Monday, February 6, 2017

San Diego, CA - On the Beach

Ah, if it’s San Diego, it’s the beach and we walk along it as often as we can. That’s one of the great benefits of this campground - it’s right on Mission Bay and about 5 minutes by car from Pacific Beach. We like walking on a weekend because all the ‘tourists’ are here. Some of them come in fancy cars. The guy who drove up in this one sure got a crowd.
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I’ll admit that it wasn’t warm this day but I didn’t think it was this cold. I think she’s giving me the evil eye.
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There’s the beach, a sea wall, a wide sidewalk, big enough for skateboarders, bikers, strollers and walkers and then the homes that line the beach. Many of them are rentals and there are tons of young people here. Here’s an example - note that every floor has a balcony and windows on the beach. I think that the owner of the orange home want to see it from the water.
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We were surprised to see that the Hare Krishna’s were still around. We heard a lot about them in the 60’s but nothing recently. Nope, they are still around.
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There was a regatta out beyond the breakers. So colorful with their spinnakers out.
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We ended up with a cup of ice cream.
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Sun, warmth, breeze, ice cream. Hmmm. Can’t be beat.
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Sunday, February 5, 2017

San Diego, CA - Too Hot Chili

How in the world is it possible to make bad chili? Well, that’s the story but it comes in a minute.
First, here’s a cute picture of our RV on one of our first RV trips.
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Here’s the back story. We lived in Des Moines, IA and traveled up to Fort Dodge, IA a lot to see my mother and brother and Gary’s father who all lived up there. We traveled this route for many years and NEVER saw a campground on the side of the road in a small park. NEVER. Well, when we had an RV, we saw it right away and went through it to check it out. That’s probably true for lots of people: you never see all the campgrounds around until you actually have an RV. OK, now that we saw this campground, we decided to try it out. Ooh, boy, first big camping trip in our new RV.
I worked so Gary drove the RV up during the day and I was followed in the car after work. When I got there I saw this parking job. Whoo-eee. Looking at this picture, you’d think that he just pulled into it and stopped in front of the tree. Nope. He backed into the spot, he did not pull in to it. How in the world did he do that? He did say something about a ‘lot of jockeying around.’ And, ‘the neighbors must have enjoyed the show.’

We had a fun time here just trying out the camping experience. Remember, Gary and I had never owned an RV, had never camped in a campground and had never RV’ed in our lives - until we bought an RV. So, here we are, our new RV, one of our first camping trips. What fun. The only disappointment with the experience was all the campfires. Our neighbors had a campfire going all the time whether they were there sitting around it or gone for the day. Why did they build a campfire, stoke it with lots of big logs and then leave for the day? And, why, oh, why, was the wind blowing our way? We had to keep our windows and door shut for the entire weekend.

OK, that’s it for old pictures for the day. Let’s move up to the present.

Yesterday, we walked along Pacific Beach. To get there we walk by Mission Bay and there are cliffs lining part of it. Here’s a picture of the cliffs. All of these cliffs are made of sand and roads and homes line the top. You can see the effects of the terrible drought California has had over the last 6 or so years. This whole cliff used to be covered with the green plant that you can see on the right hand side of the picture.
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Here’s another picture with more cover but you can see where the plants have died and left gaping holes. You can imagine how any heavy rain will erode what is left of the slope. And, that’s just exactly what California has been going though this last month.
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On our way to the beach we passed a park where we saw this guy playing with his remote controlled car. He’s got some ramps, he speeds the car towards them and watches as it hits the ramps, spins upward, turns and rolls in the air before it hits the ground. Fun to watch as he did this several times.
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At the beach we had to try out the ice cream.
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Creamy and smooth. I think it’s called Big Bear ice cream and they mostly put it between the cookies they make to make ice cream sandwiches. We just take the ice cream.
But the blog title is ‘Too Hot Chili’ so let’s get to the story. Here’s a picture of Fred, Marilyn and Gary at Fred’s home on Super Bowl Sunday. What a couple. He's 97 and she's 91, both active, both involved in their communities and both lots of fun to talk with. BTW, I have another aunt who is north of 80 and is currently in Guatemala on a mission project building a home for a family there. I hope that I can live as full and as active a life when I'm their ages.
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Several weeks ago, I thought it would be fun to watch the Super Bowl with Fred, my uncle who is now 97 years old. Imagine that! 97. I said I’d bring the meal. Turkey chili seemed the easiest to prepare and take over there in a crock pot. My usual recipe uses a can of chili beans along with some other ingredients. But, my aunt Marilyn said that whenever she wanted turkey chili, she emptied a can of turkey chili in to a pot and heated it. Hmmm. So I added a can of turkey chili to my recipe. If it’s good enough for Marilyn, it’s good enough for me.

NOT. It was awful. Way too much chili for us. Fred, who must have a cast iron stomach, liked it. Gary thought it pretty hot. I thought it was way too hot and Marilyn, who has acid reflux, managed to be a good guest and got a small bowl of it down. Ugh. Too much spice with the chili beans and the turkey chili. The next day as Gary and I were eating the left-overs, I managed to eat some but pushed the rest towards Big Gar and said, ‘You can have this.’ Nope, he said and we tossed it. We almost never toss food. We eat it all, even it the taste isn’t to our liking. But this chili - it got tossed.
Big apologies to Marilyn. Luckily, we had had her over for dinner a few days ago and the meal was great. Whew.