Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Travelogue: San Diego day four

Monday July 21 2008

Well, was comforting....although actually I woke up in the hotel where the murder game had been played, and Laura spent the night at her grandparents, and came by early the next morning to pick me up. She had to head to work, but before I left the hotel (which was built as a bank in the 1920's) I wanted to see "The Vault".

As in "The Bank Vault".

The vault is now used as a conference/meeting/party room.

I've got to admit it: It would be a swell place to hold a party if you had the $$$$$'s

Apparently when the bank sold the building to Marriott Hotels, some of the safety deposit box long time owners asked if they could keep the metal face from their box. The boxes with missing metal faces are the red squares on the walls.

I imagine some of the safety boxes had been used for a couple of generations to hold family jewels and whatnot. That would make for a very sentimental bit to own.

Laura made a point of finding the box numbered with her birth date.
Snooping around...

Oh hey, look! It's a paper clip!

Wonder if was from the 1920's too...or maybe it was a secret wink to Laura from her great great grandfather Cornelius Brosnan. (He held the original patent on the invention of the paperclip you know...)

The door to the vault.


Imagine how only bank personnel used to be the only ones who would ever be allowed through that massive door.

How clever of Marriott to leave it in place for the curious to enjoy.

(Wonder if you could pay them to lock you up in the there's an interesting romantic getaway idea. With a secret gift to be found in one of the drawers! How cool would that be?)

I think the upside down hearts on the iron work around the vault might have inspired that last idea.

The view looking up at the bank/Marriott hotel.
Don't old buildings from the 1920 have lovely style? Even the window ledges are beautiful.
And how about that blue blue sky (at last)?
I dropped Laura off at her work, and on a frontage road (which is something which is called a feeder road uniquely in Houston) beside the Highway 8, I spotted this pretty serpentine planting.
Yeah, had to park and get a few shots.

Impatients with droplets: must take macro shot of that!

The blue Lily-of-the-Nile.
I wonder if they really do bloom on the Nile River.

Even after the blue blossoms are done, the pod sphere is still pretty.

Over head on the hillside I noticed this unusual structure.
Maybe my folks will know what it is.
Maybe it is modern and recently built.
These days you can never tell.
Heading north on the 5.
Oleander shrubs make a colorful hedge as I whiz along.
Oleander smells lovely; that fact can not be appreciated at 65 miles per hour.

I got back home and filled my folks in on all the fun.
After a bit more, I decided to take another walk around the block.
This yellow flower is another "don't know" flower.
Dang. I used to know all the San Diego flowers.
I learned all their names back when I was a Blue Bird.
Oh well. It is a beautiful flower about the size of a quarter, and it grows in clusters on a wispy shrub.
I feel like I should know the name of this one too, but I don't.
Yikes, this is getting embarrassing. This is a smaller flower, about nickle sized, and was growing on a wall where the shrub had been shaped as a flat hedge.
The galaxy of stamen pollen is so dramatic when viewed up close; as a hedge I doubt anyone would notice it at all. I even think the velvety buds are pretty cool too.

And sometimes I wonder if I am the only person who goes around looking up close at little flowers on a hedge.

Back on La Jolla Shores Dr.
The land from the beach is basically flat, and then it rises up to form a hillside.
This hillside was my view from my bedroom window when I was growing up; until I was about six there was not a single house upon it.
One morning I woke up and the entire hill was in flames. The chaparral was being burned off and roads were graded into the face of the hill.
I still remember feeling so helpless as I watched it happen; I knew the area's natural beauty would never be the same.
And it never has been.
The view from those newly graded roads was spectacular.
Worthy of spectacular housing.
Spectacular housing that continues to be built even to today, with some of the original houses being torn down to make space for new mega home.

The rooftop that is almost hidden amidst the trees by the street sign belongs to an interesting family now.
When I was growing up it belonged to a family with three children. One kid became a judge, another a doctor and the third a real estate agent. We used to play over at their house all the time.
They sold, another family bought it (one with lots of antiques and an antique store if I remember right) and then maybe it was bought and sold a few more time until the current owners took possession.
For quite awhile, starting around 1984 that family operated a small business out of their garage.
They would mix grains into a cereal, package the mixture and shipped it out.
Later, after the cereal caught on, they sold their company to a giant cereal company.
For millions and millions and millions...... and then they remodeled their little house QUITE a bit.

Maybe you have eaten some of their cereal.
Ever had a bowl of "Kash*i" cereal? (Ignore the * for the correct spelling)
All I can say is I had a garage during that same time period. We always just used our garage for a place to park our cars and store our tools and junk . How about you?
Yeah, I thought so.
Oh well. Who needs that much money anyway.

Our family doesn't hang out with them.
They have no interest in us peons.
But we do enjoy looking at their now beautifully landscaped front yard and watching the two gardeners tending it every day.

Some of the houses on the hill are occupied only a few weeks a year.
Some are owned by middle eastern families that fly in with their multiple wives for a summer get away. Those monster sized houses are for them just little beach bungalows really.

It is really strange to consider what "my home town" was like then, and what it is like now. My parents met on the seawall on the beach down the street by our house. Bernie and I had our first date there too.
When my great aunt got the property during the Great Depression, La Jolla Shores was just that: a beach, a shore, and a windy road down the hillside.
Wow has everything changed since then.

Back inside the house my dad is taking it easy with his juvenile delinquent cat.
The cat is the love of his life right now. Rufus stays with dad all the time.
A few months ago my dad slipped on some loose sand while crossing a street, fell and tore his shoulder.
It has been a long and painful healing process.
Dad has also been having various surgeries as part of an ongoing battle with skin cancer. Like many So Cal boys, he grew up playing in the sun, and like a lot of WWII men, he served on aboard ship on the deck without a dab of sunscreen to protect him.
Years later that sun damage turns cancerous, and it seems that every few months another place needs to be removed.
I am so thankful for recent development in skin cancer surgeries to minimize the damage inherent in the procedures.
I'm just so sorry he has to keep going through them.
And that torn shoulders take so long heal.
And am glad that Rufus is there for him all the time.
I was pretty pooped out after all that partying the day before, so I was happy to just kick back and read and rest with both of them and Mom for the rest of the day.

(Up next: Now that Laura has finished saying farewell to her twenties, next up is her
birthday celebration, on July 22, the day she finally turned 30!)


Marg said...

I thought that Laura had her birthday celebration. I think I'm loosing it...
Don't worry about naming the flowers, most of us don't know the truth about flowers anyways, so just call them whatever.
Have a great day and I hope your fathers health returns.

Vicki said...

Now isn’t that bank vault cool! I’d be a bit nervous about going inside, thinking that someone might decide to lock me in there!

Frontage road: in Grayson County, TX, where I lived, they were called “service roads.” I also heard them referred to as “access roads.” I never heard the term “feeder road,” however (I've never been to Houston, either!).

I don’t know the names of any of those flowers, but rest assured, you are not the only one who goes around sticking her nose into hedges and trees and flower beds! It’s no wonder Doc doesn’t like taking walks with me!

Lovella said...

That bank vault is so fascinating. . in the next town over there is a restaraunt bar that is called the Vault because of it used to be the bank.
I so agreed with your opinion of the architecture of the buildings back in the 20's. They try to do it up fancy now, but it just isn't the same.
The birthday card was so cute too.
Oh and the flowers, regardless of their names are so lovely there.
I do hope your Dad continues to regain his strength after his fall.

Seeing your growing up area must be so wonderful for you.

Dawn said...

You always have the most interesting posts....

You should scoot over to Claudia's today..
Saw the hats and thought of you.

Happy Thursday, Jill!

Sara said...

That was fun....I like sticking my nose into hedges to see the flowers! You found some pretty ones...I don't know the names either.

I was actually born in your home town, at the hospital that used to look out over the ocean but has now moved to some other locale in LJ. And we lived up in Oceanside at the time...a long way to go while in labor I think!