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Monday, June 5, 2017

California, here we come, Part Five

From San Diego, we took a trip inland on Hwy 8 to El Centro in the Imperial Valley and the Anza Borrego desert. For visitors from mountainous Switzerland, the desert has a special fascination. El Centro is also the place where part of the Polkinhorn family lives, so it was exciting for my Swiss family to meet them for the first time.

But first, we made another surprise visit to a dear member of the "Polkinhorn Clan," Harry Polkinhorn, in San Diego. He and I used to live in Switzerland and he knew my family there, but hadn't seen them in over twenty years. So, it was a wonderful surprise when we showed up unannounced.

Our trip east on Hwy 8 brought us through the mountains and into the Anza Borrego desert. I remember well how impressed  I was the first time I took this trip many years ago. The mysterious landscape and the purple/orange colors of the rocks never cease to fascinate me.

In El Centro, close to the Mexican border, we met a few other members of the Polkinhorn Clan, my ex-husbands brother and my sister-in-law and their daughter. It was a first get-together for everyone and we truly enjoyed it.

Rae Lynn, my sister-in-law, accompanied us into the desert to Yuma, Arizona. Yuma is a quaint city with a pleasant climate (it does get quite hot in summer), so in winter the town gets inundated with the so-called "Snowbirds." These are people from states such as Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and others (mainly retirees) who want to escape the brutal cold and spend the winter in sunny and warm Arizona. At this time of the year, not much is going but during winter, this is supposed to be quite an active place. By the way, it is alleged that Billy the Kid spent time in jail here. Yuma also has some excellent restaurants and funky bars.

The next few photos show the inside of the restaurant we had lunch at. You'll see quite a few celebrities of the entertainment business and the famous civil rights leader!

One of the highlights of our journey into the desert were the sand dunes with their otherworldly ambience. They are simply breathtaking.

Thank you, Rae Lynn, Billy and Harry Polkinhorn, for your kind hospitality!

And a heartfelt thank you to my dear friends, Jeanie and Bernie Lauer Van Dam, and my Ladies Club (Martha, Relly, and Yasue) for making my family feel so welcome!

Unfortunately, everything has to come to an end. The two intense and wonderful weeks are over and soon it was time to say goodbye.

At the airport once again, this time to fly back.Bye and see you soon!

Back in Switzerland, where it was definitely a little colder. But home sweet home nevertheless.


  1. Dah-ling! What a whirlwind adventure---and soooo much car time (I was doing the same thing at the same time---so I can sympathize with you on that. I did all of the driving on my trip. UGH!). I did, however, notice how you left the incident with you trying to cozy up to a handsome elephant seal bachelor out of your report (that's for the ADULTS ONLY blog of yours, no doubt) and how you discretely left out the entire Hollywood / Universal Studios adventures (but I DID see the shocking news reports on TV. OH MY STARS!!!). I also noticed your day in Paso Robles that, after the visit to the one winery and the James Dean Memorial when you all went back to town, you noted that "The Paso Robles area has a lot of fun restaurants and shops and my relatives realized soon enough that clothes and shoes were quite a bit cheaper here than in Switzerland. So they shopped till they dropped, then relaxed in a restaurant or at the pool." The accompanying photo shows them at dinner---your place is unoccupied and I am reasonably sure you had the waiter take the photo because the word on the street is while they shopped, YOU went wine, uh "researching for your next book" and spent the rest of the evening in a drunken stupor. Jeepers! I did find it gutsy of you to take your family to San Diego after your banishment from there decades ago. Bravo on not getting caught. What an amazing trip. Thanks for sharing. CHEERS!

    1. Ha, ha, thank you, Monster A-Go-Go. You always keep me entertained and laughing!

    2. Btw, I'm just rereading the posts about your road trip. In the very first one out of nine, there was reference to about 50 drinks of the alcoholic kind you imbibed. How many more on the next 8 parts? He,he.

  2. Just trying to keep up with YOU! My stars! That's impossible. Ha! CHEERS!

  3. What a fabulous time you had and so nice to reconnect with family and friends. You sure gave them a great time. By the way, Yuma is a popular winter home for many snowbirds from Canada!! I have a couple of guests coming from the US and Canada soon, so I will show them around my part of Spain. Hope I do as good a job.

    1. That's right, Darlene, Rae Lynn did mention the Canadian snowbirds. By the way, when I heard the term the first time, I thought she was talking about real birds. Well, now I know better. Have a wonderful time with your visitors from the US and Canada. Judging from your marvelous blog posts, you'll give them a great time in Spain!