the Chula Vista cha cha
Couldn’t find a ride to the airport Wednesday morning, when I was leaving Michigan, so I had my brother A3 drop me off at Detroit Metro at 1am for my 7am flight. I settled in and tore through my summer reading list, finishing Middlesex and nearly finishing Little Men.
The flight out was uneventful. I read, I slept, I wrote poetry on napkins; a romantic thing that I do when I travel (and don’t feel like digging my journal out of my bag). Cruising at 30,000 feet always makes me nostalgic, and in love with mountains and the checkerboard that the land below has become; it’s miniscule ant cars and amoeba people trailing over the board in a seemingly lazy fashion, when in actuality they have begun busy days while I am hurtling towards a time of slothfulness and rest.
I won’t go into the details of the trip as it would bore most to tears. My Mom (who went out the weekend before me) and Monster niece G were getting over the flu at my brother A2 and sister-in-law’s house when I arrived, while unbeknownst to us all; Monster nephew N was getting the flu. I wound up getting the flu too, the nastiest flu I have ever had, and let’s just say I spent more time in the loo then I wanted to. (ha ha that rhymes…"No more rhymes, now I mean it. Anybody want a peanut?”)
Since everyone was taking turns being sick we did little more than nurse one another back to health for the majority of my stay. When we were finally well enough by the weekend, we met up with an old roommate of mine, Vegetarian A, who is in law school in nearby San Diego. We met in Balboa Park (the nations largest urban cultural park), which is a glorious expanse of Spanish influenced gorgeous buildings, water fountains, gardens, museums, shops, and the San Diego Zoo. We trouped-kids in tow (Monster niece G-2 ½ and Monster nephew N-9mos.)-through the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the Museum of Natural History. It was very cool, and informative, and I would suggest checking it out if you are in the area.
One thing that I liked was the first part of the exhibit was a comparison of the area where the scrolls were found to the San Diego area, studying climate and topography. The curator of the exhibit also did a wonderful job telling us about the Qumran people (Who were the people behind the Qumran scrolls? The language and contents of the scrolls establish that they were Jews. That they lived at Qumran between the second century B.C.E. and the late first century C.E. [with some interruption]) and the community that would have created the scrolls, not just about the scrolls themselves. It was a great exhibit. I was only a little surprised by how small the fragments of the scrolls were. I guess it is silly to think that they would still be intact after all this time. You can actually see some of the old scotch tape used back in the 40s and 50s when scientists were trying to piece the scrolls back together. Funny. That was the most exciting day of the trip. The next day we went back to Balboa Park with the kids, and walked through the Japanese Friendship Garden, which is a 5 ½ acre stretch of the park, though the path that visitors are allowed to go on only took about 15 minutes for us to walk through, a bit of a dissappointment. I was intrigued by the café next to the garden which served sushi and noodle bowls. I wish we had planned on eating lunch there. We did try some good seaweed and salt potato chips though. Mmm.
The hot afternoon passed in a slow lazy way in Balboa Park. We enjoyed the Botanical building, the many outdoors fountains, and the other architectural beauties as we meandered for a couple of hours.
Glad for the visit, and the opportunity to meet Monster nephew N, and have familial bonding time. Now I am back in Michigan preparing for classes to start. Sigh…can’t it be December?
In case anyone wants to read anything else about the Dead Sea Scrolls:
more info on scrolls from Wikipedia
with links to some readable scrolls
25 Facts about the scrolls