Pulpology: Mark & Sonia's Intercontinental Absurdities!

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06 July 2012
Photo Friday: independence personified

the funktastic Jacumba Hot Springs, April 2010
the funktastic Jacumba Hot Springs, April 2010

This is a slightly-delayed tribute to my dear, departed crazy aunt, who would have celebrated her "Yankee Doodle" birthday on July 4th if she hadn't succumbed to breast cancer last October. Above is a shot of her at Jacumba hot springs (with Mark and some random scraggly denizens), where she took us in April 2010.

three Gallo sisters
three Gallo sisters on July 4, 2003
I love how nobody's looking in the same direction... typical...

Auntie didn't just march to her own beat, she brought a whole band along for the ride. For her 60th birthday, she threw herself a fabulous party, and she actually did hire a high school mariachi band to play in her backyard. Several years ago she'd already invited the entire family to come out to San Diego to celebrate her 70th on July 4, 2013. She was a piece of work. I miss her almost as much as I miss my mom; both were role models who taught me the real meaning of fierce independence.

For those of you in the US, amidst all the fireworks this week, take a minute to raise your glass to all the Founding Mothers (and Aunties) out there who made us what we are!

For more fabulous travel snaps, check out DeliciousBaby's Photo Friday.

* Bein' the Tía Loca
* California's all right, somebody check my brain
* browse all San Diego pics from 2010 trip

Posted by sonia at 12:00 AM | Link | 0 comments

07 May 2010
Photo Friday: make a run for the border

US-Mexico border fence
US-Mexico border, um, fence?

With all the recent talk of immigration reform, I thought I'd post a few Photo Friday pics from our recent brush with the border. While we were out visiting the Jacumba Hot Springs, about an hour outside San Diego, my aunt took us on a short detour to see The Border. It was kinda trippy.

Auntie, Mark, and oktapodi consider making a run for it

even crappier fencing, and the Border Patrol on the hill

At one segment, there's this weird porous fencing with metal beams. (Someone speculated it may be designed that way in case of flooding. Who knows?) Then there's another segment with flimsy corrugated metal sheets. And the Border Patrol, in their shiny SUVs, are omnipresent.

warning! warning!

the Mexican side actually looks quite lovely, through the fence, anyway
the Mexican side actually looks quite lovely, through the fence, anyway

I was expecting to get stopped for taking photos, but I guess we didn't look suspicious enough.

More photos from our spectacular San Diego junket coming soon, I promise! In the meantime, please check out the fabulous travel photos at Delicious Baby's Photo Friday.

If you enjoyed this post, please help us spread the word!

Posted by sonia at 12:00 AM | Link | 0 comments

23 April 2010
Photo Friday: EarthFair in Balboa Park

In honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, here are a few teaser pics from EarthFair which took place in San Diego's Balboa Park last Sunday, April 18. This enormous fest, which spread throughout the entire park, provided classic California crunchy goodness, and of course some great people-watching!

bag lady
plastic baglady from the Algalita Marine Research Foundation

En route to find the world music stage, we encountered this woman dressed entirely in plastic bags. Her group's exhibit raised awareness on the perilous impact our society's addiction to overpackaging has had on our planet. (Can you tell this is an issue I am firmly behind?) I also loved her octopus accoutrement, and she was happy to strike a pose with oktpodi.

Pacific Garbage Gyre
representation of the Pacific Garbage Gyre

save the shrimp!
save the shrimp!

reducing our plastic consumption is everyone's responsibility
reducing our plastic consumption is everyone's responsibility

More fun pics coming soon from EarthFair and the rest of last weekend's San Diego trip! In the meantime, check out more fabulous travel photos at Delicious Baby's Photo Friday.

If you enjoyed this post, please help us spread the word!

Posted by sonia at 12:00 AM | Link | 0 comments

21 April 2010
WanderFood Wednesday: fish tacos and a fabulous view at George's

I took a llllllllllot of pictures during our recent visit to San Diego, indeed I did. (Hey, it's not my fault everything is so damn gorgeous everywhere you look!) You're going to have to wait a bit longer while I process all those photos, gentle reader. But in the meantime I have a delicious teaser, just in time for WanderFood Wednesday.

Oh, how did I love our lunch at George's at the Cove in La Jolla? Let me count the ways.

ridiculously amazing view
well, there's the ridiculously amazing view

wonderful beer & wine list
the wonderful beer & wine list

pasta with clam sauce
pasta with clam sauce

mmmmm, fish tacos
mmmmm, fish tacos

um, yeah, a good time was had by all
um, yeah, a good time was had by all

view looking up at George's from down in the cove
and here's a view looking up at George's from down in the Cove

If you find yourself in La Jolla, you just gotta check out George's. Be sure to head to the "Ocean Terrace" on the top level, where you get the best views. The food is amazing on all three levels; you just can't go wrong. The ceviche was so good I couldn't even get a picture of it before we scarfed it down. And you can walk off all those delicious calories afterwards by taking a nice stroll down to the Cove to admire the birds, seals, and oceany goodness.

Hop on over to Wanderlust & Lipstick's WanderFood Wednesday for more mouth-watering travel foodie posts.

George's at the Cove
1250 Prospect Street
La Jolla, CA 92037

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Posted by sonia at 12:00 AM | Link | 3 comments
17 April 2010
Torrey Pines

oktapodi, you & me's goin' placesbaby yoga is fun!Day 2 of our long weekend in San Diego kicked off with a leisurely breakfast and chillaxification at the homestead. Since the whole point of coming out to the Left Coast was to spend time with my new nephew, it was nice to hang with him in his natural habitat. We'd met him a few weeks before at Nana Z's funeral, but there was just too much hustle & bustle to truly appreciate The Jack Attack in full form. Plus he'd almost doubled in size since we last saw him! (Many Cartman jokes ensued, through the course of the weekend.) It was fun to see my brother in dad mode; Eric and Dey are clearly relishing their new role, even if they're not getting much sleep.


Torrey Pines fresh air goodness classic coastal desert landscape please don't climb on the bluffs

The afternoon's activities centered around a hike to Torrey Pines National Reserve, a true So Cal experience. While some people (you know who you are!) hear Torrey Pines and think world-class golf, those less inclined to chase after a little white ball come to Torrey Pines for the dazzling coastal desert landscape and friendly hiking paths along the beach. There are several trails to follow, all of them fairly accessible even to pallid TPS reportjockeys. It was delicious to be out in the fresh air and exercise our floppy appendages!

the gang at Torrey Pines
the gang at Torrey Pines

We took the beach path back to the car, watching with some bemusement as the entire beach patrol and several emergency vehicles were called in to rescue some dumbass twentysomethings who'd ignored the huge PLEASE DO NOT CLIMB THE BLUFFS signs. Sheesh. After a quick lunch in Del Mar (swank!) we headed to the supermarket to get supplies for the evening's festivities.

chillaxed and garlicrific dinner party
chillaxed and garlicrific dinner party

A perfect California day was topped off by a perfect California BBQ at Eric & Dey's place. With the addition of Dey's sister and nephew, Eric's chum from high school, and a vendor-turned-comrade whom I rarely get to see, we grilled up a bunch of kebobs and had a garlic-laden Mediterranean meal. Good friends, good food, and good weather. What more could you ask?

* Torrey Pines National Reserve (highly recommended!)
* browse all San Diego pics
* previous day's post: California's all right, somebody check my brain


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Posted by sonia at 12:00 AM | Link | 0 comments
16 April 2010
California's all right, somebody check my brain

We began our San Diego junket, after an uneventful flight and a quick lunch, with a trip out to Jacumba Hot Springs. Some might question the logic of a cross-country journey followed immediately by a drive out to the middle of nowhere. But when my aunt offered to take us to the natural springs, it seemed an opportunity not to be missed.

We drove nearly an hour outside San Diego, past some stunning desert landscapes. It's easy to forget that the lush green scenery we take for granted on the East Coast is not the norm in other parts of the country. Or, as my grandmother famously declared upon first visiting her daugher in San Diego, "These mountains don't grow trees, they grow rocks!" OK, it's not for everyone, but I relished the change of surroundings.

Auntie, Mark, and oktapodi consider making a run for it
Auntie, Mark, and oktapodi consider making a run for it

Before hitting the springs, we made a run for the border. Jacumba is literally right across the border from Mexico, and this was an opportunity to check out the infamous fence. Politics aside, it was a bit of a trippy experience. The actual fence was a mishmash of materials, ranging from corrugated metal sheets to a porous-looking series of rusty beams. The omnipresent border patrol skulked around in the shiny SUVs, and the Mexican side of the fence actually looked more well-maintained.

days gone by, indeedda poolBorder approach duly documented, it was time to hit the Springs! Jacumba Hot Springs Spa is a quirky little morsel of times gone by, when Depression-era movie stars came to soak in the sulfuric salubrity. The place is retro and then some! Back in its heyday, it was the place to be seen. These days... well... my aunt put it best as we were getting out of the car: "funky!"

frozen in time
frozen in time

There are several different pools fed by the nearby spring, but to really soak up the essence of the place I recommend spending time in "the spa," a small room containing a tiled pool about the size of a hot tub. It was hot & stinky and a little slimy, but the most interesting characters streamed through there. For, as with days gone by, one goes to the Jacumba Hot Springs as much for the peoplewatching and conversation as for the purported health benefits of the mineral-laden water.

Sufficiently aromatic, and more than a little pruney, we piled back into the car and headed back to civilization. By the time we got back to my brother's place in San Diego, between the jetlag and the somnolent car ride, we didn't last long before crashing. But our San Diego stint was off to a great start!

Next up: Torrey Pines

* Jacumba Hot Springs site
* browse all San Diego pics


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Posted by sonia at 12:00 AM | Link | 0 comments
07 June 2008
Another festive, fabulous Zamborsky wedding
So much for that healthy diet!
We managed to get a second Zamborsky brother married off in high style... or at least a rollicking good time! You just can't go wrong with a weekend in San Diego, where the weather is always perfect and a mellow surfer vibe abounds. Add to that two great families -- once again, I am blessed with a wonderful sister-in-law, and Dey's family is also da bomb -- who all like to have fun and shake what their mommas gave 'em, and you have yourself a PARTY!

Marie & Sonia at the lily pond in Balboa ParkWe started the weekend at our friend Marie's place. She was kind enough to host us for one night before and one night after the wedding festivities. AND she picked us up from the airport, how cool is that? We dropped our stuff off at her cute little bungalow in Hillcrest and headed out for a stroll around Balboa Park. Especially after being crunched up in cattle class for the morning's flights, it was great to get out and enjoy the fresh air.

That evening we completely destroyed our detox diet by making a sumptuous French meal as a thank-you for our gracious hostess. By the time we got around to sampling the apple torte, I was nearly passed out with jetlag (not to mention the first glass of wine in almost a month!), but Marie did say that the cougeres were as good as those her French mother used to make, which is high praise, indeed.

Mark, Dave, Meghan, and Laura are soooooo grooooovyGetting up the next morning was a bit of a Benny Hill routine. Marie decided to let us sleep in, figuring we'd still have plenty of time to make the harbor cruise at 12:30. So when we finally rolled out of bed at 11:45 and realized there was nobody around to give us a ride, I hurriedly called us a cab and we tossed our stuff into our bags and dashed out of the house, hoping not to miss the boat, literally. Fortunately everything in San Diego seems to be pretty close to everything else (unlike, say, LA). We made it to the dock in time to greet Eric & Dey and the dozens of family members milling about, and collect our tickets for admission. However, somewhere in the process I managed to lose Mark (I joke about not wanting to let him off his leash, but see what happens when I do?) and guess what? Say it with me: He Missed The Boat. Fortunately the cruise does two 1-hour loops through the north and south parts of the Bay, so we picked him up on the backswing.

Never a dull moment.

Marriott CoronadoAfter the cruise we hitched a ride to the Marriott Coronado to check into our room for the next two days. Nice place! Situated right on along the water, with a beautiful pool and many scenic views. And it is pretty convenient to have the wedding and reception within stumbling distance. :)

His Excellency keeps Eric and Dave in lineWe had just enough time to clean up for the rehearsal, presided over by His Excellency, the Right Reverend Tony Braccali, Church of the Almighty Internet. Tony is a friend of Eric's from high school, and has always had a flair for theatrics, so he was the perfect choice to keep everything moving along wittily. Laura suggested he reprise his "Godspell" role and begin the ceremony by belting out "Pree-ee-ee-pare ye, the way of Eric and Dey!" Wisely, he opted out. (Twenty bonus points for anyone who can dredge up an old pic from those days!!) The wedding was held on the lawn at the Marriott, right next to a very popular bike path. I'm not sure what the over-under was on a wheeled passerby yelling out something inappropriate or wiping out in the middle of the ceremony, but there was quite a bit of speculation during the rehearsal.

Josh, Eric, and Chris reminisce about tequila shots of yoreSufficiently rehearsed, we headed to a nearby restaurant for the usual speeches and gifting and storytelling. And tequila shots. Alas, despite much heckling from Justice and the aid of a shot of Patrón, Chris would *not* give a speech about The Booger Wall. But we managed to have some fun anyway. Followed by a few beverages at the Marriott bar, and most of the group retired early. Probably for the best.

the deed is done!Saturday was the quintessentially perfect San Diego day: sunny, breezy, no humidity, not a cloud in the sky. It actually got a bit chilly down by the water. OK, it was downright cold, but that's what pashminas are for! The ceremony went smoothly, despite the crowd that formed on the bike path. (Which included, bizarrely, an entire flock of Segueway scooters.) Jonah performed his faux-ringbearer duties with great aplomb. The groomsmen actually put down their beer bottles for a few minutes. The bridesmaids managed to keep the bawling to a minimum, with only a mere shred of eyeliner displacement. And of course Laura and I, professional wedding readers at this point, pulled off a magnificent set of dramatic readings, despite the huge helicopter that decided to hover nearby.

you should hear these guys cover Slayer!we alllllll sistahs now!And then the mariachi band led everyone down the path to the reception tent and we partied our asses off till the wee hours. More shots. Much dancing. Maybe even a little Bon Jovi. And an entire high-kicking chorus line. Shortly after, they kicked us out of Marriott and we headed a few blocks away to The Island Bar, Coronado's finest dive. Dey made it onstage with the band to shake her maracas (seriously! check out the pics) and Ronnie managed to take over the stage at one point as well. That's right, we rock.

http://www.pulpology.com/?esid=pics&z=948&KWID=58After a redonkulous brunch the next morning, during which everyone was using their inside voices even though we were seated outside, Mark and I soaked up a few more rays by the pool before heading back to Marie's place. That evening, we managed to have some homemade mezze at her house, a final family meal at Casa de Reyes in Old Town, and the rest of the Middle Eastern dinner back at Marie's. By Third Dinner, I was feeling pretty hobbit-rific indeed. And almost ready to go back on that juice diet!

quadruple-fisted, way to re-tox!Overindulgence notwithstanding (hell, it's a family event, it's required), it was a truly fabulous weekend. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I have the coolest family ever. We are all thrilled to officially welcome Dey into the Zamborsky -- excuse me, ZamBROWsky -- clan. I'm pleased to report that another brother has married up. As with Dave's wedding, and all family celebrations since late 2006, there were a number of bittersweet moments as we all wished my mom could be there in person. But as Dave said in his Best Man toast, I'm sure she had on her dancing shoes and was celebrating up a storm. With Laura heading off to Alaska in July, and us hopefully sailing off into the sunset in September, it'll probably be a while before we're all together again, and it was great to have such a happy occasion to do so.

Oh, and if anyone has any truly priceless pics of the wedding or other antics from that weekend, feel free to send 'em to me. I posted a lot here but I know I didn't cover everything.

Posted by soniaz at 12:00 AM | Link | 0 comments