‘Unexpected item in the bagging area…’

Rather like going into a different supermarket and being surprised by unfamiliar items, this area of Southern California is presenting familiar views – along with a few unexpected sightings.

Out at Oceanside it was good to see the pier again

The bridge connecting the pier to the road level is due for closure and a rebuild next year. . Who wouldn’t smile at the resident pelicans, or peer down at the surfers, or look out for the anglers, or pause to listen to a busker?

Down at the beach level you might spot sand raked clean by the municipal teams,    sand dippers at the tide’s edge,   surfboards being washed at the beachside shower,   even a carefully constructed sandcastle    …

Further on at the harbor (US spelling) there was an arresting sign on a small bodyboard – does Baby Sis see it as Boatwif does…?

In an outdoor setting aren’t these table tops a great idea? (An inlayed board for chess and checkers.)

Away from the coast there have been a few visual surprises, a friendly face appearing alongside at a set of traffic lights on the dusty side of a UPS delivery truck.

A Must Visit place when in San Marcos is Double Peak Park, from where there are fine views in all directions: north over the city, east looking inland, south looking towards San Diego and Mexico, while west looks out towards the coast… It’s a great place for a lunchtime picnic. Just below the Double Peak summit is an area where shady tables can be booked for private events. Though not very familiar with these Boatwif recognised what this item strung from a tree was – it’s a piñata. It’s part of a Mexican tradition where at birthday parties blindfolded children take turns to hit the suspended piñata to release sweets and candy.

It is inside stores that one can be confronted by puzzling sights or wording: Corn Dogs , Steak and Haggis Pies , Tofurky , holiday cones, (might there be a potential income stream back in Beds for the cones that drop into a garden from a neighbour’s tree?!),   pet Halloween hoodies , a dog’s fashion harness , dog lover stickers , a Rudolph car costume…

In the mid-1950s San Marcos was a very small town with a population of only 2,500 growing around its railroad track. Now the city’s population is about 95,000. There are two tall cranes over near the Cal State University campus (a hint of more construction to come). Meanwhile a brand new hospital has sprung up in the last couple of years    and nearby another hillside is being flattened and terraced ready for development…

Years ago Boatwif used to play a What Am I? game with the younger children. The aim was to guess the identity of the object named on a piece of card which had been placed in a special headband worn by the guesser. How Boatwif had struggled to identify a fire hydrant from very few clues… So what was this piece of ‘street furniture’? Water supply infrastructure (potable water) doesn’t look at all like this in the UK. Nor does domestic gas supply to houses look like this…

Of all the ‘unexpected items’ seen so far on this trip by far the most beautiful was this     – a two-masted schooner entering San Diego Harbor on Sunday. Perhaps aided by a little motor power this sleek vessel certainly had presence on the water.  A bit of Google research has revealed that she is a replica of The Amistad, launched in 2000. Read the fascinating story of her role in the African slave trade here:

It’s Thanksgiving season – and yet again there is much to see and much to be thankful for in this large and extraordinary country.

Next time: where was this figure spotted?


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1 Response

  1. Jane Massey says:

    How lovely it all looks Sue and with our forecast of minus temperatures in the UK this coming week there is a touch of envy on our part for the lovely weather in California. Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the long awaited precious time with your US family.

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