Wednesday, August 06, 2008

ABC Wednesday - C is for California 1999

We went to California in 1999

I've already published a selection of photographs at California 1999, but today I thought I'd post another batch here. The Olympus digital camera I had then took pictures only 640 x 480 pixels and cost then more than double what my latest camera cost me last year, so don't expect to enlarge these by much.

We flew from Manchester to Los Angeles via Amsterdam with KLM. This young lady was in the seat in front. She'll be a teenager now.

After a long time in the heat going through the customs, one of the first people we met was touting for a shuttle-bus company that was going to take us, eventually, to Tustin in Orange County.

We were staying with our good friend Viki Tarrani and her husband. Viki was one of the founders of an online writers group which later became Wordwizards.

This is a picture of a nearby church we visited. I don't remember the details and haven't had time to research it, but it was here I discovered the peculiar American practice whereby a 50 cent postcard is actually 57.5 cents when you get to the till and they add sales-tax. No wonder their prices sometimes seem cheap when the tax isn't included in the quoted price.

Here we have the underneath of the catamaran on which we sailed from Long Beach to Catalina Island.

We took a trip from Avalon, the island's only town, up to the airport which was created by slicing the tops off two mountains and filling in the area inbetween.

After the heights we returned to sea level.

Then we took a trip on a glass-bottomed boat in order to explore the depths. It was Christine's birthday and we had had a wonderful time.

The next day we ventured out to Palm Springs. This is the carpark at the tramway. I am holding the camera level. The road really is this steep. I went to look at the tramway. Viki and her husband went off to photograph the rocks. I returned to find Christine in the back of the car in agony. In crossing the road, her ankle caved in underneath. At Palm Springs Hospital we waited nearly three hours to see a nurse and the first thing they asked us was "Why didn't you put some ice on it?" Just where two strangers to the country were expected to find that ice seemed not to enter their heads. In due course they took X-rays, strapped it up and sent us back to LA.

Keeping a long story short, the following day we visited Viki's doctor who correctly diagnosed that the ankle was broken, not merely sprained. In the UK it would have meant encasing it in plaster, but here he fitted what is known as a "cast-boot", provided us with a pair of crutches and a presecription for pain-killers.

On the return flight we got bulkhead seats, but arrived in Amsterdam in a snowstorm. I took a bus out to the Manchester-bound plane which was in the middle of the tarmc. Christine was transported there in a luggage-trolley! We arrived home to a cold house and eventually ended up in Tameside Hospital, but that is another story.

For more ABC Wednesday posts, check out the links on my sidebar.


  1. What a story. Like an adventure novel.
    Good photos. Don't need to be bigger.
    Well done.

    Our "C" is Here.
    Come visit,
    Troy and Martha

  2. What a great post - you certainly did have some adventures. So sorry about the broken ankle, though. I'm taking you all on a visit in my house today, so be sure to pop over for a coffee. :D

  3. I loved this story. That looks like the Crystal Cathedral that you have photos of. Where Robert Schueller is pastor. My sister
    Lana G! just got back from Catalina Island. I was born and raised in Southern California so all these spots ring a bell. So sorry you had such a bad experience in Palm Springs.

  4. That was some trip. I like the catamaran photo.

  5. I'm still still stuck on your surprise comment about sales tax. How amazing it must be to buy something that is the actual total that is on the sales tag.

    Nice California post!

  6. Big Grin as a European now living in the states. The sales tax thing is still bugging me after 10 years.
    By the way - you get Ice at every grocery store, gas station and most pharmacies...but that's another thing that the European just isn't used to. Buying sacks of Ice cubes?
    Nice pictures, story and of course "C"!
    Cheers, Klaus

  7. Enjoyed reading your adventure. TY for sharing.

  8. Sounds like an adventure for sure. I lived in CA. as a child and hope someday to go back for a visit

  9. Great adventure to California - shame about the broken ankle (couldn't whoever told you to wait have suggested finding some ice - three hours earlier!?)
    Great pics.

  10. Ah, a trip down memory lane. Thanks for taking us along.

  11. What an adventure. I'm glad you got to share it with us for ABC Wednesday, Gerald. I've yet to get to California--maybe some day.

  12. Sunny California...

    Pity about your wife, but interesting to see "early" digital work. Many of those early Olympus camera were of very good quality.

  13. Great adventure Gerald! Felt I was there with you all.

  14. Now that is what I call an adventure.
    Oh my about the broken ankle though.

    Bear((( )))

  15. What a adventure, poor Christine!! All the photos were cool, though!

  16. That is quite a saga that you posted. I hope it hasn't tainted your feelings of all that California can be. Good C post.

  17. Looks like you had a fun trip -- and with the low value of the US Dollar right now, you probably got a good value.

  18. Cool shot of that catamaran. I went digital (and got my first camera, incidentally) late 2000. And yes, it did cost a small fortune.

  19. Very interesting story. I really love the picture of the church :-)

  20. Hi Gerald, I found your post of my home state very interesting. That's the Crystal Cathedral, by the way, that you visited (oh, I see Ellen already told you). Yes, the sales tax here is never included in the quoted price...I never thought about that before, as that's how it's always been. We all know we'll be paying more than what the tag says....

    Well, you've seen a lot more of Catalina Island than I have! I've never even been those "27 miles across the sea" and have lived here in LB for 26 years. I guess it's about time I visited.

    I hope the good memories outweigh the bad ones from your visit...what a disappointment Palm Springs turned out to be. I'm sorry Christine was given such poor treatment at the hospital there.