I’ve kept a journal devoted to San Diego (La Jolla, mostly) for over 3 ½ years. I started it when my wife and I landed there in January ’17 for my 3 month sabbatical at UCSD. We decided it would be fun to record our impressions of the place, especially the restaurants and bars. We intended it to serve as a guide if we ever got back there, which happened in January of this year. The trip was good for several blog posts https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/theviewfromharbal.com/98, https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/theviewfromharbal.com/104, https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/theviewfromharbal.com/108.
Kathy and I love it out there, and would move in a second if we could just come up with the $20mill for the beach house of the sort Kathy would want to live in. My sabbatical time didn’t lead to a job offer, but doctors are among the low-paid hired help just scraping by in LJ.
Events last week prompted a new entry in my journal. I thought it might be worth posting:
We’re going back! We’ve been trying and trying. Our nephew Orion’s graduation from Summit Denali School in Sunnyvale California, where his parents sent him after 6-8 years of home-schooling, was justifying a big California trip for early June – including a jaunt south to LJ -but COVID. Then I arranged a California trip for 2021 Spring Break (early March). Then Dr. Schlissel cancels Spring Break because COVID. New plans are for early January, before Winter term starts. But that’s a long way away.
We were supposed to go to the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs for a Bendcare boondoggle (https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/theviewfromharbal.com/617), including Kathy’s July 16 birthday. I know the Broadmoor a little as my late Aunt Ann, Austrian warbride of my late Uncle Bob, used to do the hair of the rich and pampered there for many years. Pretty luxe place https://www.broadmoor.com/. We booked a couple days there before the meeting to make for a nice long Colorado Springs experience. Then less than 12 hours before we were to leave the house for the airport, I get a call from Bendcare’s chief cat-herder Mike Prondecki that they had discovered I was no longer practicing (just like in January), so I had to stay home so that those who were could come hear the important message.
Stewing over that for a couple of couple of weeks, we decided to go anyway on our own dime, add in some time in Salida to see June Rogers, Sam’s widow (https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/theviewfromharbal.com/25, https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/theviewfromharbal.com/56). Kathy will be done with classes 8/21. We’ll fly to COS 8/23, check into the Palace Hotel https://www.salidapalacehotel.com/ and spend a lot of time with June in nearby little Nathrop. Salida is a wonderful little town, situated on the Arkansas River, on which is situated a beautiful little park, caring naught if you brought over something from the wine shop across the street to help you pass the time as you sat on one of their benches to watch the river flow by. There’s a mountain right across the river that crazy mountain bikers like to traverse. It bears many names (Wikipedia calls it “Methodist mountain” which is not what the guy at the Salida desk told me). It also bears a big white “S”, which I had to tell my brother John doesn’t mean that MSU has claimed the structure, although sports teams for the local high school are the “Spartans”
After 2 days here, we’ll drive back to COS, dump the car, and take the shuttle to the Broadmoor, where we’ll spent one night in the resort, Kathy racking up spa charges. Then we move up 8,000 feet to “Cloud Camp” for 2 days, a more rustic form of luxe, hot tub outside our cabin, and all food and drink covered. Friday come home, Kathy gets a couple of down days before Fall term classes start on Monday 8/31.
But last night (8/4), a thought came over me: we’ll be quite a ways west anyway, why not take it to the coast? I didn’t discuss it with Kathy but slept on it. Maybe that’s why I woke up at 4:30. I was going to e-mail my LJ host and friend Ken Kalunian to ask if a trip there was even advisable. He’d been frank with me in June saying it would be folly to come out then because COVID. Instead, I looked into specifics. Very reasonable flights were there for a COS-SAN-DTW swing. So, I booked them on Travelocity. Have 24 hours to cancel if Ken or Kathy don’t approve. I then went looking for a Windnsea Beach cottage. La Jolla Vacation Rentals, run by one of Ken’s old girlfriends and who had rented us our places last 2 times out, had nothing, but VRBO did. So we have a La Jolla cottage at 333 ½ Playa del Sur, 2 blocks to the beach. Booked. All before Kathy got up.
When I explained my fiendish plot to her, she was concerned she wouldn’t have enough time to prep for classes. I pointed out that (a.) she’d been teaching the same class all summer and was likely “warmed up” and (b.) she’d have 6 uninterrupted hours in first class on the flight home Sunday. She finally agreed it was a good idea to go.
I’ve checked out some of our favorite LJ haunts on line – Karl’s, Public House, Promiscuous Fork, “Lotta Dudes” (Latitude 32) – and all were open. Ken finally checked in saying most places were open outdoors, with seating expanded into streets and parking lots. Even some churches were having outdoor services. Ours – LJPres (https://ljpres.org/) – was not.
So, barring a surge in COVID that prompts Gov. Newsome to lock things down again, we’re ready and rarin’ to go. The COVID numbers have been going down. San Diego county was never very bad. So LJ, here we come!