Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Monday, October 04, 2010

And so we bid adieu

Here is the view from our veranda. San Diego is primarily a port city.

Evidently the cruise ship dock is adjacent to a collection of notable ships. Everything from a submarine . . .

To a tea clipper.

We had expedited disembarkation because we were handling our own luggage. We had a final pampered breakfast (with busboys in short blue jackets and white gloves offering silver trays of assorted small pastries; and waiters in long blue jackets presenting menus as if they were historic documents. With perfectly prepared fruit plates and exquisitely done eggs. With crispy toast and unsalted sweet cream butter and eensy beensy glass jars of marmelade . . oh sigh!) then grabbed or luggage and our photo id and exited the ship. It was like ripping off a bandaid: brutally quick and then it was over.

We rented a car and drove for two hours up to LA. A brief visit with the blonde SIL, then she had to leave for her job at Knott's Berry Farm where she is doing hair and makeup for the "Halloween Haunt." Knott's Berry Farm started as a berry farm where they also sold baked goods. Then they started selling fried chicken as well, and the lines began to form. They added a few attractions (I remember the seal pond)to keep the kiddies amused while people waited for those fabulous chicken lunches and dinners. When disneyland burst upon the scene, the Berry Farm folks recognized a cash cow and began putting in rides and entertainment. Now, all during the month of October and November, in the evening, Knotts hires actors and actresses to populate the park and scare the bejeebers out of folks. SIL is a member of the crew that makes them hideous. She works from 2PM until 3AM Friday, Sat and Sun. As it gets closer to Halloween, Knotts will add more nights till she is working all seven nights of Halloween week.

Halloween is HUGE in LA. There are warehouse szed stores where you can get costumes. And I don't mean just a set of devil horns and a plastic pitchfork. I mean,, the full Hollywood rig with wigs and shoes and makeup and you name it. People spend hundreds of dollars on these things. And then there's the decorations and the catering and . . . LaLa land is aptly named.

When SIL had to leave for work, we headed on to our hotel. Again, DH has done us proud!

We are in Hermosa Beach. This is the Beach House Hotel.

Our room doesn't face onto the beach, because we didn't realize that you had to ask for it.

Instead, our veranda faces a small park and a fabulous little hole-in-the wall Mexican restaurant.

Here is the sitting area of our room. We have a fireplace, a small kitchenette two TVs (one facing the bed) and more comforts than at home.

The sleeping area is raised two steps above the sitting area. Very serene and

There is a splendid little desk seperating the two areas. It's an exceptionally well-designed room.

And mere steps away is the beach. I don't think I could strut my stuff here though. The inhabitants of this beach are universally young, firm, tan and gorgeous. Honest to gosh - there is not a spider-veined calf to be seen. Flab is forbidden, and my fish-belly white thighs would draw crowds of disdainful mockers.

Here's a Starbucks three blocks away from the beach. Remember, this is October. Eighty degrees and cool ocean breeze makes this a paradise.

We got settled, then DH took me down to Redondo Beach to buy me more pearls. We bought four oysters. Two had twins, one had a sweet peach colored beauty, and one is a glorious silvery-gray with green and purple sheens. Happy, happy!!

There is a marina next to the pier. One of the sailing ships has gone crazy with decoration. This is a manequin dressed to impress, but all the boats have jack-o-lanterns and bats slung in the rigging. People seem to come down to party on their boat whether they take them out or not. This was a lazy Saturday afternoon, and people were hanging around, drinking and eating and laughing and necking all over the docks.
Out on the end of the pier were about a hundred men and women with fishpoles, spending their Saturday fishing from the pier. We have been out there on weekdays when just the old retired guys are out fishing. The old guys look like a tribe of walnuts - wrinkled to leather from decades of staring at the ocean.

And then there were these guys. I don't know if they were trying out their Halloween costumes or posing for dollars or what, but they certainly upped the color of the crowd.

Maybe they're representing video game characters. Anyone recognize this fuzzy-tailed flying dragon?

On Sunday, we picked up DH's mom, drove two hours to Temecula, and visited with her brother and his wife. Nephew Christopher and his wife and three kids also came out, Cousin Lorri, joined us. Cousin Mike and his two little girls were there as well. It was a mini-reunion. The girls ranged from six years old to thirteen. The thirteen-year old was too grown-up to play, so I joined the littles for a game of hide and seek. I had forgotten how fun it is to hide with giggles just boiling up inside you, while someone seeking you walks right past. And everyone kept an eye on young 2 year-old Christopher Jr. who didn't quite get the hide and seek thing. I had a grand time!

We are going to visit DH's brother's family in Azusa today. It's hard to co-ordinate everyone's schedules, so we squeeze ourselves in when we can. Tomorrow, we have breakfast with our favorite brother-out-law, then catch the great silver bird back home. Oh Lordy it's going to be hard to return to the mundane world. If I throw towels on the bathroom floor, they'll still be there the next day. I'll have to wash dishes again. The bed will not make itself. If it weren't for the fact that I miss my kitties, I might fall into deep despair.
Now it's time to go find some breakfast. Oh, I wish I could bring you all along with us! It's raining in Southern California! What fun!


  • At 12:57 PM , Blogger Lucia said...

    You sure do know how to give a proper tour. I hope someday to go there in person. Hermosa Beach is aptly named.

  • At 9:32 PM , Blogger Rose Lefebvre said...

    Describing the old wharf hounds as wrinkled walnuts is great!!!!
    I lived in S. CA. and was thre before Disneyland was built. We spent times at Knott's riding on the Merry-go-round, which has been there forever, and in the paddle boats on the little lake, and going through the Liberty Hall replica with a replica of the Liberty Bell.
    Here is a minute of history about Knott's...
    In 1940, Knott had also started work on what would become the centerpiece of the developing amusement park--an abandoned, two-acre Old West mining town that he was moving board by board from the desert. In 1942, The Saturday Evening Post noted that the 1860s ghost town was "authentic to the last misspelled sign, and original bullets in some of the doors."

    Like many of the projects at Knott's Berry Place, the ghost town began modestly enough. Knott's grandparents had come West from Texas in a covered wagon and Knott commissioned an artist to commemorate the experience. The result was "The Covered Wagon Show," a cyclorama showing a wagon train struggling across alkali flats. A narrator would describe the hardships faced by the early settlers while a girl's voice could be heard in the background whimpering for water.

    Knott decided it was not sufficient to display such a spectacle in a modern building, so he found an abandoned hotel near Prescott, Arizona, the Old Trails Hotel, built in 1868. He had it dismantled and shipped to Buena Park and reassembled on the berry farm. Before long, he had added several other abandoned, frontier buildings, including the Calico Saloon, serving sarsaparilla and boysenberry punch, and the Bottle House, built from more than 3,000 empty wine and whiskey bottles turned inward so they would not whistle in the wind.

    He also added live Wild West shows, a Boot Hill cemetery with many authentic headstones, and the mile-long Ghost Town and Calico Railway, salvaged from the old Denver and Rio Grande rolling stock. In 1956, more than 625,000 passengers paid to ride the narrow-gauge railway and Knott's Berry Farm, renamed in 1947, brought in $9.8 million.

    In the 1950s, Knott also bought and restored Calico, a 70-acre, abandoned silver mining town east of Barstow, California, which he later donated to San Bernadino County. It was still in operation as a tourist attraction in the mid-1990s.

    Soon after Disneyland opened, Knott added a cable-car ride, a "mine" where youngsters could pan for gold, and an electronic shooting gallery. In 1960, Knott's Berry Farm added the Calico Mine Ride, described at the time as the park's "most adventurous undertaking." Six years later, Knott completed construction of a brick-by-brick replica of Philadelphia's Independence Hall, including a one-ton, cracked Liberty Bell. The structure was so realistic that the Philadelphia Bicentennial Reconstruction Committee later borrowed Knott's building plans when it could not locate the original blueprints for the historic landmark.

    But perhaps the most significant change for Knott's Berry Farm came in 1968, when vandalism forced the Knotts to erect a fence around their 200-acre amusement park and, for the first time, begin charging a general admission. Until then, visitors had come primarily for the chicken dinners and shopped or viewed the attractions while they waited to be served. But once the restaurant patrons had to pay an admission fee, they expected to be entertained the way they were at Disneyland.
    To read it all, go to:

  • At 10:25 PM , Blogger Janette said...

    Wow - what a fabulous holiday!

    The pearls are gorgeous. I don't know of anywhere in Oz that we can purchase pearls like you do Roxie.

    You always have such fun on your holidays. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • At 6:04 AM , Blogger KnitTech said...

    What a lovely vacation. When do you have time to relax?

  • At 10:45 PM , Blogger Amy Lane said...

    Your travel logs always leave me breathless and yearning, for places I am not, and time I will never--they're so wonderful!

    Thank you!


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