Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Next up was the "Buena Vista Fountain." Buena Vista means good view in Spanish and I guess that's appropriate given that this fountain overlooks the "legendary" Rancho Bernardo Golf Course, pictured in my earlier post on Wednesday. One look and you'll say "Spectacular!"
The "Tranquility Fountain" sits beside the entrance to the 2,500 square foot Spa. Guests are encouraged to "reduce (their) stress and calm (their) minds" by tossing some lavender into this fountain. Then they're supposed to throw caution to the wind by booking a "cup of calm" including a 50-minute, made-to-order massage, a 50-minute made-to-order facial, a 50-minute Spa Pedicure and a Warm, Spicy Cocoa and Chocolate Trio for $295.
Next up was the "Fountain of Reflection," which, I'm told, "exhibits a considerable Arabic influence in its restrained quantity of water." Indeed, a gentle trickle flows continuously down a natural stone pedestal and into a Romanesque bowl below. Guests are supposed to stand in front of this fountain and chant the following mantra: "May good befall all, May there be peace for all, May all be fit for perfection, May all experience that which is auspicious." I think the folks from the local Starbucks take a nip from this fountain every now and then when no one is looking.
The "Dreams of Eternity" fountain sits on the hotel's Valencia Lawn, conveniently near a room used for wedding ceremonies. Couples are supposed to "toss in rose petals to wish themselves a lifetime of love and many happy returns to Rancho Bernardo Inn to celebrate their anniversaries." I guess if they end up getting divorced they can always dive head first into the fountain's spacious stone basin.
The "Rancho Wishing Well" was the first fountain on the property and was placed there in 1965 by owner James Colachis who was looking for a simple way to enhance the resort's main covered walkway. In the Roman tradition, guests are supposed to toss a coin over their left shoulder and make a wish to return to Rancho Bernardo Inn.
The "Alhambra Fountain" (pictured above) was purchased by the hotel owner -- the same James Colachis mentioned above -- mainly because it includes an antique lead box bearing his initials. It's a good thing his initials weren't S.O.B.
"La Fontana di Santiago" is, in my opinion, the most dramatic of the fountains at Rancho Bernardo. It was imported from Vicenza, Italy, and includes "heroic-sized" figures of a god and goddess taming a lion. Water shoots from the lion's mouth in a controlled stream down a mosaic chute into a stone clam shell below.The "Fountain of Rejuvenation" -- as I wrote on Wednesday -- stood right outside my hotel room. It was created by a master carver in Guadalajara and, according to the hotel, it "adds a refreshing feature to the sunny ambiance of the Santiago Pool." Quite frankly, the water pressure in my room was so bad this morning I was tempted to use it as a shower.Last but not least, the "Granada Fountain" is the focal point of an elegantly manicured garden just outside the main lobby of the hotel. It is an antique from Mexico, featuring a 12-sided base with alternating carvings of suns and angels. Guests are supposed to walk around the fountain until they find the plaque with their birth month on it. If your birth month falls on an angel, you can expect a year of tranquility. If it falls on a sun, you'll get a year of prosperity. I walked around and around the base, but I wasn't looking for my birth month. I wanted to hide myself from view as I set aside the little package of coins, lavender and pebbles that the hotel gave me to toss into the various fountains on the tour and produced a little surprise of my own. I pulled out a package of Folger's Crystals -- pilfered from the self-serve coffee bar in my room -- and tossed a small handful into the bubbling waters. The people of Rancho Bernardo need a Spectacular Dose of Caffeine, if you ask me ...!
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Five representatives from Verizon argued that the radiation from their equipment would be no more dangerous than a Gentle Ocean Breeze. One of them, pictured below, kept twitching his hands nervously as he spoke. "Look at how he's hiding his hands behind his back," said Genevieve, "That's the weirdest posture I've ever seen." "It must be an occupational hazard," I said, adding Neurological Disorders to my list. Verizon, for their part, admitted that they won't send anyone near the equipment-in-question unless they're wearing a Special Radiation Suit. How did our City Planning Commissioners respond to all this? Four of them -- Gerda Newbold, Hank Koning, Gwynne Pugh and Jim Ries -- seemed to wash their hands of the issue: They "sympathized" with the homeowners but said that the health concerns were beyond their jurisdiction. Only one, Jay Johnson, said he was inclined to vote against Verizon on the basis of the homeowners' concerns. Afterall, he noted, this was the first time that the City had ever considered allowing a major cell phone transmitter to be placed atop a private residence. He also reminded everyone that there already is a cell phone tower -- a Sprint transmitter -- directly across from 404 San Vicente. But it was all to no avail. Verizon prevailed in what I consider a Tremendous Miscarriage of Justice. Speaking of which, according to Dr. Neal Cherry, a biophysicist at Lincoln University, "prompt effects" of living in close proximity to cell phone base stations might also include miscarriages.