San Diego, February, 2017


On Valentine’s Day we took off in the Sebring and headed for San Diego to meet up with my daughter, my grandchildren and my son-in-law and some of his family. The day was sunny and warm; a perfect day for enjoying the wind in our faces, top down of course!

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With a stop at Dateland and in El Centro for lunch, we arrived in San Diego just in time for the rush hour traffic – or maybe it’s always rush hour there? Thank goodness for the GPS to help us navigate through the many lanes of traffic, facing into the setting sun. At about 4:30 we pulled up to our hotel, a WorldMark by Wyndham time share that was generously given to us at a great rate by a friend who owns a time share with this group. Thank you so much, Alice!

By the time we got checked in, got a map, vaguely refused the offer of free breakfast in the morning if we listened to a sales pitch and were finally given our keys it was time to meet up with the rest of our party at the house they’d rented, for dinner, so we didn’t get to see our room until we got back.

It was a lovely suite, with a large bedroom containing a king size bed, a TV and an en-suite bath, and a living area with a pullout couch, chair and TV, as well as a complete kitchen. Too bad we weren’t going to be there much to make use of it all.

By 9:15 the next morning, we were parked in the parking lot ready to tour the Aircraft Carrier, Midway. We were early so we had time to walk down the street to grab a breakfast sandwich and coffee before the others arrived. The Midway is a massive ship and we spent nearly two hours touring it and taking pictures.

The grandkids were getting restless before Jim had seen enough, so their parents took them off to a picnic area to eat their lunch, then to a nearby playground.

Next stop, the beach! The grandkids enjoyed riding in our convertible and watching the planes descending over their heads as they prepared to land at the airport.

At Ocean Beach we sat enjoying the sun and watching the younger ones play in the water. It was a little too cool for us! There were a few surfers catching some waves, and a group of young people doing tricks on the boulevard. A man appeared with a big rope and a bucket. Huge bubbles were soon drifting across the crowds of people. The day ended with another family dinner back at the house, consisting of various ethnic foods we’d picked up at the restaurants along the street at the beach.

Thursday morning we were up early again and meeting at the Cabrillo State Marine Reserve to see the Point Loma Tidal Pools. We walked the trails along the banks, and watched more surfers riding the incoming tides while small flocks of pelicans soared above us. It was another spectacular photo opportunity, and the kids had great fun playing in the tidal pools and finding little creatures such as crabs.

We took our grandkids out for lunch and back to our hotel to play with a new game we’d bought them while the other adults cleaned up the house. After another family meal we said our goodbyes. It was great to see them all, but, as usual way too short a time.

On Friday everyone left for home; us to Arizona, the others to British Columbia. One family had left on Thursday afternoon for another adventure at Disney Land. We escaped just in time, before the predicted high winds and flooding rains hit the California coast, but the ones who’d planned to see Disneyland weren’t so lucky. The rains had shut it down.

By 5:00 pm we were sitting in a restaurant in Yuma, Arizona having dinner and waiting out the Ha-boob (sand storm) that we had driven into after a short detour to the sand dunes in California and a quick trip across the border into Algodones Mexico.

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Sand Dunes

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Haboob obscuring vision

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We were glad to finally drive into Mesa Regal five hours later.

Free Travel App Interest? Please Contact Me


Thanks to all of you who commented on my last post. The deadline for the free app contest has now passed. Some of you showed interest but did not reply to my request as to which City App you would like and whether you require an IOS (iPhone) or Android app. I also need your email address. Once I know that I will request your free app code and send it to you. Email me at judylawless6@gmail.com.

Get a Free Travel App and Hear About an Amazing Young Performer


There is nothing like listening to some great live music to take your mind off of the political turmoil for a while. Late Thursday morning we drove into downtown Mesa to do just that, at the outdoor noon-hour concert series sponsored by the Mesa Arts Centre. I think I’ve mentioned these wonderful free concerts before. The performer this week was highly promoted by our neighbour Jan, and our expectations were high.  We weren’t disappointed!

After picking up a take-out lunch at our favourite little café, Sweet Cakes, we walked to the Arts Centre to where the stage and seating were set up. It was only 11:30 and the concert didn’t begin until 12:30, but the best seating was already filled! We managed to grab a couple of chairs that weren’t too far away from the stage, but sadly not facing it. While we waited for the show to begin, we enjoyed our very thick turkey-on-(freshly baked) sourdough, side salad and still-warm chocolate chip cookie. Yumm.

At 12:30 the Honky-Tonk Rebel (a.k.a. Mario Carboni) appeared on stage with his keyboard and trumpet. With a bit of introduction, he started to play and he blew our minds.  This young man, who started to play at a very young age, had his fingers speeding across the keys in a blur; and then his rich country voice filled the air. The sound system was perfect; no problem hearing every note from wherever you sat. I wish I could remember all of the songs he performed, but I was mesmerized by those fingers on the keyboard. He has an eclectic play list, everything from honky-tonk country, to truck driving songs, rock and roll and classical. I’ve never heard “The Flight of the Bumblebee” played so perfectly and fast! He did many cover rearrangements and many of his own songs, with a tad humour thrown in once in a while. For a couple of numbers he played his trumpet and keyboard at the same time, without missing a beat. The crowd roared, and at the end of the one-hour performance gave him a standing ovation. The host invited him to do an encore, much to our delight. When the show was over, Mario greeted fans with a smile and a chat while we lined up with our newly purchased CDs in our hands, looking for an autograph. He’ll be on tour across the US and back up to Alaska, where he spends his summers performing, most of this year. Check him out at www.honkytonkrebel.com/    .

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Mario on the left with one of his buddies, Jimmy Phillips

Jimmy Phillips, former drummer with Merle Haggard, Red Simpson and several other “Bakersfield Sound” Country stars, joined Mario on stage for a couple of songs.

Concerts like this are just an example of things you might find to do in over 470 cities around the world using one of the popular GPSmyCity apps that feature self-guided city walks, allowing visitors to explore the best of the city on foot at their own pace. The apps are now available for both iOS and Android phones or tablets.

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