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Wandrin 2001

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by Lloyd Treichel


Wandrin - December 2001

Happy Holidays

Dateline: December 2, 2001 -- San Diego, California

To be more specific, I am staying at the Chula Vista RV Park seven miles south of downtown San Diego.  From here it is seven miles to the Mexican border. The view from Wandrin Wagon is west and overlooking San Diego Bay. Each evening, I get the opportunity to view the sunsets. It does not get much better than this.

Enjoying the weather here is great when compared to the weather elsewhere in the country -- especially Denver, where I used to live.  Here, the average daytime highs are in the sixties and most night time temperatures drop to the low fifties.  It would be very easy to become one of the Snowbirds that take up residence here for four to five months every winter.   

November started ... up the coast of California at Pismo Beach and I arrived San Diego within a few days.   

Museum of Natural History ... at Balboa Park in San Diego. The Museum's Monarch Butterfly exhibit explains the life and migrating habits of this unusual species. Walking among the butterflies in the large room was pleasure allowing close up photos. When I was at Pismo Beach, I was able to view them in one of their numerous wintering sites. There are several of these along the Pacific Coast with the largest winter colonies in Mexico.

Ronald Reagan Library and Museum ... is located in Simi Valley near Santa Barbara. In addition to the show and tell of Reagan's life as actor and US President, it contains a fragment of the Berlin Wall. Knowing the wall's history causes me to wonder where the next wall will be -- and there will be one.

The Vietnam Traveling Wall exhibit was in Santa Barbara as I passed through. One day as I travel the East Coast, I hope to see the original in Washington DC.

Typical day for me while parked for two months ... and living with the Snowbirds means that there are a lot of activities to keep us busy. 

... Each morning I join a small group for a three mile walk around the neighborhood. ... There are the potlucks and the Bingo games each week. ... On a tour to the Viejas Casino I walked away $30 ahead. ... And there are other tours of San Diego's attractions. 

... Other days, I will do a personal tour of the museums at Balboa Park in San Diego. ... On other days, I find a hike to get some spiritual rejuvenation. 

... There is always satellite TV where I can look through 100 channels and find nothing.  Actually there are times that I can find something that I would like to watch, but with commercials I lose interest very quickly. ... Or I read my latest book.

... Or I just take a nap.  

... 'Tis a wonderful life!

Chula Vista RV Park includes a Marina ... where there are a lot of full timers on boat rather than being on land.  I have met a few of them while staying here.  Many of those have already left for the warmer parts of Mexico. ... There are times that I think Wandrin Wagon is small: a 36 foot sail boat has less space. 

Daughter Vanita and husband Chris ... live north of San Diego so we are able to get together on weekends for BBQs and lots of talk.  Sure beats a phone call.  

Little know facts and trivia ... 

Regarding wine:
... In 1998, California produced 443,693 gallons of wine which represented 90% of the total wine produced in the US.
... 11 percent of the wine drinking population in the U.S. consumes 88 percent of the wine.
... In the U.S. wine consumption per capita is 2.02 gallons a year. In Italy and France it's 16 gallons per capita annually.

And milk production (for my Wisconsin readers):
... California's 2,200 dairy families house 1.5 million milk cows. Approximately one out of every six dairy cows in the US lives in California.
... California has been the nation's leading dairy state since 1993 when it surpassed Wisconsin in milk production. California is ranked #1 in the US in the production of fluid milk, butter, ice cream and nonfat dry milk. California is second in cheese production behind Wisconsin.
... In 1999, California cows produced three and half million gallons of milk.

Just wondering ... "World's Biggest Engagement Ring Store" was a sign spotted on a jewelry store. ... I am a real curmudgeon when it comes to this kind of thing. ... Why is it expected in our American society to buy the largest ring you can afford to prove that the man will be a good spouse?  ...  And no doubt the store will finance the purchase if they are unable to afford the ring! 

Just wondering ... When I was surfing the TV to find something to watch, I ended up watching "Survivor".  When there is a million dollars at stake, it does not seem that unusual for people to take advantage of everyone around them for their own goal.  That will be the first and last time I will watch that show. Whatever happened to the concept of teamwork?  No doubt the next show of this ilk will be a show that will pit one team against another.  

Cinnamon Roll Search ... or as some have called it: the search for the Holy Grail.  The only cinnamon roll I had this past month was purchased at a grocery store.  But, you can't buy just one.  There is a half dozen in the container.  They were large and loaded with cream cheese frosting.  But I did have to address my addiction.  

Checking the city's neighborhoods on my travels, I believe that bakeries are another of those institutions that are disappearing.  When I do find them, they have lots of pastries, but cinnamon rolls are infrequently found. 

But ... I am not deterred. ... The search continues.  

Latest Read ... "Blue Highways" by William Least Heat-Moon. I had read this book about fifteen years ago and now it was a reread to see if it was as good as I remember it.  It was.  Although I could barely recognize it as a book that I had read before, it was a most enjoyable read about his travel around the US off the freeways and into the little out of the way stops along the way.  The conversations with people and stories of their lives is what makes this book a great read.  

Vanity Plate ...  Actually here are several: 
... 'IMHAPPY" -- Me too!
... "HUH Y N" -- a Hawaiian native?
... "EXQQQME" -- Okay, I will.  

Spotted on the back of an RV "Roughing it smoothly"

Quotable quote ... 
"A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving." - Lao Tzu (570-490 B.C.)