Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Vacation, Day 15

Monday after Pentecost 3
June 14, 2010
Vacation, Day 15

The Lord be with you

We got up, packed the car, said our goodbyes, and were on the road by 8:30 AM. We were on Interstate 5 headed north by 9:00. Our first real stop was Hollywood. We saw the Hollywood sign from the interstate, but no one took a picture. Oh well, I guess everyone in Spartanburg will have to take our word on that one.

We spent about an hour in Hollywood, walking by Mann’s Chinese Theater where we saw the hand and foot prints in cement (Mary Pickford had REALLY small feet, but Shirley Temple’s feet were even smaller.) Top Chef was filming an episode while we were there. There was a Hard Rock CafĂ© store, but the restraunt will not open until next month. Our parking place was only for one hour, so we hustled back, only to fine we had a parking ticket anyways. They clean the street we parked on each Monday. It was posted with two tinny signs. There were ample one hour parking signs, but these two tiny signs warned that everyone had to be off the street by noon. We were back by 12:10, and got there just as the grumpy ticket giver was finishing writing the ticket. All he could say is that we should pay more attention to posted signs in the future. $60.00! Welcome to LA.

We headed north to San Francisco on I-5. This takes us through “the valley.” This is one of the richest farming areas in the U.S., boasting 9 of the 10 top produce producing counties in America. Unlike other times I’ve been through this area, this time many fields were brown. In many places we saw signs saying “Congress Created Dust Bowl.” Most of the water used in all of California comes from a river delta in northern California. It travels south through the California Aquifer. In order to deliver all this water powerful pumps are used. A few years back an environmental group brought suit against the California government charging that the pump threatened the existence of a smelt fish (about two inches long). A federal judge agreed and ordered the amount of water pumped greatly reduced. The California congress determined who would have to have their water reduced. Cities have many voters, farming areas do not. Not surprisingly, the cities can still have green lawns but much of the farm lands are left without water. Entire orchards have died and many fields are brown. The result will be green lawns in Sacramento but higher produce prices in America as we have to import more and more food. Of course the farmers that can get water still can grow their crops.

We arrived in San Francisco around 7:00 PM. We are staying in a Super 8 Hotel that has a “Sam Spade” feel to it. Next door is a Moroccan restaurant named Marrakech. We chose to eat there as only Kitty and I have eaten Moroccan food before. We sat on very low couches (in Moroccan they actually sit on pillows, but the low couches are a concession to us westerners). Warm water was poured over our hands before the meal. I can’t tell you want all we ate, but it was exotic. The kids tried some of everything, and liked most of it. Rachel and the children were surprised when they found out that some of the food was meant to be eaten with the hands. We again has warm scented water poured over our hands at the end of the meal. Part of the evening’s entertainment was a belly dancer. The custom is to place a tip into some part of her costume. We let Gregory do so. I wasn’t sure if we would ever stop laughing.

The pictures below are:
1. Final goodbyes in San Diego.
2. Kitty and Mary Pickford’s hands are the same size
3. A dead grove of trees
4. Brown California crop land with the Aquifer flowing through it
5. Me & Kitty at the Moroccan restaurant
6. Gregory leaves a tip

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

1 comment:

  1. Rachel tried to tell Gregory that stuffing that dollar bill in the belly dancer's costume was just like tipping a waitress. Through a face the color of his shirt came these words, "No, Momma, it's not the same at all!"