Last Thursday I took a half-day off work so I could fly to California a bit earlier. As it should be expected, a child sat behind me and my seat was occasionally kicked. My nose was quite uncooperative as well so the flight was a tad unpleasant. I did make it without too many problems though. Part way through the flight I looked out the window and saw another plane pass us. It was so interesting because it passed us so quickly that I realized how fast we must be going.
Elisabeth, and her mother, Becky, picked me up at the San Diego airport. First thing I noticed were the palm trees. Perhaps because I associate them with tropical, exotic locations, I am always surprised and awed to see them in the mainland U.S.
We headed to dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant where we met up with Elisabeth’s friend Ariane and her husband, Joseph. The two of them had a steampunk-themed wedding so I liked them immediately. I did not really like the food, however. I got rice vermicelli with egg rolls. And while the egg rolls were quite delicious and the best part of the meal, the noodles were dry and did not have any sauce. As I told Becky and Elisabeth later, “I now know why I never got Vietnamese food after the first time I tried it.”
After dinner, we went to Joseph and Ariane’s house that they bought earlier this year. It is such a beautiful home, it of course made me want to have my own some day. They have two huge cats named Fred and George, after the Weasley brothers in Harry Potter. I thought that was so cute. The cats were absolutely gorgeous and fairly friendly. I was nice to love on a pet for a bit.
We went to the hotel after that and quickly went to sleep.
Friday morning we took a tour of San Diego bay. That was so much fun and so interesting. San Diego holds many military vessels in its harbor because there are naval bases nearby. These things are GIGANTIC. There is one ship, called The Reagan, that is as long as the Empire State building is tall. There are 6500 crew on that ship. It has its own police, firemen, and post office. In fact, it even has its own zip-code!
Along with military cruisers and warships and nice views we also saw some sea lions! What is it about animals that excites us so? Everyone on-board enjoyed seeing them.
After the cruise we headed to the first mission built in California. It’s called the Mission San Diego de Alcala. It is such a beautiful mission with a gorgeous vegetation. There were pomegranate trees on the property. I had never seen a pomegranate tree before so I found that very interesting. I so badly wanted to pick one but thankfully thought better of it. There were so many flowers and plants around the mission that it was so lovely to walk around. We only walked along the perimeter of the mission because it cost money to go inside.
The mission was our first stop along our way to Anaheim, where Disneyland is. We also stopped at a Marine Base because Becky has a military ID. I had never been on a military base before so I was super excited. It’s its own town! Seriously, they have stores, restaurants, hospitals! It’s so amazing and so interesting. We got to see where Becky and her husband used to live before Elisabeth was born. We stopped at a tax free Marine store where I got some tissues and allergy medicine to help with my nose issues. We also made a quick pitstop to the Dunkin Donuts next door because none of us has one near us. Oh man that doughnut was rich.
For lunch we ate at In-N-Out, a classic for California. Their burgers are good, but I really like their french fries. We also stopped by a flip flop store called Rainbow Sandals. And we took a moment to walk around the beach. Oh I love the ocean. I need to visit it again some time when I can actually swim and play in it.
Eventually we made our way to our hotel for the next three nights. We had dinner at Soup Plantation (aka Sweet Tomatoes). It was so nice to have some veggies and hot soup. After dinner we spent a bit of time in Downtown Disney but we were all so tired that we headed back around 10:30 because the next day we were going to Disneyland!