As many of you know, we just returned from a whirlwind trip to southern California. It was very nice and also very strange at the same time. I guess maybe it's always that way when you go away from home.
First off, I would like to say that we love the San Diego area very much. It is the part of CA I have spent the most amount of time in. John has spent more time in the Ventura/Santa Barbara area as he lived in Ojai when he first got out of the Air Force. He is a bigger fan of the SD area though. :) We also liked San Francisco very much the one time we were there. The weather is wonderful at this time of year. So nice and cool. We actually brought our jackets with for the evening but we decided not to wear them because we were enjoying being a little chilly for a change. Sean was actually complaining that he was cold the whole time but then the first words out of his mouth at the rest area by El Centro were, "I wish we could go back to the cool in San Diego." LOL
I personally find the Sulphur Springs Valley to be the most beautiful place on the face of the earth. It is where I grew up. It is where my parents' ashes are scattered. In short, it is home and is beautiful to me. After that I believe I would have to say the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego is pretty hard to beat. The ocean in general is beautiful to me. My father loved the ocean and I was raised to hold its beauty in my heart and also to respect its strength. Sorry, Sean, for scolding you about not having proper reverence for it but it does NOT look like a giant bath in any way, shape or form and it is NOT only interesting when you can see ships. There is something about staring out into the ocean that makes one realize just how minute we are in the grand scheme of things. It boggles my mind to think that the same Creator who came up with the beauty of the Pacific Ocean also came up with the beauty of the Arizona deserts. So completely different and yet both so spectacularly beautiful, particularly at sunset.
I do have a couple of questions about California driving though, the first being: Who is the yutz who settled on 70 MPH for the speed limit? It is virtually impossible to hold a car at that speed. Cars, at least every car I have ever owned, prefer speeds that end in a 5. Of course, once you get further into California this becomes a moot point as it's not often that you get to bring the car up to full speed and the traffic between San Diego and Los Angeles comes to periodic standstills, which brings me to my next question.
What is the reason for the traffic coming to a standstill? Here in Arizona traffic comes to a standstill for three things: 1. An accident involving serious injury or death, 2. A severe dust storm which brings visibility to zero, or 3. A truck whose load has shifted and dumped into the road rendering passage impossible. Outside of these three occurrences we keep it moving. EVERY time the traffic slowed to a stop when we were out there we watched when it started moving again and it was either somebody with a flat tire, a small--and I mean SMALL--fender-bender, CHP had somebody pulled over on the side of the road or NOTHING. With all due respect, folks, glance sideways, say, "Well, they're having a bad day today. Thank you, God it isn't us," say a small prayer for those involved and KEEP MOVING.
We also noticed that if one gets hungry on the freeway in CA it is quite possible to die of starvation when there are plenty of places to eat. Here in AZ if you are hungry you can watch the blue signs on the side of the road as you get close to the exits and they will announce not only that there is food, fuel and lodging at the exit but what restaurants, gas stations and hotels/motels are there. In CA it's best guess. There is no indicator and then as you're passing the exit you say, "Oh, gee, look! There was McD's, BK, and Jack." They're losing a lot of revenue. Your state is losing revenue as well. The companies pay the state to have their name/logo on the blue signs, folks. Great source of revenue for the state.
We also noticed that CA doesn't seem to have the infamous photo enforcement cameras. That is very nice. However, they would be a GREAT source of revenue for your financially-strapped state considering the lack of regard for traffic laws we witnessed during our short stay. Where we're from the lines in the road indicate the divisions where the cars are supposed to remain. When making a left turn at an intersection it is generally accepted world-wide that one goes in FRONT of the cars stopped at the light in the other direction. I have never in my life in AZ seen anyone go BEHIND a car waiting at the light and then go into their lane. I saw this on more than one occasion and on one occasion we were the car they were going behind. A little nerve-wracking to say the least. Also, as a general rule our motorcyclists don't lane-split. At one point on the interstate there were about 15 motorcycles in a line driving between our lane and the next lane. That's pretty dangerous, folks. I realize it's handy to be able to do it, however living is nice too.
It was nice to have our little sojourn in California, even though the reason for going was not a happy one. On the other hand, it is wonderful to be home even though it means back to dryness and triple-digit heat. No matter how wonderful the place you go on vacation is, you just can't beat HOME. After all, home is where the heart is.
I hope all is going well in everybody else's corner of the world.