Steve Cook's soul, song, and sweat.

Shinybass Journal Entry 09/26/18

Shinybass Journal Entry 09/26/18

Miles of tacos.


I think that’s the best way I can describe the southwest. It’s like taco heaven. See, I love tacos. I mean, who doesn’t? When the ingredients are just right (or even just wrong), there is something about a taco that speaks more volumes than a sandwich. I can do tacos just about any time of day, every day. Like now.

My love of tacos began at an early age. Growing up in suburban Virginia Beach, my first exposure to tacos was what my Mom made, then the occasional Taco Bell. Fast forward to today, and I am a firm believer that all people should have the tutorial I was not given about tacos. There are so many ways to go, but honestly, the simplicity of a street taco is magical. And luckily on the back 9 of this run, there were taco joints as far as the eye could see.

When I left you, we were in Arizona, sitting somewhere between sweltering and miserable in Safford. ‘Sweltered in Safford, Steamy in Scottsdale…’ Scottsdale was not much better. As in 108. Now, that dry heat business doesn’t fly. I just doesn’t. So what do you do when it’s that hot outside? That’s right – go inside.

As many times as I have been to Phoenix/Scottsdale, I have never seen the Musical Instrument Museum. I was more than excited when a friend in town said he would take me. I had no idea what to expect, so I will summarize like this: GO. It has musical instruments from every single country on the planet, with audio/video samples of each. The collections are fantastic, and with the traditional musical samples, a producer or writing musician could be inspired over and over again. If you are ever close, and feel like NOT golfing that day, get to it.

Our show that night was at BLK Live, a great little outdoor venue that has a pool in the middle of the club. As in, listen and soak. As I think about it, if I could float and listen to a band at 10PM at night, I would.

The next day we were slated to be in Vegas, and there was a scheduling SNAFU, so we rerouted to San Diego for a day off. So I had my charged Pedego Latch, and I was gone. As in, I am about to throttle and pedal my way around in which I seldom get down time. Usually our lives are just ‘load in, sound check, eat, hotel, play, leave’, so this was a treat.

My family lived in San Diego 50 years ago as my Dad shipped off to Vietnam. I FaceTimed him and showed him a couple of flattops and the water. I also took off for the hills, which makes for a fun day. The neighborhoods are really where the towns come alive, and I’m a sucker for good architecture, hole in the wall taco spots and views of the bay.

Half the band then plodded off to the posh hills of Rancho Santa Fe for dinner at the club and real estate shopping. More like window shopping, as in I can buy (ä) single window on one of the homes. It was a fantastic evening, and I’m happy I was able to cap such a beautiful day with such an event. Bing Crosby did it right in saving the golf club.

I ambled out for breakfast the next day in the Gas Lamp district and found some old buildings that haven’t been made into matchsticks, and then we headed to EL Cajon. It’s crazy how in just a 30 minute drive one can lose the breeze of the water and have a 20 degree difference.

My late morning consisted of lunch with an old friend and a ‘sort-of’ tour of the Taylor guitar factory. We cut the tour way short because I had to get back and actually ‘work’.  Our show was in a nice air-conditioned theater, so take that heat and oppression.

Then it was off to the beautiful town of Solvang.

Solvang is a lovely little tourist trap nestled in the middle of wine country. It is the home of a 200 year old mission, as well as a few windmills. The back story is that Solvang became the Danish capital of America when a Danish Folk School was established here 100 years ago. So we have tacos and baked treats. Sounds like heaven to me. Especially when I have the bike.

Our emcee for the show (which was a benefit for the Boy Scouts who lost their camp to one of the big fires last year) was none other than Shaun Cassidy. Yes, that Shaun Cassidy.  He was a gem of a human, and we played Da Doo Ron Ron. Being 7 years old and being a fan of his this all just got weird really fast, but in a great way.

We then trucked down to San Juan Capistrano. Another fine tourist town with an occasional bird problem, the venue for the evening was the Coach House, a legendary rock room opened since 1980. They haven’t changed much since opening, with the exception of a few refrigerators and maybe the soap. The tables and carpet are all the same, I think.

Our show was a fantastic affair, with a raucous crowd (See- we ARE better when you drink), and my day on the bike was filled with another historic mission, some sun, palm trees, and the salt air filling my homesick lungs. It was also Henry’s 4thbirthday. That’s a hard pill to swallow being out on the road for a child’s birthday, which is maybe why I pedaled so far on this past run. I can’t outrun time, but I can outrun the sinking feelings.

After our show, we were dropped at LAX at 4AM for a flight home on Monday. I made it in time to bring cookies to school and have Henry’s classmates sing Happy Birthday to him. Road life. Gotta love it.

As much as I want to complain, I really can’t. As I was talking to my Dad from San Diego, he told me how he basically set my Mom and two older brothers up in an apartment then shipped off to war for a year. He missed birthdays and everything else, and (thankfully) he came back so I could be hatched. The jury is still out if that was a good thing or not…

My point is to count your blessings – all of them – all the time. It’s hard to get unwound from life, but I promise it can happen and it can help.  So for the rest of this week, remember how great life really is, even if times it gets harder than it should. This too shall pass.


See you on the road!


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