A Travellerspoint blog

Creatures...water, land, air and surf

Southern California

sunny 25 °C
View Travel Border USA on ManicGypsy's travel map.

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..
Oceanside Beach

Oceanside Beach


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...
Sea World

Sea World


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! San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo


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. ..HEMET

HEMET


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....
Me and the Hawk eating head of dead rabbit

Me and the Hawk eating head of dead rabbit

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....
VID01002

VID01002

]
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.....
VID00999

VID00999


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)

Posted by ManicGypsy 21:53 Archived in USA Comments (6)

I'm picking up Good Vibrations...

Like Forrest Gump, I just wanted to keep walking...


View Travel Border USA on ManicGypsy's travel map.

Santa Barbara! Beautiful city....

Drive to Oceanside included driving through Malibou Beach and a zillion others....all gorgeous...
Reached Oceanside around 3:00 pm a couple of days ago...Wasn't too crazy about it at first but after today I am feeling differently.
I can't believe I am actually here! Woke up this morning to 75 F so started my day sitting poolside (alone), sipping my tea. Suntanned for a couple of hours then broke for lunch. I-Hops? Do we have these in Canada? Man, Americans like to do things big and that includes their food portions!!! I ordered what said on the menu "Fruit crepe with side of eggs"...What did I get....A delicious crepe (hot) covered with canteloupe, melon, banana, oatmeal and yogurt..that was just the side dish and it was huge..probably 3 bananas, full melons and canteloupe...bag of oatmeal and gallon of yogurt...(ok, not really)..but then came 2 pcs. bacon, 2 sausages, probably 3 scrambled eggs....and all of this was less then 10.00. The other cool thing about I-Hop is that the number of calories is written aside each menu item...(Perhaps I should have picked up on the size when I read fruit and eggs = 1020 calories!!!) ....

After lunch, spent a little time shopping nearby and then decided to find the "beach"...Was pleasantly surprised to find that it was less then a mile from my hotel....

So, the rest of the day was spent playing "rich and famous" while walking the beach.

Oceanside Beach, Oceanside CA 015

Oceanside Beach, Oceanside CA 015

Waves of sand

Waves of sand

Oceanside Beach, Oceanside CA 005

Oceanside Beach, Oceanside CA 005

South California 007

South California 007

6]

Posted by ManicGypsy 22:28 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Oregon Coast in January

Journey from Astoria to Brooking Oregon


View Travel Border USA on ManicGypsy's travel map.

I really have been bad at keeping up with this blog. I started asking myself why am I doing this, it just seems so self indulgent....I guess I just wanted to document my journey for future reference as my short term memory is no longer! Did I need to publicize it? Hmmm....oh well..
Oh yeah, I remember..I was thinking that I was going to discover something new or was going to find meaning for my life...hmmm...well I am gaining some insights I guess. I realize that waking up in a new environment each morning is exciting and that I do crave variety, however, I also realize that there is a need for a sense of belonging, as Maslow suggested, to something or someone. I’ld say 90% of the time I am feeling content and grateful about where I am....the other 10% I have flashes of anxiety when acknowledging my absolute “aloneness” in the world....
21 days on the road and I have experienced four seasons, incredible landscapes, seascapes and skies. I have met some interesting people including two penniless nomads in there 20’s, an army airplane mechanic who just returned from 6 months duty in Africa, a 61 year old female solo traveller – much like me and a few couples from Ottawa, Vancouver and Louisianna......
I have stayed in some wonderful hotels, most of which have been beach front with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean... I have seen the oceans mood swings...I have driven over 1000 miles of winding, hilly and narrow roads...no day is the same as the next and each day spans a range of emotions...from fear to awe to joy to sadness....and my journey has just begun!!!
Since Cabo San Lucas I have driven through two and half states; Washington, Oregon and now California. The landscape, weather, architecture and people are all unique to their specific areas....
I drove from Richmond, BC to Seaside Oregon....
Astoria to Brooking 015

Astoria to Brooking 015


Astoria to Brooking 003

Astoria to Brooking 003


Although the scenery of the Oregon Coast is beautiful, I was surprised to see how “poor” each small town appeared. Unfortunately the weather was not the best with lots of fog and rain...hence I found myself saying “Wow, I bet this place is gorgeous in the summer”.....and I have decided that it will be on my bucket list...to take a motorcycle trip in the summer down the Oregon Coast....Hwy 101....
Much of the drive reminded me of the drive to BC from Alberta.....no mountains but winding roads with evergreens hiding the outlying landscape. The roads were in perfect condition. Driving on I-5 through Seattle and Olympia was an accomplishment...I managed to get Nerva (my GPS) a little flustered....300 m Turn Left.....Recalculating...200 m turn right..recalculating,..turn...recalculating, recalculating.....JONI STOP!!!!
My first stop was the small town of Astoria, OR. It was definitely the most interesting of the small towns I drove through.. It was also the first place that I stopped to partake in some touristy ventures such as visiting the Astoria Column and climbing all of it’s 164 steps to the top....Mistake!!! Besides being so out of shape I also forgot about my extreme “vertigo”.....AHHHH.....I opened the door to the top....whoa....
“This is high, are those clouds below me???” I managed to take some pictures while gripping the sides of the tower....
Astoria Jan 11,2011 003

Astoria Jan 11,2011 003


Astoria Jan 11,2011 009

Astoria Jan 11,2011 009


I also drove the “Bridge to Nowhere”...and it really was a bridge to nowhere...I guess it is a 4.2 mile bridge that connects Oregon to Washington....not much on the Washington side other then....Long Beach...
My next stop was Brookings OR. Unfortunately it was raining and overcast, but because of that I saw some incredible ocean waves and stormy waters.. My room was beach front and closer to the ocean then I had ever been....Loved my room with balcony and view....Even managed to write some poetry...which I won’t share..haha....I loved my time in Brookings OR..drive from gardy to santa barbara 004

drive from gardy to santa barbara 004

Enjoyed an evening out dining and listening to a piano player. Met a couple from Vancouver who were on their way back from a road trip...walked the beach when weather turned warm...
My next stop was to be San Francisco....I was excited and had initially planned on staying a couple of days but it turned out not to be. Jan 15th started out the worst day of my journey so far. For starters , I stayed in some dumpy Motel 6 in Vallejor, about 45 min. Outside of SF (I didn’t know it at the time as it was dark when I arrived and had no idea where I was.) Not wanting to drive at night I decided to stay. The motel was 40.00 per night and overpriced! It had an uncomfortable bed, a TV that didn’t work and again NO TEA!! At least I could smoke and had WiFi. Exhausted after the days drive I went to bed around 10:00 pm. At 4:00 am I was awaken by some idiot screaming “What room is she in?”...Soon after a knock on my door, then more screaming . This went on for about an hour. I tried to fall asleep again with no success. I decided at 7:00 am I would get up and get an early start for SF. After studying google maps of SF and it’s attractions I headed out. It was a nightmare! Although my trusty GPS got me to my desired points of interest such as Golden Gate Bridge, Haight Ashbury, Union District etc, there was no where to park! Not only that my little car was exhausted starting and stopping for each stop sign at each intersection.....while crawling up steep hills. I couldn’t believe there were stop signs at each street crossing while moving up at a 80 degree angle!! Although I admit SF is full of colourful scenes and people I had no desire to stop. For me it was just another city....congested, cement and way too busy...I managed to see quite a bit of SF just trying to find my way back to Hwy 101. Posedia Park looked lovely but I couldn’t think fast enough to make the turns my GPS was ordering. The number of interstate highways in USA are enormous. Bottom line, I spent 4-5 hours of my day trying to keep up to speed of traffic along various interstate highways. I ended up in some place I had no idea? Hatford I think? I decided to stop at the nearest gas station and buy an old fashion paper map. Although I love Nerva (GPS) I needed some exact names in order to program her. Once I was able to do that she was fine.
TIP: If you want to drive scenic routes do not follow Nerva’s instructions. She like interstate highways.
Around 3:00 pm I was finally driving the 101 South. Keep in mind I have not had my morning tea yet, which I am learning is a “must” for me...nor had I eaten yet! Finally unable to endure another oment without my tea I stopped at the first trusty Denny’s I came upon. I finally grabbed a moment to sit...sip a tea, eat some nourishment and read a reliable paper map. I was now able to program Big Sur Route 1 and was on my way.
It seems that not only in life does the storm come before the calm but also on the road...It wasn’t till about 3:00 that I reached heaven...the California Coast Hwy 1...this too me was more magnificent then the Oregon Coast...maybe because I was raised in the prairies... The coast road reminded me of the winding road around Golden BC..but instead of mountains I was kept company by the ocean on my right and moderate rolling hills speckled with clumps of dark green to my left....Stunning, truly my heaven. I thought , “Can there be any place on the planet more stunning?” Not for me... The No. 1 Hwy although relatively active is quite void of human habitat...every 40 miles or so a small rest stop would appear...small, quaint and inviting such as Big Sur. I loved it there and wanted to stop but the prices were beyond my budget. 250.00 per night for a rustic cabin. I thought “I’m sure there is something cheaper down the road...NOPE”..Not a whole lot in terms of lodges/restaurants etc..It was now around 5:30 pm the sun was beginning to set. I was getting a little worried because although I loved the scenic drive and sunshine there was no way I was going to drive this road at night. I started thinking, “What’s the worst thing that could happen? Sleep on a vista point in my car. I had blankets, pillow, cigarettes and even a bottle of tequila (I had gifted to me when in Mexico) I kept driving. As always the universe looked after me. I came upon a small, western style beach inn...perfect! It turns out I couldn’t have found a place more suitable for me! First, I could smoke. Second, the view was incredible and I was just in time to catch the sun set while being serenaded by loons. No TV, no WiFi, so what could I do....write, play guitar..enjoy!
drive from gardy to santa barbara 021

drive from gardy to santa barbara 021

drive from gardy to santa barbara 014

drive from gardy to santa barbara 014

]

Posted by ManicGypsy 22:46 Archived in USA Comments (5)

Sleep, Eat, Sun and Drink

It is all we really need...

Seven Deadly Sins = Cabo San Lucas / RUI Santa Fe
Although I loved my first all-inclusive resort holiday I don't think I could handle more than one week of it. Too much of a good thing is...well, just a good thing!!! To summarize, I was up by 7:00 every morning (which is bizarre since I have never woken up that early in all my 50 years!!..I mean 30 some years!)....ate breakfast, lunch and dinner every day..another first. Historically I eat once a day supplemented by a lot of junk food. Sun tanning....another first for me...I have never much been in to lying on the beach, but due to my need for Vitamin D, good company and FREE beverages it was heaven! The first day we met a couple from Ottawa who we spent alot of our remaining time with.
Infinity Pool

Infinity Pool


My room was a bachelors dream pad...King Size bed, balcony with ocean view, Full Bar and sunken tub. Downfall...I am a tea drinker and there was NO hot water or coffee pot in the rooms. This was the only downfall of the resort (this and lack of entertainment).. I guess I was in the "luxury" end of the resort (beach front) but about 1/4 mile from my HOT Water!! And then they ran out of black tea!! Luckily I had purchased a box of my "Red Rose" in Canada...(Only in Canada you say?)....(Offered to be the hotel tea distributor but they declined?hmm..go figure?)....
Each day we managed to get away from the pool for a couple hours at least and partake in some activity. The water taxi (with glass bottom..well, ok..glass peep hole) was a 10 minute ride from the beach to the Rocks and Lover's Beach. Our captain said that the beach on the Sea of Cortez side was called "Lover's Beach" while the beach on the Pacific Side was named "Divorce Beach"....(No surprise there)...One could go kayacking, snorkling,rock climbing or walking for as long as they wanted. The rocks were huge, massive and gorgeous. Each one a sculptor in itself. Although I wasn't able to capture it, the large masses of rock were smooth and round, resembling an orgy of Rubinesk women...(you know the artist?)....
IMG_0124

IMG_0124

Other activities included the day trip to the marina in the village of Cabo San Lucas (about 20 minute walk from hotel)IMG_0042

IMG_0042

and a 1 hour horse back ride on the beach. I wouldn't really call them horses..they more resembled "burros"...but it was lovely all the same.
039

039

Posted by ManicGypsy 19:45 Comments (3)

Cabo San Lucas

RUI Santa Fe Resort

sunny 25 °C
View Travel Border USA on ManicGypsy's travel map.

I had no idea how difficult it was going to be to keep up with this blog. It's not that I don't have time, rather I'm just not sure what to write about? hmmm...oh, my travels...
Having arrived in Vancouver New Year's Eve my evening was quiet, reflective and early. New Year's Day was spent visiting with my brother and his two children, Amanda and Ryan. What a treat! The four us drove out to White Rock, BC not knowing that the annual Polar Swim was taking place. White Rock was busier then I had ever seen. Thousands of people rushing to the shore to catch a glimpse of a few "crazy" people jump into ice cold water! (Not my idea of how to welcome in the New Year, but to each their own?)....The sun was shining while people strolled the shoreline and listened to a "street" bagpiper play Auld La Sang (??)...Street Performer w/ Ryan

Street Performer w/ Ryan


After an entertaining lunch (listening to my brother tell stories of his days as a non-athlete) we all agreed to give 10 Pin Bowling a shot.
None of us had ever played before so it was interesting. It was a wonderful first day of the New Year.
Next, Cabo San Lucas!!!! YES!!!! I cannot believe that at my age (late 30's..hehe) I had yet to experience an all-inclusive beach vacation. I think in my earlier days I figured it was too "laid back" and "hedonistic" for my liking. Wow, how wrong can one be!!! I loved it!!! Although it would be great to go alone, it was much better to have friends to share it with.
6 Nights and 7 Days cost me $ 1300.00 including Air Fare from Vancouver, BC. That is not bad considering I eat and drink alot...all of which was free!!!! A little jet lagged I couldn't stop saying...Oh My God, it's free!!! The resort I stayed at was about 45 minutes from the airport. Since I was sharing with 6 others it only cost 10.00. It was a great start to my travels as I met a young couple from Australia whom I bombarded with questions. (Hoping maybe I'll get there later this year)...
Much to my surprise, Mike was there to greet me as I got off the shuttle bus. Him and a woman offering me a "tropical looking cocktail", "Welcome to Cabo!"....It was only 5:00 pm and I hadn't even got to the reception desk! hmm.....this was going to be interesting.
Front of Hotel

Front of Hotel

Posted by ManicGypsy 19:43 Archived in Mexico Tagged santa fe cabo_san_lucas riu Comments (0)

(Entries 21 - 25 of 28) « Page 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 »