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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[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

About tomobert63

The Journey Begins Thanks for joining me! This is the follow-up to the original, “,” which overwhelmed the system’s ability to handle it any more. Thus, this is “Part 2.” As the original was initially described: 10-26-07-4 “It all began in a 5,000 watt radio station in Fresno, California” . . . wait a minute, that was Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show! Let’s see . . . oh yeah, it all began in 2003 when retirees, i.e., old people, in Alexandria, Minnesota, who had no desire to become snow birds, went looking for mid-winter entertainment here in the frozen tundra of West Central Minnesota. We discovered girls’ high school hockey, fell in love immediately, and it remains our favorite spectator sport to this day. Initially, and for several years, reports on these games were e-mailed to those who were actually snowbirds but wanted to keep abreast of things “back home.” It was ultimately decided a blog would be more efficient, and it evolved into a personal diary of many things that attracts tens of readers on occasion. It remains a source of personal mental therapy and has yet to elicit any lawsuits. ~ The Editor, May 9, 2014 p.s. The photo border around the blog is the Cardinal girls’ hockey team after just beating Breck for the state championship in 2008. It’s of the all-tournament team. The visible Breck player on the left is Milica McMillen, then an 8th-grader – she is now an All-American for the Gophers. The Roseau player in the stocking cap I believe is Mary Loken, who went on to play for UND; and the Cardinal player on the right, No. 3, is Abby Williams, the player we blame most for making us girls’ hockey fans who went on to play for Bemidji State. *********************************************************************************** Photos contained herein are available for personal use. All you have to do is double click on any of the photos and they will become full screen size. You can then save them into your personal “My Pictures” file. They make lovely parting or hostess gifts, or holiday gifts for such as Uncle Ernie who wants to see how his grand niece is doing on the hockey team. If any are sold for personal profit, however, to, for example, the Audubon Society, National Geographic, Sven’s Home Workshop Monthly, Curling By The Numbers, or the World Wrestling Federation, I only request that you make a donation to the charitable organization of your choice. You have two hours and fifteen minutes. Pencils ready? Begin! **********************************************************************************
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