Friday, February 20, 2015

Sandy Eggo

San Diego from the air, 2008. US Navy Photo
Okay Sarge, which is it? "San Diego" or "Sandy Eggo"? There is another variant, which is "San Dog." Which is how The WSO refers to this fair city in southern California. Now according to my buddy Wikipedia...
San Diego is a major city in California, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, approximately 120 miles south of Los Angeles and immediately adjacent to the border with Mexico. With an estimated population of 1,355,896 as of July 1, 2013, San Diego is the eighth-largest city in the United States and second-largest in California. San Diego is the birthplace of California and is known for its mild year-round climate, natural deep-water harbor, extensive beaches, long association with the U.S. Navy, and recent emergence as a healthcare and biotechnology development center.

Historically home to the Kumeyaay people, San Diego was the first site visited by Europeans on what is now the West Coast of the United States. Upon landing in San Diego Bay in 1542, Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo* claimed the entire area for Spain, forming the basis for the settlement of Alta California 200 years later. The Presidio and Mission of San Diego, founded in 1769, formed the first European settlement in what is now California. In 1821, San Diego became part of newly independent Mexico, and in 1850, became part of the United States following the Mexican-American War and the admission of California to the union.

The city is the seat of San Diego County and is the economic center of the region as well as the San Diego–Tijuana metropolitan area. San Diego's main economic engines are military and defense-related activities, tourism, international trade, and manufacturing. The presence of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), with the affiliated UCSD Medical Center, has helped make the area a center of research in biotechnology. (W)
I prefer the name Sandy Eggo primarily because that is what the spiritual father of the Chant du Départ called it. He lived there, he is interred there and I will forever associate this city with that fine gentleman.

Now you may not know it but the area was originally named San Miguel by Senhor Cabrillo. (That's San Miguel the saint, not the beer, just so we're clear. For those who have no idea, San Miguel is a beer brewed in the Philippines. As anyone who has spent anytime in WESTPAC or PACAF** could tell you. Oh and "Senhor" is "mister" in Portuguese. The equivalent of "Señor" in Spanish.)

Then in 1602, Spain had sent this chap Sebastián Vizcaíno to map the California coast. His flagship was named the San Diego. Now Señor Vizcaíno and his lads surveyed the harbor and the areas now known as Mission Bay and Point Loma. He named the area for the Catholic Saint Didacus, a Spaniard more commonly known as San Diego de Alcalá. (I'm sure the name of his flagship had something to do with it as well. Just a guess, you know how sailors are.)
Saint Didacus, aka San Diego de Alcalá

So I reckon that the Sandy Eggo area is somewhat used to name changes.

Oh yeah, before I forget, Sandy Eggo is also home to one of my co-bloggers, Tuna. He of the Tuesday trivia posts, the "Now for Something Completely Different" posts, the occasional witty / pithy /snarky comment and all around splendid fellow.

Retired Navy though he be...

So with all that historical stuff out of the way, why am I on about the fair city of Sandy Eggo today? Well, that's a good question my friends, a very good question. (Come on Sarge, quit beating around the bush, you don't get paid by the word ya know. Actually I don't get paid at all. For those of you thinking "digression," award yourselves two points.)

Last week The WSO called me and mentioned the annual gathering held in Sandy Eggo by those of us who followed the blog (Neptunus Lex) of the late, much loved and missed, Carroll "Lex" LeFon. This event is held at this place, every year on the anniversary of Captain LeFon's death -

The Shakespeare Pub & Grille or Shakespeare's as many refer to it.
On India Street in San Diego (Image is from Google Street View)

This place was frequented by the good Captain, back in the day.

Anyhoo. The WSO mentioned that she was free of all duties and encumbrances on the weekend of this gathering (the 6th to the 8th of March that would be). I told her that she should attend that gathering. Though it be a five hour drive (depending on L.A. traffic) to that venue from her domicile.

She said she was thinking of doing just that. And would I like to go as well?

Why yes, yes I would.


That's a long flight for to just spend the weekend. A lot of money too.

She said she would cover the airline tickets and the cost of a hotel in Sandy Eggo.

How could I say no?

But I did decide that it would be better to go out on a Thursday and return on a Tuesday, giving me a couple of spare days out there.

Originally I was to fly into Sandy Eggo itself where The WSO would meet me after she drove down from Hanford (think NAS Lemoore). I (being a dad) was a little concerned at my baby girl driving all that way by her lonesome. (Yes, she is a Naval Flight Officer who rides the back seat of the mighty Rhino, she should be able to drive that distance by herself. But I still worry. Yes, I do sweat blood every time she's been to sea. Or to Fallon. Or to Key West. It's what dads do, we worry. Not as much as moms, but we still worry.)

Instead I will fly into Fresno and assist with the driving chores from Hanford to Sandy Eggo. And back.

So the final plan has me flying to Fresno on a Thursday, drive with The WSO down to Sandy Eggo on a Friday. Party like it's 1999 on Friday and Saturday. Drive back to Hanford on Sunday. Then drag my tired self onto another aircraft at Fresno for the return flight to Little Rhody on Tuesday. Back to work on Wednesday.

I got tired just typing all that...

But it will be worth it. I'm going to meet up with good friends I've met before (the Hobbit and ORPO) and get to meet other friends (for the first time) whom I've only interacted with in a virtual sense. (Common interests and such can make for friendships without having to actually meet in person.) Sadly enough Tuna is out of town that weekend.

No, I didn't plan it that way...

Good times, good food and good company. I can't wait.

Yes, I'll be stopping by and saying hi to the Captain.

Google Street View

So if posting seems a little light around that time period, you'll know why.

Update: Above I mentioned meeting friends I've met before, the Hobbit and ORPO. I forgot to mention Daryle. I've met Daryle before. He will be there.

We good Daryle? (If I've forgotten anyone else, remember, I suffer from CRS...)

Update 2: I fixed the spelling of Daryle's name. Apparently his mum and dad had to pay extra for the "e" at the end. (It's Daryle, not Daryl. As in Ye Olde Daryle. Not Y Old Daryl.)

Senhor Cabrillo was Portuguese born and was operating under the flag of Castile.
** WESTPAC is what the U.S.Navy calls their deployments to the Western Pacific. PACAF is the Air Force acronym for Pacific Air Forces, a major command of my old service. A command under which I served for six and a half years. With fond memories.


  1. Have fun, say hello to the gang for me, drive safe, write when you get a chance. You know....all those things parents say.

    1. Yes Mom, er I mean Juvat.

      I will be bringing my tablet along, so I expect to be somewhat in touch. I may even post from the hotel! Who knows?

  2. Well, that got the gears turning. I was an East Coast kinda guy but I did boot camp and corps school there and for some reason that place calls to me far more than Virginia and Florida. Be cool to get some face time with folks I know only in the virtual sense.

    It's a short hop from Denver and the hair fare is cheap. Got fambly in San Dog who are required by federal law to take me in and be nice to me. Well, take me in. A month before calving starts. Hmmm. A few fiddly details have to be overcome. Can I find a dress on such short notice? Maybe.

    See if I can get this suitcased.

    1. Wow, this trip just gets better and better.

      It would be cool if you can pull this off.

  3. So... you're gonna drive through LA on a Friday?
    Whatareyou, NUTS?

    Oh... that's right, there is no good day to drive through LA.

    There another variation much used in days gone by.
    But I guess it has been shelved by political correctness.
    It sounds exactly like a term used to describe a certain Southern European resident.
    I often hear a sharp intake of breath whenever I tell folks my ship was home ported in "Dago".

    I almost wish I lived closer to that part of the state (keyword - almost).
    But the fact it is cut off from the rest of the the state by LA makes visits few and far between.

    1. In my short experience with it, there is no "good" day or time to drive through El Eh (as Buck used to call it).

      Oh yeah, now that you mention it, I've heard that term used for the 2nd largest city in California. But it was a long, long time ago.

  4. For me, its been Sun De GoGo for nearly 30 years. Looking forward to seeing and actually meeting you. You be careful in your travels. I too would have swung by to enjoy the drive and time with my daughter. My trips up north and back have me avoiding LA traffic at all costs. I instead opt for the high, inland route taking CA58 east from Bakersfield up to Tehachapi, down into the Mohave Valley (you never know what you'll see flying there) by Burt Rutan's Space Port, passing between ORPO's Casa de Sharon y Glenn and Edwards AFB picking up US395 South to the downhill run on I15 from the Cajon Pass to Sun De GoGo.

    1. That's a new one. I do like it.

      Hhmm, the overland route may need to be examined.

      I look forward to meeting you as well (finally!)

  5. And I'm sorry I won't be able to join you. While you're driving 5 hours south, I'll be driving 5 hrs north to Vegas to get my redneck on (NASCAR race), but I wish you all a good time with much imbibing and merriment.

  6. Dodd's Barber Shop in Lemoore is still going strong. The oldest guy there (Durward, been cutting hair there for 60 years) once opened on the one day a week that they're closed to give me a haircut, just because I stopped by. I told him I'd be happy to come back the next day but he insisted I come inside.

    It took about 18 years to find another barber that would give me a Navy regulation haircut as as well as those three guys do.

    1. Now that is old school.

      Not to mention how hard it is to find a good barber!

  7. Years ago sailors knew it as Dago... :-) I won't make it again this year, work has me other places.

    1. Skip mentioned that one as well.

      Work can be a cruel mistress. Yet, bills must be paid.

    2. Sadly yes... Enjoy and tip one for me if you would!

    3. I shall, though I fear that the number of drinks I am tipping for others may render me somewhat insensible.

      But I will my friend. I will.

  8. You should stop by Rumbear Manor in Point Loma for an adult beverage or two......

    1. That sounds like a superb idea.

      We'll be in touch...

  9. I appreciate your valiant mission to memorialize our fallen comrade. I suspect that you may have cause to enjoy a meals away from your hotel and Shakespeare's. If you'd accept a stranger's recommendation may I suggest El Agave in Old Town. It's Mexican food like you have never have had before, the cuisine has more in common with fine dining than the greasy/cheesy food you would expect. Obviously the margaritas are pretty good too and there's a good assortment of tequila to sample too.

    1. It is my honor to do so.

      Yes, there may be an occasion (or three) where the tribe will require sustenance. I went to the El Agave website. The photos of their food have me drooling even as we speak. I shall have to give that a try.

      Thanks for the tip!

  10. I hope you enjoy your stay as much as I enjoyed mine. I travelled up the beaches, hit In-n-Out, Robertos and finally took the trolley tour around town with a standing start at Coronado's Ferry Landing. It was a good little tour. Then we drove home to MetroParkCentralis and 8 million feet of snow and -20 below weather. God I miss San Diego. I attended a few of Lex's beer calls at Shakespeare's back in the day when I lived at the top of Washington Street and worked across the street at SPAWAR. Enjoy and have a pint for me.

    1. I think we will have a fine time, even if it is only a long weekend.

      A fine city and fine company to spend time with.

      What, only 8 million feet of snow? I heard that no one was getting in our out of there until the glaciers receded again.

      I kid, I kid.

      I will indeed have a pint for you Cap'n.

  11. Enjoy your trip, I've been made envious. I was stationed on a Tin Can in Dago from '68 - 72'. We were one of the first ships to sail under the then new Coronado bridge when it opened in '68. I saw Chicago play at the Sports Arena. There was a bar across the street called "That place across the street from the Sports Arena" where the peanuts came out of the trunk of an elephant and the shells were thrown on the floor. Thanks for the ride in the Way Back Machine.

  12. You ARE going to post pics and maybe Vids of the festivities AREN'T you? I really tried to figure out how to go, but couldnt' swing it. Next year, maybe we could plan this a bit in advance?

    1. Pics probably (I sometimes forget to play shutterbug), video, who knows, I suppose it could happen. After all, I do have a "smart" phone.

      This was all very spur of the moment. The WSO kinda surprised us with the offer to fly us out there.

      Plan? Overcome, improvise, adapt! (But like the movie character said, "Sometimes I plan sh!t...")

      Besides which, Tuna will be out of town that weekend. So it's not like we'd have the entire staff of the Chant on hand. (That would be cool though.)

      Next year, planning will commence soon.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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