Keep on Dreaming – Final Blog

(Originally written 26 September 2016 after having returned from California)

I was at a Fast Food Outlet at Minneapolis International Airport on my way from the West Coast of the USA to Denmark, while I met a young woman working her shift.

“Do you like your job?” I asked in a very Western Way, which I tried to do while in India, but was sadly disappointed when doing so. Like and Job didn’t fit together in that instance, while I probably should have asked, “Isn’t it great having a job, or Nice place to work, you are lucky”.

This young woman was happy with her job, because it gave her the opportunity to meet new people while doing so.

Next question: “Do you have a passport?”

The answer was “No”, but she wanted to get one eventually.

Next question: “If you had a passport, and the money to travel, where would you go?”

She thought a bit before answering. “To the jungle”, she said.

I answered a bit facetious: “Los Angeles, perhaps?”

“No, the rain forest”, she replied without blinking. “Or better yet, Japan”.

Hmm. They did have those Snow Monkeys in Japan, I thought.

“Keep your dreams alive, save your money, and go” – That was my advice. I told her how I was living in Denmark, speaking the language on a daily basis, and so on.

She then asked: “How long before you were fluent?”

Funny thing, but I don’t even consider myself fluent today, even though 25 years have gone by.

My reply: “Youth and interest play a bit part in learning anything new. Put your mind to it, and you can learn anything!”

Her face beamed with the expression of joy and wonderment. I imagined that I made a difference in her dreams, and that she too would take up my challenge to someday journey outside of USA’s borders, and experience something different and foreign.

I ended with telling her, that a number of Danes could travel to the usual tourist destinations, and feel safe knowing that someone there could speak Danish, and that the signs at restaurants and hotels, would be in Danish as well.

I thought that Japan was a good choice. Let yourself experience something so foreign, that you might just lose yourself, or get yourself lost in all of that foreignness. Try something different for a change, and see how the rest of the world lives.

My path led me away from that Fast Food Counter and onward to the next Gate and the next Plane……………


Wonder what ever happened to Wonder Dog? Or what about Linda? Those were things that I used early on, but disappeared over time.

As an added treat, here is a rare photo of Wonder Dog, enjoying his first ever Ice Cream Sandwich Cookie in Yosemite National Park

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Seeing as how he is a teenager and all, and not always sure about being my son, when I act other than he expects me to, I have not included his photo in this blog. This being the last one, however, I felt that he deserved at least a short mention, as well as receiving my thanks for a great trip, and his much appreciated photographic talents!

Linda has faded into the shadows of Northern Michigan, which is how all former “loves” tend to be, with them liking that distinction, or not?

I thought of continuing this blog with any number of additional photos, but that would only prolong its existence.

For all of you who shared my trip, I extend an appreciation for your reads and likes along the way.  I felt that this was a fitting point in time to end this blog, so as to remain credible within the confines of my 3-week trip last year.

Happy Traveling……Down your own Inner Ear…….

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The Next to the Last Post

Sounds ominous, doesn’t it?

All things must have an end, and writing this blog is no exception. This blog concerns my trip to California, traveling down memory lane, as it were, but it was just a moment in time, and cannot be repeated. Oh, the trip can be taken again, but then it would be another trip, with other things to see, places to go, memories to gain, but this trip has moved on into my memory.

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“Welcome here, win money by subscribing to us, come again soon.”

In some ways, my journey has degraded into a collection of receipts and photographs, with my memory of them, still existing, though changing all the time.

The memory of being there, and what I thought while I was there, and the memories that these pieces of paper invoke, change over time.

I might not even possess any true memories of my trip, only what my mind has chosen to remember, how it wanted it to be, highlighting the positive, or the negative as well?

In the ensuing months from September to now, a number of those memories, paper and imagined, have tended to fade.

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which makes me wonder sometimes, if I really had been there at all…..

Visiting Folsom. Shopping. Strange Trees in Placerville.

Folsom California

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Sandwiched (no pun intended after last blog) between Sacramento and  Placerville, a city which had grown in leaps and bounds since I had been there last, but then 25 years is a long time to be gone…

I went on a shopping spree of sorts, but nothing to brag about in the large picture of consumerism. I took a few photos while doing so, here for others to enjoy

PS -the photos are taken in both Folsom and Placerville:

More fast food – The American Way!

K-mart with its Blue Light Special. It reminded me of herds of ladies, wearing brightly-colored Muumuus, running  towards the flashing blue light, ready to snap up the fabulous bargains at hand.

I know that Christmas is big in the States, but in September?

When I asked, I was told that they had an empty space, so they might as well use it sensibly.

 

It made more sense to me with the endless aisles with Halloween items.

 

In Denmark you could find about 5% of what this single store was offering with Halloween things.

After many years of American influences, the pumpkin has taken its rightful place in Denmark as well.

Their pumpkins are chiefly grown on the island  of Samsø and distributed across the country.

 

I really like the thought behind this photo. Too much plastic floating around the world is not good for the environment,

of which we are a part of!

During my last night out in Placerville/California, I was treated to this meal by my family.

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Here is another item, that astounded me: A cleverly disguised tower, for telecommunication.

Looking like any other pine tree, this was really a metal constructed thing, relaying the signals

from my Cellphone to the world!

 

Next few blogs concern Airports and the journey back to Denmark!

My Special Bagel at LAX

Being a Jalapeño bagel, no less.

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It seemed rather fitting, with the chili and all, being in Los Angeles on the way back to Denmark.

I thought back to the start of the trip, when I was in a Supermarket in the city of San Gabriel.

So many chilies in my whole life, my wildest imagination, or the craziest movie, had never existed before that day.

Think of belonging to a culture, where the chili plays so important a roll in cooking!

As I ate my bagel, while waiting for my connecting flight, the chili awoke a sensation in my mouth, which still burns in part today.

Such are memories….

Fading California

My trip to San Francisco ended at a Subway Sandwich shop on the road towards Sacramento.

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It really ended with my last blog, but this blog will take me, (and you) back to Placerville, where I was staying with my sister.

This was America at its finest: Fast Food and a lot of choices for it.

I only wanted something to sustain me for the journey back, but the choices didn’t become less because of that.

Whole wheat, or regular, short or long, this on it, but not that, plastic gloves, smiling,

Thank you sir, thank you for visiting, paper or plastic, come again soon, thank you for choosing Subway….

Always smiling, these Americans. Polite and welcoming.

Those things will be missed, I’m sure.

 

Fading California Memories.

 

Next Blog: Visiting Folsom. Shopping. Strange Trees in Placerville.

Last Look at San Francisco, from the North

When I visited San Francisco back in 1975, my hair length reflected the times as did my attitude. My now-deceased sister gave me a hip-gnarly-boss shirt and suggested we walk over the Golden Gate (the actual name where the bridge of the same name lies) to Saucelito, eat lunch then take the Ferry back to San Francisco.

which we did.

It was one of those great days for the memory books, and resided there for many years despite the less-than-happy ending with troubles in the family and her death and all, but waxing the nostalgic is a favorite pastime of mine, and that trip was no exception.


Back to 2016, my trip is running out of steam in this last blog about San Francisco.

Golden Gategolden gate aerial view

Source: Google Maps

The  viewpoint was a nice way to end my visit to the Bay Area, with the nicest weather to boot.

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First I played the time-honored game of “identical cars”, then…

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I looked back towards the Golden Gate Bridge, and my starting point for this series of blogs, Twin Peaks Viewpoint, seen in the far left background on the San Francisco Peninsula.

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Views looking back at the City were great as well!

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I could discern most of the major skyscrapers, and started to realize that my time in California really was finite.

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Alcatraz Island seen in the left foreground, with the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge visible between Angel Island, and the City.

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The wind blew a bit, accentuation the two flags.

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My road now led me past the (in)famous prison, San Quentin, and past the city of San Francisco, where my sister and I ate at a restaurant called Trident, and which was used as a backdrop in a Woody Allen Movie, “Play it Again Sam (1972).

Memories are still there, encased in my grainy photos, but there all the same.

My hair is unfortunately not the same color anymore, and there wasn’t time to take the ferry back to the City again.

This journey will be continued in the next 2 or so blogs, then it like all other things, will come to an end.

My fading California days were starting to gnaw at me, as if my life existed somewhere else, but that will come sooner or later, all the same….

 

 

The Pacific Ocean, West of San Francisco

When first my visit to California began, I was at the Pacific Ocean near Santa Monica in Southern California. I’ve moved a bit farther on this blog, having driven up the eastern side of the Golden State, having visited my family and the grand National Park named Yosemite.

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Source: Google Maps

I drove firstly to Lombard Street and found my way, twisting and turning along the very visited tourist street, before I set my sights for the Pacific Ocean.

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Hyde Street near hotel.

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Near Sutro Baths.

There were no parking spots as I drove by the Cliff House, a historic place being very magical in its setting and its ambience. I’ve shared a drink there with my now deceased sister, as well as my in-laws from Denmark. Just to the north of the Cliff House lie the remains of the Sutro Baths, which became immortalized in the film, “Harold and Maude” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_and_Maude).

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I continued to the south coming to a long parking lot which hosted a security guard of sorts. He asked if I were part of the film crew (I should have answered, Yes!”, but as I was taken aback by this question, I said no, which required me to park at the next lot to the south.

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Shots taken along Ocean Beach.

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Source: Google Maps

The green area to the right belongs to Golden Gate Park.

 

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Seal Rocks (whitish color) seen in far background.

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Cliff House visible in background.

And no visit is complete without seeing a Dutch Windmill

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I was looking a bit grizzled at this point in time, and my wife asked, via Messenger, if I had misplaced my razors, which I hadn’t, as seen by this rare photo of yours truly.

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After tasting the salty waters of the Pacific Ocean, and wondering when I would see it again, I took a few more photos before setting my course towards the Golden Gate Bridge.

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What is life without curved Graffiti?

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Or Public Notices,

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or, a warning of Rip Currents in English, Chinese, Spanish and Russian.

I did not swim here, nor did I drown, which gave me a bit of time to write my next blog:

Last Look at San Francisco from the north.