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July 15, 2018

Sun and Sea Festival - Imperial Beach

Each year Imperial Beach hosts the Sun and Sea Festival with the main attraction being the sandcastles.  These are indeed world-class, award-winning sandcastle builders.  What makes the IB festival unique is there is only a 6 hour window to create an award winning sand sculpture.
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Although the contestants are allowed to stage their equipment and shelters before hand, build of the sandcastles begins promptly at 10 AM with final judging after the tools are set down at 2 PM.  Not much time for the detail some of the design will hold.

Lots of water is used to liquify the sand as it is placed in the forms.  More water will be used to smooth the shapes.
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The water is staged in the big blue 30 gallon tubs provided or hauled up from the ocean as needed.
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Better yet this team has a clever idea that is working for them.  Under the rear wheel of the bike is a water pump and a hose that stretches to the ocean.  The rider says he can pump about 5 gallons a minute.  Much faster and easier than lugging water up by the bucket.
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The Marvel Comics Superheroes are very evident as the theme of this years competition.
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But not all heroes are found in the pages of a comic book
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Or as unassuming as Make a Wish. 
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Besides the sun and the sand there are activities, food music and mermaids! even a few mermen!
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There were two stages, this was a very good group playing Cuban music.  Guess that takes an electric harp!  Haven’t seen one of those before!  But it sure kept this gal dancing.
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No surprise there are a lot of food trucks to pick from.  Most unique was an old fire truck sporting a wood fired pizza oven built into its water tank..  Gotta like the dog wearing his favorite sun shades and sharing a shaved ice with his human.
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Imperial Beach hosts a variety of fun family events.  This last picture is so SoCal and fitting of a morning visit to IB.  There’s dad on his skateboard taking the 5 kids down to do some surfing.
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The 65th OTL World Championship also began this weekend.  Strictly limited to 1200 teams from around the word.  Nephew, Joey, moves on as one of the 150 undefeated teams into next week.  So that may be the blog for next week.

Until then No Bad Days!

July 05, 2018

Independence Day – parade, bbq, fireworks

American Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.  Our celebration will include the typical small town parade, a back yard barbeque and fireworks.

We were up early to board the 8 AM ferry to Coronado.  Lots of company on the way over, but no issues with getting us and the bikes on board.  From the left is Fran, Kg, Aj, daughter Kami and husband Jason.  And one on the ferry with me between Kg and Aj.
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The beaches and parade routes allowed folks to start setting up at 5 AM.  When the ferry arrived at 8:15 there were hundreds of shade coverings set up.  Have never seen it this crowded.  But with Orange Avenue closed for the parade it was a great morning to ride from the Naval Station to the Hotel del Coronado and back. We finally settled in to watch from the shade near the library.
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The parade was led by the Escondido mounted with lots of flags, and some pretty girls on their horses.
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San Diego is still very much a military town, but I was surprised of the number of Pearl Harbor Survivors that joined in the parade, escorted by the Marine band.
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To get a better view kids climbed the trees or up onto the window sills of the library.
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Coronado is the birthplace of Naval Aviation, and the filming location of the Tom Cruise movie Top Gun.  BIL, Bob, worked on this Top Gun float a few years ago for the Midway Museum where he volunteers, and has been working on a new one that should be ready next year. 

The Midway hired a Tom Cruise impersonator to play Maverick.  He was really good, a perfect Maverick.

With Tom Cruise in town, filming Top Gun Two, more than a few people were fooled.
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A dozen or so classics from the Model T Club ranged from the beautifully restored to what looked more like a ride from the Beverly Hillbillies.
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And lots more pretty girls.
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Al Bahr Shriners seem to show up for most every event.
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Bag pipes?  why not!  The parade started with flag bearers, it is fitting that it should so end.
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We continued our ride around the island with a few stops along way.  A Star Wars party was organized for Star park, but they were just setting up and we had a return ferry to catch.
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Just in time!  For a quick bay tour the Patriot is an option … but notice that the passengers are all wearing plastic ponchos.
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The celebration continues with a barbecue in our back yard.  High school requires a foreign language credit.  Most kids choose Spanish, but Kg chose American Sign Language.  Here she is using her ASL skills to silently sing the song Rainbow.
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Ag likes to demonstrate her flamingo meditation.  Around the table Fran’s sister Susan, long time friend Janet (all the kids call her ‘aunt’ Janet), and Susan’s husband Bob in his Midway cap.
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And of course fireworks.  Sure we could get closer but the view from the deck avoids lots of traffic.  From the deck we can watch the Big Bay Boom and Ocean Beach with only a couple palm tress in between.  But the best display is from Sea World.
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A few parting thoughts from one of our founding fathers John Adams:

“Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it.”  ~John Adams

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”  ~John Adams

David McCullough has written some excellent biographies including that of John Adams and an excellent narrative on the birth of the United States in his 1776 novel.