Friday, December 16, 2016

The Joyride Zone

Book Review: Joyrides Around San Diego by Jack Brandais

"You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead - your next stop ..." ... The Joyride Zone!

For the majority of people, San Diego can be defined by the "high points": Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, the waterfront, the beaches. The farthest afield most people get is the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in the northern part of the county. I'm not just talking about tourists - many San Diego residents probably don't go much beyond the perimeter defined by their home, their work, and their favorite activity, and the network of freeways that connect them.

Author Jack Brandais is a native San Diegan, and he has made it his particular mission to find, and to chronicle, those spaces in between the high points. The counties of Southern California are among the largest in the United States, and San Diego County is no exception; there are lots of places in-between. For those of us who were born and raised there, those places, and the narrow roads that take you there, are an indelible part of San Diego history.

Joyrides Around San Diego is a compilation of Brandais' Kindle driving guides covering San Diego County from the Pacific Ocean to the Borrego desert. Now, I don't have a GPS in my car, and I still use paper maps, but the Kindle version has certain advantages. There are live links to take you to websites with background information, color pictures ... it's interactive.

On the other hand, the new "hard copy" version has all 10 San Diego Joyrides in one convenient package. You can browse it at your leisure and pick out a destination for the day, or plan a weekend getaway. You can leave it in your glove box and it never needs batteries. And if you want to see that background info, the author has put the links on his Joyride Guru website for your convenience.

Either way, you get driving directions, handy maps, a list of sights to see, and a bit of history to boot. If you're new to San Diego and really want to see San Diego County, this is the place to start. If you're an old-timer like me, this is a great opportunity for a trip down memory lane, literally. Batteries not included - or needed!