Monday, February 9, 2015

Closer to Home - Pauma

Picture postcard? - Nope, our own.

 Many times in our travels we meet people who have interesting hobbies and sometimes J and L’s own hobbies introduce us to interesting people as well. Case in point – with Tombstone Legends, the western theatrical group to which we belong, we met and became friends with David and Pilar. They are a great and lively couple who seem to have way too much to do on a day to day basis but they do it all with smiles and laughter.

One of David’s hobbies, if that’s the right word, is being a member of a local Southern California band by the name of Soul Gravity – singer and bass player while Pilar is one of the Gravity Girls. A nickname gladly owned by the svelte young woman who loves nothing more than to get on the dance floor with the other wives, those other Gravity Girls, and move to the groove created by the very talented band members of this band.
Soul Gravity getting ready to Groove.

 We were invited to Casino Pauma for a concert on a recent Saturday and off we went in the early morning with the idea of taking in the beautiful sights of Pauma Valley, where the casino was located. Rolling hills of green vegetation, thousands of acres of varied citrus, and just plain unspoiled lands were a joy to view as we drove south on Highway 215 and then southeast on Highway 79 just outside of Temecula. 

 Pauma Valley is home to the Luiseno Band of Pauma-Yuima Indian Tribe and the reservation was established in 1893.  Over 6,000 acres in Northern San Diego, eastern Orange, and southern Riverside Counties make up this homeland for a relatively small population compared to the other five Luiseno tribes spread out over mid-Southern California. A rich history and beautiful surroundings makes this area of the Southwest a must visit for any explorer.

Pauma Valley looking northeast
 Sadly, the truth was this was the first time for either J or L to visit this lovely area despite its close proximity to our home, an easy one and a half hour drive south. But at least we made the trip and the experience was well worth it.

One of the pleasures of traveling is the journey as we sat and spoke about what we were viewing, what we expected to see at the next bend in the road, and wondering if we could stay awake until nearly one in the morning which would be the last set for the Soul Gravity Band.

To say the least, this exploring duo were not considered night owls by many who know us. We were determined though and very proud of our efforts later in the night when we were still gyrating on the dance floor at half past midnight. We did not turn into mice and our vehicle did not get a round pumpkin shape.

Soul Gravity in full swing.

Soul Gravity has had name and member changes in the past but with most of the current band members playing together for the past three years, it looks like it’s here to stay. All of the entourage have decades of playing various music as well as instruments and on the night we watched them perform it showed how truly professional this band was.

With an unbelievable repertoire of classic and contemporary rock hits, there was never a moment when the dance floor was without some soul (play on words there) moving to the beat. People swaying, and not from the booze, to the music led to a very enjoyable and sometimes perspiring evening. 

David handled the bass guitar like an expert and with the sounds coming from stage there would be no doubt he was.
Belt it out David - belt it out!

The Gravity Girls, spouses of the band members, were front and center dancing, laughing and just enjoying themselves watching their significant others up on stage entertaining what looked like a sold out show.

Pilar - resting and smiling
 L and J sat, listened, danced, laughed and spoke with the members of the band during intermissions and then too ‘grooved’ on the dance floor. A couple of dances were rather aerobic leaving John wondering if he were having a heart attack or simply out of shape. Laureen handled it with ease and joined the Gravity Girls while I took a breather between songs.

One o’clock struck and the night was done for the more than satisfied guests as we moved from the casino to the parking lots but the band had another hour of breaking down and stowing their mass of musical equipment.

This was the time it was good, real good, to be only a guest and not the ones the guests came to see.


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