Monday, November 24, 2014

Bananas, Balboa Park, and Breast Cancer

I have no plans for today except for a dinner with one of Jim's colleagues.  I don't know what the day will bring to me.  Yesterday, however, was one of some adventures.

Our Hilton Bayfront Hotel room does not have the view I coveted and remembered from our last stay in San Diego.  We do overlook the Coronado Bridge, but in the foreground is a huge parking lot full of Dole trucks.  I tried to look over that industrial section and focus on the Bay and even the Pacific Ocean beyond Point Loma.

Yesterday, however, I began watching the Dole trucks in their steady rhythm of a cab picking up a trailer bed, waiting for a huge magnet to deposit a full trailer from the Dole Ecuador ship in the dock, driving to a parking space, releasing the trailer, and then starting over.  There were seven of these trucks in the parade that went on all day.  I thought about our 59 cents a pound bananas in our South Bend Martin's and was grateful.

Later in the morning, I took a taxi to Balboa Park where I visited the Spanish Village, a center for working artists where I bought a watercolor 27 years ago when we lived in the area for four months.  I enjoyed the Gauguin to Warhol exhibit at the Museum of Art (on a visit from Buffalo, NY), and then listened to several numbers on the Spreckels pipe organ played by Robert Plimpton, a master organist.

My plan was to walk the two miles back to the hotel.  Little did I know that I was to walk with "3000 of my best friends" as one  Walk for Breast Cancer woman put it!  These walkers were on mile 59 of 60 miles in the last three days.  Most were wearing signs in memory of a friend or relative and were dressed in outlandish costumes--pink tutus, hats, and metal bras!  At least I was carrying my pink leather bag.   As they (we!) walked, there was loud music, cheering by-standers, and police stopping traffic on side streets.

I should have followed them all the way to Petco Park but my feet, even after two miles not 59, needed the shortest route possible.  Unfortunately that led through the East Village area past a "residential hotel," a woman vomiting in a trash can, and several homeless folks with their sleeping gear on the sidewalk.

There were no threats at all, just a little uneasiness--but that is often a part of adventures in my travels.

Back to the hotel for a short collapse, on to a "mixed grill" dinner and then the Notre Dame reception to greet lots of former students and friends.

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