coming home. I guess this would be the opposite of a snow day?
[UPDATE 2]: Fires still raging out of control. The firefighters are basically staying out the way of the walls of flame and just cleaning up after it and containing any spread at the edges. The wind has shifted to almost straight west so the smell is gone and the air is clear here at our home. We’re fine, we won’t evacuate unless some other fire starts up.
While looking up some local directions in Google Maps I noticed that all of downtown San Diego and most of the major streets have been Street Viewed. I was even more surprised that our house has been catalogued by the omni-present eye of Google. So if you know our address, try it out.
Based on that construction sign on the edge of our wall I’d say that the photo was taken quite a few months ago, maybe even before we moved in. Fortunately our privacy is intact considering the amount of wall and foliage between the house and the street.
Still it’s an interesting thing to know that a picture of our front gate is right there on Google for all to see. Now none of our friends can use the excuse of “we can’t find your house.” That goes for the out-of-towners as well.
It’s nice to be back on the West Side (a.k.a. da best side). KC was fun, I got a reminder that winter still exists, but home is where your family is so I’m back home. Thanks to certain friends for coming out and having dinner with me. It was a nice break from the surreal experience of coming back to your previous company as a client.
In southern California folks are obsessed with how great the climate is. Upon finding out I’ve moved, I am harassed by natives who want me to confirm that this is the best place to live. There’s something obsessive about their persistent questioning that boarders on neurotic. I’ve been frightened on more than one occasion where I felt anything less than an overly enthusiastic “yes” would result in injury. It is as though if I disagree, I am disparaging all who live here.
Don’t get me wrong, it is a great place to live. But I always feel I disappoint them with my answer that I am enjoying it as much as all the great places I have lived. I think life is about more than great weather. In the 10 towns and 4 states I’ve lived in, I’d found wonderful people and places that I cherish still. There’s always the great local diner or bakery or ski hill or beach that become part of your daily life. Moving means finding new favorite haunts and replacing the favorite cup of coffee and best place to get your dry-cleaning done. But more than anything when it is time to move on, moving is about meeting new people while missing the friends from “home”. I find missing the people the worst after having seen them so recently. Having company from Kansas with Paul’s family first and then Lydia from Lawrence, I am reminded of what wonderful people are no longer a short car ride away. Thank goodness for the internet and airplanes and friends who remain friends even with miles in between.