Duke City Redux

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June 17, 2019, Albuquerque-

This morning saw the last vestige of abdominal upset leave me.  Today would be a day for treading lightly and eating slowly.  It did not take long for the Elantra and me to get to Mother Road Hostel, though, and I was pleased to be able to get settled earlier than is the case in most hostels.  An early nap took care of what was left to be cured.

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I had hoped to get in a return visit to Blackbird Coffee House, in Old Town, but the parking situation is such that exact change is required for a space, and I’m still not one to offer $10, for a $5 fare.  I did get laundry done, across from Mother Road, ignoring a “plea” from a street person who said he needed coins to do his laundry, yet there was no sign of said laundry, as he stood in front of The Wash Tub.

Mother Road is a thoroughly relaxing place, convenient to both downtown and Old Town, though it was rather toasty today.  By evening, though, with laundry clean and put away, I ventured to the west side of Downtown, and enjoyed a lovely dinner of Minestrone Soup, Vortellini and sauteed vegetables, at Villa di Capo.  Being the days of the Senior Olympics, I was joined by many people my age and older.  This competition augurs well for those seeking a higher quality of life, as people age.  I personally did not take part in the events, but the examples of my contemporaries spurred me to plan a hike tomorrow, at Palo Duro Canyon, south of Amarillo.

Declining spumoni or tiramisu, I bid my gracious hosts farewell, and took a stroll around the Raynolds neighbourhood, taking in both architecture (lots of Art Deco, in downtown Albuquerque) and street murals.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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There is a pizzeria, two blocks west of Villa di Capo, which invites patrons with this sidewalk piece.

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Java Joe’s, closed for the evening, looks inviting, nonetheless.

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Raynolds’ residents seem to be quite active, in addressing the needs of their surrounding area.

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These three poles adorn a middle school playground.

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Finally, the full range of the neighbourhood’s vibe is shown here.

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Albuquerque was restorative to my health, and a confirmation that hostel life is most suitable to my mode of exploration.

NEXT:  A Spot of “Fun Zone” and A Lighthouse in the Desert

 

 

 

Changes and Chances

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February 16, 2019, San Diego-

When I set out this morning, from Blythe, I half-expected to see nothing but clouds and moisture, once past the San Gabriels and Mt. San Jacinto.  Neither happened, and while a few clouds sent sprinkles our way, here and there, the weather was cool but pleasant.

With a friend in Riverside County at work and not available to visit, I headed for Old Town Temecula, a place I’ve found off-putting in the past, due to the invariably high volume of traffic spilling onto the I-15 freeway.

The half-mile or so, of preserved and reconstructed buildings gives a trendy air to the historic ambiance of Old Town. It’s not Bisbee, or even Virginia City, but Temecula has charm in abundance.  There is an abundance of wineries in the area, for those so inclined.

I am strictly a coffee/tea person, so my refreshment stop was at Press On, a crowded, happy shop, in the midst of Old Town’s Front Street. The shop is on the left side of the photo below.

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Temecula’s history is shown in a mural, two frames of which are shown below.

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Here are some other scenes of Old Town.

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Temecula’s City Hall is quite impressive.  The water in the front fountain is not frozen, despite its appearance. It didn’t get quite that cold today.

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Humour, of course, helped people get along in the most rambunctious of times.

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Thus invigorated, I headed towards San Diego, for a bit of reminiscence.  On the way, I encountered a vehicle darting diagonally across I-215, between Temecula and Escondido.  The driver managed to stop the vehicle and set it aright, on the grass shoulder of the highway, just shy of a very steep ravine.  I hope to never see such a thing again, but who can say what frights await, in the days and years ahead?

In San Diego, I spent some time at Tuna Harbor, part of the city’s wondrous shoreline and a monument to the civilian fishermen who served as lookouts for the Coast Guard, keeping an eye out for Japanese naval forays, during World War II.  Here, I had a nice,cheap seafood meal, at Marion’s, and caught these lovely sunset views.

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It is a great evening, in a very homey city. I will head north, to Carlsbad, for a night’s rest.  Then, will come a couple of visits with friends, in two very different parts of SoCal, tomorrow. Hopefully, the weather will hold up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Small Time Mariner’s Voyage- Day 1: California Musings

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October 11, 2014, San Diego- I set out for San Diego on Friday night, actually, from this point in a town called Chino Valley,

AZ, where a few of us played musical instruments and sang as a send-off for what I hope is my last journey out of the Four Corners region, for a while.  I love the journey, but have a hard time with the backlash from those who don’t get that I actually care about them.  The fact that these are family members doesn’t make it any easier.  Maybe once they see that I am staying close to home, and am working as hard as they are, things will get better between us.

Now, back to the subject at hand. My friends, the Brehmers, were hosts at the jumping-off gathering.

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As I drove across Arizona’s Outback, it was notable that two towns with which I am familiar, Wenden and Salome, had been drenched by the remnants of Hurricane Simon.  These towns in the western Sonora Desert are normally bone-dry.  Yesterday and today were different, though.

I got to Blythe, on the Colorado River, and stopped for the night, at Relax Inn.  It was a bit sultry, as the AC had quit, but I slept well, anyway.  This morning, I got up, ate a quick breakfast at Steaks and Cakes, and blazed to San Diego- getting into town around 3 PM.

This weekend, America’s Hometown celebrates Oktoberfest AND Italian Heritage Days, so rooms were at a premium, and scarce.  I got a spot at Premier Inn, on Pacific Coast Highway, near Old Town, and set out for Little Italy, taking my first ride on San Diego’s trolley.  One of my favourite Italian restaurants, Filippi’s, awaited, as did the Chalk Art Festival, stretching from India Street to Amici Park.

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The presence of lilacs, and of Italian cypress trees, adds a grand ambiance to the already bellissimo Little Italy.

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After an especially fabulous meal at the never-disappointing Filippi’s, I ended the evening with a walk over to Horton Plaza, in the heart of downtown.  The shopping mecca now has its own obelisk.

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San Diego is never a disappointment.  The day ahead  would bring me to another city which holds out promise in that regard:  Honolulu.