Friday, June 18, 2021

One Week In Paradise

Driving That Train     High On Cocaine       Casey Jones You Better       Watch Your Speed      Trouble Ahead       Trouble Behind      And You Know That Notion     Just Crossed My Mind       This Old Engine Makes It On Time           Leaves Central Station            About A Quarter To Nine          Hits River Junction At Seventeen Two      At A Quarter To Ten       You Know Its Traveling Again        Driving That Train      High On Cocaine        Casey Jones You Better       Watch Your Speed       Trouble Ahead      Trouble Behind      And You Know That Notion       Just Crossed My Mind 

Grateful Dead

1970 Workingman's Dead 


Day one began with a casual flight out of GJ on Delta. Another simple transfer in Salt Lake City, after a righteous episode of people watching for a few hours. The photo below is on approach into SD over the top of the 163 and Balboa Park. 

Utah has been burning up so the haze over Vegas was rather dramatic. I didn't stare out the window much as I was engrossed with the film An American Pickle. A nice feel good movie but nothing to write home about. 

Lake Powell was noticeably low and the haze was pretty shocking from 37,000ft above. Down went the window shade again as the haze was blinding to stare at from above. 

Tim was kind enough to scoops us up from the airport and the stories began to roll. He also surprised me with his first ever attempt at growing a beard. He wanted to grow a beard before his 50th as he has always been a smooth face kind guy. Looks Damn Good On Him

Him and Amanda worked up a beautiful Tandoori Chicken, Seasoned Cauliflower, and Garbanzo Bean dinner that night served over rice. Only washed that down with a brew or two as I was driving us up to my mom's place later that night. Safety Third 


The morning consisted of stretching out the thoracic spine, consuming a fair amount of fresh fruit, and sipping coffee. 

Only then did The Dude and I head for the coast. I forget how close the coast is from the oldies place with the newer Ted Williams Parkway in play. Drove north on the I-5 to Oceanside where there was this Farmer's Market awaits our arrival.

Another Long Exposure photo of the fountains in front of the Public Library. One of the vendors caught my eye as she was tastefully covered in glitter. She was very animated with her arms while promoting her Kombucha mixes and offered up a sample or two. They were mouth filling but the ginger flavored mix was my favorite by far. Plus, I enjoyed her enthusiastic performance of selling. 

On a postcard perfect day, The Dude and I walked the Oceanside Pier. I haven't been on that pier since the nineteen hundreds. Little did we know, the pier JUST opened after COVID and this was the first sunny day along the coastline in months. Timing My Friends 

We then traveled south and parked on a side street in Encinitas. Talk about a cool little beach town and one of my favorites as well. The whole coastline is beautiful but Encinitas is so ridiculously charming in my humble opinion. 

We walked down to the Self Reflection Fellowship but the meditation temple was closed up tight. The zen gardens were closed because plants can catch viruses. Extremely Disappointing 

The souvenir shop was an embarrassment with the most uptight women folk I have ever brushed by in a meditation center. Far from the yogi practice and were flat out bitchy. To top it off, they insulted my intelligence by INFORMING me at the register that NO CASH is excepted here. Apparently my cash was covered with COVID but my credit card is germ free. So I politely walked out without supporting the cause. I Sincere Apologizes To The Monks, Masters, And Gurus 

The Butterfields saved the day though. We scheduled to meet up with them in Escondido and play a round of Disc Golf at Kit Carson Park. Our first time there for disc golf at sweet well established park. And to set the tone of the vacation, Birdie on the first hole. YES

The Butterfields were so on their game. They arrived with party favors, a verity of ice cold brews, extra disc because they weren't sure how air travel and the disc thing would work out, and they were so engaging. I appreciate their relaxing demeanor and they are both so easy to walk and talk with. 

The below photo is the pick of the litter. A new one on me, just hold the shutter button, continuously capturing moments in time, pick the best one. Brilliant 

The course was way cool, very well laid out, and numerous art installations throughout the park for the entertainment factor. Some tough basket placements with a few short holes to build your confidence up. Overall, Thumbs Up 

They can throw much further and actuate than us and shared all the "perfect" lines with us before we drove from the tee box. We all cheered each other on and no egos were ever displayed. Its what I enjoy about disc golf, the comradery of the game. That relaxing vibe and walking around the beautiful outdoors of Sunny San Diego. I ended up 3 over on the front nine and 4 over on the back nine. 7 over for the day and that is with two birdies. 

After the ideal round, The Dude and I drove southbound towards moms for a baked ravioli dinner. We were both blown away about the amount of concrete freeways. At one point, we counted 7 lanes south bound, another 4 lanes of carpool lanes, and 9 lanes north bound. Crazy Sh*t

And the amount of air traffic was just as consuming. Fighter jets, commercial airlines, military and life flight helicopters and little cessna style planes were constantly buzzing the air. I mean its cool but its overwhelming at the same time. 


The next morning was an early one for me. Slept like crap and woke up a few times in a ball of sweat. The oldies like it warm. After stretching out, sipping coffee out back, helped Patrick with a few household types of project and chores, The Dude and I drove to Tim and Amanda's place to roust up their dogs again. 

We collected Tim and drove for Mt Soledad above La Jolla California. Home of Dr Susses by the way. 

Another stunningly gorgeous day and Tim mentioned how yesterday was the first beautiful day. The Dude And I scored this week as the Marine Layer inversion had been thick over the past few weeks. 

We then made our way down towards Pacific Beach and Tim and I went into reminiscing mode. We pointed out old stomping grounds, ice cream pallors, night life bars, triathlon training routes, and old friends from way back. Both alive and passed. Tim And I couldn't recall names of certain places so The Dude would fill us in. Oh Yeah And Thats Right were the phrases of the day. Classic 

One beach community south of PB is OB. Ocean Beach had morphed into a trashy eye sore and after walking through those streets two Februarys ago, wasn't looking forward to it. But The Dude wanted to check it out so we did. Our first stop was the Food Co-Op.

We then drove a little concrete side street towards the water front and I was pleasantly surprised by the cleanliness of the neighborhoods. The city apparently came in and removed all the "Teenage Trolls" and the place is inviting once again. Totally Stoked 

Tim bought us delicious fish tacos and a few cold micro brews. I ordered Yellow Tail and MahiMahi fish tacos, Tim had Calamari and MahiMahi tacos, and I don't recall what The Dude ordered. Anyway, excellent people watching from the second floor deck, updating each other from a year ago, and simply overall enjoying each others company. 

This guy and his dog so cracked me up. When the city cleaned up the place, vendors appeared as so did the tourist again. And a number of vendors, I SH*T You Not, were selling pot. One vendor had numerous edibles and joints pre-rolled and he says," Yup, Its Exactly What You Think It Is." I shouldn't have been so surprised by it but I was rather blown away to be honest. I obviously didn't purchase but I quickly became aware that everyone was walking around me with a burning doobies in their hand. Just Another Weekday In OB

We eventually made our way back to Tim And Amanda's for a radicle BBQ with wedding friends from the 2020 Wedding. Tim went above and beyond with BBQ'n Tri-Tip and Wild Caught King Salmon.

And yes, Tim and Amanda have a farm of pets. Three Dogs, Two Turtles, Two Cats, Chickens, Ginny Pigs, And Salt Water Fish. Their home is truly full of life and love. 

But this girl stole my heart. She is only about three months old and such a joy. 

Gathering with friends was a real treat for me. Its so much fun to catch up with folks, here about their year in review, and share stories from who knows when. 

Of course Tim and I were the last two standing. We consumed another beer or two while the fire died out. Being Upmost Responsible 


Saturday morning was the day that I had been looking forward to out of the whole trip. Everything else was gravy but this was my morning. We had a tee time for the legendary course Morley Field

Where the Jacaranda Trees were in full bloom and every hole provides a post card perfect capture. The verity of the landscape around the course was amazing as they have the ideal climate for such a wide spectrum of plants and trees. Just the right amount of succulents and species of mature trees makes for an exceptional course. 

The Butterfields booked the tee time on line, prepaid the $6 fee to play, provided us with more ice cold local brews, and I could not have been any happier. Hole Number One, Perfect Tee Shot, Recorded A Birdie. 

The rest of the front nine was filled with giggles, pars, and walking around paradise. I mean just look at that above photo. I Was So In My Element 

The best part was how each of us at each hole would have a GREAT toss. We were consistently cheering each another before or after a throw. You literally wanted the other person to make their birdies putt. It was exciting to watch someone drive and the wind current lift their disc for that added spice. 

The above photo, just see the tip of my driver, was a beautiful birdie hole for me. Talk about a rush after making this putt. My mental game was elevated after this toss. 

The Dude's tee shot just after Johnny almost aced the hole. The basket is dead straight and in the shade. What you can't tell because of the iPhone quality, this tee pad is elevated. Its a step hike down just over those lodge polls there. Such An Iconic Hole

And options??? This course is full of them. Our Colorado courses have A,B,C,& very few D Basket Placements but Morley baskets are commonly A-E and one hole had A-H locations!!! 

SO this basket above, with a party of three for witnessing, my par putt was low of the basket and ricocheted off the lower limb and bounced up and into the basket. My putter made that distinct thud sound off wood just before the game changer chains sounds. We All Simultaneously Cheered 

Del, with her red putter in flight between the trees, almost drained her birdie there. We all thought it was going in and from my point of view, it was in. In Fact, now that I retell the story, she MADE it clean. The Butterfields are empowering folks I tell ya. Beautiful Souls 

Basket 18 from the historical Morley Field, Johnny captured our true joy. The Butterfields crushed the course while creating a exceptional atmosphere for a difficult round. I threw three birdies on the day, 3 over on the front nine, 6 over for the back nine, and ended the round at a respectable +9. Anything under double digits is a score for me for this particular course.

We then strolled over to Balboa Park and meandered our way through. Balboa holds many a memory for me as I spent a lot of my time around these parts.

Many school trips to museums, attending plays at the Old Globe Theater, outdoor summer concerts, and hours and hours inside the aero space museum. The park is in direct line of Limburg Field so Airline Commercial Jets are consistently on approach before touch down. 

The park has a gorgeous Botanical Gardens ( COVID CLOSURE ) and is also home to an imax laserium theater as well. Many a nights there back in the day.  

Del had my iPhone and asked to take a photo of us for our mother. We stood there like two knuckleheads and she says," Act Like Super Heroes Or Something!!"  So we struck this pose for her. 

Balboa Park is beautiful and the World Famous San Diego Zoo is located on the northern part of the property. So the whole park is very well laid out and worthy of a visit. 

Vendors lined one of the many open sidewalk areas and we checked them all out. Didn't spend any money but did the touristy thing. 

The Old Globe Theater that I mentioned before, our school class would head down there early, take a behind the scenes tour, watch a professional done performance, and then walk the park. I always enjoyed those class adventures and only now do I realize how fortunate we where back then. 

Above is the Casa Del Prado Theater and I admire this building for some reason. And with all those California earthquakes, the fact that it is still standing, a slight sense of serenity there. Plus, another opportunity for people watching. 

These gals below were so lame. I kid you not. I have been subjected to Keeping GJ Lame for decades now but these two would fail here in GJ. Not sure who they knew but somehow they landed this booth in the park. And notice how there are no people in the shot??? Thats a little clue as to how bad they were. Other than that, the park was full of life, the musicians were entertaining, and it was another beautiful Sunny San Diego kind of day. 

The evening wrapped up with Patrick's family reunion at my moms place. And I totally dropped the ball, not one single photo of Partick's side of the family. It was wonderful catching up with everyone and hearing about what they are up to these days. The Dude and I compared notes later on afterwards around the fire and he asked me if any of his kids asked any questions. I laughed and said just one of his sons asked me what I do. I pitched a softball up and told him that I work from home. He says," Oh Yeah, And What Is That?" I told him that I am a bartender. 


Feeling a wheeeeeeee bit hungover, our first stop at 9am was the liquor store. The Dude pointed out how he was feeling inadequate as the Butterfields have been providing all the booze and entertainment. So we wanted to pick up a 12'r for the round today. We also thought that a daytime 4% brew would be better than yesterdays full strength 7% at 10am. Not complaining as Morley Field commands top shelf products. No Sissy Pants There 

While driving north, I felt like I had finally found a rhythm on the road, when I looked down, I was driving 85mph / 136kph. And cars were still flying past me on both sides!! But I was feeling comfortable driving in the big city again as we headed for San Marcos and yet another fabulous Disc Golf Course. 

This course is located on the college campus and offers very short reachable holes. The three locals threw putters most of the day as were I still threw my driver but not as hard as I normally would. We began on Hole #7 and I sure did throw another Birdie. Three course, three opening Birdies. Dig It 

We all played the 18 Baskets very well and its a real confidence booster for sure. The Dude and I chatted about how our accuracy had dramatically improved after the first few courses of the trip. Plus, playing at sea level takes a little time to become accustom to again. 

Just after I made my birdie putt, one of the Butterfields is making theirs as well. Little action shot for ya. 

Johnny played his best round ever on that course and I finished up 3 under for the round. I missed a number of my birdie putts but wasn't all that bothered by it. The good news was that I went Boogie FREE on the day. Oh Baby 

As you can see ( left to right - Johnny, Mike, Del, Mr Stiff, Me, And The Dude ) we were all smiles during the round. And of course, Another Beautiful Sunny San Diego Day 

After that activity, The Dude And I drove over to another rather scant Farmer's Market. The Sikes Adobe Farmstead was a royal bust. Beets and chard were the only fresh veggies, one guy selling honey, one couple selling succulents but not for air travel, and the other vendors didn't spark my interest at all. So we quickly headed to the Ale Smith Brewery.

On the way, we stopped off at the mediterranean area of town and scored a killer gyro. Not just any old gyro but burrito style with fresh lamb, veggies, and our pick of three dipping sauces. The Dude went with the roasted chicken as I couldn't pass up the fresh hot lamb. So damn delightful while sitting outside in the shade for more people watching.  

Walked over to the Korean Market and sure wish that we weren't flying back to GJ. Here is an end cap with just Seaweed Bites. Not for rolling sushi but for snacks. An entire end cap!!! And then the cow below in Korean cracked me up. Starting with yellow and working across the top - Chuck, Ribeye, Loin, and Round. Front and working across - Shoulder, Short Rib, Brisket in purple, and Shank in red. Last but not least, the best cut in orange, Tenderloin. And there you go, your Korean Pop Quiz.

The Ale Smith Brewery was on our radar as it showcases the Tony Gwynn Memorial Museum. Tony was a gifted left handed hitting master and played all 20 years for the San Diego Padre. To this date, his introduction ceremony into the Hall of Frame was the largest ever attended. Him and Cal Ripken Jr ( also played his entire career with the Baltimore Orioles ) entered the hall together. 

I bring this up because I felt disrespected by the Hall of Frame glass case inside the museum. No photos of Tony or Cal in the case. Phuc-N Lame!!! The rest of the museum was pretty cool. All of Tony's seven Silver Batting Title Bats were on display, about four or five of his Golden Gloves were there, All 15 All-Star rings were there, numerous newspaper cut outs, game day jerseys, hightop shoes, and random selection of photos hung about here and there. Something that I did not know, Tony was drafted by the San Diego Padres AND the San Diego Clippers on the same day. He clear passed on basketball for a legendary hall of frame career with baseball and went on to coach the SDSU Aztec Baseball Team. Rest In Peace Mr Padre 

The evening was capped off at Tim And Amanda's were the wedding party folks that couldn't make it on Friday arrived on Sunday. More stories, more fish, more beef, and more laughter all night long. Tim slow smoked a brisket for 15 hours and I later told him that I could taste about 11 hours of smoke. What I chump I can be. But it was so good to hang out with the Conerty Clan again. Cindy looks marvelous as her boys have all flown the coop. And she smiled after every story. Her and her husband are happily living the good life as empty nesters. Paula blew me away as she methodically asked each guest about #1 how are they #2 what are they up to #3 what are your summer plans. An amazing lady really. Everybody there lifted my spirits. I ate way too much, I drank way too much, but I was so in my happiest of happy places. 

But the highlight was catching up with Pat. He is a funny son of a bitch and I got him going on his 1965 story about moving from Illinois to California. Pat is one of those guys that just wants everyone to be happy and he loves serving up positive affirmations. It was also refreshing to hear him tell me how proud of Tim he is. Good On You Pat


Life is grand when are able to start your day off with a fresh roasted cup of joe at the tide pools. There is a crab in this photo but the quality of the imagine is poor because its a snap shot from a video. Call this Monday a Surf And Turf day.

Here she is, so tired already. Its only about 9am here in this shot. Plus, she knew that there was a shift in the force coming her way. Dad was packing the car, do I stay or do I go????

Tim and I drove north for two hours and our first stop, YUP, a brewery. It wasn't a bad drive by any means but the desert was reading 103F / 39.44C. Our final destination was Idyllwild, which just happens to be located above 6,000ft / 1828.8m. Much cooler and beautiful scenery for hanging out and talking Sh*T.

The Conerty Cabin is flipping unreal with a wrap around deck for maximum views. Two bedrooms and full bath on the main floor with a sweet room upstairs and private bath. Its a very appealing get-a-way home and even comes with a train set. 

My videos does it justice as the iPhone photo lacks depth. All the building have lights, working sound effects, and whipping trestle. For a train junkie like myself, captivating. 

Back to the surf and turf reference, on the BBQ sizzled a thick juicy slab of beef. Corn on the cob followed with a fresh catch of halibut. Tim and Amanda have an ideal lead on fresh caught fish. Like Totally Ideal

Mr Sun was setting into the pollution filled air from Smell A California and we enjoyed the anticipation from the north side of the deck. Birds sang us into the evening while the hummingbird stopped by for their last few sips of the good stuff. Vultures made their last appearance before shutting it down for the night. Life in the mountains, hell yes. 

So we all ate very well, drank excellent ice cold brews, and then decided to sample Amanda's Whisky Bar. It wasn't with debauchery intentions and it wasn't a "Lets Get All Phuc-D Up" high school days situation. We just sampled "shots" over three or four ice cubes. 

From the deck, what a peaceful easy feeling. Thanx Eagles!! But it really is. Tim says that it can be rather noisy during the weekend but this Monday Night was just that, Peaceful. 

In the above photo, light pours. We sipped and discussed what we thought. Toast to friends we were thinking about. Pound some H2o and pour another shot of something new. 

The smokey oak over ice was delightful. I was surprised by the true over tones of each brand. That 1920 Old Forester was remarkably tasty and might have been my favorite. I mean they were all smooth as Amanda has excellent taste. Like far from rot gut Jack and Coke slugs or pulls walking through Vegas Casinos.

The Elijah Craig's after taste reminded my of a light Kahlua mix. So good when icy cold. So So Good 

Tim and I sat out on the deck for most of the night chatting about all of it. I'm really lucky to have a long time buddy like him and he is very fortunate to have an understanding lovely wife.  


Causally drove ourselves back to SD after breakfast. Another easy trip and used the carpool lane as much as possible. The Oldies treated us to Sushi Lounge for dinner as it was closing in on that time to fly.  


4 flights in 7 days 

3 disc golf course 

2 gatherings with close friends 

1 family dinner 

$75 bucks in gas 

4 farmers markets 

3 memorable shooting stars 

And at least 30 pounds heavier with a belly full of mercury


P.S. The Women Will Be Racing The Tour De France Route This Year!!! YES