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Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

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PalmSpringsCA

Day 23 – Rt 66 trip

We started our day with breakfast at the Lulu California Bistro, right next door to the Broken Yolk, but with food about the same, much better service and awards. Yet, I heard our server, Daryl, get reprimanded for still waiting on his customers when he had been told to go on break. I used to work in food service, and was thankful I no longer have to when I overheard what Daryl had to put up with. It’s still all about the buck, not the employee. Sad.

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I took a picture of Lulu’s interior because of how it differed from yesterdays dinner; from Pioneertown to modern.

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Another Huevos Rancheros. It can literally be presented any way one feels like as long as the ingredients remain somewhat the same. The best I have ever had has not been on this trip, but in Bakersfield, CA, a couple years back.

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I have been sending postcards to my grandchildren along the way. This morning we asked where we might find a mail box. We never would have found this. It isn’t blue, nor big, but does fulfill the need.

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We decided to stay off of highways for the most part and took “back roads” on our way to San Diego. The below photo was taken in Mountain Center. In the car, I could see those mountains off in the distance as real things, not a haze in the yonder.

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The next scene is from Aguanga, CA. So beautiful in person. Once again, Bob enjoyed driving the winding, well banked roads. I was able to look out to the horizon in some cases.

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And another from Anguana, CA. We are now in greenery and noticeable habitation. It was a relief. The terrain was more like western New York state, though not the same flora. We have once again started seeing cows, horses, and some deer among the trees.

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There is a special man in our lives that wants some boulders to put along the driveways of his rental properties in order to keep people from driving on the lawns. We found them. Alas, they are on the wrong side of the country.

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We have arrived in San Diego. This is our view for tonight and two more nights. It is cool by the water and we enjoyed sitting on our balcony to unwind, read our email, marvel we could keep the drapes open and not have anyone see in our room, and be thankful we drove 3,922 miles with no car trouble.

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We went across the street and had supper at Mitch’s. Bob’s swordfish was fresh and delicious, but only came with a baby serving of coleslaw. My poke bowl (poke meaning fresh fish) was just the tuna and some corn chips. We were still hungry.

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We walked further away from the hotel and found the Eppig brewing company where Rob (in the blue) and Mike poured us some beer and served us some hummus to finish filling the hole. Here comes another small world story, Rob is from the same suburb that my daughter lives in and he will be back home in Rochester on Columbus Day weekend. We exchanged phone numbers and have intentions of meeting up at Iron Smoke Brewery in Fairport, NY, where the owner is a long time friend of his. My daughter and her special man, Gino, will be invited to join us as Rob and Gino went to high school in the same suburb. The best part of this whole trip has been the people we have met and connected with.

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Walking back to the hotel we noticed the Great Blue Heron hanging out with the gulls along the marina waterfront. Since I attended a writing retreat in Vermont, in July, herons have a special place in my heart. (Hi Ann, Charli, Dede, and Jules.)

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We also noticed many boats with lots of lights on, and lines of men, and a few women, along the walkway. We stopped and asked questions. Turns out the paid fishing excursions leave the night before in order for the boats to have time to motor out 15 to 20 miles before daybreak. Then they fish for tuna during the day light and get back in tomorrow around dark. I asked if the fisherman drink or sleep during the dark hours. You can guess the answer. My son would love to do one of these fishing trips.

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A catch being unloaded. The fish have a numbered tag on them so they know which fish belong to which fisherman when they get back to shore. The trip costs about $350.00 per person. We didn’t stick around to see who cleans the fish, but I can just imagine the taste of that fresh catch.

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We have only been in San Diego a few hours and already understand why people who move here, stay here.

Oh, our room to finish this trip is above par, except when I sit on the toilet the paper roll is literally in my arm pit. After all the hotels we have been in, in the last month, I feel like I could be an adviser to the designers. Maybe I should send some letters with my suggestions.

Day 21 – Rt 66 trip

I’m a lady that requires regular potty stops. Some travel companions would become impatient with me, but not my Bob. I only have to ask, and he stops even if it’s only been half an hour since we finished breakfast. He never tells me to limit my coffee and sometimes before we find a suitable place I feel like the lady below. I’d never seen a sign like this so had to share. Some of you might be thinking,,,TMI. Sorry. I thought it was fun.

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While at this pit stop we watched a young man get out of a vehicle and drop an empty water bottle on the ground. I wish I had had the nerve to go pick it up, hand it to him and say, “I think you dropped this.”  He went in the station/store too, and on the way out purposely stepped on the bottle and left it. That young man is not my kind of person and I’m glad we saw little of that attitude on our trip. Unfortunately that type of attitude was prevalent in Barstow and we were very glad to leave that town behind. Mind you that doesn’t apply to any hotel or restaurant patrons/workers we met.

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Leaving Barstow we saw more arid desert and mountains. It’s hard to accept California is the most populated state in the US when half of it looks like the above picture.

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Molly Brown’s had been recommended so that’s where we went for breakfast. The service was tops, Sharon told us we had an East Coast twang in our speech and I had yet another style of Huevos Rancheros. I sent the picture of the menu to my adult kids and my son wanted to know if anyone ever orders the Big Breakfast. We were told families do and then share. I wish we had seen that happen.

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We haven’t found any funny bathroom signs lately, the one above doesn’t count, so I decided to share the sign below. It’s a good way to live one’s life.

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Above is an example of “grass” in this region. It doesn’t exist. Many homes have just dirt, this place had what they refer to here as “crunchy” grass. I have to say I will enjoy seeing our green, full of weeds, lawn and maple trees when we get home. Below are two pictures from the “Bottle Ranch” we had also been told not to miss. I’m not sure what the date of 1883 refers to, but the sign proves we were on the road we wanted. The bottle displays were many, varied, and colorful. It appeared someone had made all the bottle trees by welding spokes on an iron pole. The welding was rough, but the job got done. I only noticed the quality because my father was a welder in his day.

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We continued on historic 66 through the mountains, again, on our way to San Bernardino. The silver ribbon through the center of the picture is the line of traffic. We learned later, most of them headed toward Los Angeles.

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We found this nice mural outside a Rt 66 museum on 5th in San Bernardino. The building housed the original McDonald’s opened in 1948. Today it belongs to a happy, singing on the street, African American gentleman that welcomed us with song and a big smile. Inside the take-out restaurant we entered the museum for free. I can’t say I’ve ever been greeted that way anyplace I’ve visited. We will talk about it for a long time. Of course when he saw our New York license plate, he assumed we were from New York City, but that’s common and we didn’t try to correct him.

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When we got back in the car we kissed our EZ 66 Guide good-bye and put it away. We left the route to go south to Palm Springs and left the traffic behind. We’ve driven in LA before, and have no desire to do it again, though we have family and friends there.

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The mountains are still present, but have a bit different look and feel. We once again found ourselves surrounded by windmills. These weren’t as big as the ones we saw in Oklahoma, but the number was comparable.

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And still the mountains prevail.

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Our GPS had the last laugh today when we got in to Palm Springs. It took us to the locked back gate of our hotel. We figured it out, eventually. We are among flowers, palm trees, and it appears a lot of shopping with few residents. There has to be houses away from the highways we can’t see.

After some decompression time, we jay-walked across the street to Shanghai Reds. Siri came through again. We had tasty fresh oysters as an appetizer and then a wonderful dinner served by Javier. I had cioppino, a seafood stew. We were told the seafood comes in fresh each day from Santa Monica. Then we stayed to listen to the blues band. We love an empty dance floor and one song was good for our old style of swing, that is ours alone, no lessons under our belts.  To get to dance under an open sky is a huge treat.  It’s a lot of fun, more so than dancing in the rain, which we have also done.

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The menu above; and our oysters below.

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My Cioppino; the fresh scallops were the best. I soaked up some of the broth with garlic bread.

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The blues band. Who knows what their name is, but we enjoyed their talents. And I don’t know the significance of the “Union Ice Company” either.

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We are officially off Rt 66, but our time in California is not done. I’ll be back tomorrow night.

Each night when I finish writing, Bob proof reads my work, and then I publish it for you to enjoy. Writing daily is one of the perks of this trip. If I’m smart I will continue to do it when I get home. If you know me, you know there is this long manuscript waiting for my attention once I get back to New York. Not the city, but over near Niagara Falls. When you are out of New York state, people assume you are from the city. We have given up and say Niagara Falls, because they know that is not near the city. It’s all a part of living in western New York State.

 

 

 

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