December 15th, 2018


December 11th? My Last Post was Dec. 11?

Catching up, then. I could have sworn I posted every day from San Diego, but it seems I streamed instead, telling my audience the things I normally would have posted, and then crashing.

2nd day in SD started with buying band aids and neosporin at the hotel gift shop (the neosporin was way overpriced) because my left shoe had worn a hole in my instep, and it was very painful to walk on. Back in the room, applied that, and no more pain.

Hiked to the hop-on hop-off trolley stop, my one goal to spend some time on the ocean beach out on Coronado Island. It was a long walk from their Coronado stop back to the beach, Plan A was to walk past the Hotel Del and veg out on the sand, but it was overcast and chilly and generally not a beach day, so since it was lunchtime, I found the restaurant with outdoor seating, with a view of a sliver of the ocean past the unoccupied ice rink, and had an amazing seafood salad and an even more amazing chocolate dessert. The salad had shrimp, lobster, crab, a generous portion of bacon pieces, 1/4 of an avocado sliced, tomatoes and probably other things because something stuck between my teeth. The dessert was a tennis ball sized sphere with a dark chocolate shell, chocolate mousse inside, caramel mousse center on a crumbled Oreo crust. Hella expensive but worth it. Some eye candy passing by as well.

Lunch over, I did walk out onto the beach, snapped a few pictures of waves half-heartedly crashing against the rocks. It would have been better at not-low tide.

Back to the trolley stop by 4, and off at Little Italy. The plan was to hike up the block to this huge nail spa and get my nails done. Did the hike, but in this huge spa (12 pedicure stations) there were only two people working and they were booked for the day. Another 3 blocks to a smaller nail spa, they also only had two people working and were booked.

But all that walking brought me to dinner time, a place called the Mona Lisa, very large family-friendly place. The lasagna with sausage was good, would have been better with Italian sausage instead of Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage. The mud pie was superb. Real chocolate + coffee ice cream. <$25 for a great meal with excellent service.

San Diego final full day - Whale-less whale watching

Thursday started with some DayQuil tablets, Bonine and poking around online.

Walked the three blocks to the Flagship cruises dock and was told to come back at 12:30 to check in for the whale watching trip. There is a very nice park-like area with lots of places to sit, your choice of directions. Also a nearby clean public restroom. Some eye candy, but mostly people watching for those of us planning on writing the Great American Novel.

12:35, checked in , got a ticket, and told 1:15 Gate 1 for the trip.

1 pm sharp, the gate opened and they took my ticket. 1:15, boarded a very nice big boat with a huge upper deck excellent for a whale watching trip.

3 hours later, after a beautiful sunny day on the ocean, we finally saw some small dolphins, but there wasn't any sign of a whale. We were given a free pass to come back any time (it doesn't expire) to try again. Just my luck, yesterday they saw whales, with overcast weather but today great weather, no whales.

There were volunteers from the aquarium with whale bits to show us, and a naturalist on the top deck with lots of whale facts, but without whales it didn't quite work.

Somewhere during the day I lost my reading glasses, so after the trip and dropping my gear off at the hotel, I walked up the hill to the Rite Aid and got a pair, and then back to the hotel to try Claim Jumper again. This time the service was great, had the chicken pot pie, which was excellent. Too full for dessert, also the pot pie came with a fruit bowl.

Up to the room, packed everything except the morning ritual stuff, streamed for half an hour, set the alarm for 4 am and went to sleep at about 8 pm.

Coming Home Friday

Up at 3 am, 3:15, 3:45 and 4. Took meds, packed the rest of my stuff, checked out of the hotel and asked for directions to the train station. One of the drivers gave easy directions, but the security guy said he had a shortcut, and showed it to me. It started at a gate which was locked, so I had to walk halfway around the parking lot, then the pathway he pointed out was on the wrong side of the platform. The driver's directions would have been shorter and faster.

But I was way early - 4:45 for a 5:55 train.

Nothing much to say about the ride to LA except I almost forgot to get off because this train continues on to Santa Barbara. Normally I would have booked SJC-SB and SB-SD but I'd already booked the LA train when I thought I was going to the Grand Canyon.

Sometime during the trip, the on-boarding company for my new job called to tell me the consulting company canceled the job. No reason given, they had simply withdrawn the offer. Also during the ride, email from a Roku recruiter wanting to contact me MOnday about the same kind of job I interviewed for last month. And I also emailed the recruiter with the consulting company who had asked me ab out another position, but had to back off when she heard I was on-boarding for the other job. So there's hope.

Had an hour layover in LA, stayed on the platform, which was a mistake, it was chilly and noisy up there, but the ramp down to the station (and up again) was not something I wanted to do with  20-lb pack.

Trip back I had a west side view, lots of pretty ocean,  but filthy windows. Took lots of photos anyway.

Lunch was with two prep school students, a boy and a girl sitting across from each other, who spent the meal getting to know each other and ignoring me. The boy was overdressed and traveling business class, and was so full of himself it hurt. His folks were paying for him to go to a tiny Christian college to major in music, because he didn't want to compete with the talent at a bigger better school. He's sure to go far. NOT. The girl didn't talk about herself at all, she was too busy getting to know the boy.

Dinner was a different adventure. Two prep school students. boy and girl, traveling together, but they were already on dessert (FAIL for the wait staff) and next to me a woman about my age or older who was a for real musician (pianist) and also knew almost as much about desktop publishing as I do. She was on her way to Seattle to try to get her daughter to not do the role reversal thing which adult children often do to their elderly parental units. I expect her to succeed.

Just before Gilroy, we were running half an hour early, but Union Pacific messed with the signals and sidetracked us 3 times, so we arrived 5 minutes late into San Jose.

Timing was good from there on - light rail train arrived 5 minutes after I tagged in at the platform, and zipped along, skipping the two stops prior to mine.

The slog to the house was not easy, had to stop a couple of times to catch my breath.

Home, Spook was in the livingroom, until I let Spot out of his room. Spot raced around like mad, stir crazy. First order of business after I dumped my pack on the bed and took off my coat & hat was to put the food dispenser back together, reprogram it to non-diet mode, and set it up in the kitchen as a second food source. Also refilled the tank on his water fountain. And gave Spook, now in the cat tree, a handful of treats.

Took out another container of chopped liver to thaw. This time I'll divide it in half and put half back in the freezer. I can't eat a whole container's worth before it spoils.

Unpacked, put all the things away, and was streaming from 10:30-midnight. Spot has been yelling all night, racing around whenever I get up.

Full Day Home

So Spot has quieted down a bit, he spent most of the night in my bed, looking for places where I wouldn't roll over on him. I didn't hear any cat fights. He was kneading the mattress, so first thing I did when I got up was trim his nails. Major improvement.

Spook spent the day on the kitchen cat tree, sometimes on top, sometimes curled up in the hutch.

Stuff done:
2 loads of laundry washed & dried & put away (ironed all the Hawaiian shirts)
1 dishwasher load washed & put away
5 episodes of PTI and 4 episodes of Mysteries At The Museum watched
1800 or so photos separated into folders by day taken. All the ones from the train trips batch processed in Photoshop to fix contrast

Facebooked a little.

Banana for breakfast
Chopped liver and onion on rye sandwiches for lunch, mochi & peanut M&Ms for dessert
DiGiorno personal sized stuffed pizza baked for dinner, root beer float with mint chip ice cream for dessert
egg nog

Streaming now, but nobody is online, so here I am writing.

Online, looked again at the Chevy Bolt, was reminded it has no nav system
Took another look at the $$ for the Nissan Leaf
Transferred $$ from brokerage to bank for the downpayment. Made sure I have enough on the credit card
(will charge it, get the points, and pay the card from checking)

Plans for tomorrow:
Get the photos onto Flickr - need to crop some of them first to lose the train window edges
Watch Doctor Who final season episode
Also on tivo: Below Deck, Nova and Shark Tank
Watch some football (49ers host Seahawks!)
Coffee w/Janice at 5
Search for a local-er nails place for Monday. Yelp is my friend, usually