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Friday, June 26, 2009

Those Were The Best Days of My Life...

"Come on Sandie, let's go!"

Rosa was my one cool friend from junior high-school.

Rosa and I hung out all the time. Thanks to her I was introduced to my first Jack-in-the-Box taco.


I learned a lot hanging out with Rosa.

Rosa and I were twelve-years-old and we attended the same junior high school in San Diego, California. My family and I lived just a few miles away from the famous San Diego Zoo. In fact, the Junior High School I attended there was situated right next to the Zoo. It had its' running field facing the camels.

Made it hard to take an extra deep breath while running laps for P.E. It was somewhat aromatic and not in a good way.

Junior High is such an emotional tempestuous time for most tweens. I never understood why Rosa G., one of the cool chicks, wanted to be my friend. But I'm so grateful she did. She rawked.

Rosa and I would hang out after school, on the weekends, and of course during the summer. I went and saw Star Wars with her. We took a bus to the mall and waited for what seemed like forever to see that movie.

But the best part of the summer were our La Jolla trips.

Rosa and I would always start our summer hanging out time with a trip to Jack-in-the-Box. We would load up on tacos and fries. This was way back in the olden days of dinosaurs and cave men. Well maybe not. But value meals and supersizing were not even heard of yet.

Yes, I'm old.

After hitting the Jack-in-the-Box, Rosa and I would get on a city bus and travel 15 miles to go to the beach at La Jolla.

Yes, you read that correctly. Two twelve-year-old girls would go all by themselves on a city bus to a different suburb, just to go to the beach. This was also way before cell phones.

We loved our freedom.

When we got to La Jolla, we'd get off closest to our favorite beach: La Jolla Shores. But first? A smoothie. Yes, Rosa also introduced me to the wonderful, delicious world of smoothies. We'd buy one and then start walking to the beach. Once we got there, we would relax, walk along the shore and just enjoy the fresh sea air. I never swam. I was never a strong swimmer.

One other thing I learned was to pack my beach bag carefully and to hold onto it for dear life.

Yes, I learned this old lady trick way back then. I'm surprised Rosa never laughed at me (at least not in front of my face). It was hard for me to let go and relax. My eye was always confirming that my red beach bag was in sight.

I mean for heaven's sake, I probably had three dollars in that bag and a towel. But I would get so nervous if I couldn't see that red bag in sight.

I laugh about it now.

Yes, I've always been an old lady in training.

Despite my obsession with the beach bag, we'd hang out until the afternoon wore long, we'd get back on the bus and head home for the day. I remember Rosa would get off the bus first and I would have to continue on a few more miles by myself.

Hey, as long as I had my beach bag, clutched tightly to my chest? It was no big deal.

I'd walk in from one of my "long-distance" excursions and neither one of my parents would bat an eyelash.

"Have fun, Mija?"

"Yes, Mom, I did."

Then I would retreat to my room for my usual dose of alone time. And make sure I hadn't lost anything from that red beach bag.

Those were the days!

I loved them!

And now?

I'm shocked my Mom and Dad let me do it.

It's unheard of these days.

My how times have changed. I miss those lazy days of summer and safety, where all I worried about was a red beach bag and I could explore and enjoy the world around me and not fear getting raped and murdered along the way.

On the other hand, I can still enjoy me some Jack-in-the-Box Tacos.

And Smoothies.

Yes, not everything has changed for the worse.



  1. Fun life muse, Quirkster - you "always been an old woman in training" loony you - lol

    Sigh, I get melancholy when I think how much less stress there was about kids being out "in the world" by themselves back in the day. In the 50's when I was a boy, weekends me & my buds would be gone all day on Tom Sawyer type explorations and adventures and our parents knew not where we were nor did they stress over it. We always made it home safe and sound for dinner. :)

    The Old Silly

  2. In the mid-1960s, my mom would shoo us out of the house in the morning, we'd roam the neighborhood all day and come back in when we saw our dads' cars turning into the driveways. Sigh. Thanks for the memories!

  3. Those WERE the days. There is something to be said for Free Range Children!

  4. totally remind me of all the freedom I had at that age and all the freedom I can't give my kids in this day in age. Those were THE DAYSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. It is sad that we can't let our kids have more freedom these days!

  6. A brand new world, and the next generation who will never understand the words "be home when the streetlights come on."

    Soon their Summers will be spent hopping around in a circle in the middle of the living room.


  7. Wow! That does bring back memories although my mom would have never let me do that. She was very over-protective, even for the 60's.

    I don't think I had a smoothie until I was an adult. Milkshakes and malts from Dairy Queen were what we could get.

    Fun post, Quirkster!

  8. What a great memory. I hope our children are able to have good, freedom filled memories like that. The only difference will be the GPS chip in their cell phones and sewn in to their clothing ;)

  9. times have sure changed? I often wonder why? It not like bad things just started to happen

  10. How true. My friends and I did things when I was a kid that there's no WAY I'd let my kids do now. It's a different world.

  11. Not a mom, just a reader. I'm really curious why and when the "free roaming" of adolescents changed. Is it really unheard of now to allow a 12 year old to take the bus with a friend and spend a Saturday unsupervised? It's really a pity, if so. How else do they learn how to get around in the world?

  12. How I miss those innocent times. It is a wonder we ever survived; knowing what we have now that is.

    I love your memory lane! I can smell the JIB tacos and taste the ocean.. oh wait.. the ocean is here.

    When my husband was working in another state.. my GF found out there was a JIB near the airport.. she made our hubbys stop by there before they boarded the plane to bring some home for us.

    The time before that.. her on-line friend flew in from Washington state and brought some with him. Those were the only times I have ever had them.. YUM-MY

    Sigh too bad there are none here.

  13. My mother was strick back in the day...but I still remember all the lil adventures my friend and I would take....Micky D's and Rollerblading through town...We still live in a pretty small town, but I don't think I will let peanut do that until she is like 15....that's a safe age right?! Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  14. It's interesting the question that has arisen regarding why not allow kids the same freedoms today.

    I think the bad has always been out there. I also think the odds of the bad happening are quite slim. I believe that the publicity of the bad has increased by leaps and bounds, encouraging parents today to be much more scared to allow their children to go out there and figure the world for themselves.

    Great point. I need to push my eleven year old (will be 12 in August) to be a little more willing to go out there...with my blessing.


  15. Quirky - I LOVE the additional topic brought up today that you just commented about. I was thinking about this aspect after I read pearatty's comment and she just has a real good point. The fact is that MOST people are good. MOST people do not want to harm your kids. Chances are our kids will be fine if we give them some freedom to explore THEIR world. Of course we will worry no matter what but that shouldn't stop us from letting our kids feel what "free range" is all about. UTI - LOVE that description of kids. Love it. I'm gonna remember that one...

  16. Thanks Quirky - you have to love those good friends who push you beyond your comfort zone, but in a good way. They are a life line when you're a pre-teen aren't they???
    Boy those Jack in the Box tacos - greasy greasy greasy - I could never stomach them now like I did when I was a youngster! :)
    As far as the "roaming" young people, I agree - kids can still roam, it's just a little different. My 9 yr old rides her bike down to 7 Eleven with her friend and I send my cell phone with her - just enough creepy people I guess to give me pause. My 14 yr old takes the city bus down town for school and for hanging out with friends and I feel pretty good about it, but again, she can't go without a fully charged cell phone...
    I drove myself crazy a couple months ago by looking at the local sex offender registry and obsessing on their addresses and cars. Now thats another topic...


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