Nostalgia Tour

February 17, 2020

Really looking forward to the next few days…   a couple in Redondo Beach and a couple in Huntington/Long Beach, before flying home on Friday.

Maybe it’s the brothers tour: two days in Chris’s neighborhood and two in Matt’s.

Starting with the South Bay…  driving into Palos Verdes was particularly satisfying-comforting-reassuring-good-smelling. The bridle trail was so green!


Via La Selva looked good in the late afternoon light. (Also, there were huge trucks, like construction-type vehicles, in our driveway… things must be finally happening there.)


Checked into my Airbnb on Avenue A, then took a sunset walk. Beside myself with the air. And the view of PV.  And the horizon. And all that water. It was almost too much to bear. But I loved it. Walked from Avenue A to Avenue I, paid my respects to mom’s bench, walked briskly back to Avenue A to sit and watch the sunset. Kinda perfect.






And then met Chris for dinner at Bettolino, formerly Gina Lee’s. Spirited conversation ensued. Lordy.


Making a Splash

February 16, 2020

Last night we attended the grand re-opening of Splash, a wine bar in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego. We went because it was recently purchased and re-energized by Yali Bair and her daughter Kelsey. The Bairs were friends from Davis during Peter’s junior high and high school years.

Yali relocated to San Diego after her husband Aaron passed away a year ago. Aaron’s death was incredibly sad since he was relatively young and in what should have been the middle of a wonderful life. Professionally, he served as the chief of Emergency medicine at the UC Med Center, and was much loved and highly respected. He was in a very happy marriage with Yali, with two kids — Kelsey and Daniel — on the verge of starting their independent lives.  Mostly, I look at that as a life very well lived on all fronts. Shorter than some, and sad for those he left behind, but he did good. He died of some sort of mysterious, disappearing/recurring autoimmune disease that proved incurable, despite the best of medical care.

Yali’s making a new start, including a radical shift in careers with the wine bar, and Kelsey’s on board as a partner. It’s wonderful.

And we got to see them last night as their new venture officially launched. The timing was great!

Splash is right on University, near Ohio. Coincidentally (mildly), Ohio Street is where my Grandma Celia lived all those decades ago. (I got a kick out of that factoid.. because a have enjoyed for the last four years reflecting back on my time at UCSD (46 years ago!!) and my experience of the environs, including getting to see a lot more of my grandma during those years.)


That’s Peter in the door way, on our way out, talking to this young woman who knows about Ann Arbor (one of Peter’s grad school options). Jim’s lower left.


Peter and Daniel.. buddies from the way back. Daniel also graduates this year from SLO with a degree in business and has a job lined up in San Francisco with a go-go firm, as does his girlfriend Chloe (different go-go firm). (Not to mention a deal on an apartment in the Marina.) So proud of these kids.


And some card playing, while tasting wines… I tell ya.



Peter, Jim and I then went to a late dinner at an Italian favorite in the Hillcrest neighborhood– Parma. Fantastic.



With Peter’s time in San Diego counting down, we figured we’d better get back over to the zoo for one last visit. We’d been there in 2015, before he even knew he’d attend UCSD… so, five years later….



Here are a few iPhone (as if that’s not obvious) animal shots:










We’d learned that there were a few Rainbow Eucalyptus trees somewhere at the zoo. We inquired, and were directed just outside the main gate. Worth finding!



It was an unfortunate day to have been without my Apple watch.. as I could not count our steps nor note our significant mileage! But we did walk a bunch. After walking all over tarnation at the zoo, we added some tarnation at Balboa Park. That was particularly pretty at sunset, but I’ve already posted too many pictures, so you’ll just have to imagine the glowing light on the architecturally stunning buildings.

Well… here’s one:


And we met Kim and Sandi for dinner at nearby Cucina Urbana… which was its usual exceptional. Then Peter and I dropped Jim off at the airport, as per our Sunday evening ritual, and returned to La Jolla.


The View from Here

February 15, 2020

We are now keenly aware that our time in La Jolla is coming to an end… after four years of 4-5 trips/year, and dozens of restaurants and hikes and walks along the beach. Feels a bit sad but also kind of exciting as we think about what is in store for Peter in his next academic chapter. More on that later.

We are feeling prematurely nostalgic this trip and have decided to spend the next couple visits–likely our last for a long while–returning to favorite restaurants (detailed notes of which I’ve kept…no surprise to my guys).

This morning, we went to Brockton Villa for brunch…


…and had their famous Coast Toast. Yum. No pictures of that, but here is the view from the restaurant (if you looked down from these double palms, you’d see the La Jolla Cove).


And the original…


Sure gonna miss this place.


The Jewel

February 14, 2020

In English, la joya means “the jewel.” I assume that La Jolla is a form of la joya.. they’re certainly pronounced the same.

In any case, Jim and I are in La Jolla, meeting up with Peter within the hour, I hope. He’s still in class. We flew in to San Diego at about noon and headed to a little culinary pocket of mostly Mexican restaurants we discovered a few visits ago, this time eating at a place called Lucha Libre Taco Shop (which is full of Mexican pro wrestling kitsch). It’s considered completely authentic (why wouldn’t it be?) and it was good. We’re now killing time in our hotel room, but spent a good part of the afternoon walking along the beach in this lovely (ritzy) quintessential Southern California coastal town.  Beeeeeautiful day. I might be a bit sunburned.

Some snaps:


I liked the water patterns.




Played a little with this one. Note the surfing blobs out there.



This is a neato front door.


I just love a bare eucalyptus trunk. It is the coolest look. And those roots..


It’s Valentine’s Day… so these just materialized out of nowhere…


Fun to have a thatched hut on the beach for folks to use. This is near what appears to be a popular surf spot; and the waves (which were breaking to the left of this shot) looked pretty fun.


I’m always a sucker for rows of backlit palm trees against a blue sky.


And, Happy Valentine’s Day!  I love us:

When Life Gives You Crazy…

February 13, 2020

…… head to the creek on a brilliantly sunny day.

The crazier it gets, the more we need respite, and the arboretum this morning was that place. So far, just a few trees are blooming, but the place was teeming with artists and babies and duck families.


We couldn’t escape politics (a theme that repeated everywhere I went today). We were doing our usual loop around the creek going over some of the latest alarming news(*), as we do, passing pairs of others similarly animated. I have to believe it’s a good thing that concerned people all over town (and I presume other towns, as well) are in various states of shock.

It was pretty down there, and one could easily escape into the surroundings and loveliness…








Equestrian Center



Greens so green



(*) From my new favorite historian, Heather Cox Richardson, who’s been preparing a daily summary of the day’s notable news now for months (Called “Letters From an American”): “Since the Senate acquitted him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, Trump seems to feel untouchable, and he is trying to consolidate his power.” And then she went on to cite the details of numerous examples, including T’s meddling in Roger Stone’s sentencing and AG Barr bending to his will, though that wasn’t the only example. The whole essay today just made me shake. And it looks like there could be a showdown between the two branches of the dem party for the nomination–not news–but that it could become a fight between Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg. That could get complicated and threatening to party unity.




Okay, I’m not going to post every time I spend a couple of hours registering voters, but I just have to say this is about the most tangible, satisfying political work I have ever done, or will ever do. Truly, what could be more important?

Registering voters at CSU Stanislaus (Modesto) is more like a 6-hour commitment with the commute time, but that drive part goes fast when you’re in a car with three other relentlessly motivated, politically engaged/enraged fellow dems… that is some good conversation, let me tell you.

For those keeping track (me, of course), my personal 2020 voter registration total so far is 27 (added ten today).  I’ve toyed with the idea of setting a goal for myself of new democratic voters for the 2020 election … 100? 500? but I’m not even sure what a good target is.. other than as many as possible and every new vote counts.

So, we’ll just keep doing that.