Beachy Walkabout

A few sprinkles of welcome rain over the weekend made perfect timing for a beach walk.

Look at this GIGANTIC skeleton for Halloween. Not too scary, right?

Then I saw some literal beach bunnies on the upper sidewalk.

Beautifully overcast, no whales or dolphin, but the ubiquitous surfer reigns supreme.

Before the Rain | After: Petrichor

This is what it looked like before a brief thunderstorm delighted all of us in SoCal.

It sounded as if someone was throwing around trash cans on the side of the house so I went out to look, and realized it was thunder! That’s an example of how novel an experience a thunder and lightening storm is for us.

We haven’t had rain in such a long time and it smells fresh right now, exactly the definition of the word petrichor.

Petrichor is the term coined in 1964 by Australian scientists to describe the unique, earthy smell associated with rain. It’s said to be caused by the water from rain, along with certain compounds like ozone, geosmin, and plant oils.
(https://www.acs.org/content/dam/acsorg/education/students/highschool/chemistryclubs/infographics/petrichor-the-smell-of-rain.pdf)

It looks like a bit more rain might visit us in the next few days. We’re excited to fill up our rain barrels and receive the bounty of Mother Nature.

Wavescape

There are hardly any plants that grow in the sand here, so when I saw these marshy reeds up against the seawall, I peeked through and snapped a few photos of the pretty ocean.

Algae Cluster

I crossed the street to see if there were herons or egrets in the ditch that feeds the lagoon, and this is what I saw.

They almost looked like lily or lotus pads, but it’s a cluster of green algae. I hope it’s not toxic, BUT it clearly demonstrates how things that look beautiful might be harmful, noxious, destructive, and dangerous.

#WordlessWednesday

Just Before Sunset

Three dolphins jumped out of the water directly in front of me.

I was rummaging in the bag for snacks for a very hungry Angel Boy, when he shouted, “Grandma, a shark, look near the jetty!”

Immediately, my eyes laser focused toward the spot where he was pointing, and I could see that it wasn’t a shark but a trio of shiny dolphins!

Dolphins make me happy. Seeing a dolphin with my favorite boy makes me even happier.

I tried to snap a pic but wasn’t quick enough. They were headed north, sharply silhouetted by the rays of the summer sun setting low toward the horizon,

Instead, I was able to capture the multiple joys of my two favorite Angel Boys.

History repeats itself as the sun goes down and I’m calling both of them to COME OUT OF THE WATER, IT’S TIME TO GO HOME!

“Five more minutes, Grandma. Daddy says to tell you five more minutes.”

I experienced a major deja vu moment of standing in that same spot many times over the years as I shouted at the top of my lungs for the original AB to come out of the water because it was completely DARK.

Half an hour later, tired and sandy, we head home to a shower, more food, and an exhausted but happy boy falls immediately asleep.

Simple joys are the BEST.

Surf Talk: Building Swell

On my beach walk, I noticed an inordinate number of surfers at Tamarack simply sitting on their boards. From my vantage at the top of the steps, I could see up and down the coast and I saw zero waves which made me wonder why there were dozens in the lineup.

In fact, I took a pic and sent it to my son to show him how odd it looked to see all those people just sitting there in nonexistent surf; conditions we refer to as Lake Pacific.

After a few minutes, I noticed the line of incoming waves looked like they were increasing in size. Ahh, I thought to myself, it’s a building swell and these surfers were savvy, waiting for it to happen.

When I got home, I checked, and the surf forecast for Carlsbad is three to five feet with sets to six feet, and growing.

This is just the beginning. The waves emanating from the South Pacific are forecasted to reach 8-10 feet and more, especially at Sunset Cliffs. Fun times, indeed!

Hopefully, there will still be good waves when the Angels come down for a visit, but not THAT big!

The Kindness of Strangers

I had to go down to the airport which is about forty miles away, not because I was going anywhere or picking anybody up, but to take care of some business.

We have horrible public transportation here in Southern California but I heard there was a new free airport shuttle, so I thought I’d be an adventurer and try it out. It would save gas and save the hassle of finding a place to park.

The first step would be to take the Coaster from Carlsbad to another station where the airport shuttle would be. The problem with that is so few times on the Coaster schedule meant the entire process would take approximately six hours or more.

I decided to drive down to the Sorrento Valley train station. After I drove around for about ten minutes until I located the parking lot, I called the shuttle and asked where it stopped. I was informed that I was at the wrong station (my bad) and would either have to wait forever for the Coaster, or drive down to the Old Town station, which I did.

Upon arriving at the Old Town station, I couldn’t figure out WHERE THE EFFING parking lot was. There were no signs, no arrows, nothing that directed me to anywhere to park my car to take the free airport shuttle.

Since I was now ALMOST at the effing airport, actually only two exits away on the freeway, I got back on the road, drove to the airport, and found a place to park my car. They’ve totally torn apart Terminal One so it was a good thing I needed to be at Terminal Two or I would have ended up turning back around and heading home without accomplishing my mission.

In the parking lot, I asked a gentleman how to get to the terminal because THERE WERE NO SIGNS. He started to point in a direction, thought better of it, and kindly walked me to an unmarked spot where I could cross the street and head up a flight of UNMARKED stairs to a skybridge that eventually connected with the terminal.

It wasn’t a very busy day and there weren’t too many people, which was great because I tend to get disoriented in crowds.

After all that driving I had to use the restroom and while I was washing my hands, a nice airport employee told me I looked like I needed some help and I started laughing because I didn’t know anyone could see into my mind. I told her where I was going and she said I was in the wrong place and if I walked about ten miles and up another flight of stairs, I might locate my destination. I followed her directions and ended up walking from one end of the terminal to the next with no luck.

I was close to admitting defeat and trying to find my way back to my car when I spotted an information booth. When I asked the VERY KIND LADY how to get to where I was going, she said she’d take me so I didn’t get lost again and escorted me in an entirely different direction UP another flight of steps until we arrived at the Clear kiosk, where she handed me over to another patient and delightful person who helped me finish the eye scan and fingerprint process so that all my future travels would be expedited.

Whew! I was certainly relieved to be done with THAT, but now I had to figure out how to get back to my car. I accepted the very real possibility that I’d be wandering around the airport all day. I was all twisted around and didn’t know what level of the terminal I was on or what door I needed to exit.

I remembered that I saw a sign for the USO near where I parked so I located yet another airport employee and asked for directions to the USO where I hoped I’d find something familiar. When he showed me the proper crosswalk, all the pieces fell into place. I retraced my steps back where I had spoken to the original helpful stranger, and lo and behold, there was my car!

After driving around and around in the parking lot because I couldn’t find the POORLY marked exit, I paid $6 for the privilege of feeling incredibly dumb in my attempts to navigate the big city.

Like Blanche DuBois, “Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”

Everyone was lovely and courteous. Thank you all, and I’m even happier and more grateful to be home.

Now I need to plan some travels to make this travesty of a day worthwhile.

What I learned is that public transportation here is even more horrible than I remembered and there’s a lot of room for improvement, especially with signage.

Pacific Ocean Photo of the Day

The beach was overcast but the waves were full of surfers. The swell looks to be about three feet or so, but I heard it’s building to five feet by Friday, not that this knowledge impacts my life in any way as I don’t surf and never go in the water, but it’s pretty to look at and hear and smell the salty sea air.

Mostly I look for dolphin or whales or my eyes are laser focused on the Angels when they’re here.

Happy Sunday to everyone except the idiotic Supreme Court.

Land Rape in Carlsbad

I can see this area called Marja Acres from my backyard and it’s several blocks away, but even so, I watch and hear this land rape on a daily basis, and it makes me feel sad and angry.

It’s one of the very last pieces of land around here that hadn’t yet been violated by earth movers and concrete and plundered by developers who don’t care about anything except making money for themselves. They tore down a couple of nurseries, a little old fashioned store, and a couple of other businesses that had been here for decades, coexisting peacefully amongst the native flora and fauna.

Here’s what the plan is, to build a strip mall and way too many homes without any consideration for the existing community so negatively impacted by yet another ugly and unnecessary development.

We fought against it, of course; to no avail, as usual.

Even more sadly for me, there was no thought nor consideration for the creatures that lived here: coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, possums, birds of prey, AND RATS. They’ve all been displaced and this is where our RAT infestation emanates from.

I swear, this city continually never fails to disgust me.

Ebb and Flow

It was too hot too early to walk the full six mile round trip to the Pacific Ocean and back, so I settled for a longish trek around the lagoon with detours to observe it from different perspectives.

I ended up walking mostly all the way to the beach anyway and stopped at Rite Aid to buy myself a treat but nothing looked fun or appealing or was small enough to fit in my little backpack, so I continued on my journey.

Looking east from a secret side street overlooking Snug Harbor and the swan boats on Agua Hedionda Lagoon.

It wasn’t even 9am and the little beach was full of families enjoying Father’s Day and paddleboarding and kayaks. Thank goodness there’s no gigantic mall marring the view on the south shore.

Well, well, well, it seems like we have a very low tide, too, combined with our drought situation.

It’s not often that one could literally walk all the way around the lagoon to the beaches on the south side. I was wearing new shoes and didn’t want to ruin them in the muck, but for once it was entirely possible.