Ok...I think I've finally made it to the last entry in the California Vacation Saga. So I'll have to come up with something else to write about after this. Shouldn't be too hard. I know. I could right about how darned HOT it is here! My God! It hit 109 yesterday. ONE HUNDRED AND NINE DEGREES!!!!!! Record high for that day. Sheesh. We got in our van to go somewhere and the little temerature thingy that came in this van said 115! We didn't know it would go that high. Today was a Red Ozone Day. I don't think I've ever seen a "Red" Ozone day before. There have been plenty of "Orange" ones before. Ozone, schmozone. Who made all that up, anyway. It's just hot.
Oops. I'm supposed to be writing about the vacation. Ahem. Sorry.
This would be...um..lessee...Friday, July 25 (I'll include Saturday, since all we did was come home). Friday, we got up and went down the street to the Jack in the Box for breakfast. Funny, how with the $69.00 room, you get free breakfast (not to mention the free "happy hour" between 5 and 7 pm each night), but with the $300.00 room you don't get JACK!! Well, you get a pretty good view of the Pacific Ocean, but, we're talking free breakfast here, people! Anyway, we drove to the Clown's place for breakfast. After that, we went to "downtown" La Jolla (I told you how to say that yesterday...don't say it how it looks, they will laugh at you) and shopped for a while. La Jolla has an extremely charming shopping district. Many, many, many stores. Good luck finding a parking spot. The parking is free, but timed. So you can park free for one hour, or maybe two, depending on which are you find a spot in. We found a one hour spot and set out. We found a really nice little t-shirt and gift shop, where we bought several things. They had these neat little hand-painted surfboards that had been made into refrigerator magnets. Each one was different. Since we (I) collect refrigerator magnets from vacation spots, we bought one of those. I really can't remember what else we got there, but I also got a nice iron-on shirt with a beautiful print on the back with the caption "Tropical Paradise." That's what La Jolla seems like, folks. It is a beautiful place. After we left there, we roamed a little more, found an information booth that gave us...TADA!!! Information! Yes, indeed! Actually, there was a really nice lady who showed us on a map how to get to the nice beaches at La Jolla Cove. Oh, yeah. I also bought a new swim suit at the t-shirt shop. We ran back to a "Mrs. Fields" cookie store (yum) and got some....TADA!!! Cookies! Hee. Boy, they were good. Ever had an Mrs. Fields cookies? I recommend that you stop whatever you are doing right this minute and go find one and devour it immediately. You will thank me later. Go on...I'll wait.
Good. How was it? Anyway....We left downtown (mostly because our hour of parking was up) and went in search of the beach at La Jolla Cove. We found a nice stretch with some TWO hour free parking, so we parked. I needed a place to change into my suit. Lucky for me (I think) there was a porta-potty beside the sidewalk. It was probably for the guys working on the road, but I used it anyway. Ever change into a swimsuit in a porta-potty?? Heheh....unlike the cookies, I don't recommend this! Well, anyway, we climbed down (because that's pretty much how you get there) to the beach. Let me tell you...the beaches there are incredible. They are small, but they are surrounded by these giant rocks that have been hewn out by the water over the years. So there are these really large, rounded out places where you can lay your towels and stuff, plus these rocks have multiple layers, so you can climb all over them, sit on them, fall off of them (we didn't do that, though), or whatever. There were also regular ocean-type rocks out there, too, for the waves to crash against. I walked across some of them and found all kinds of little sea-life attached to them...live mussels, and many half-shells that you couldn't pry off of the rock with a knife. These guys have some real gripping power. There were also some little fossils in the rocks...looked like trilobites or something like that. I took some pictures. Eventually, I'll get them all on line to look at.
As we played around on this beach, suddenly someone cried out. We looked out in the water and there, poking their heads up looking at us, were a couple of sea lions, probably no more than 20 yards away from us. They swam around and looked at us for a while. I'm thinking they might have wanted to come in and lay on the beach. But I guess we were in their way. It was pretty amazing, though. After a while, we packed up and drove back to our hotel. We parked, went up to our room, changed back into some regular clothes (or did we? I don't remember), and set out to do a little more shopping in the area. We had not, as of yet, gotten a souvenir for my mother. She specifically asked for something from San Diego. Well, La Jolla was as close to SD as we were going to get. Oh, yeah...hahaha...I almost forgot...our arrival in the San Diego area corresponded with the Annual San Diego Gay and Lesbian March, Parade, and Festival. Oh, boy. (First off, what's the difference between a "march" and a "parade?" Isn't that kind of redundant? That's the main reason we never made it to the San Diego Zoo (besides the fact that we got there too late on Thursday, due to our little side trip to "Sunnydale" High School)...most of the activities for the festival were taking place in Balboa Park, which is where the Zoo is. Ok...back to the shopping. We got Rachel a "Famous" shirt at Pacific Eyes and Tees, then found a gift shop (a really big one) where we got some sand dollars and coffee cups and other various little gifts for our parents and such. After that, we went to this restaurant that the "concierge" (fancy name for "information booth") recommended to us Thursday night. We should have listened Thursday night. Then we might have eaten there twice, because, let me tell you, they had the best seafood chowder I have EV-ER tasted! *smack* Yowzer! We also wouldn't have spend 'leventy kabillion simolians at the hotel restaurant for that really weird food. The place was called "Nick's At the Beach." It was a very non-pretentious little place with regular old style booths and tables, almost like an old timey family restaurant. The food was great. Did I mention the chowder? Yum. That was pretty much it. We went back to the hotel room and watched another beautiful sunset over the Pacific Ocean with not a little sadness in our hearts, as this pretty much marked the end of our California Vacation. Marred only by Stephanie's sickness (and the absence of Rachel...that was just wrong...I don't think we will ever do that again), it was a pretty good week. We didn't do everything that we planned, but we did a lot.
We got up on Saturday morning and hit the road back to Long Beach. We ate at the local IHOP, where we had a waiter named Ricky, who was an avid participant in the aforementioned events of the weekend. *hint, hint, nudge, nudge, say no more, know what I mean?* They guy was a riot. He was a lot of fun, and made our last meal in California very memorable. We made it to Long Beach Airport right about 1200pm (our flight was scheduled at 215pm) and gave up the keys to the Mustang Convertible *sob*. Then we checked in our luggage. Let me tell you, I LIKE this airport. It's very small, and doing things there is way easier than in places like DFW or Chicago. They did make me take my shoes off, but I didn't mind much. There were only about two other American Airlines flights going out that day, so it wasn't crowded at all. It filled up closer to 2, but it still wasn't bad. Just like when we landed, we filed out the door onto the tarmac and walked up a flight of stairs into the plane. As I entered the plane, I turned around for one last look and kind of waved goodbye. I turned around and the pilot was standing there, and he said, "They waved back." Now, how cool was that?? What a nice person! The flight back was good, and we arrived right on time. Heheh...before takeoff, the pilot informed us that the temperature in DFW was 96 degrees. There was a might groan from all points in the plane... Rachel, Grandmother, and Don were there to meet us and take us back to our house. Don had cooked a nice dinner to welcome us back. Good times. Can't wait to go back to sunny California (only it was more cloudy than sunny).