17.01.2011 - 23.01.2011 25 °C
A week of creatures...water, land, air, and surf
My week in Oceanside CA was relaxing, educational and sometimes lonely. The first couple of days I simply embraced the ocean, the sun and all its beauty. Oh, how I love the ocean, the sun, sand and trees.....I can’t get enough of any of them..
I hadn’t realized I had never seen a surfer other than on TV until I spent an afternoon watching them. They are amazing and it was so cool to watch and see the process.... After a late brunch at Ruby’s Cafe on the pier I stopped to observe two young boys, about 14 or 15 surf. Again I wish I could upload video to share it with you......they are so talented...not to mention strong, athletically coordinated and SUICIDAL!!! (lol)....It appears that they know exactly the type of wave and the time it takes for the wave to reach them before deciding on which one they will surf. Once they choose, they paddle atop the board toward the wave and then just at the right moment (I had no idea when that was) they would turn the board around , facing the beach. The wave would lift the board as it reached its peak, at which time the surfer would quickly, but steadily stand upright. OMG!!! And then, it appeared he rode the crest....swerving in and out like a slalom downhill skier along the top of the wave until it neared the beach and dwindle....Then, over and over again, the surfer would turn the board out to sea and begin to paddle.... My first thought was “Oh, look, seals surfing!” (That’s what they looked like while bobbing in and out of the water waiting for that next “great” wave....) My next thought was “Isn’t it interesting how our land of origin largely determines our interests, direction etc.”..What I mean is that being born and raised in Saskatchewan Canada I had no opportunity to learn this fantastic, exciting sport....let alone know it existed.....just a thought.
Although difficult to break away from lazing on the beach and watching surfers (their great talent of course, not their bods...) I thought I might regret coming all this way and not checking out the tourists sites such as Sea World, San Diego Zoo etc.. I was wrong about that, but nonetheless glad I checked them out.
Sea World was a major disappointment. Unless you are under 12 or a parent with a child under 12 there is no reason to see Sea World. It would be much cheaper and just as exciting to buy yourself an aquarium and set it in the middle of your living room. If you truly want to experience the essence of Sea World, then you might want to purchase some, no not some, many stuffed water animals and toss them around the aquarium. Sorry San Diego but that’s how I feel.
I did take some pics though. I have to apologize for my pics. I am using my Iphone camera as my other one is missing the usb adapter to upload to computer. I have taken a lot of film with my FLIP camcorder, but am unable to upload on this site....so basically I have taken some snapshots from the video...
After a couple of hours of Sea World I had had enough and decided it was time for San Diego Zoo.... Much to my delight, I didn’t get to the Zoo but I did find the nation’s largest urban cultural park, Balboa Park!!! What a jewel....I hadn’t read about this place...A world of museums, performing arts venues, gardens and the zoo...another place I call heaven...Spanish Arts Village. This was a small circular village, paved with colored painted tiles where 40 locals artists had spanish like roofed studios. It was so cool, not to mention the art work! Amazing talents! (Needless to say I wasn’t able to photograph the works)
Every other day I would tear myself away from the beaches and site see. One day I did get to San Diego Zoo and although 100% better than Sea World I prefer Calgary’s Zoo. Calgary can be proud!
More than the zoo of animals I was more fascinated by the zoo of people. I loved hearing the sounds of children’s laughter and the multitude of languages. Truly a multcultural experience on a Saturday afternoon.
I hate to say it but I found the people in Southern California, although polite not noticably friendly. (This is in no way relative to the sentence above). I attempted to spark up a conversation with several only to have them look at me as if I was from some other planet.....oh well....I must say though that being alone for a week or so really helps to get to know ones self. I confirmed that I don’t particularily like crowded places, large cities, interstate highways or the absence of tea!! ( I actually had more meaningful insights than that but I will leave that for another day)
Today is January 23...Sunday I think? I am really losing complete track of month, day and time...I’m not even sure what year it is? Right, 2011. So last night, feeling quite lonely I decided that one easy way to meet people would be to get on Plenty of Fish and put in my profile that I was from wherever I happened to be at the time. Within minutes I was emailed by a guy inviting me to attend his gig (playing blues guitar and harmonica in a steakhouse) in Hemet CA, about an hour away from Oceanside. I agreed since it was on my way to LA. So this morning I checked out of my room and headed toward, Hemet....It wasn’t far away at all and was very interesting to see the different landscape. Much less populated, green and lush. I suspect it looks a bit like Mexico...well how Mexico looks in my mind...barren, brown but warm. ..
I got to Hemet around 2:00 pm and called my new friend, Kevin. I couldn’t believe it! He said, “oh yeah, sorry, turns out I won’t be playing tonight...too much going on.” I was a little disappointed but quickly thought “oh well, this is what being spontaneous is all about I guess...I must be here in Hemet for some reason?”.....We chatted a little and then he asked if I wanted to go “Falconing” with him and his 17 year old son Everett. (Interesting, I thought so much was going on?)Regardless I said “Why not?” Within a couple of hours I was driving out to the hills to meet a man and a boy driving a red Nissan with camper trailer. It wasn’t difficult to identify each other on sight as I was the only one in the parking lot in a blue Toyota with Alberta plates. They both got out of the truck to greet me with hand shakes and “So, are ready for this?”...
I said, “sure”....hmmmmmm
It really is unfortunate I can’t upload video to this site because it was something to witness. For those of you who don’t know what “Falconing” is, it is....never mind....”google it”...that’s what I did. At first I thought I would be rather offended as I am not into hunting, guns or killing animals for sport. But I soon learned that there were no guns involved. Phew....There is killing though, but fortunately I didn’t witness it. Who does the killing? The Hawk, or Falcon...in this case it was a Hawk. A beautiful bird but not really as large as I would have thought. The Falconer, in this case, Kevin had the hawk perched proudly on his right shoulder. His son Everett would run ahead “flushing”, which I guess meant shaking the bushes to scare the shit out of the “cotton tail” bunnies....AWE....It seems “Meridith”, the hawk, had tastebuds preferring the cotton tail to the jackrabbit...(lucky for the jack rabbit)....The second a cotton tail darted from the bushes, Meridith would sprint in flight, diving to catch her prey....It was really amazing to watch...I was surprised to find me betting on the hawk....even cheering her on...but was glad that she never got lucky this day....
OK I know this is gross..I didn't realize at the point I was laughing that it was the head of a dead rabbit I was holding...AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH....
You really need to be fit to partake in this sport with the enthusiasm it requires....Running and trying to keep up to a hawk moving faster than a speeding bullet is no small feat...not to mention all uphill covered with boulders, shrubs, rocks and garbage.(Why do we do this you ask?...so that we can see the bird capture it’s prey....of course?) Personally I was quite content filming the landscape and bird in flight....
Anyway, we spent a couple of hours “falconing” and I figure if nothing else I at least got some exercise, learned about a new sport and saw some great landscape. I certainly appreciated the generosity of two great guys for being so gracious and taking me along....
Thank you Kevin and Everitt, however, I think I’ll stick to “mentathaloning”...hehe.....
This was Everett posed for the hawk to come and perch on his shoulder.....the sunset was something and I liked the silhouette.
So, I am back at my motel planning for the next few days in Los Angeles....keep posted!
PS: I actually forgot the name of the hawk..shame on me...It was something like "meridith?" (Sorry guys)