Sunday, April 26, 2009


Saturday we took a day trip up to Lancaster for their Poppy Festival. Even though it was 75 miles from our house, it was worth it. Besides, even if it wasn't, it turns out the Lancaster Costco is only a block away from the festival so it wouldn't have been a total loss.

What I marveled at before even reaching our destination was that the entire length of Highway 14, from where it begins at the Golden State Freeway (5) all the way to the Avenue L exit, had a carpool lane. A carpool lane that far out to the wide-open spaces? Well I guess there are tons of people living out that way who commute into the big city and that number is constantly growing.

It was a gorgeous day for a festival. Very, very windy but absolutely clear and mild, much better than it would have been earlier in the week with its 90+ degree temperatures. We arrived right before it opened at 10:00.

As you might expect at one of these things, there were plenty of booths staffed by people who wanted to make some money. Lots of arts and crafts, plenty of food and also sponsor booths that were giving away lots of knick knacks. Julie insists she is going to use all the useless stuff we brought back in our bags but I know she won't.

We went to the Strawberry Festival in Oxnard a few years ago and this one has it beat hands down. More vendors, better food, nicer surroundings.

Going on vacation (even if only for a day) means spending money on things you wouldn't ordinarily spend it on and this was no exception. We came back with a 12 ounce package of spinach/garlic linguine that cost $6.00 (the memory cell holding the fact that pasta at Trader Joe's goes for 79 cents for 16 ounces got blocked), a small jar of garlic salsa for $5.00, and a collection of balsamic vinegars and dipping sauce for $54.00. But what a bargain - you buy three of the larger bottles and get a small one for free. Yup, normal shopping sensibilities fly out the door when on vacation!

Plus if you take into account the value of the free stuff we got today, that must be worth nearly a dollar so it isn't as bad as I thought. Actually, Julie won a coupon for a free bag of cookies from Souplantation so that's a pretty decent prize.

After leaving the festival, guess where we went? Literally only a block away, we couldn't very well come home without seeing what Costco was like in Lancaster, right?

The second thing I marveled at today was how many empty spaces there were in the parking lot. It was an awfully big lot, but it seems to me that on a Saturday afternoon, no matter how large a parking lot there is at a Costco, it is filled.

The inventory at this location was pretty similar to the one in Azusa. There were lots of food samples being given out and unlike Azusa or Alhambra, not a lot of people standing around with their hands out while simultaneously blocking the aisles. In fact, at the Festival and at Costco people seemed downright friendly.

After Costco we stopped at the Wal Mart in Palmdale and then headed home. It was a nice mini-vacation. You get outside of the greater L.A. urban area and things look completely different. I knew someone who would always play "On the Road Again" right before he went on vacation, to get into the right mood. I much prefer this song:


Anonymous said...

Did you notice that the "carpool" lane is only a carpool lane during certain times of the day? Otherwise it's just another lane.....

Rickie Miyake said...

That is true, I noticed the times but it just amazed me that somewhere that far out needed carpool lanes (of course if you live there then it really isn't far out, is it?). I guess I'm too used to being the the big city!

Brien said...

I do! I do!. I do live "that far out!!" :-)

I tell people, "I don't live at the end of the world, but I can see it from my front porch!"

Rickie Miyake said...

You really live in Mojave??

kmiyake said...

haha i passed by there on saturday

Brien said...

Lancaster, actually. Mojave is another 40 minutes north. (But then again for you 'urban' folk, there's no difference. LOL).

Rickie Miyake said...

Brien- yeah, the desert is the desert, haha.. actually it was pretty nice up in Lancaster. I didn't realize it was that close to Mojave, though.

Katie - so where were you going? How come you're not studying??

kmiyake said...

we were playing taiko at the manzanar pilgrimage