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21 February 2018 @ 12:36 pm
My post o' doom never happened last week, so I'll have to follow up separately with updates on books, movies, TV, etc.

THIS post is about our visit to Southern California to see the kids. :)

We drove down to L.A. late Friday afternoon, after I pre-worked 7 hours between Thursday night and Friday (don't ask—this is what happens every time I leave town for vacation now). Bad time to use Highway 99! We hit the rush hour of every town between Sacramento and the other side of Fresno, so it was slow and frustrating. Also, I really need Google to tell me what the various smells along 99 are. Lots of what seemed like cattle stink (including IN some of the larger cities), and a brief encounter with... fertilizer? Other chemicals? By the bathroom stop halfway up the grapevine, I wasn't even surprised anymore: Beets? Moldy earth? Eh, whatever...

Friday night's hotel in Sherman Oaks was terrible. The non-smoking room reeked of cigarettes, the drapes didn't fully cover the window, and the heater was broken. So, it was a cold, wakeful night. Our visit with The Boy at UCLA went well, though. We spent a lot of it dealing with his dying phone, and whether it was insured (apparently not, which makes no sense, but whatever). $320 to fix the screen and its connection. You know what doesn't mix? Teenaged boys and smart phones! This is the second time one of his friends has knocked our son's phone out of his hands and damaged it. The previous phone survived, but the display was borked on this one. Gah.

We also had time for brunch, a campus tour, meeting a couple of our son's friends (the ones still in town), and calzones at Enzo's (which were fantastic). We'd hoped to see Black Panther, but the phone issue ate up the time. It also superseded my vague thoughts of visiting the La Brea tarpits, since I have never been there. DINOSAURS! But, no. The Boy looked good, though, and is happy.

We drove down to Oceanside after dinner, and then to La Jolla on Sunday to see our daughter. Being the planner she is, she had quite a lot of things she wanted to do.

First brunch, which was worth the long wait. Our waiter looked like a black-haired Justin Bateman. Then a tour of the UC San Diego campus by golf cart (for time constraints and HalfshellHusband's walking limitations). You need actual muscles to steer a golf cart, so it almost got the better of our daughter, but she prevailed. We drove in an actual car to San Diego to visit the Point Loma lighthouse and see the views. spectacular! Also some whales off in the distance, where you could just make out the occasional water spout. Balboa Park was next. There's a whole little village dedicated to artists' studios, with stuff for sale. We didn't go to the zoo (which I would love to do someday), but walked through other parts of the park and saw neat buildings and street-fair entertainment. After that, a long wait for dinner at Puesto (fantastic and interesting tacos), and then back on the road so our daughter could study the rest of the night.

We'd intended to stay in Encinitas that night (we didn't expect to leave La Jolla before nine), but the hotel apparently tried to charge our credit card a couple of times earlier in the day, got a refusal, and released our reservation. They were happy to re-book us for a $20 price increase, but we decided to try driving across L.A. and the grapevine and staying north of there. After a night in Bakersfield, we made it home at 2:00 on Monday. Enough time for a bike ride! After a seemingly endless amount of petting the cat, who was very happy to see us...

A very good if tiring trip, though HalfshellHusband still doesn't begin to know the hell of driving to or from San Diego in a single day. May he never have to!

bleodsweanbleodswean on February 21st, 2018 08:58 pm (UTC)
Sounds like an adventure, K! So glad you two were able to see the kids and spend some time in new places. I would love to see the Tar Pits, too!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 22nd, 2018 06:39 am (UTC)
It was fun, and SO nice to see the kids. The house is so weirdly empty without them.

Looks like HSH wants to see the Tar Pits too, so it may happen someday for us. :D
SeaGaljocosa on February 21st, 2018 09:17 pm (UTC)
As a San Diego type person I'm always excited to read other peoples takes on our city. :) And my curiosity needs to know where you had brunch! We live on the Point Loma/Ocean Beach border and love going up to Cabrillo. On a clear day the views are amazing,and the cliffs and tide pools down below are always fun to wander around.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 22nd, 2018 06:51 am (UTC)
It's a very nice city. Our daughter is even thinking of living there after graduation.

We went to the Shorehouse Kitchen for brunch, where the wait was about 45 minutes. Definitely worth it. Now, if some of the patrons there would leave their dogs at home, there would be a little less mayhem...

I do love poking around in tidepools, though my husband can't really do that anymore, and I think the timing was off. Still, there's always the possibility of doing it on another trip!

Edited at 2018-02-22 07:05 am (UTC)
adoptedwriteradoptedwriter on February 22nd, 2018 12:14 am (UTC)
What a great trip but long and tiring. We drove Hwy 1 back in 1987 from San Fran to Long Beach. Stopped to see the Hearst Castle.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 22nd, 2018 07:10 am (UTC)
I've seen a lot of Highway 1 in Oregon, but less so in California. I've seen the area around Eureka, and Fort Bragg/Mendocino, and of course around San Francisco and Santa Cruz. But the whole Big Sur to Santa Barbara area is something I'd love to see. Someday? I hope so.
cindytsuki_no_bara on February 23rd, 2018 03:41 am (UTC)
millions of years ago (like, i was still in college) one of my cousins got married in la, and my parents and i turned the wedding weekend into a week that included driving up the coast to san francisco (where i have another cousin). we stayed in santa barbara (such a cute place!) and pismo beach and i can't remember where else. the coast up there is really gorgeous. you should totally see it. i mean, you're already in the state! we had to cross the country.

your trip to socal sounds kind of exhausting! but good to see the kids.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 23rd, 2018 07:01 am (UTC)
I really would like to see that part of the coast. We've lost a lot of potential travel time with HSH's various injuries and recuperations.

The trip was tiring, but not mainly because of the the packed schedule (our daughter lives for that kind of thing). It was the driving-- hours and hours of it! About 6 1/2 hours Friday night, 3 hours total on Saturday, 5 1/2 on Sunday, 4 on Monday. Argh. I hate being in the car any longer than about 3 hours!

Edited at 2018-02-23 07:02 am (UTC)
Murielle: Haircut 17-09-14murielle on February 23rd, 2018 09:53 pm (UTC)
Love going on vacation, which for me is the Feast, but oh the hassles and the inconveniences!

Glad you had a good time with your kids, though. That should just about make up for it all. :-)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 25th, 2018 07:56 am (UTC)
It was tiring (mainly, the driving and the trouble sleeping in the various motel rooms).

But seeing the kids was great. It's so hard not having them at home.