Tag Archives: San Diego

I’m sorry for the lull in blogging, and the long delay in recounting the highlights of our Philly trip. I promise to get back to all of that tomorrow. Today, though, I wanted to tell you about something that happened during our weekend jaunt to California. Because I think the full force of it hasn’t hit me yet (pun not intended). 

A member of hotel staff tries to figure out what the hell happened outside of our room.


I often have odd reactions to things, both emotionally and physically. To me, they make sense, of course. But anyone else would think I was a bit strange.

I have slow reflexes, and my flight or fight response is clearly broken. I once saw a car careening towards my friend Lauren, and my response was to rush over to her, put my arms around her and … stand perfectly still. So, you know, she wouldn’t be alone when the car hit her. That was my way of protecting her, I guess. (Spoiler: we were fine.)


Yesterday, I visited my mother at her home 20 minutes south of Seattle. As I left, I noticed a few tiny snowflakes begin to fall. It was unexpected – it’s late in the year for snow, and the forecast had predicted the temperatures would be warming up, so I had on only a thin jacket. Before I got on the freeway, I had to stop for gas. I stood next to the pump in freezing temperatures for seemingly forever, while my tank filled up. For the rest of the ride home, I blasted the heat on, in hopes that it would warm me up.

That was over 24 hours ago, and I still have the chills. So in an effort to banish what lingers of this miserable winter, here are ten photos from our trip down to Los Angeles and San Diego from a few weeks back. May they keep you warm. I’m off to get some tea. And by tea, I mean “whiskey that’s been microwaved.”

  1. Organized birds, Los Flores Viewpoint on the Camino Real (near San Diego, CA).

    They stand in line better than most Italians.


  2. I order wisely. Enormous lobster, San Diego.

    Pinchy would have wanted it this way.

    - (more…)

The backspace key is now removable.


I’d like to take a few moments to remember, with extreme fondness, Rand’s dear departed laptop.

It traveled with us across the globe. It never made weird sounds, it was quick to start up, and had a battery life that was unusually long. It was lightweight and kept my lap warm on cold winter nights when I sat on the couch browsing the internet.

It was a good laptop, and it left us too soon.

It met its end last Friday, at the hands of a TSA agent in San Diego airport. They were sending everyone through the back-scatter machines, and Rand and I opted out, as we usually do. TSA kept us waiting longer than usual for our pat-downs. A line formed behind us of other opt-outs, but they soon decided to simply go through the back-scatter machines – a TSA tactic that I’m familiar with. Inconvenience anyone who expresses dissent to the point that they’ll fall back into line. It worked with basically everyone except Rand and me.


The nice thing about the amount that Rand and I travel is that it’s made me less fussy about things.

No, really. It has.

What? Why are you laughing?

I’m serious. I’m far less picky and difficult about things.


Okay, okay, fine – I’m still difficult about some things. Certain members of my family think I’m an over-privileged brat because a few weeks back, the following expression escaped my lips:

“There is absolutely no way I’m flying cross-country on a red-eye in coach.”

Seriously, who said that? It’s like I was temporarily possessed by someone who was raised in an upper-middle class family. But those weird instances aside, I try to keep my travel expectations within reason.

Take hotel rooms, for instance.


Our trip to San Diego last over the holidays was marred with some heinous weather. It rained, for 7 straight days.

In Seattle, this is known simply as “a week.”

But in San Diego, land of sunshine and mirth, it was a sign of the end of days. People were acting weird. Like, vacant-eyed, moody, maybe-I-should-take-up-the-guitar-because-I’m-stuck-inside weird. Being from the Pacific Northwest, this phenomenon was not unfamiliar to us.

Rand and I watched them as though they were hamsters in a cage. We’d occasionally tap on the glass, to see what they’d do. Mostly, they complained/marveled at the weather, acted confused, and then got into fender benders because they can’t drive in any sort of precipitation. (Insert another zinger here noting that this is how we Seattlites react to snow).

While we are no strangers to wet winter weather, we were bummed by San Diego’s downpour.  Rand and I hoped that we’d get to enjoy the sun, and some long, lazy days spent outside, drinking margaritas and laughing at people who consider 65-degree weather “chilly”. Instead, we were soaked. And miserable. Probably more so than had we stayed at home. Because Seattle is supposed to be rainy and rotten in December. San Diego is not.


I am sick.

Like, wrapped up in a promotional Snuggie given to me after one of my husband’s speaking gigs sick. Like, contemplating which TV show to watch that won’t include too much conflict or plot development, because my NyQuil-addled brain won’t be able to follow it sick. I need to go back to bed. But I don’t want to start off the year by slacking, so, since the epiphany is still two days away, I figure I can still write about the holidays, right? At least until Thursday?

So, in honor of squeezing every last bit of life out of Christmas, here are ten pictures from our San Diego holiday trip. Enjoy.

  1. Ocean Beach holiday decor, Newport Ave.
  2. “MY GOD, you have soft hands.”

    "I work in tech." - Rand


  3. (more…)

I have much to tell you.

There are still trips from 2010 that I have yet to blog about. And photos of things that you absolutely must see. There are Dick Moves!, and museum exhibits, and taco stands that deserve mention. Also, Stevie Wonder and former President Clinton might have made cameos. All in all? It was an amazing year, and I’m not through talking about it.

But since the holidays are freshly over, and I’m still recovering from them, I’d like to take a few minutes to tell you about spending Christmas with my family.

Explaining the extent of my family’s insanity to someone with a semi-functional home life is a daunting task. It’s like trying to describe a sunset to a blind man, or the merits of articulation to Nick Nolte – they may understand what you mean in theory, but that’s about it. Unless you are actually in the foxhole, on the frontlines of the crazy, you won’t get it.

You won’t understand, for example, why my mother thought it was a good idea to give both my brother and I copies of Twilight: Eclipse, The Movie Board Game, despite the fact that neither of us have ever expressed any interest in the films or books at any point in time (though, I suspect, my brother probably auditioned for one of the roles).

Of course, we didn’t exactly understand, either. And when we asked her to explain herself, she said, in between fits of hysterical laughter, that it’s like when you work for a company and everyone receives the same Christmas gift.

This woman was responsible for my upbringing.



I love my family. And I’m fairly convinced that at least some of them love me. Nevertheless, it seems that several of them are trying to kill me, or, at the very least, trying to ensure that I will get so hopelessly lost that I will never, ever be able to find my way home.

During my last trip down to San Diego, I decided to head down to the Arabic grocery store located not terribly far from my Auntie P.’s house. I had been there once before, and I had found it magical. Sugared nuts, dozens of different types of feta, a variety of pistachio- and walnut-studded cookies and pastries – it was incredible. The only thing the place lacks, for obvious reasons, is a hearty selection of pork. Oh, and the staff seems to hate everyone. But other than that? It’s a delightful place.

My aunt had accompanied me last time I went. She goes there fairly often (at least a few times a month), but despite this, she got us both terribly lost when trying to get there.

“I thought you go here all the time,” I said.

“I do.” she replied. She nevertheless had no idea where it was.