Wednesday, April 21, 2010

San Diego: adventure after all

(Oops, this never posted last night.)

Stayed up way too late last night, trying to get my iPod to sync. I don't know if I actually ever did fall asleep for the hour that I was in bed with my eyes closed. John took us to SEA-TAC at five am, and after the last hugs were given and goodbyes said, we burst in through the doors, squealing, "We're really going!" and laughing hysterically. The other, silent, passengers didn't seem to appreciate the jubilee.

When we git to sunny, balmy San Diego, I left my not-very-collapsible trekking pole (my high end gear includes mismatched ski poles I claimed from the front porch when all the skiers moved out) in the plane's coat closet, but a gate agent rescued it for me when I realized my mistake.

Everything went really smoothly during the day: we checked into our hotel early, and our room was ready so they let us go up immediately, and we napped for four hours. The really friendly receptionist (she's named Nao... awkward to say in English) gave us directions on how to take a trolley and bus past Whole Foods to the good, AFFORDABLE grocery store. It took us hours, but we planned and bought everything we'll be eating for the next two weeks. It was really intimidating looking at the heavy piles of granola and trail mix, but we kept reassuring ourselves, "We only have to carry a third of this at a time." How does a bag of bulk food go from, "No, this can't possibly be enough!" to, "This is definitely way too much" with the addition of a mere 3 peanuts? We were very proud of ourselves, we practiced thrifty shopping techniques, did not buy the Nutella, fig newtons, or fancy candied nuts we were drooling over, and the grand total came in a good $50 under expected.

There was one memorable ladies-man named Armando working the produce section who was calling women over right and left to sample whatever fruit he was working with. We were given both juicy papaya, and crisp, fresh pear. I'm getting excited about this whole California thing. Alaska, I am ready to take a break, you just don't satisfy like California does.

After some unsuccessful, heavily laden shopping for an XD card for my camera and ziplocs to repackage everything into, we barely caught a bus back to the trolley station, driven by a man who didn't want to take our money.

We found the platform to catch a trolley back to downtown, but when we didn't find reassurance, and another trolley pulled up at the platform we started on, coming from the direction opposite of where we wanted to go, we hurriedly asked some woman if the train was going downtown. Unfortunately, she said yes.

So we boarded the empty trolley with a few others, moved to different car when asked, and got caught up in conversation with a slightly touched, lower IQ man coming back from a day on the coast with all his fishing equipment. He seemed harmless enough as long as we were talking about fishing or perch, but he kept mentioning an incident in which a gang cut him up real bad and left him for dead, and I really didn't want to talk about violence or weapons at all. It was only when he started tracing invisible scars on his face that I considered the story might not have been real, but Carmen had seen through it the entire time. Right around then is when the trolley FINALLY started rolling: in the direction opposite of where we wanted to go.

Suddenly, all the obvious signs became clear to us: "Green Line" on the display, the map showing Old Town as the turn-around for both Blue and Green, etc. We tried to get off at the next stop, but one of us pressed the "exit" button for the wrong side of the train while the other pressed the button too early and it never slid. We did eventually get off, take the green line back to the blue line back downtown, and we got back at 9:30 tired, hungry, and cranky. Now the mini-fridge is bursting at it's seams.

- Typoed on my iPhone

Location:Columbia St,San Diego,United States

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