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From the desk of Dora DePaoli staff writer: Trips to remember

September 10, 2001

Going to San Diego has always been a treat, especially in the summer. Cars overheating during the trip was almost a certainty when I was a child.

Everyone carried drinking water and water for their car.

Even reaching Jacumba to have breakfast at the Barbara Worth Cafe was a big deal. Eating out was special, and it was usually at least 10 to 15 degrees cooler there. After breakfast we visited the small park to see which one of us would be the first to take a sip from the smelly, sulfur-tainted drinking fountain.

Driving through Mission Valley we could see dairies on both sides of the road. There were tunnels under the highway for the cows to cross to pasture after the milking was done.

Trips to San Diego were rare during World War II. If Daddy had enough fuel stamps during gas rationing we occasionally made a trip up there. It was exciting to drive under the camouflage netting strung across the highway by the defense plants near the waterfront.

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I remember the first time I had lunch at an Anthony's Cafe near the water. It was small and nothing like the now familiar Anthony's Seafood Grottos around San Diego.

Years later, when my children were young, Anthony's on the bay was where we saw our first bikini during a luncheon fashion show. The model in the bikini squirted my son, Tony, with some perfume taken from her coconut shell handbag.

None of us could even look at the girl. The public sighting of her navel at eyeball level was just too daring for us. I still think most belly buttons should be covered.

In my frequent travels to the coast this summer I have seen a couple accidents and quite a few things fly out of vehicles. They included a computer monitor, a mattress and numerous boxes. A large pickup bed liner flying out of a truck certainly got my attention. The driver noticed it and stopped, but some drivers never even slow down when they lose things.

This summer I've had the opportunity to indulge in a favorite pastime — people watching. I have noticed most drivers are courteous, even when there are loads of traffic.

It also has been my experience that San Diego people are a little more tolerant than those in Orange County. Where I have been especially surprised is the shopping center parking lots, particularly the one in San Diego just off Friars Road, near the l63 turnoff. It could be the people are so happy to be out of the traffic or they are thinking about the wonderful things at the bakery there appropriately named Upper Crust Artisan Breads.

In an informal survey at the bakery I learned the rosemary, sage and olive oil bread is the biggest seller. My favorite is multi-grain bread. The bread is wonderful for dipping in an olive oil, garlic, pepper flakes and chopped basil mixture I am fond of.

When our children were growing up we would spend a week or two at the beach each summer. They all loved it. It is now a joy to watch the grandchildren enjoy the pleasures of playing in the sand, float on boogie boards and go on rides at Belmont Park.

One summer when my daughter Gina was 10 or 11 she begged to ride the roller coaster there. We kept putting her off. While we were out of town for the day she talked her baby-sitter into letting her ride it. She purchased the ticket bracelet entitling her to endless rides.

Roller coaster history might have been made that day. She rode it 25 times. This summer my grandson Bo was tall enough and Gina took him on his first roller coaster ride. The cycle continues.

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