US Adventure – People Exploration – Day 8 – Alberto – Restauranteur in Barstow CA

It was approaching sunset in Barstow, CA and my stomach told me that it was time for eating and so stopped in a Chiropractor’s office looking for directions to a good place to eat dinner. They quickly said “Lola’s.”

I drove there to Lola’s Kitchen and was greeted as soon as I entered the door by Alberto. By his body language and pleasant genuine smile, I could tell that he was friendly.

Looking around, judging by the comfort and casual appearance of other diners, I knew I was in a family oriented type of place with good food. Lola’s has been in operation since 23 years.

Alberto mentioned that he drove an hour every day of work to help out his mother in her restaurant. He said he really enjoyed working there but he showed ambition when he also related to me that he went to school for cosmetology and also has his real estate license.

We started to talk about my travels to 49 states and he wanted to know as why I was doing it. Just like the title to my blog — “Meet people, make friends and see if we can help make a difference in people’s lives.”

“How can you do that?” he asked.

“Through our shopping annuity program in which we show people how to turn ‘Spending into Earning’.

We took a quick picture. He wanted to hear more, but new customers came into the door. He moved quickly to go take care of them.

Alberto was also concerned about getting home since his husband is studying to become a paralegal.


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There can be some long days since he starts his day at 11 a.m., but he only works 3 days a week. His most enjoyable part of working for his mother is of course the family that is involved and the great customers that come through the door.

Albert’s father also helps out during the day and helps clean the restaurant after they close.

US Adventure – People Exploration – Day 8 – Brandi – Cosmetologist in Barstow CA

It turned out to be an incredible accident that I happened to meet Brandi, a cosmetologist of 16 years in Barstow, CA.

Ya see … I needed a haircut … bad … I should have gotten my hair cut at least two weeks prior, but I had delayed it because I knew I was going to meet someone … very different. Well I did. I went into a barber shop but he couldn’t take me for the next hour and a half. Time to kill. So I went next door into a nail and hair spa.

That’s when I met Brandi.

She loves being creative and she loves making people feel good about themselves.

What does she like most about coming to work – her customer friends. When she’s on her way into work, she doesn’t feel like she’s going to a j..o..b.., but instead, she feels like she’s coming to socialize with friends and neighbors. It’s really funny or ironic, because she claims she has social anxiety. Yet, when she’s in her element in her salon shop, she doesn’t feel that way. She feels very comfortable, like hey – We’re all family and we (other workers) feel that we’re somewhat psychiatrist too. Well, at least they perform a ‘listening’ role.

I understood her busy situation when she mentioned that they can’t do manicure or pedicure pop’ins because we don’t have time for them. “We work by reservation only, and right now, I’m booked 3 weeks in advance.”

Brandi says she likes the mountains and the desert the most in the area around Barstow. She likes to go off-roading and to hike around in the desert.

Even though Barstow is still a small city, but it’s doesn’t have that small-town feel. A lot of people have moved here. it’s cheaper to live here and a lot of people have moved here for that reason.

If she were ruler for the day, she would have everybody hug each other. Brandi felt that people just don’t get that physical or intimate everyday anymore, remain impersonal and not intimate.

“So I try to help my customers when they are around, and I mean … that could be … you know, the first time they’ve been hugged in … you don’t know even how long.”

US Adventure – People Exploration – Day 7 – Chris at Oxford Inn in Lancaster

Chris said that he’s been working here at the Oxford Inn for years as a sanitation engineer.

When asked what would he say was the best part of his job, he said that it was meeting new people, that in meeting new people – it truly made his day exciting. On this day, there was an array of action, because there were the actors of Top Gear the TV show and other production crew members who were staying at the hotel.

Chris added that every day, people from all over world came to stay at the hotel.

In response to – What do you like best about this area? – At first he couldn’t think of something that he liked the best, but he did not like the constant wind the most.

Then, after a moment’s thought, Chris said he liked the poppy fields the best and that they are beautiful, even though their season was limited every year.

When asked – “If you ruled the world for one day, what would you invoke on the world to do? What law would you have enforced?”

Chris replied, “No electronics for one day, at least for that day.” He added that he thought the people would thank him because then they would need to get face to face in order to communicate verbally. There would be more personal interaction this way. They would then have a conversation -“like you and I are doing, instead of texting and and surfing the web.”

US Adventure – People Exploration – Day 3 – Andy – Huntington Beach, CA

After I finished my writing of numbers in the sand on the beach at the Pacific Ocean, I stopped a surfer dude walking along the beach while he was carrying his surf board.

Andy …

Andy told me that he worked as a trucking leasing manager for over 20 years. He admitted that it was tough driving an hour to work every day and then an hour home, but in some ways the drive was very well worth it – he liked the network of people.

Yes, it was the network of people that was the best thing about his job. Over the years, he was happy that he had built a network of a lot of people that he could trust. When you have people who are trustworthy and in your network, it makes your job and world and life so much easier.

If he ruled the world for one day, he thought that maybe he would declare each  person would have it as a “World Beach Holiday” so everyone could go out to the beach and have the day off. Even the people who lived in mid-continent should have a day to go to the beach – plus even if was winter where they lived. Yes, a day at the beach – Andy would declare it as law.

He has lived in the area all his life and went to school in the area at Huntington Beach High School.
And then on to college.