Star of the See
Every time I sit down to write a post I think I have nothing much to say. And then, of course, my loquacious nature takes over. So, let’s see what happens. I don’t plan my posts, they just write themselves. Thanks for putting up with them!
Deanna and Al are moving to San Diego. They have been back East for the past five years after leaving San Francisco, so I am thrilled. Deanna and I are as close as sisters. Second only to Geoffrey, she is my absolute BFF — and I have a lot of friends as I am an extrovert (could you tell?). But, I tend to make friends, spend time cultivating our mutual interests and then, as those interests or circumstances change, drift away. I have rarely lost a friend completely because I never do anything to hurt anyone, and certainly never intentionally. But there have been toxic people who insinuated themselves into our lives from whom I have had to distance myself and my husband.
A lot of people are drawn to Geoffrey, especially women, but men as well. Funny, though, because he is a loner. Truly indifferent. He is pleasant and friendly, but aloof with most acquaintances. Perhaps it is because he grew up in a big family, as the middle child, and had to create a space for himself.
What is great about this for me is that I never have to worry about spending time doing the things I love about which he is uninterested. He has been indulgent of all my many and costly hobbies. I have never met such a calm, self-contained individual. Exactly my opposite, the high-strung princess that I am.
Anyway, this is a long way of saying that, while in the past I had totally ignored San Diego, I am now utterly smitten. We had gone there years back when I first arrived in Southern California. Each year Geoff’s parents would have a family getaway to Coronado Island at Labor Day. We would use it as a jumping off point and so explored the entire lower California area during those trips. That included a few extended trips into Mexico. I should really post on my experiences there. Suffice to say, they involved Montezuma. More on that at a future date!
I loved various things about the area, I now recall, like Old Town, the Zoo and Animal Parks. There is a lot to see. Yet, I was never interested in going farther south. When Deanna and Al were living in Northern California, it seemed that is where we would ultimately land. Since it is now obvious that Geoffrey plans to work until we are centenarians (he vows never to stop), Downtown LA is our anchor and I have to avoid considering it an albatross.
We looked at various possibilities as I have already posted in the past few years and have pretty much decided we want to be at the beach. The problem being, of course, beach property in California is astronomical. Only Ventura and Oxnard fall within our reach. So that is where we will go when we cannot take the Tea Party Town we live in one more minute.
Much as I would love to move closer to Deanna et al. it isn’t doable partially for commuting distance needs to DT LA and partly because the farther south one goes in California, the more costly the standard of living. The average house where they are moving, is about 2 million dollars — can you believe that? Luckily Al inherited a fortune enabling them to pull this off comfortably. Not so us. We will be content with the two hour drive or train ride and see them when we can. I envision us living vicariously, at least, in this beautiful part of the world.
Back to San Diego. We are now rediscovering its many charms for visitors. Coincidentally, my Dad’s sister who had lived in Long Beach, just moved to a house on the beach in La Jolla. So gorgeous, I cannot begin to describe it: rustic, comfortable, sprawling, with sunset views you cannot get anywhere else. Perched high on the cliffs over endless wild beaches strewn with driftwood and wildlife who come there to rest and renew. We spent a week there in April and that is exactly how I felt. It was like being in Hawaii but not as enervating, more energizing. We had late breakfasts overlooking the water dotted with surfers; then wandered on foot up to the Village for shopping and lunch, or over to the Aquarium with Anna. We took long walks along the Strand that runs the length of California and collected shells for our nieces. It was pure lux in a way that I had forgotten was possible in America.
Most importantly, my Aunt keeps the TV off during the day. At home, I have it on from morning to night every day. It is just one of the backdrops of our lives when we are at home, along with the yard and the gardening and office environments in which I spend my day. Amazingly, the world in tv-land got along without me. 😀
The title of this post refers to the importance of baja and alta California to the prosperity of the Vatican originally and then to North America. It was discovered by the Spanish — via the Portuguese Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo — developed by the Church for transferring riches and revenue to the Holy City and establishing the basis of its string of Missions up the coast, as I have mentioned previously. It was the first of the seats of Catholicism founded by Saint Serra and was named for Saint Didacus. So beautiful were the coasts, the water, and the perfect climate that what was to become Mexico and later America’s California discovered the notion of bounty without burden, beauty without obligation: people could live and thrive and develop economically, socially and spiritually in so hospitable a location, free of most impediments like natural disasters (for the most part) or hostile natives.
The indigenous Kumeyaay people were agricultural and artistic rather than bellicose hunter-gatherers and easily assimilated (not for their ultimate benefit, it turns out, as was typical of these colonies). The food, music, art, and vegetation were all blended into a relatively harmonious cultural and economic collaboration that put California on the path to being perhaps the second biggest financial center in the world today. It is no coincidence that it is called the Golden State: overflowing with sunshine, glistening beaches, sparkling waters and soil literally erupting to give up its treasure.
So, let me develop this more in future posts. I cannot simply describe and present San Diego in one chapter here. In fact, it will probably supplant the location I had in mind for my summer travel sticky page. Watch this spot and in the meantime, please enjoy some of the hundreds of photos I took in April while staying with my Aunt.
Next up: Ashleep
Images: Chez BeBe assets: La Jolla, Califonia