Tuesday, May 6, 2008

And Just Like That, It's Time to Go!

Monday was my last full day on the Left Coast and it was another beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the San Joaquin Valley in the mid 80's. I can't believe that it's time to go already but tomorrow is my return to my real life and today was the last day to enjoy my vacation. Cyndi and I set out mid-morning in search of a few things for me to bring back with me and ended up out in the middle of Lodi grape country tasting a little more olive oil and even some mustard.

From there we went back to Stockton and, because it was Cinco de Mayo and you can't not have Mexican food on that day!, we stopped off at another favorite Mexican restaurant - Miguel's. This restaurant was actually the very first Mexican restaurant I ever dined at in Stockton way back in 1980 when I made my very first visit out here with my first husband.

This time I ordered a chicken taco and enchilada and a chili relleno - things I hadn't had yet while I was here and, of course, some guacamole to go along with it. I know it looks like a big brown mess on the plate but it sure was good (though not as good as the food at Cancun in my own humble opinion!).

After gorging ourselves, Cyndi and I then went to spend some time visiting with Grandma Edith before we did a little more exploring around Stockton. As Cyndi put it, she saw more of her own city while I was here than she has in ages but I think that's a good thing as Stockton has made a lot of positive changes and I don't view it with the same cynical view that she does. Of course, I'm not a native Stocktonian so that probably accounts for a lot of it!

I need to quit procrastinating and get things packed for an early departure tomorrow morning but when I get back to the Right Coast, I've got plenty more pictures to share from my much-needed and much-enjoyed vacation. I'd promise to post one of myself and Cyndi but, idiots that we are, we neglected to take one so I'm hoping Zane has one from our night out at Cancun that Sandee can forward to me! Well, it's either that or I'm going to have to come back again soon to get a picture!


  1. I miss you already!

    Now: a bit of housekeeping is in order.

    My view of home sweet home is anything but cynical. I prefer to think of it as snarky and brutally honest re: both the positive and negative points. I call 'em as I see 'em.

    What I've seen in recent years is a city that is being steered away from being anything other than the Central Valley town it should be proud to be. Recently, Stockton seems almost ashamed of it's agricultural roots (despite our much-touted Asparagus Festival); the powers that be appear to strive to ally Stockton more with the Bay area than with the interior of Northern California.

    Case in point: our leaders have made some wonderful choices in public art, yet recently paid well over a hundred thousand dollars for a grotesque cement sculpture that looks like a cross between something out of Dante's Inferno and Stephen King's wildest imagination on a bad hair day. This thing could frighten fish (not to mention small children), yet it graces the back entrance of our shiny new (and very expensive) sports arena. After the Cultural Heritage Board laughed themselves silly over the idea of giving it a citation of merit, the best those who supported this thing could come up with to defend the purchase was to say that the sculptor had done many wonderful pieces in the Bay Area. ZZZZ.

    Stockton is a city of great beauty, rich in historical and cultural assets and blessed with fabulous weather and proximity to just about any activity one can imagine. We don't need to package our town as anything other that what it is to be proud of it. What we do need to do is cut down on the crime and figure out how to pull private investment $$$ into the central core without subsidization. I'm hoping that the combination of a relatively new City Manager, Police Chief and perhaps some new talent on the City Council and in the Mayor's office following the next election will put us on the path to further reductions in violent crime. As to whether anyone has fresh ideas as to how to entice any of the stock brokers, attorneys and other professionals away from the swankier parts of the north side and into downtown..well...hopeful can only do so much.

    I wish we'd had the time to tour the central core of Lodi and a few other nearby towns who have retained unique Valley flavor while still managing to revitalize their central core. There are lessons to be learned.

    Meanwhile, I'll bask in the glow of all this great Mexican food. I still think we should have hit the taco trucks, though, and picked up some of the BEST stuff. Next time for sure. And sorry--I did it again--wrote a post rather than a comment. I probably should throw my camera in my purse with the rest of my junk and start writing my own darned blog.

  2. It sounds like you had a most wonderful time! Good for you!

  3. Your photos are great, now stop making me want that food, I cannot stand it, stop it....

  4. Have a safe trip home! Talk to you when you back on right side :o)
    Arn't the good things going too quick? My vac/honeymoon was over sooo fast *sigh*

  5. i love the photo of the palm trees! and i am so glad you had a lovely trip...

    smiles, bee

  6. Anonymous11:36 AM EDT

    I always enjoy my visits to CA! I would love to move to the Big Sur area someday.

  7. It sounds like you had a truly wonderful time Linda. Have a safe journey home then you can start posting your photos!

  8. How fun Linda. I've been thinking about you and your travels. I have a bunch of pictures and a few videos as well. Let me get them uploaded into Photobucket and I'll send you the link. Have a safe trip home. It was great finally getting to meet you. Big hug. :)

  9. Oh good Linda...sounds as if you had an awesome time..sorry but the food looked so good...I ate it...will pay you for it later...yummm...next time call and I will go with..burp.......

  10. A lovely vaction in pictures.

  11. Anonymous8:53 PM EDT

    I am so glad that you've had a good time, got to meet up with some bloggers and reconnect with your wonderful friend. :)

    Hurray for this trip.

  12. Anonymous1:52 AM EDT

    i liked the picture of the palm trees..and the food..OMG i love enchilada!

  13. My stepdad says that you can tell the quality of a Mexican restaurant from the chili relleno. He always orders that when he tries a new place.

    I'm glad your experience back in California was a good one!

  14. It's Saturday and I'm finally ba-a-a-ck (and you are too!)

    That was quite a comment Cyndi left. Please tell her from me I really think she should run for mayor of Stockton, being a native and all.

    Off to read the rest of your posts from this week. ;-)

  15. Anonymous6:09 PM EDT

    What gorgeous photos! I was in Los Angeles and left there on May 7th!


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