Mexico, Southern Cal and Google Earth
My brother called on the phone last night for one of his seeing how you're doing calls. I actually had the presence of mind to ask him if he remembered where we lived in Mexico as kids. He surprised me by saying Mexico City.
I'd mentioned in some comments earlier on that I'd thought we lived on the outskirts of Mexico City and, some time ago, I thought he said we didn't. I guess I misunderstood him as he said exactly what I'd always thought; That we'd lived just outside of Mexico City. He couldn't remember the exact name of the town, though.
I was ahead of him on one thing: I remembered our street address, 170 Sierra Guaderamma (I thought there was only one m in the street name, not two). He said if I could figure out what the name of the town was to let him know.
I tried doing a search of just the street address last night and came up empty. This morning I started again with renewed energy except I didn't bother with doing a web search. It suddenly struck me I should try Google Earth.
What a "trip" that was. I've had Google Earth on this computer ever since the North Coast Journal said they'd be using it in conjunction with their web site but I hadn't done much with it except find a few houses around town, including my own.
So I went to Mexico City. First time I'd been there in probably 40 years. I was lost. Tried typing in the street address and got nothing. That city is so big I didn't know where to start looking. I gave up.
Then I started thinking about other places. Checked out Acapulco. Yep, you can even see the beach at Las Roquetas(sic?). That's an island just offshore of Acapulco we used to take a glass bottom boat to.
Then I decided to see if I could take a look at my old stomping grounds of Tustin and Irvine in Southern CA. I couldn't remember the street address of our house on Butler Street in Irvine but it was near what I felt should be some recognizeable landmarks so it should be fairly easy to find my way to our old house.
A bit confusing at first as the area has been heavily developed, but it didn't take me too long to find it. Here it is:
Wow. That's kind of neat. Even moved the picture around and found University High School. I went there for most of my high school time.
So what about Tustin. For some reason I still remember the street address: 12812 Charloma Drive.
I zoomed in to get a wide view of the Tustin area, centering the picture where my best guess of the location of my house. Then, I typed in the street address in the search field. I guess I was wrong as the image shifted to the upper right and then zoomed in.
Boy, that kinda looks like the house, but not quite. Of course, it's been 35 years or more since I've lived there and even when I lived there I'd never seen it from above.
I started looking around to see any recognizable landmarks and, yep, everything else seems to be in the right place. That's our old house. The thing that really convinced me was the houses behind us then were on a cul- de- sac and there was a cul- de- sac there.
Moving up the street I could also see what used to be Sycamore Elementary School. That was where I went to school. Looks like the playground is still there but hard to say if it's still a school.
Next I tried to find my favorite beach. It was called Scotchman's Cove back then. A few years ago I spoke with a guy that lived right near there and he'd never heard of it, so it must be named something different now.
I knew it was just north of Laguna Beach so, after comparing a few areas, I found it. To confirm, since much of the beach area looked the same, I used the "ruler" Google provides. You can start at one point, draw a line to another point, and it tells you the distance.
I drew a line from what I thought would have been the old Irvine Company private beach to Scotchman's Cove. It was about two tenths of a mile. That's about right.
Since you had to pay to enter Scotchman's Cove at the entrance on Pacific Coast Highway, we used to enter at the Irvine Co. private beach (we had the key) and walk just a ways down the beach to Scotchman's Cove.
Ahhh...the memories. That was fun stuff. I'll have to play around with Google Earth more often. If you haven't already downloaded Google Earth, it's a free download here. Try checking out your old stomping grounds.