March 01, 2012

Southern California

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from Southern California.

The Carlsbad Beach
IMG_3546: The Carlsbad Beach
Betty at Frangipani Winery
IMG_3548: Frangipani Winery
Betty, Cristina and Bill
IMG_3557: Betty Cristina and Bill
Cristina in the Hands of Friends
IMG_3564: Cristina in the Hands of Friends
The Mission San Luis Rey
IMG_3579: The Mission

The Good Life

The Good Life

We traveled to the Vista where my cousins Mary and Judy live. Vista is a community in northern San Diego County that is adjacent to Oceanside and Carlsbad. Their four-bedroom home was full. Judy's daughter Dana and her family are living with them. Dana is married to Steve Trimmins and they has two children, Zac and Madison. Zac is ten years old and Madison is two. When we arrived Mary was caring for her grandson

So, with such a full house, we started looking for a place to live. We planned to look for a place to rent in the area, provided the rent was within our budget. Should we fail to find satisfactory home, we would cross the boarder and find a home in northern Baja. We looked at three places to live. All were rooms in a shared household. We decided to stay with a friend of Judy and Mary, who has a large home in Vista. We get to use the whole house including a laundry room and a garage stall. The cost was high like the other places we examined and all of them were in the range of $800 to $1000 per month.

We chose the home of Cristina. She is a young, energetic woman with two children, Nicole and Eric. The children are in their late teens. We could not have asked for a better home to live in. The only thing that would have made it better would be a better view (and maybe a hot tub). We are about 20 minutes from the beach, and 45 minutes from downtown San Diego. Cristina hosted a Super Bowl party, where we got a chance to meet many of her friends. It was a lot of fun with good food and good libations.

The weather in Vista is usually sunny with daytime highs in the 60's and 70's. On the warm sunny days, we often go for hour-long walks. We walk in the neighborhood or drive to the beach in Carlsbad or Oceanside. I love seeing all the fruit trees. They are loaded with citrus fruits of every kind. We have found some nice places to eat out. The Mexican food is particularly good here. But food both in the grocery stores and especially the restaurant is costly compared to the rest of the US. I like the local library, and I even got a library card. Movie theaters and all kinds of stores can be found within a mile or so where we live.

Our most common destination is the coast from La Jolla to Oceanside. We really enjoy walking on the beach and boardwalks. Carlsbad has a great beach to walk and some nice restaurants, like Fish Harbor, where we can lunch. Oceanside has a longer and busier beach. When we were there last Sunday with temperatures in the 70's, we saw more than a thousand people. We also visited the tidal pools in La Jolla. La Jolla is a beautiful place. In Encinitas we visited the San Diego Botanic Garden. Another time we visited the Self-Realization meditation center.

The beach is not the only place that we have visited. One day we went to Temecula to visit the local wineries. Once again we found an area where the wineries are not really looking to sell wine. They are selling the tourist experience of tasting wine. We find this whole approach to wine culture to be disgusting, especially so when the tasting fee is not applicable toward the purchase of wine. We did enjoy seeing the vines, which have already have been pruned for the next growing season. We stopped at one vineyard, Frangipani Estates and paid the fee for tasting. The estate was simple and the wine was good. Perhaps they have to charge for tastings because the wine is so expensive with common prices from $18 to $35 per bottle that few tasters will buy the wine. It is so easy to fine good wine for $6 to $14 per bottle that it is hard to justify pay $20 for something that is only incrementally better.

We visited the old Mission San Luis Rey de Francia in Vista. It is older than the mission at San Juan Capistrano. The mission is more than 200 years old.

Mary has a time-share unit in Oceanside. Every year in February she spends a week on the beach. She invited us down to see the sunset. We snacked and drank wine as the warmth of the day and the sun descended over the ocean. It was a lovely moment.

We will let you know what we are doing this month before we head north on the first of April. I hope that you enjoy the photos.

Sunset Over the Pacific at Oceanside, California
IMG_3593: Sunset Over the Pacific

Posted by bill at 08:30 PM | Comments (1)