Down the road
Wednesday morning was the day we wanted to go to California. Most of what I had seen of this state was driving from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Primm, California years ago, just enough to say I had been there. I wanted to see more. After drinking coffee and a light breakfast, we had Patsy, my sister-in-law, to drive us to the nearest rental car shop. We rented a car and headed for California on Highway 15.
I was really looking forward to seeing California. In my mind, I thought I was going to see what the films about California show. Boy was I ever shocked and disappointed? I have to say it was the ugliest drive I’ve ever taken over 200 miles through the Mojave Desert. The most exciting thing we saw was sand and more sand. Eventually we saw a sign for San Bernardino so we took that exit. However, we ended up in Riverside, California which made the day trip well worth it.
We were so glad we went to California, and Riverside was well worth the drive. We were hungry and chose a restaurant across from a very nice building. The food was very tasty! However, I cannot remember the name of the restaurant. It was a beautiful, warm and sunny day so we ate outside.
While we were eating we noticed a photographer who was taking all kinds of photos of two young women. They had an old convertible car that they took lots of pictures while sitting on it or in front of the car. Other pictures were of them in front of the magnificent building. Later a gentleman showed up, and then it was clear that it had to be engagement or wedding pictures because they kissed so often and were photographed.
Over dinner, I asked what Riverside was famous for. I was told it was for the mission inn across the street. As soon as we had eaten we decided to check it out. It is one of the most historic hotels in California. Presidents and celebrities stayed there. It features a Festival of Lights, one of the best light shows in the United States.
What began as a 12-room adobe building in the late 19th century and was used as a mission boarding house has now grown into a very famous hotel and spa. It is of Spanish architecture and design. It is wonderful. It has changed back and forth over the years and with different owners. Each owner has used it differently, for example for apartments and dormitories. It ran into financial trouble but is now a thriving business. I’m not sure how much COVID has affected your business, but I have a feeling it’s going to be booming soon. There are six different restaurants in the building.
When we went there we went through a beautiful archway with a bell inside the building. It is the oldest Christian bell in the world. When you walk outside the building you feel like you have experienced something special, but when you are inside and see the incredible breathtaking beauty you know that you have definitely seen something special.
It is now a complete work of art and a place that once you see it, it will linger in your head. There is so much history in this building, but it would take a lot more time to write about it. A definite place to see if in this area.
When my friend MK and I returned to Las Vegas we had driven 536 miles that day. We were tired but knew we had to get up early the next morning to get the rental car back.
Thursday was another wonderful day of our trip. This was the day I asked that I had to see before leaving Las Vegas. Today we wanted to go to Marshall C. Darnell Elementary School. This school was named after my brother-in-law Marshall who was Patsy Pace Darnell’s husband. He has passed on, but his memory has not.
What’s unique about it is that Patsy grew up and went to school in Clark County, Kentucky. Her husband had a school named after him in Clark County, Nevada.
I can honestly say that I was not as impressed by any elementary school as I was by this school. As soon as Patsy entered the school, she was treated as if Queen Elizabeth had just entered the building with the respect that was shown to her.
The director seemed to have such a sweet attitude, as did the chief secretary. We were shown the building as often as possible without interrupting the school classes. The students all looked so happy. I was happy to see they got to talk to each other at lunchtime and I was reminded of how noisy our dining rooms were when I went to school. It was a time of freedom to be with each other. Now the students are practically silent. These students felt free to wave to us, and many did so with cute smiles.
The notice boards were all decorated by the teachers and I was so impressed with the uniqueness and teaching examples they had with each notice board. For example, a bulletin board showed a freeway and read that Darnell is on his way to success. Street signs were all along the street. You read “Dream BIG!” Another showed a stop sign that said, “Don’t STOP until you’re proud!” The yield sign read “SMILE!” One showed a screwdriver that said “MAKE IT WORK!” Another showed a right turn sign that read “One day at a time!” A sign read “CAUTION! Good mood! “Another read:” BE AMAZING! “Then a pedestrian sign read:” MOVE FORWARD! “
Another notice board had socks on as if they were hanging on a clothesline. The headline read “TREAT YOUR MASKS LIKE YOUR SOCKS!” The signs say everything you should do: “CHANGE it daily!” “Make sure it’s clean!” “Borrow or don’t borrow them!” “Make sure it’s snug, but not too tight!” I liked another bulletin board that said, “LEARN PEOPLE’S NAMES! It’s an easy way to make someone feel important to you and get them to remember your name! ” “Think before you speak!” “Together is our favorite place!” “Say hello even if you don’t know this person. It creates an interaction that they will remember. “
I thought how much better our world would be with the same words of wisdom!
We were told that Darnell was working at full capacity because all parents wanted their children to go there. There has been a boom in house building so they will be in the school field. I loved seeing a glazed area showing pictures of Marshall and honors throughout his career. The yearbook speaks so much of him each year by devoting an entire page to the wonderful person he was. They talked about how they hope their students will be a shining example of everything he stood for and what he wanted for each student. My memory of Marshall was very similar to hers.
The rest of the day we drove down the strip again and then to dinner with Patsy’s daughter and her friend. Our week was drawing to a close. Friday we packed, ate our lunch, and arrived at McCarran Airport to head home. It had been a wonderful week in which we both agreed.
We arrived at the Marriott near the airport around 12:30 pm. We didn’t go to bed until about three in the morning, very tired to say the least, and tried to adjust to the Kentucky time.
We drove back with the player who drove out with us on the return flight. We agreed we had a very good trip and were grateful that we made it safely to Kentucky.
As you can see, I love to travel and see new things and this trip did just that!
Thanks again to Patsy Darnell for hosting.
About Randy Patrick
Randy Patrick is a reporter for Bluegrass Newsmedia, which also includes the Jessamine Journal. He can be reached at 859-759-0015 or by email at [email protected]
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