San Diego County Wild Fires Vacation

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SAN DIEGO COUNTY WILD FIRES VACATION 2014

A couple months ago, our son William, Jr. aka Mountain Bike Bill called to check and see what our schedule looked like for the month of May and figure out what week would be the best for both our families.  We have to schedule things around our Senior Citizen appointments and don't have too many open weeks during each month.  A couple weeks later, I received an email with the flight itinerary and he said "to pack our bags, we would be flying to California."

My bride and I were very excited, whereas we had not visited with Bill and his family in California since his US Navy retirement in March 2008, however he has been home visiting with us numerous times since his Military Contractor job required him to be on the East Coast for training, etc. with his last visit just prior to Thanksgiving 2013.

Our flight was scheduled to depart the Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, NC on 05-11-14 at 0755 and we had to rise from a deep sleep much earlier than normal and drive to my brother's home in Monroe, NC and he transported us the rest of the way.  There was a glitch in the cockpit with a malfunction light and we stayed on the ground in Charlotte, NC about an hour longer to get the problem fixed and the plane had to take on 500 pounds of extra fuel that was used up while the repairs were taking place.  Our flight was direct from Charlotte, NC to San Diego, CA and we arrived sometime around 1100 PST.  Our son had us booked First Class and we got spoiled very quickly with our meals served on plates, cloth napkins and real silverware.  There seemed to be an endless supply of amenities. 

Bill Jr. was waiting for us at the airport and the ride to Vista, CA was pretty quick with the traffic moving much faster than the posted 65 MPH speed.  Nichol was preparing a meal for us when we arrived at their 3 bedroom apartment with pixs as follows of the gated complex:

 

Below thumbnail pixs of Nichol and Bill in the kitchen......they certainly do work very well as a team:

Below pix of the plated meal......I definitely wasn't shy loading those beautimous viddles onto my plate:

After that wonderful meal followed by a custom dark microbrewery ale and outstanding desert, it was kick back time to catch up on current events. etc.  Nichol is a Lieutenant Commander in the US Navy active duty and was promoted to Commander with her extra "gold bar" and pay grade effective in the near future.  Nichol had to work Monday thru Friday and Bill was our "tour guide" and we visited some great places and enjoyed a variety of cuisine during the day and Nichol did her magic in the kitchen with some wonderful home cooked meals. 

I asked Bill about a Mom and Pop type restaurant we dined at during our 2008 visit in Ocean Side and he said that Mary's Restaurant was still as good as it was then even with new owners and that was first on our "to do list" the following day.  Below a few pixs taken:

When you order a breakfast plate, you get a PLATTER of food for sure!  The food was still fantastic!

A few weeks prior to our departure, I got a special request from one of my NCDPS friends Linda Driggers to purchase her a Tee Shirt at one of the IN-N-OUT burger places and that was to be our mid-morning meal the next day.  Pixs below:

CARLSBAD WILD FIRE OFF EL CAMINO REAL

We planned to visit the Museum Of Making Music located in Carlsbad, CA on Armada Drive about 8 miles from Vista and we didn't get there due to coming up on the start of one of the horrific San Diego County Wild Fires which destroyed several hundred acres of canyon trees, shrubs, etc. plus homes and businesses.  We were only a few minutes behind the start of the fire and the road in front of us was quickly blocked off by Law Enforcement Officers.  Below is one of the most dramatic pixs taken by our son who had his Canon camera set for "rapid fire", no pun intended:

Below sequence thumbnail pixs taken:

Without the rapid response time of the first responders, fire fighters, etc., and numerous water drops from helicopters, I believe that whole complex above would have been reduced very quickly to ashes.  There were a total of ten (10) wild fires during our week stay there in San Diego County with three (3) fires still burning on the day of our departure with two of them near containment.

The temperatures reached a high of 100 a couple days and around 60 plus at night but without any humidity it didn't feel that hot at all.  The temperature was more than 20 degrees above normal due to the Santa Ana winds coming off the desert from the East.  Before we left, the wind started blowing in from the sea and the temperature was getting back close to normal but still high for that time of the year.  

Below are thumbnail pixs taken in one of the canyons after the Carlsbad Wild Fire was contained:

Below two pixs of the Coronado Hills fire taken by Pat Warner of Escondido, CA; business acquaintance of mine of whom I had the pleasure of meeting in March 2008:

 

MUSEUM OF MAKING MUSIC CARLSBAD, CA

After the Carlsbad Wild Fire, the Museum of Making Music was reopened, however their banjo display was closed to the public since they dismantled the display due to the extreme cost of many pre-war instruments which were on loan to them.  There is a fee charged to visit the museum but it was free on both days we attended the museum, whereas the banjo exhibit was opened two days after the Carlsbad fire.  Below are pixs taken and click on the thumbnails for a larger screen view:

Bill and myself didn't take a pix of every display and there were many, many more displays of rare instruments of all types.  My main interest was the banjo display.  I saw a couple instruments on loan belonging to a long time business acquaintance of mine (Chuck Erikson) aka The Duke of Pearl who lives in Grass Valley, CA.  One of his instruments is a converted pre-war plectrum Gibson Florentine FON 9137-4 which has the original full weight flat head tone ring in it.....a very high dollar "banger" for sure. 

SAN DIEGO COUNTY COASTLINE TOUR

We took several half day road trips and below are a few pixs taken.  Click on thumbnail pixs for a larger screen view:

It was very hazy and overcast at the Naval complex at San Diego. 

Below are a few miscellaneous pixs taken with my little obsolete 7.1 Mega pixel Olympus C7000 digital camera which didn't do too bad:

The pix of the Bird of Paradise flower is one of my favorite pixs taken with the Olympus camera and Bill, Jr. did his magic with Photoshop to get the color levels balanced out.  Click on thumbnails for a larger screen view:

Bill's youngest son "Jake" had an evening meal with us and also went out to mid-morning brunch with us.  A few pixs of him:

Jake is giving one of those Southern California Mr. Cool signs for sure!  First thing Jake said when I pulled out my regular low tech cell phone was, "Grandpa, when are you going to get an IPhone" aka ObamaphoneI had to grin real big on that one since I have only made a couple test text messages.....maybe I will break down and get a Smart Phone.....another grin is in order!  I usually run ten years or more behind technology until I have to make the change.

My bride and I had a wonderful vacation with our son and his family.  We had a good laid back style of vacation without rushing or pushing ourselves trying to take in everything that Southern California has to offer.  Nichol baked four different types of home made pizza on our last evening and they were "off the chain" good!  Nichol is a fantastic Chef and I gained at least five (5) pounds from the week in San Diego County and having to pay the price this week at the Buff Monkey Fitness Company in hopes of shedding them......grin if you must!

The return flight home took us through Washington, DC and then to Charlotte, NC and was routine.  My brother Allen and his wife Betty Joe picked us up at the Douglas Internal Airport and we had a late Dinner aka Supper at a Texas Roadhouse in Matthews, NC and a special thank you to them.  I had a mental image of Patrick Swayze and Sam Elliott from the movie Roadhouse doing some fighting while enjoying that delicious rib eye steak with all the trimmings.

We got home around 10:18PM on the 18th and jet lag didn't catch up with me until today (05-20-14) and I have been dragging around all day without much energy in a semi-daze.

As I have said many times on this website, "Two of the Greatest Ships that ever Sailed, Friendship and Fellowship" and my bride and I experienced it to the maximum during our week with our son and his family.

NOTE:  Bill, Jr. took most of the photos with his Canon 7D 35mm DSLR and did all the editing except resizing which I did today.  Balance of pixs taken with an Olympus C7000 by yours truly.

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 05-20-14

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