Ralph - you sound like someone from California.
I have vivid memories of California.
In 1973, a buddy and I decided to take two weeks off work and go to California (from our home state, Missouri). (It was not yet known that one needed to drive the Ford Pinto really fast to avoid getting rear ended. Ignorance is bliss!) The Good
1. Driving Hwy 1 from Eureka to San Francisco. Stunningly beautiful. Would love to see it again before I depart this earth.
2. That very, very special moment when I realized that my very first shark bite, in the thigh area of my right leg, which came less that one hour after my inaugural immersion into the Pacific waters, turned out to be nothing more than some very seriously scratchy seaweed that got wrapped around my leg while I was swimming in deep water.
3. Los Angeles still had operating Der Wienerschnitzels, The ones in St. Louis had folded years before.
4. Our first 4 days at the beach in Los Angeles (our first beach experience, ever) were under the luxurious, protective cover of endless, bluish-white, billowy clouds. It was just a gorgeous and relaxing state of affairs.
5. We did not get killed by rattlesnakes!
6. The Grand Canyon was right on our way home from Los Angeles to St. Louis. Having never seen it before, we were excited at the prospect of taking in its grandeur.The Bad
1. On the way out, I drove overnight from Redding to Eureka, and, due to darkness, missed out on what is reportedly some of the most beautiful scenery on earth. Of course, I was in a hurry to get to Eureka!
2. I screamed like a baby as I felt myself yielding to certain death from that shark bite. This proved terribly embarrassing as I exited the water in front of thousands of giggling and snickering local beach goers!
3. We ate every meal at Der Wienerschnitzel for six consecutive days while in Los Angeles.
4. Like the couple of dumb hillbillies that we were, we got severely sunburned despite the peaceful, benign, cloud cover. My skin had moist, oozing, cracks between an eighth and quarter of an inch deep. And, the Pinto had no air conditioning. The drive back east, across the desert, was sweaty, hot, and painful.
5. We tired late at night as we were driving across the desert east of Los Angeles. It was 108 degrees in the middle of the night. (That should be against some law). Simple enough, we just drove off the pavement a couple hundred yards onto the desert, got out, laid on the ground, and slept. The next morning, as we drove back toward the pavement, we noticed little signs near the road's edge, facing away from us and toward the highway. As we passed one, I turned my head back to read what it said. â€œDO NOT LEAVE HIGHWAY, RATTLESNAKE INFESTED AREAâ€
6. F**k the Grand Canyon. I was in too much pain to stop and stare at a big, dirty ditch!
So, yes, Michael.
, in my own special way, I am from California!
My only regret about the entire trip is that I didn't have a hose with me, and, therefore, couldn't flow. Ah, the improvidence of youth!