Friday, August 14, 2015

Wednesday, August 12, through Friday, August 21, 2015: The San Diego Trip:


On Wednesday, I talked to Brian Mills, the fellow who's going to paint our house.  He allowed that he is finally back to work after the flooding at his home and office.  We decided, though, to postpone his starting until after we return from our trip to the northwest at the end of this month.  Thursday was my last visit with Dr. David, my radiologist, for several months.


He thought everything was healing nicely and that there were no surprises lurking in my lymph nodes.  I will see him again when we return to the area after the winter.  Since we were in Flagstaff, Becky had a facial while I was meeting Dr. David.  I also had a lot of time to read The Last Patriot, by Brad Thor, which I started a couple of days ago.  I finished it Thursday night.


We learned for the first time on Thursday that the buyers of the Sequoia house decided almost a week ago to bail out of the deal.  As rookie homebuyers, they were apparently spooked by the amount of work suggested by their inspection report.  Too bad.  They didn't even give us the option to take care of a lot of it at our cost.  I suspect their broker (or ours) may have been somewhat derelict in not trying very hard to keep the deal afloat.  Or maybe we're not getting the whole story.

Friday was the day we set aside to take the RV out of the "barn" and start moving stuff from the house to the rig to make it travel ready. 


All went well in taking the RV out, but the work then began in earnest.  The first thing Becky noticed was some duct tape hanging below the rig.  Naturally, the first order of business for me then became crawling under the rig and dealing with it. 


Then I had to re-set the hitch, a not-too-much-fun exercise.  But, we're making progress.
       
Besides the continuing project to move stuff to the rig, on Saturday I replaced batteries in the solar lights we have surrounding the water feature in our back yard.  Saturday night all of them worked for the first time since we moved in. 


Yea!  Becky watched The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel from the redbox.  I wasn't interested.  And Becky fell asleep several times; she finally finished it the next morning.

Sunday morning we went to White Horse Lake again.  It's really pretty. 


We mistakenly took the long way there since our GPS didn't recognize the more direct route.  Even so, it was a nice, scenic drive and the dogs enjoyed their hike around the lake.  We took the correct route back, saving lot of time.

We attacked the hummingbird feeder problem on Monday.  Simply stated, the birds were not taking advantage of the feeder.  We thought it might be located too close to the tree to which it was attached, so Becky bought a gizmo at the hardware store so we could place the feeder away from trees.  It worked!  Now, we need to monitor the feeder often to make sure it's not empty.


In mid-afternoon, I approached the two guys who were installing decorative rock at the house being built down the street to see if they wanted to help reset two tiles that had separated from the foundation at the front of our garage.  They agreed to take a look---and immediately followed me home and started the repair.  It took them almost an hour to do the job and they asked only for soda money as compensation.  I gave them $20.  They were happy; I was ecstatic. 


Tuesday was our last day at home for a while.  We dropped off  the dogs to the Cinder Hills Boarding Kennels for their four-day stay, then went back home for last minute packing and preparation for our trip to San Diego and our subsequent RV trip.  We decided to have dinner at Kicks on Route 66.  Yummy, as usual. 


For the first time, I did not have the Mandarin Beef Stir Fry; I had a wonderful piece of salmon, instead.  My taste buds are returning from the radiation damage, and it's fun to eat again.  The train was more than two hours late, arriving a little after 11:30 PM.  The ride was typical, no surprises, and we both slept pretty well.  We got off at Fullerton, rather than go all the way to Los Angeles, allowing us to take the next southbound train---saving us more than an hour.  This trick is suggested by Amtrak for anyone going on to San Diego.  It works.


After the 2 3/4 hour trip to San Diego, Becky walked the two blocks to the car rental place, then came back and picked up our luggage and me and we proceeded to the Holiday Inn-Bayside in Point Loma (near Shelter Island).  Our room was not ready, so we had lunch at the hotel's café, then stopped at a nearby Ralph's market to pick up some wine, cheese, salami, and crackers for dinner, to eat while we watch TV.  It's interesting, though not surprising, that we often spend our evenings away from home the same way we spend them at home.  Our hotel was right on the north bay, looking across toward Coronado Island.


After Becky had her usual walk Thursday morning, we had breakfast (free) at the hotel, then stopped by Judy Wenker's home in the Mission Hills section of San Diego.  She just moved there two months ago (from a condo under the flight path of Lindbergh Field).  It's a very cute Craftsman home, built in 1928.  She seems very comfortable there, and loves not having planes fly over all the time. 


And it was nice seeing her.  She often travels with us, but she abhors sea days when on a cruise so she will not be joining us this November for the Rome-Fort Lauderdale trip we are planning.

After visiting Judy, we drove up to Del Mar to the racetrack.  We'd never been there, and wanted to at least see it.  It's quite an establishment. 


We arrived more than two hours before the first race, and explored.  Thursday is a sort-of free day for seniors, and we took advantage of it.  We became "Diamond Club" members which allowed us to sit in a nice part of the grandstand without paying the usual surcharge, after getting into the park for free (after, though, paying $15.00 to park our car). 


We had to get a souvenir, of course, so I bought a shirt in the gift shop.  For "lunch" we had potato chips, which cost $3.00 a bag for what would cost 50 cents in a supermarket.  We watched only the first race, which cost us only $4.00 for the massive wagers we made.  My horse ended up 4th; Becky's is still running, I think.  We had an altogether wonderful time there.    

 
The purpose of this trip is to see the Buena Vista Social Club Thursday night at an outdoor venue not far from our hotel.  This trip was planned by Kathy Sage, a friend of Becky's from the Organization of Women Executives.  Involved in the adventure are Kathy, her husband, Peter Shapiro, who live in Rancho Santa Fe, and Richard and Honoria Petrie, who split their time between San Marino and Rancho Bernardo. 


We first met for dinner Thursday evening at the Bali Hai restaurant on Shelter Island---next door to the Humphrey's Half Moon Inn (& Suites).  Both places have a very strong Polynesian theme---right out of the '50s.  It was fun getting together with them, and the food was very good.  (I had Swordfish.)


The concert was everything I had expected. 


This group is wonderful, and the audience was very appreciative.  Apparently, this is the last time they will be touring.  They call it their "Adios Tour."  Maybe they will have several last tours, like Frank Sinatra.  I'd love to see them again. 


After we got back to tour hotel, we dropped into the hotel bar for a nightcap.  It was a nice end to a perfect day.

After breakfast in the hotel café (again!) we left for the San Diego train station a little early on Friday, planning to let Becky walk around town for a while to get her Fitbit cooking before we took the noon train up to LA. 


After she dropped off the car, we realized we could catch the earlier train---which we did with ten seconds to spare.  So we arrived at the LA Union Station with almost six hours to kill.   While Becky did some neighborhood walking,


I dove into "Cross" by James Patterson.  We killed a little time at the Traxx bar, and got on the train at 5:30 for a 6:15 departure.  Becky bought a huge sandwich at the station, which became our dinner.  We did not bother with the dining car this time.  I almost finished Cross by the time it got too late to continue reading. 


I probably would have slept very well but at Fullerton a couple with two tiny children sat down in front of us.  When the kids weren't screaming, their parents were chatting (loudly, to overcome the train noise and the fact that they were sitting on opposite sides with the kids and an aisle between them) all the way to Needles where they disembarked.   I finally got to sleep at that point.  The rest of the trip was uneventful.

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