March 1 - 5: San Diego

3/4 - San Diego (0 miles 0 total)
it rained overnight (moisture is badly needed in this area, so we're all happy for the rains, especially if they end by this friday). the prognosis for today was more rain, so sari had planned sightseeing by auto for today. but before we left late morning, i took photos of sari's pottery & her studio so i could show them to you.
this is the front entry of the house, flanked by a large piece of pottery sari did over 30 years ago. she's been potting since her son erik was born....about 38 years ago. there's a huge variety in the types of pieces she does; it's fascinating. note in the photo the shoes near the door; no outdoor shoes are worn into the house. note also the large lengths of bamboo. peter enjoys growing bamboo. there's lots of it everywhere of all sizes & colors...growing in the garden & also cut pieces. sari even uses some of the tinier pieces in creating her pottery.
here's sari making her way back to her studio. the gantzels' home is unique in california; it has a basement. notice the surfboards & long lengths of bamboo leaning down near the basement door. all the gantzels are very athletic.
they're expert skiers. sari used to be on the ski patrol at arapahoe basin when she was in school at the Univ of Colo. she & her family still do lots & lots of skiing. they're also runners, swimmers, & of course cyclists. erik has competed in the ironman in hawaii, among other triathlons. he bikes 10 mi each way to work in downtown san diego daily. erik's wife is an avid marathoner, & in fact has done a 38-mi run. (she's the one who now has a 2-yr-old & a 5-week old; you saw their photo earlier this week.) sari swims in the ocean several times a week. & that's just a very small sampling of the gantzel athletic accomplishments. i feel like such a slouch around here!!
here's sari in her studio; it's a room made of glass & screens in a back corner of the rear patio to the back of the house. it's a real artist's haven.
these are 4 of sari's pots that will soon be in a local pottery show. she has won a prize with one of them. she sells many of her pots at the potters' guild's shop located in the spanish village in balbao park, where we went sunday evening.
it was hard for me to stop admiring all the wonders of pottery that sari was showing me, but she had a shopping itinerary in mind, so we took off. normally neither of us is a shopper (& that's putting it mildly), but we went to some stores that were actually very interesting. one was REI. i'd never been to one before. i needed to replace the small leatherman tool that was confiscated before i boarded the plane at cedar rapids last saturday morning. if i'd had it in my checked luggage, it would have been ok, but i had it in my carry-on bag. & i didn't have time to run back to put it in my checked luggage, so the security person had to take it. i found a replacement at REI.
we also went to trader joe's. WOW what a neat store. i found a dark chocolate bar or 2 to take with me on the road. sari bought lots of delectable items for the meal she prepared for us & 6 guests this evening at her house.
before heading home we stopped at ranch 99, an absolutely amazing (& huge) oriental market. what a mind- & eye-boggling array of fascinating items! we bought some ginger tea, among other things. at this store as at trader joe's, i found that the fact i'm not flying home from here has saved me from splurging on all sorts of things i can't carry on my bike!
once back home we put together a little lunch from some delicious leftovers, then for dessert enjoyed 2 strawberries apiece from this basket of berries sari had bought from a vendor selling his fresh, locally-grown berries outside trader joe's. you're thinking big berries don't taste good. not so with these. the flavor was magnifico! we had more of them this evening for dessert. note the purple-hued mug on the table; it says "it's my body and i'll eat pie if i want to."
what a wonderful evening i enjoyed with sari's & peter's swiss friends. you can see from the photo what warm & friendly people they are. unbeknownst to me, sari had alerted them to wear purple, so the place was a purple wonderland. uli even brot along a purple renuncula (sp?)--a flowering plant--that graced the center of our dining table. it was such a treat for me to get acquainted with these folks whom sari has talked about so often. after dinner sari showed her slides from our 2000 x-country ride. i'd never seen them, so what fun it was for me to relive that trip.
If you would like copies of the original, full-size photos, feel free to e-mail my son Mark with your request. Stay tuned....

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