A Fair Day

Last weekend Honey and I went to the San Diego Del Mar Fair with our friends Boxer and T (for any person that lived in the SD area for any substantial amount of time prior to 2002 it is still the Del Mar Fair).  The theme this year was “Out of This World”, so we saw little alien and space things sprinkled throughout the day.  It has almost been ten years since my trip there and it’s not for lack of convenience, I used to live within walking distance and usually went one to two times a season.  I didn’t go for the usual reasons, lack of time or money, but really it was just not a priority.  For the last couple of yearswe had have tried to make it a priority but we always ended up backing out, it is ironic that we chose this year to go because now we don’t have the “free parking” at my parent’s place since they moved.  Boxer was kind enough to pick up our tickets at Costco (great deal) and I offered to drive.  From living in the area I know how bad the Fair traffic gets. Cars backed up for over a mile on the 5 in each direction, people never liking the lane that they are in and having to deal with parking in a dirt lot where you know the riled up teenagers will probably attempt donuts in the evening hours.  Damn, I am getting old.

So we arrived at what we thought was 15 minutes before opening, the sky was dark and overcast a perfect “June Gloom” day.  I braced myself mentally when we exited onto Via De La Villa, my foot ready to switch the brake and a milliseconds notice, but what was this?  We sailed through each intersection and into the paved parking lot, we could even see the entrance from our parking space!  We got in line (which was only about 30 people deep) and waited for the gates to open.  Turns out someone (I’m not saying who-and no it was not me) read the opening time wrong and we still had an hour to go.  To be honest I didn’t mind, we stood there talked, we got through security in less than five minutes, and we were some of the first people to go in.

I have never seen the fair so empty! Not even on a weekday.  This continued throughout the day, there were people of course but not the usual sea of people that are usually around on the first Saturday.  For you San Diegans I’ll put it this way, the line for the Ferris Wheel was six people deep at sunset. The morning marine layer faded and gave us a sunny but cool day.  In the past I have primarily gone to Fair for the rides and funnel cake, this year I was with a new crowd and they showed me all the other parts of the fair.  We began at the Botanical exhibit which seemed smaller to all of us (I thought it was just because I was taller). It has changed a lot because of the the increasing trend of water tolerant gardens, but we still got some fun ideas. Then off to the animal section so Honey could see the farm animals.  It also seemed a lot smaller than normal, though we did see llamas, pigs, sheep, cows, a couple of chickens, goats, and more importantly baby goats (so friggin’ cute, and I got to pet one!).  He has at times brought up in all seriousness his desire for having chickens as pets and I think he was hoping that if I saw some nice show chickens I would be more on board with the idea, but we had come on the pigeon week instead of the chicken week.  So we saw some unusual looking pigeons o_O

Baby Goat, sooo cute!

Then off to the dog show, where Boxer and T stayed for several hours but we wandered and ate.  Yes I will admit I had some junk food there.  Every year the Fair tries to outdo itself by finding something new to deep fry, this year I think it was a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich; and while I did have some friend things (3 mozzarella sticks and half of a  funnel cake),  I did not partake of the deep fried stick of butter and or the deep fried Kool Aid. Gross! The other big item was Red Velvet Funnel Cake, which Boxer picked up.  Here’s a tip: it tastes like funnel cake with red dye, they also spooge a big dollop of cream cheese on the top without letting you know.  Not cream cheese frosting, just cream cheese.

I also went on a few rides in the “Fun Zone”, Honey watched patiently from the ground (and even held my purse the sweetie) but he would not go on the rides.  To me this seems unthinkable, how can you go to a Fair and not go on the rides? But when we arrived to the “Fun Zone” I had difficulty finding my favorite rides.  I was sure I was out of practice because everything looked a little (dare I date myself) Xtreme!  Not only would these rides loop you around, it would spin you upside down from 50′ up.  Now I’m no wimp, every year I tried to go on something new that scared me, but this year everything scared me.  I wanted to go on the swing ride, the one that spins you around and gradually gets taller.  I saw one and it had the passengers really high up- like rivaling the Ferris Wheel tall.  I’m old, I know.  I eventually saw the swing ride that I remembered enjoying a few years back.  I walked up with my tickets until I saw a sign that made me make  a beeline back to Honey,  it had came from Neverland Ranch. No thanks, kinda creepy.  Eventually I went on a few rides that got my heart going, not the really tall ones but things that had names like G Force.  Of course I realized it was not the actual rides that were frightening me, it was the creaks and jolts that the ride was making.  I was so scared I was going to fall to my death in some freak amusement ride accident but I kept on going until I ran out of tickets, no way am I too old for the “Fun Zone”.  Honey watched (and probably prayed) from the ground, he also declined to go on Ferris Wheel with me so I went with Boxer.  His girlfriend T didn’t want to go either, so we took pictures of each other crying because we each were “abandoned by our other” and then we text messaged it down to Honey and T.  I would post the picture of Boxer, but taken out of context it looks awful.

They did miss out on this view

Though the fair has changed for us, we stil had a great time and a lot of uncontrollable laughter. It was a sort of a mark of time for me.  I went there as a teenager and young adult, I would have never thought to look at any of the exhibits or go and see farm animals, but I am really happy I went with people that showed me more of something I thought I knew.  Here is my favorite picture of the day, it was accidental, I was just trying to get a picture of the ferris wheel and I got this.  I am calling it A Walk in the Fun Zone.

P.S.  If you want some entertainment go into the Home and Hobby exhibit and see the freakish things people collect.

Surf’s Up in San Diego

For the last couple of days the waves in San Diego have been in the 15′-20′ range, usually  they are around 4 feet range.  So I was a “bad” little Housewife yesterday and went on a little field trip to La Jolla Cove and snapped a few photos.  I hope you enjoy them.

First time with the Fancy Camera

Over the weekend we went to the Zoo.  It was a beautiful day and most schools had let out the week before, so as you can imagine it was a zoo (haha).  Honey let me borrow his fancy camera, something I have been hesitant to try the last few months.  I have this thing with electronics and gismos that don’t belong to me, I am scared they are going to spontaneously burst in my hand.  After the incident with Mr. Big’s motor on his boat and a large printer zapping a coworker, how can you blame me?  But several days later and Honey’s camera seems to be doing fine.

We were only there for four hours (the benefit of having a membership-you don’t have to fit it all in on one day) but I took around two hundred photos.  Though it was very crowded we got to see some animals we don’t usually get to see, like the fishing cat (that looks about the same size as Bailey), a cheetah , a tiger (they are usually napping), an awake bear cat (doing monkey behavior), a baby giraffe, and grooming lemurs.

The section with the cheetahs was particularly interesting.  The cheetah is relatively tame, they brought her up with a puppy to keep her calm so she can be exhibited in the Zoo’s backstage pass program.  She came up right to the netting of her exhibit and became very interested in any stroller that came along.  It is a cat thing; the lions, jaguar, and mountain lions do the same thing.  Stroller=incredibly interesting and provoker of hunting behavior.  You can almost see them thinking Ah, what tasty morsel have you brought for me today?

The baby giraffe was also quite entertaining.  I came up with this whole personality for him because it looked like he had  mohawk.  We watched him model for all of us tourists with shiny, clicky things, and saw his mom (we assume) give him a little nudge of affection.  It was kind of cute, he watched us  walk away.  I must make it a point to visit him each time we go (usually about once a month) and watch him grow.

When we got home Honey got my computer all set up to edit the RAW photos, as you can imagine I did that for the rest of the night.

Back in my day…

Today I went to the library, it has been about twelve years since I went to a public library.  Like everything else it has become very modern.  The building was new, the shelves were new, the books all looked fairly new, there were new sections of audio books and a teen section.  The books don’t have that libary smell, in fact the library’s smell reminds me of a hospital, but you get use to it after a few minutes.

I got my library card, now they give you an actual card and one to put on your keychain.  When I had made my selections I walked back to the counter and handed the books to woman who had helped me earlier.  She smiled at me sweetly, took the books and walked over to another desk with two computers on it.  The sign read: Express Checkout.  When I saw it when I came in I thought it was some kind of self check out option, like Albertson’s has, since it was my first time checking out a book since President Clinton was in office I thought I should use the person option.  Apparently that is not an option.  Now I just scan my library card and wait for my receipt, I don’t even have to scan the books because it has some remote feature. Weird.

To be honest I am a little disappointed they don’t stamp that little card on the inside flap.

Now back in my day …..

No more glares from the Librarian through her bifocals, as she violently slams the due date mark, making it known that the date is stamped there for all eternity (well, until the card is full), instilling in you that you are responsible  for it, she is making a mental note because she doesn’t like the look of ya.  Birdie pointed out the sense of history that comes from that card, knowing when last that book was enjoyed.  Knowing if you tastes match those of your townspeople, or reaffirming your core belief that  you really are a freak.  Now it’s all stored digitally, only accessible to Librarians (that wear contacts now).

On the plus side though, free reusable bag if you sign up for the summer reading club=)

Car Show, Visit 1

Before the antics of the “Bucking Bailey” we went down to the local old car show that goes on during the summer.  There were so many beautifully restored cars, they definently don’t make cars with the artistic eye they use to.

Sand

On Friday I went towards the coast and got my hair cut at my old stomping grounds, I got about five inches taken off so now my hair stops right at my chin, perfect for the summer. When we headed off to the Zoo yesterday I had to remind myself to put sunblock on the back of my neck because now it’s exposed.  But getting past my hair (which truly, I could devote a whole blog entry to) I had a rare opportunity to lolly-gag around the beach Friday afternoon.  When I drive that far I try to fit in as many social visits as possible, so I had lunch with John, got my hair cut, and then had coffee with The Ladies.  Between the haircut and coffee I had two hours to kill.  I did’t feel like calling up my parents and almost everyone I knew was working so I went to the beaches that I spent countless hours at as a child.

There has been a few changes to the shores of one the beaches since I was knocked around in its waves 20 years ago.  First off they removed the obstacle of rocks that separated the sandy beach form the water.  In the picture you can see light soft sand right past the black top roads, this is where the moms would set up their watch posts when I was a kid.  Armed with a large towel for them to bask upon, a straw beach bag of towels-for the soon to be freezing children, a book (hopefully not of the romance novel nature), a cooler with Sunkist drinks-that always were warm by the time you drank them, cut up oranges that burned your sand shredded skin, and of course a sticky bottle of sunblock.  From this location they would watch their children be beat up by nature’s strictest baby-sitter (and loving ever minute of it).  Right after this haven of hot sand there was a 10-15′ wide belt of gray “smooth” rocks that extended through the shore of the beach, so there was no walking around it you had cross.  It was like a payment in pain you had to pay the ocean gods to induldge in their waves.  Though the rocks were smooth, my small kid feet would always slide in the crevices between them.  No matter how carefully and deliberately you placed your feet, the rocks would either part from your step temporarily and come crashing back, engulfing your foot;  or you would step, slightly loose your balance, your ankle would turn, and the side of your foot would dive into the sand laced rocks emerging with red thread-sized lines of blood across the sides of your feet.  These small cuts made the first moments of walking in the ocean water particularly intense.  But  I loved it, I would stay out in the water for hours because there in the water, I felt best-I never wanted to leave.

Now it is a piece of cake to get the water, no payments of pain required, no sizzling rocks to walk across.  Just soft sand (which I heard was brought in from Arizona) and water.  On Friday I walked down to the shore took pictures, stood in the tide, and let my white skirt get caked with sand.  I didn’t care, sand is forgiving and lets go after a little while.  I use to find sand everywhere when I was a kid, in my bed, in my clothes, in my dresser, and in Barbie’s hair (who never went to the beach, oddly enough). The tide came in and out, sometimes drenching my skirt and sometimes only tickling my toes.  I’m sure the locals thought I was nuts hanging out in the water with a long white skirt-oh well, fuck ’em. 🙂

After a short while I thought it was the time to go, so walked up the hill that now, even in adulthood seems steep.  Imagine walking up this hill after three hours of being thrown around in the ocean.  You’re cold, your skin stinging from the sand rips that met with the immediate greeting from the ocean water, boogie board drapped over your shoulder, clinging to a towel that keeps on falling of your straight hips, and flip flops sliding off your damp feet and down the walkway.  No wonder I never wanted to get out of the water, I was greeted with how mean the land world could be as soon as I exited.

When I got back to my car I realized only about twenty minutes had passed, so I went to the other beach of my late childhood, about 15 minutes south of where I was.  I say it is the beach of my late childhood because this is where I went in high school.  The beach that I laid on getting tans with girlfriends, the one I ran on for Water Polo practice, the one boys use to take me to so they could kiss me, you know-that one.  I sat and read my book for a while watching the locals walk pass, I forget how different the lingo is out there.  There is nothing like seeing a business-looking guy say “Dude-yeah!” into his iPhone with a surfboard under his arm.

I sat on the beach and read, popping up my head every so often to look at the ocean or get lost in thought or memories.  But this beach had not changed, the shore was still the same place, there was a good ratio of rock to sand placement.  It was comforting and I decided I will go to the beach this summer, I might be wearing a million layers, but I will go.  Since high school I have been in the ocean swimming, a total of two times.  I’m not quite sure what keeps me away, I use to be a fish.  Ocean, pool, hot tub-if it was on the schedule you could expect me to be in the water from the moment we arrived and be the last one out.  I have walked on the beach quite a few times, played in the surf with John but I haven’t been submerged in the water since the days of hanging out with Mr. Big.  I use to say it was the years of Marine Biology that ruined it for me, but I still swam in pools.  Now I don’t even swim in pools.  Swimming use to be my thing, I wasn’t very good at it, but I loved it and want to try it again.  I also don’t go to the beach much considering how close we live to it, but I think it about so much and imagine it so much it feels like I am there all the time.  Once a fish, always a fish?

Right now my car has sand sprinkled around its interior, it is so familiar that it almost seems wrong to vacuum it up.  I will though, but maybe not until later next week. 😉

Slight Summary

A late spring storm has blown into Southern California.  I say that it is late Spring because here summer really begins around mid-May, but since it’s cool right now it doesn’t seem right to call it summer.  It is wonderful outside, I wish I could bottle the smell and take whiffs around late August.  You probably have to live in the southwest to enjoy rain as much we do.  It is so rare compared to the rest of the country we love to revel in it.  Though who knows, maybe if I did move to somewhere with rain and cold weather on a more regular basis I would long for my Southern California heat waves.  My walk was postponed today due to rain and I am going to put together a crock pot meal for dinner, can’t really do yardwork, the house is relatively clean (there is always something to do or scrub), so I am sort-of left to my own devices today.  Which hopefully means lots of writing.  I decided to change the narrative on the book, I think I will be able to paint a better atmosphere if “I” is omitted as much as possible.

Over the weekend Honey and I laid low on Saturday and went to an “Art” Street Fair on Sunday.  I was hoping it would be a lot of painting and various other crafts, but a substantial amount of the booths were just the usual street fair garbage (cheap sunglasses, scary mass produced sweaters, etc.).  But the ultimate WTF was the beer garden (at least to me).  The fair was set up through a main street that had lots of restaurants and bars; plenty for people to experience, but the organizers set up a beer garden that cost $30 a person to participate in, then once you pay for it and get your beer you are trapped in there.  What is the point of going to a Street Fair at that point?  If I am going to spend $30 for beer a person I would go to BevMo and get various 22 oz craft beers to share with friends at home.  I want to walk around and be present at public events, not hide in a gated off area with security guards looming over, getting shitfaced off of foamy beer- call me crazy. 😉  We left about half way through to go get some art supplies (a few booths were inspiring), I think the drunks were just beginning to surface when we left.

We also got to run around the fair with a couple of friends, one being Red.  I am going to miss her when she goes back to her home land of Canada in a few months.  Who will I force to try on dresses when we shop?