San Diego and catching up with old friends

Darren Bedell – a roommate of mine from UC San Diego – retired from NASA this year and he got a bunch of us from our school days organized for a get together and we all rented a couple of condos in Pacific Beach down on the boardwalk. It was great catching up with everyone – some of us not having seen each other in decades. The Moellers, the Bedells, the Browns, the Bonzells, the Dempseys (with their kids for a day or two), Steve Gee, Papaha Gosline and myself.

Huge thank you shout out to Darren and everyone who collaborated on getting this organized (I contributed essentially zero). The second half of this year has been brutally hard at work so I showed up with my mind ready for a complete shift into neutral with nothing in mind except just being there. Mission absolutely accomplished!

We had a pair of condos in Pacific Beach, one right on the beach with a great shared patio area and the other an alleyway back with a wonderful (but weird entrance through a bedroom) roof deck BBQ area.

The East Coasters (and Diane – hi!) usually got up ahead of the sunrise and drank coffee on the roof as we watched the sun come up. It absolutely did not disappoint – I have picked out a single sample for this post but the full picture drop is on my Shutterfly account if you would like to see more and perhaps download them:

Sunsets were equally awesome – I think we saw the elusive Green Flash four times, which is amazing since I recall only seeing it 7 times during the 4.5 years I was at school. The conditions need to be just right in order to see the green flash – as it comes about from the sun’s rays passing through more of the atmosphere vs your personal perspective and the greater density of air causes refraction and splitting of the light into colors. While I was checking my facts on this, I found this article and apparently, if the conditions are just right (very clear air) you can see a BLUE flash! New life ambition added – haha. Here is the article:

Claire and Dave Brown both work at the UCSD campus and they gave us a tour of ‘the office’ – hope it wasn’t too boring for them! I certainly had a great time. The campus and the surrounds are a LOT more built up than when we were there in the mid 1980’s – but I think the school has done a really, really good job about adding new facilities thoughtfully and well. The new buildings and facilities have improved the place a lot – not just piled stuff on. Good job UCSD!

I had a wonderful time connecting back up with everyone and we definitely need to continue to connect back up. On to the photos!

The view of the beach
A very good condo for a group get together. The Moeller’s, the Dempsey’s, the Bedell’s, Dave Brown and Steve Gee
While much of the Eucalyptus groves are gone now, there still some to be seen. Certainly don’t miss the old Marine Corp Quonset huts – they were neat but they were boiling hot! The new architecture is a lot better
Claire and Dave Brown giving us a tour update of the campus. For them, walking around “the office” was probably a bit boring – but for those of us who only come back to campus occasionally, it was fun (though I almost asphyxiated due to an allergic reaction to some flowers on the new main across campus walkway as we went through Muir. In the group photos someone took, every picture I have a water bottle in front of my face as I gulped water – lol)
Sunrises every morning for us East Coast types – great time to have coffee and watch the world turn on its axis and a new day start
Classic San Diego sunsets pretty much everyday. We saw the Green Flash 4 days in a row if I recall. Its pretty rare in that you need zero clouds out at the horizon so that the refraction of the last sunlight through the atmosphere can get through and color shift to green. My iPhone wasn’t up to the task of capturing it in a still photo for sure!
Frisbee on the Beach in PB !
Left to right: Eric Bonzell, Darren Bedell, Heidi Bedell, Eric Moeller and Steve Gee

And also – here is a link to a short video on my Youtube channel (which is an assortment of VERY random video) – it was assembled automagically by Windows as I downloaded the photos and I liked it – so I posted it – haha

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