Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Sweet 14

Posted by Hippo Bean at 9:07 PM 0 comments Links to this post
I dunno these things, but maybe I'm getting old but I found watching these very old videos brought back the time when I was 14. I was a huge pop music fanatic and I just seem to have an affinity with these slightly obscure Scottish bands that not many Americans like. They werent even all that popular back home back then, but I simply loved them. I remember listening closely to my radio-cassette deck and waiting for my favorite tunes so I could tape them. Often the announcer talked over the beginning of the song, so most of my recordings were without the first part. I used to save every penny just to buy the books that contain the lyrics. I couldnt quite read them because I didnt know English back then. Years later I've discovered most of the lyrics were wrong and probably composed by someone who knew a bit of English and who just listened to the songs and wrote the words out. I still have some of my old tapes. Later, I saved all my allowances just to get a 45 or the complete LP. Many more years later, I threw my vinyl records away. Now I regret that. I bought CD's instead. And now I found my music online. It is strange that I work with technology every day but I'm not a big fan. Deep down I dont believe in it, even though right now, technology brought my teen years back. Strange how these songs still make me happy and young. They are as fresh and sweet as when I first heard them from the radio, more than 30 years ago! I still dream the dreams these songs made me dream. I'm still as naive, simple, and clueless as I was when I first heard them.


http://youtube.com/watch?v=D33DZkuBdzQ

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sunday, June 10, 2007

mission possible

Posted by Hippo Bean at 11:07 PM 1 comments Links to this post
The cool breeze turned out to be from an open window by my bed. None of us remembered opening any windows. The poor navigator had opened it for us the day before when he visited our suite. While we complained it was a bit cold, I remembered he turned the heater on and the whole room smelled like burning charcoal. Then he noticed the floor beneath the air conditioning unit was wet because the water from the unit spilled inside the room instead of outside. He called the hotel to let them know. Now, just a minute, whose room was it? Last time I've heard, this room was still ours! We had continental breakfast at the club house while, once again, T and A went out for protein. This time we didnt get lost finding the San Fernando Rey mission, but as usual, T and A beat us there. This mission had the best museum. The convento had every room decorated and the Hippo imagined it being her house and completely re-decorated the entire building, including moving some doors. On a wall in the grand room hung a painting of Jesus on the cross, wearing a white skirt, with what looked like balls and skulls on his feet. It was a most disturbing, out of place, strange and very distasteful painting I've ever seen. I almost felt insulted. Not so much for the Jesus, but the painting as a whole. Behind the church lies Bob Hope's grave in a very serene garden. Didnt know he was buried there. J read the pamphet and it said when his wife asked him where he wanted to be buried, he said 'surprise me'. I didnt know he was Catholic. It was a beautifully kept mission, and a grand finali for the trip. We zoomed back north hoping to stop at the military camp near the tiny community of Jolon to visit the San Antonio de Padua mission on our way back home. But someone wanted to stop at a winery and so we killed another 45 minutes. I felt asleep. When I woke up, we went past Jolon without stopping. Someone definitely jeopardized our desire to see this mission on this trip. Next time it wont be any poor navigator. I'm just about mission out. We still has 6 more to visit to complete all 21. It was a mission 'possible'.

See the missions pictures

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The long awaited Capistrano

Posted by Hippo Bean at 11:59 PM 0 comments Links to this post
Perhaps it's the name of the place. Or perhaps it just sounded good. We had always wanted to visit Capistrano. The morning in Oceanside was overcast. I was disappointed we didn't get a place close to the ocean. The motel complimentary breakfast wasn't bad tho. We could make our own waffles and being a gihugic waffle lover, it was indeed a real treat. T said he needed protein so he and A went ahead to hunt for eggs and meat. First stop of the day was the King of the mission, the most populous, San Luis Rey Mission. It was early so we visited the cemetery first. We found a strange writing (again) above a tomb that had Roman numerals but with an arabic 3 at the end. Perhaps they simply ran out of space. Then on one grave, there's a headstone and then a very tiny one with the same name at the other end. Footstone? When the mission was finally open, we visited the museum and the church. Down to the lavandarias through a flight of stairs that seemed to be constructed just for photography, we saw the 2 gargoyles. I imagined the women doing their laundry and gossiping about the padres. There was an Indian Pow Wow and I bought a small ceramic vase with Native American motives. Oh how I love ceramics! I need to take a ceramic class so I can get my hands in the mud! The sacred garden had an interesting statue of Jesus carrying the giant cross and a Roman soldier with a whip. Behind the statue and inside the locked fenced courtyard, the CA very first pine tree! At the books and coffee/tea shop, we bought a bottle of the mission wine. There were all kinds of wine but we decided on the one that had the best looking label - a Zinfandel, my old favorite! My idea was to drink it tonight in our junior suite at the Sheraton while we play Pictionary. On the way to our next mission, as usual my group got lost. The poor navigator insisted on taking the front passenger seat and therefore to navigate. At times I felt like throwing him out of the window, only that he's too big. But we made it and what an awesome site the San Juan Capistrano mission was. The cathedral ruins were what stood out the most. I felt like being back in Europe again, visiting archaeological sites. T pointed out fossils on the old bedrock used to construct the old fallen down cathedral. But it's Saturday and the mission was full of tourists and people enjoying the arts and crafts fair inside the mission compound. It took much of the magic away. The Capistrano town was quaint and rows of shops and outdoor restaurants circled half the mission. We had a nice Italian lunch on the courtyard serenaded by some pretty good live jazz. Then we hopped over to the new Cathedral next door and inside a wedding was in session. Beautiful modern style church where what do you guess, similar style paintings adorned the walls. Another hour later our poor navigator kept his promise and even tho we saw the San Gabriel mission, he absolutely insisted we went the opposite way. Sometimes I thought he's deliberately trying to sabotage our mission. T and A's Prius has an onboard GPS and we thought we beat them for once, they arrived at the mission only 2 minutes ahead of us. It was just 4:30 and so we got in with a huge discount. They only charged us for 1 senior citizen ticket. The garden cemetery was gorgeous and once again there was a display of mission models and I dutifully took pictures of each. The Bell Tower was the most impressive part as it's at the back of the building and very visible from the outside which had a small park/square. By now, we were much further inland and the weather was warm enough that I could go without a jacket, and there's no breeze. Then it was my turn to lead the group astray. I thought the Sheraton was only a few blocks away and so we got lost once more. Little did I know that a block from the mission also had a street with the same name where our hotel was. We had to call the hotel to get directions and then checked with T again and finally made it to the Sheraton at Pasadena in time for the snacks. B and L got a room at the members club and so we all went in to the club house to enjoy wine and hor d'orves . We toasted our mission 'possible and accomplished' even though there's still one more to go to complete the trip. For the evening we took the hotel shuttle to old Pasadena (just around the corner from the hotel) and spent time visiting the shops and buying clothes at the H&M. We recognized our old pal Moose Mcgilly. A few years ago this was the spot we stoped and called Glee for help when we ran out of gas. We had our supper at an Italian/Thai restaurant. Yum Yum. Back at the hotel, we drank the Zinfandel we bought in the morning at the San Luis Rey. I had intended to spend time each evening to visit and converse and enjoy each other's company and possibly to play a bit of Pictionary. But as usual, there was no time and we were tired after such long days. We talked a bit then each group retired in their respective rooms with their sweet sleeper beds. Our junior suite was grand with windows running along one wall and a marble bathroom. Finally a decent room after the small dingy motel the night before. I felt asleep with a cool breeze on my face.

Hippo at Capistrano
 Hippo in Capistrano


San Luis Rey de Francia
 San Luis Rey de Francia


Bells of San Gabriel Arcangel
 Bells of San Gabriel Arcangel

Friday, June 08, 2007

Friday, June 08, 2007

Getting Lost…

Posted by Hippo Bean at 10:09 PM 0 comments Links to this post
I woke up. The sight was unfamiliar and strange. The headache was back. I felt suffocated. When the world finally came into focus, I realized we're still stuck on the San Diego Freeway. I was hungry. We finally stopped for gas and lunched at Carrows, just south of Carlsbad. Then I took over the wheels and got on 805. This is the second day of our Southern CA Missions trip. Yesterday we took off early, made a pancakes and sausage stop at a MickieD, had a wonderful outdoor lunch in the sun in Santa Maria, and made it to Ventura in time to meet up with T and A.
Inside the Buenaventura Mission, T spotted a plague above a door that says PHE NERISIND ELPRIMER PATROND ELLA. It looked like Spanish but not exactly. Certainly not Latin. Definitely not Greek. What is it? We couldnt figure what language it was. The mission's garden was very properly kept and the facçde with the gorgeous single bell tower was very awe inspiring. But aside from these, not very impressive for the Hippo as she generally prefers missions that are no longer live, like the Purissima. The weather during the day wasnt as warm as I'd wanted but the wind died down towards the evening in Santa Barbara, and it was very pleasant when we strolled on the pier. We had Happy Hour at the Fish House and M ordered the most buttery and garlicky steamed clams we've ever had. My Syrah was delicious. Our room at the Montecito was large with a beautiful bathroom and a window that overlooked a terrace. The first day was enjoyable. Today though we got lost first thing in the morning. We wanted to take the short cut to the Santa Barbara mission but the road went uphill and we kept making wrong turns. Finally we had to stop and ask for directions. The girl told us to stay on the APS and I thought 'what the heck is the APS?'. Since most of us had visited the mission, I didnt go in, and spent time photographing the chalk drawings on the square. They are marvellous. And now we're once again lost trying to find the mission in San Diego. Someone in the group was a poor navigator! The white-washed Bell Tower and the Facade came upon us when we turned up the hill. The first mission founded was simply stunning. Here we met this funny guy who told us a story about the avenue of palms at Dolores. Quite a character! Not wanting to get back to the horrible traffic, we opted to dine in the Old Town. I've never been to Old Town San Diego and frankly was a bit disappointed. We had margaritas at a local joint, then transferred across the street to have tapas at a restaurant which has my name and offered central and south american cuisine. I even found Parilla, my favorite Argentinian meat. I've never seen it on the menu anywhere in CA. Doubling back up north, we were lost again trying to find our motel for the night. We finally made it to Oceanside in time for bed. Today we did a long slow drive, visited the first mission founded, had supper at 'my' restaurant, and the Hippo experienced Old Town San Diego. The bed at the Quality Inn was wonderful! It was a day of getting lost!

mission soledad
 Chalk Drawings



gang at san diego de alcala
 The Missionaries



PS - The Goose, being the Computational Linguist, like Champolion, cracked the strange language code. It could be PHENERIS IN DIO or PHENERI SIN DIO or PHENER INDO and EL PRIMER PATRON DE ELLA. ELLA could be Buen Aventura, the name of the place or the saint of the mission. PHENERI or PHENERIS could be the name of the primer patron. So that could mean Pheneris in God or Phener the Indian is the first patron of her (Buenaventura).
 

HippoBlog Copyright © 2012 Design by Antonia Sundrani- Vinte e poucos