Solbit asks, “What, I could be a real Californian?”

Dear Nicalai,

Papa says that Californians and I share a common trait: we don’t feel cold.  “You mean that Nicalai and other Californians are made of plastic, too, like me?” I asked.  Nona chimed in, “Oh, no, Solbit, we would never say that Californians are plastic.  No, they are people like us (she meant like her and Papa; I’m not “people”) but, for some reason, they don’t feel the cold like we do.”

Night in Palm Springs in February is cold, but look at these Californians in shorts, tee shirt, and tank top!

Night in Palm Springs in February is cold, but look at these Californians in shorts, tee shirt, and tank top!

Being a plastic Jurassic, hot, cold, wet, or dry make no difference to me, but what are you California people, some sort of human penguin always in the same outfit?  You walk around in shorts and tank tops or tee shirts in winter.  Nona and Papa bundle up in what they call “layers.”  You Californians walk around as if it’s summer.  Don’t you get cold?

See the difference? Here are tourists, not from California, dressing sensibly for the winter cold.

See the difference? Here are tourists, not from California, dressing sensibly for the winter cold.

Oh, I need to tell you that we moved again.  Yeah, Saturday, we had to say goodbye to our wonderful AirBnB hosts, Jerry and Craig, and to their super friendly three-legged dogs, Cody and Gabe.  Gosh, after we left Palm Springs, the sky got all dark and cloudy, the wind started blowing — real hard — and Papa even had to turn on the windshield wipers.  Then we drove to our next AirBnB in Pasadena.  That’s a pretty city with cute “craftsman” houses and cottages, not far from Hollywood.  Hollywood is where they make movies.

We drove into Pasadena on these beautiful tree lined streets. I like trees, don't you?

We drove into Pasadena on these beautiful tree lined streets. I like trees, don’t you?

Nona and Papa’s Honda Civic is so old that I’m surprised the wipers still worked, but they did the job.  On the road, we were surrounded by big new cars and SUVs, but Nona and Papa say they don’t need a new car and they want to use their money for more important things.  Still, when we park in a lot next to all the fancy new cars, I kind of feel “different” or “odd” or like we’re “failures.”  Nona says, “Solbit, don’t pay so much attention to what others might think of you, and pay more attention to doing what you think is right. We think it’s right to save resources, so be proud of our old car that works so well.”

Nona and Papa's old 1995 Honda. Not! Just kidding. Erwin Wurm, an artist, made this Fat Car.  Fun, huh?

Nona and Papa’s old 1995 Honda. Not! Just kidding. Erwin Wurm, an artist, made this Fat Car. Fun, huh?

OK, I’ll try that, but, when we pass those new car lots here in California, I imagine us zooming down the road in one of those sleek cars.

Not much news here.  We just go for walks and more walks.  Nona and Papa seem to like something called “architecture.”  I don’t get it.  I’ll tell you more about “architecture” later.

Pasadena has all these "craftsman" houses.  Why do I like them so much?

Pasadena has all these “craftsman” houses. Why do I like them so much?

I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

March 2015

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit’s Horn With A View

Dear Nicalai,

When we stopped in Rancho Mirage — on our way to Palm Springs — and saw this big guy, I asked Papa, “What’s that?” He shrugged and said, “Must be a big horned something or other.”

Nona, as usual, had done her research and knew the answer, “Solbit, that’s an imperiled species, called a Desert Bighorn Sheep. Do you know that by 1985, only about 280 of these sheep remained in southern California?”  I said,  “Quick, Nona, get a picture of  me with him, before he goes the way of my iguanodon ancestors!”

DSC02611

Can you find me on the tip of the horn? Quite a view up here!

Don’t worry, this Desert Bighorn Sheep isn’t real, or, well, it’s real, but it’s a sculpture, not a living breathing mountain beast. (Hey, it’s sort of like me only bigger!) I hope we get to see the real one’s when we go hiking this month in the mountains.  Nona says that, thanks to conservation efforts, the Big Horn Sheep population here has grown in recent years, so we have a chance of seeing them this month.

Yeah, we’re here for a month, and wait until you see our AirBnB here in Palm Springs.

Walk through that palm gate to find a secluded pool and garden full of the fragrance of jasmine.

Walk through that palm gate to find a secluded pool and garden full of the fragrance of jasmine.

Nice, huh.  I plan to spend my afternoons poolside snoozing.  Nona and Papa’s friends and family back on the east coast are freezing and nearly shoulder deep in snow, but I’m in wonderful Jurassic-appropriate 80F temperatures and clear blue skies!

Why’s it so warm here?  Desert.  You might think desert means just hot sand, but the desert has a lot of life in it.  Look at these beautiful plants.  They’re called cactus plants.

DSC02615

Watch out, these pretty little things have sharp stickers!

Don’t get too close to them though.  The spines on them are like needles and they can give a girl reason to yell, “OUCH!”

Anza-Borrego State Park

Girl, take my advice, don’t try this. Take my word for it. My word for it is “ouch.”

I overheard this mom tell her little one, “Now, sweetie, look but don’t touch the cactus.”

Mom's know best, but kids will test.

Mom’s know best, but kids will test.

As soon as she turned her back, the innocent little kid was running over to one of those cactus plants, hand stretched out to feel it.  The next thing that mom heard was …you guessed it…screaming.  “Ouch!”  That’s what I like to call “learning by doing.”  Fortunately, no permanent harm was done.

DSC02593

These flower have eye popping color, don’t they. I wonder, is that why they’re called poppies?

Not all the plants in the desert are prickly.  These poppies and flowers are, as Nona told me, “…pleasing to the eye.”  Papa said that our world is full of beauty, and we just need to look for it wherever we are.  I said, “OK, Papa, but this desert is also full of rocks, gravel, snakes, and spiders, and I’m going to look out for them too.”

I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

February 2015

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit Finds Her Real Tasmanian Cousin

*New reader? Get oriented below.

 

Dear Nicalai,

Would you believe that I had to travel all the way from Portland, Oregon, in the U.S.A. to Sandy Bay in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia to find my long lost cousin?  I wouldn’t have believed it, either.  Hit me over the head, knock me down with a feather, sweep me out of the house with a broom, shut the door, I found my cousin here!

Our day started out well.  Our AirBnB host in Sandy Bay, Judith, greeted us at her door and took us to our lovely rented cottage in her backyard.  She had a surprise for me.  Yes, me! Here’s what she had waiting for me in the cottage:

DSC03582

Can you believe it.  Glittering Blue Bird will keep me company our whole stay here!  I had been in Tasmania only an hour, and I loved it already!

Then Nona and Papa took me out to the bookstores.  Well, you heard that story.  My good day took a turn for the worse, but, as I told you, I’m still alive!  Can you believe they let T. Rexes into bookstores these days? What’s the world coming to anyway?

Having survived my close call at Rapid Eye Bookstore, Nona and Papa said, “Solbit, we’re sorry you had such a fright.  We promise to take you to a nice place where you’ll be comfortable.” So they walked me to The Maker at the Salamanca Arts Centre.  The Maker is a really cool shop with nicely designed —artsy — things to buy.

Nona bought a little something, and, when she paid the pretty lady, Nona took me out of her purse.  Immediately the lady took in a deep breath and exclaimed, “Wait a minute, is that a Plastic Jurassic?”  Nona said, “Yes, she’s our traveling companion, Solbit.”  The nice lady said, “Don’t move.  Wait here. I have to get someone to meet you.”

So, of course, we waited.  Nona and Papa are old and retired.  I’m a plastic dinosaur. Where did we have to go in a hurry, right?  We had plenty of time to wait.

Soon, the lady returned with a plastic bag.  She read the label on the bag. It said, “Terrarium Kit.”  Inside were different types of little plants and another surprise for me.  My cousin! Yeah, her name is Citron, and she’s yellow like a lemon.  Here’s how we found her.

DSC03575 cousin

Citron took one look at me through that clear plastic and yelled, “Hey, GET ME OUTTA HERE!”  I think I had said something like that only minutes ago in the Rapid Eye Bookstore.

As soon as Citron was out, we had a wonderful reunion. We hadn’t seen each other since we’d been “minted” at the factory. I said, “Citron, you are soooo lucky to live in a beautiful shop like this one with all the cool artsy things surrounding you.”  She said, “Solbit, I have to warn you about something.  Whatever you do, don’t go to a bookstore, because there are T. Rexes there.’”  I said, “Don’t I know that, sister.  Wait ’til you hear what happened to me.”

We had a wonderful time chatting, but then it was time for us to go.  As we left, Citron said, “Please, Solbit, get someone to come to The Maker and buy me.  I want someone to get this terrarium started so I can live in a garden.”  I said, “Hey, we’d buy the kit, but we’re traveling and a terrarium just won’t work in a piece of roll-on luggage, but, guess what, my uncle and aunt from Washington, DC will be here next year this time.  I’ll tell them to buy you and take you home.  They are terrific gardeners and, girl, do they know how to cook!”

Well, a lot happened to me on my first day in Tasmania.  I hope you had a good day where you are.  Remember, I’m your friend.

Love,

 

Solbit

 

March 2014

 

 

*You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.

 

*You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”