Letterboxing in February?

It’s true! I drove a few of my friends/coworkers out to Volcan Wilderness Preserve on Saturday where we snagged a bunch of nicely-placed letterboxes. We weren’t able to get all five of the boxes in the Grumpy Grandeur series because the trail leading to the mountain summit was closed for the winter rattlesnake hoe-down. But we did get three boxes, and it was a beautiful day. I also checked on the two boxes that I’d placed in the same area – they were doing pretty well with several visitors, although the actual container holding the first stamp was gone. Strangely, the stamp itself was just sitting right in its hiding spot. Weird!

After boxing Volcan, we found a couple more letterboxes – one near Dudley’s Baker and another near the Wild Animal Park. It was a great day, a mellow drive, and I’m glad I finally got out. It had been too long since I’d gone letterboxing!

Here we are – from left-to-right, Matt, Beck, me, Tricia, and Alyssa.

Maxfield Parrish – Master of Make-Believe

Last Sunday, Mom and I went to Balboa Park where we caught the last day of the Maxfield Parrish exhibit. Parrish was an artist who lived in the early half of the 20th century, and is one of my all-time favorite artists. We were able to see many of his very famous works, including “Daybreak” and “The Lute Players”. His use of color and light is amazing, and it takes me to a wonderful world of magic, beauty, and serenity. One of the reasons I have such a fondness for Parrish’s work is because as a child, Nik used to tell my brother and me stories he made up from the Parrish prints he had in our home. They were wonderful stories, true to classic Nik form – I wish he had written them down for me to remember now! Below is “Daybreak”, and a re-enactment done by Mom and I in Balboa Park outside of the Museum of Art.

Stumpy’s on the move!

I finally received word from MonkeyToes…Stumpy will be sent off to his next stop tomorrow to…(drum roll here)…Olympia, Washington! He’s been patiently waiting the journey, stuffed in his box now for a couple of weeks. After Washington he’ll finally be sent back home. This little guy certainly has made the rounds, and he deserves a nice homecoming. Way to go Stumpy!!!

Stumpy the Traveling Sock Monkey Visits Escondido!

Stumpy the Traveling Sock Monkey arrived at my doorstep last week for his visit to the San Diego area. He has been vacationing around the country, staying with families and enjoying outings with them. Stumpy is actually part of a postal letterbox, and each of his host families has to take him to some place interesting, snap a picture of him at said location with a disposable camera (which he brings with him everywhere he goes), and then mail him off to his next destination. Stumpy has already been to a ton of places, including Colorado Springs, Houston and Dallas, Illinois, a renaissance faire in South Dakota, Georgia and South Carolina, and toured many of the historical sites of the East Coast. He really gets around, for a creature made out of socks!

I took Stumpy with me to work at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. My co-workers were able to confirm their suspicions that I am in fact a lunatic (carrying around a sock monkey with me and asking for people to take our picture didn’t help much). But Stumpy had a good time – he saw lots of wild animals and even visited his cousins in the gorilla exhibit. After that, I took him to the carousel where he really proved his bravery by riding the lion.

I was hoping that Stumpy would arrive while Bob was here, but he just missed him. Oh well! Maybe on his next vacation circuit he’ll visit Miami. Anyway, I’m still waiting to see where Stumpy will be sent next – he’s already squished into his cardboard box, along with his camera and a suitcase that carries punk-costume accessories. Until I find out his next stop, Stumpy’s saga will be continued at a future date….

A fine day at Point Loma

During Bob’s visit we went to Point Loma, which overlooks San Diego and the bay. It was a beautiful day – a nice cool breeze with lots of sunshine, and the views from the point were amazing.








Point Loma is part of Cabrillo National Monument, which commemorates Cabrillo coming to southern California and claiming the land for Spain in the 1500’s.

In the 1800’s, a small, squat lighthouse was built on the top hill at Point Loma. Unfortunately, fog and clouds often hid the light from the lighthouse, so it was eventually decommissioned and another lighthouse was built near sea-level, so it would shine below the fog. But the original lighthouse still stands, and you can see how the lighthouse keepers and their families lived.

Later that day we visited Old Town San Diego, which I had never been to before. It’s modeled after the original settlement near the Presidio, and has some very good Mexican Food. I had difficulty walking out of the candy shop without buying anything, especially the hand-made salt-water taffy. We had dinner at Casa Guadalupe, and a word of warning: the large margarita is boat-sized, and you practically have to climb in and drink your way out of it.