Monthly Archives: March 2008

Spring Break ’08: Part II

So in my haste to let my readers know just how wonderful my little holiday was going I forgot to mention the EARTHQUAKE on Saturday night.  Around 2:30am I woke up a little and checked the clock.  Then there was a low rumble and then the bed/house started to move.  It seemed reminiscent of the dynamite blasts my house is subject to on a semi-regular basis.  But then it didn’t quit as quickly as though so I thought, “Huh.  I think that was an earthquake.  I wonder if it was a big one far away or a little one close by?  I wonder if there will be after shocks?”  Well.  It was a small one close by.  The rumbling didn’t quit for a while.  Then there was another tremor but smaller.  Then I went back to sleep.

Let’s see.  I think I had completed the last posting with the promise of Legoland.  Oh!  What fun!  While I did comment later in the day that we were the only people there without kids we had such a blast!  We rode on almost all the rides, took a bazillion pictures ( we actually FILLED the photocard), and marveled over the cityscapes of Washington D.C, Las Vegas, New York City, San Fransisco, and the southern California Coast.  We spent ALL day there.  The weather was perfect plus there was almost no crowd.  The first ride we rode on had the longest wait and it was only 20 minutes or so.  We got to ride some rides twice without even getting off.  We could not have ordered a better day! 

After the park we head for the Pacific Highway and drove back down to San Diego right along the beach.  By then it had become a little overcast but we headed for the Sunset Cliffs anyway.  We watched the sun dip down into the clouds on the horizon.  Not really a sunset but lovely anyway. 

OH!  I nearly forgot to mention breakfast.  We ate at a place called Hash House a Go Go.  MY. WORD.  We wasted an obscene amount of food and even split a breakfast.  Food is served in white porcelain troughs or serving platters.  I think our breakfast could have fed 4-5 hungry adult people.  And oh so tasty!  Oh, I guess I did order 1 pancake so we weren’t splitting one breakfast but one breakfast plus one pancake.  Yeah.  My one pancake was bigger than my steering wheel.  No lie.  They make their own jam with fresh raspberries, peaches, strawberries, blueberries.  So good.  We might have eaten there again if it weren’t for the tremendous amount of guilt I felt at sending back half a dozen scrambled eggs plus the rest of the rest of our breakfast.  Oh, I guess the chef is from Indianpolis so I was glad to support family. 

Where was I?  Oh, yes.  After watching the sunset we were tired and hungry (hard to believe!) so we stop at a nearby pizza joint and then collapsed.

Thursday we tired another recommended breakfast place called Ricky’s.  It was okay.  I had the Dutch Treat pancake which was one of those fluffy german pancake things (which I have decided I don’t really like) with strawberries and bananas.  Joe had French toast.  Eh.  Considering the spectacular meals we had had up until this point average almost seems a disappointment.  But it wasn’t.  Just average.

Then we headed for the beach!  We went out to Coronado Island down to the Silver Strand beach.  It was a little overcast but we had a pleasant walk and then I took the plunge.  My guess is the water was 55 or so.  Pretty chilly.  But I hadn’t come all that way just to look at it!  A brief swim and we head out to Old Towne.

Old Towne is a historic state park where San Diego first began.  We wandered around and commented that it seemed just like colonial Williamsburg but with Mexicans.  Yep.  Just outside Old Towne is a sort of touristy type place.

There was a Chuck Jones gallery.  Chuck Jones was the creator Bugs Bunny.  We admired the artwork.  My Dad’s birthday is coming up and I briefly considered getting him some Bugs Bunny art.  They are a great one with the Abominable Snowman and Bugs but it was slightly out of my budget. 

We had lunch at the Old Towne Mexican Cafe.  They hand make their tortillas there.  It was quite good.  I wished for a microwave on the plane momentarily as I realized we were going to have lots of leftovers. 

The flights back were routine.  Oh, except for the lady who had a seizure requiring the flight attendant to broadcast, “Is there a doctor or a nurse on board?”  That was a first for me.  Then the man in front of me puked.  Yeah.  Yuck.  But I like Frontier Airlines as they have little TVs in the back of the headrests to watch movies or satellite tv from.  We watched a sand castle building contest.  Pretty cool.

All in all it was a WONDERFUL time. 

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Spring Break ’08: Livin’ Large in So. Cal

Hey, hey, hey! Warm and ultra cool greetings from sunny California! This is day 4 in blissful sun! When our intrepid travelers left Nashville on Saturday morning it was a tepid 19 degrees Fahrenheit with 3-6 inches of snow on the ground. I’m sure it was all melted by Sunday morning and back to being March but it made the contrast between Riverside, CA and home all the more stark.

Travel was uneventful aside from almost missing the flight due to stupidity not lack of planning. We breezed through security a good 20 minutes before the departure time so we stopped to get some coffee and breakfast. Yeah. It made sense in my head at the time. We were the last 2 people on the flight and had to RUN to the gate upon hearing the “final call for passengers…” over the loud speaker. Luckily the flight was not full and we snagged a whole row of seats to ourselves in the back.

Upon landing in Phoenix more hilarity ensued as we discovered that the plane was going on to San Diego. We resituated ourselves in the exit row and pondered a very short layover as opposed to the scheduled 2 hour one. Then Mr. T. said, “So we aren’t going to Canada after all? I thought we were going to Ontario.” Oh! Yes! That’s right! We aren’t going to San Diego now! Apologizing to the confused flight attendants we hurried off the plane and into our 2 hour layover.

Scott and Jenny picked us up right on time with much hugging and giggling and loaded us into their car. A short while later we pulled up in downtown Riverside and their jewelry store. I had brought along a ring I wanted a stone for and Jenny and I compared colors and sizes. Leaving the matter in her capable hands for the upcoming weeks (Mr. T. and Scott were both so interested and excited we hated to drag them away!) we all headed over to the patio of the Mission Inn for some lunch.

Oh! My! Spectacular weather! Spectacular gardens! Delicious food! Jenny, Mr. T, and I all enjoyed the lunch special-A taco plus either a chile relleno or enchilada, drink, and dessert. Of course I had the relleno! Mr. T. and I had the same thing and even picky old he agreed that it was SO good. The fresh pineapple and berries with vanilla ice cream for dessert was fabulous as well. He thoroughly enjoyed his mud pie.

A short stop at Dragon Marsh for some grains of paradise and herbes de provence preceded our short drive to Scott and Jenny’s. Once settled in we sat down to some good visiting and hanging out. Eventually our jet lag caught up and we had to call it a night though.

On Sunday we headed for the hills–mountains that is. We breakfasted at this quaint little place called Madeline’s Ocean View Restaurant which faced the post office in a mountain town called Crestline. Not an ocean view in sight but the breakfast was some tasty. Further exploration brought us to Lake Arrowhead. What fun–70 degrees, lake views, mountain vistas, and snow on the ground! We poked our heads into a shop or two and snapped some photos before heading back to Madfig Manse.

Scott and Mr. T. enjoyed some Katamari while I made some fresh squeezed lemonade from the lemon trees in the backyard and read. When Jenny returned from her horrible-rotten-no-good meeting we visited and then seeing no better cure began several rounds of Karaoke Revolution. What fun! Then we went to In N Out Burger for dinner. Mmmmm. Although they don’t carry my favorite condiment mayo the cheeseburger and fries were still excellent. A chocolate shake rounded out the sweet/savory/salty/tangy/hot/col

Monday brought us to the Wild Animal Park. This is the main breeding grounds for the San Diego Zoo. We went on a tram safari and saw loads of elephants, lions, wildebeasts, giraffes, birds (I didn’t see those!), little deer, and wild pigs. Mr. T. and I also rode the carousel. It was about 80 and beautiful!

After the Park we headed to Scott’s favorite restaurant SushiOta. Now, poor Mr. T. I don’t know if his great great Grandfather who was a pilot during WWI was shot down by the Japanese or if it is his stubborn mind but he didn’t enjoy the experience at all. But, he didn’t have any tempura so why would I expect any different? My not-raw sushi was great as was the tempura. After dinner Scott and Jenny drove us on to our hotel in San Diego.

WOW. I have never stayed at such a fine hotel! The walls appear to be covered with cream colored leather wallpaper, the decorative pillows are velvet, and the mosaic wall in the bathroom is gorgeous! I’ll try to post pictures later.

We went for a short walk which brought us to the Ghiradelli chocolate shop. We split a hot fudge brownie sundae. I think Mr. T. forgave me for taking him to sushi at that point. We are in the heart of the Gas Lamp district so lots of restaurants and hubbub around.

Today we went to the “world famous” San Diego Zoo. Hold on a second and I’ll get the low down. So Mr. T. what did you see at the Zoo today? We saw cages. And, um, buses. Oh and the skytram. Flamingoes. A meerkat. Pandas. The same hogs we saw the day before. Zebra parts. Tortoises. And reptiles. One unhappy elephant. No polar bears. No sun bears. No lions. No tigers. No giraffes.

After a fun bus ride back to the hotel we took a cab to the airport to pick up the rental car. We decided to head out to the ocean to watch the sunset. The only problem was we were 2 hours early! So we had a good look around. I squealed with delight and we headed to Little Italy for dinner.

Mmmm. Dinner was yummy! A little Italian place which had gotten good reviews (Buon Appettito) where we could sit outside. The bread was delicious and the tomato dipping stuff we will have to duplicate at home–canned tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil plus tasty fresh pastas. Mr. T. stuffed himself.

Tomorrow we head up the coast to Carlsbad…

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