San Diego Vacation

So Im sitting out on the patio at Shades Bistro, one of my favorite beach restaraunts in the San Diego area (pictured in the middle above) and I'm on vacation. I've done alot of travelling to tons of places this year but have not been on a vacation for me in forever. (most people reading this probably know the feeling) I decided it was something I had to do for myself. You know when your supervisor at work suggests using vacation time its time to go. On top of that Im blessed with a job where more vacation days actually acru each pay period. So I drove out of Flag and arrived in San Diego late Wednesday night. If you know me , you'll know I love the beach so my grand idea was to actually camp out at the beach and catch a cool sunrise (and yes I know the sun comes up in the east) Whatever the case Ive always wanted to do that so I ended up in the Mission Bay area and camped out checking out the surroundings when I woke up every hour or so. 5 am came, 6 am..... a little light, no sun. 7, 7:30 by now I'm thinking maybe Im just havingin a weird dream and try rewaking myself. No luck. No sun. its just gloomy. The weird weather previously coming through SoCal has obviously continued and its just another overcast day at the beach. So no worries. Im on vacation afterall. The fun is just beginning ya know?

If you know me you'll also know Im on this health kick this year since Ive crossed over into "middle age" so when I arose from my slumber in the "land of the missing sun", I went for a 3 mile walk around the bay area. Yes excersize on vacation. The pudge doesnt stop a shakin just because your on vacation. The first part of this walk was spent really trying to wake out of my stupor while imagining a giant nice hot cup of coffee. It was an adventure as the view of the bay and ocean was amazing not to mention that I seemed to be the only young male out there. I passed and got stuck behind my share of mothers with strollers, older couples, a lady with a walker, random dogs that kept appearingand eager bikers speeding by. And then again, theres me, the guy stumbling along with a dazed look in his eyes only wanting the sun to come out. Quite a different experience from the treadmill but it was good to be out. I'm on and adventure because I am on vacation. (Later I went to the beach at Point Loma just across from this restarant, set up camp and drifted off into a coma listening to the waves. Got a sweet nap in but was awakened by an angry seagull a few feet away when I sat up, who appeared to be screamin at the surfers. And now I have a new deep appreciation for the sound the alarm on my phone.)

No Im not just in San Diego chillin by myself. Im here to visit an old college buddy. Dale is a one of a kind and we have had our share of crazy and bizzare stories over the years in places from coast to coast... literally. He lives here and I visit often as I can to relax and make new bizzare memories to share with anyone who's interested enough to listen and be amazed. After my day and after he got off work we caught up back at his place. I had arrived a half a day earlier than I originally told him so I shared my unique story of the overnite stay at the beach, the sun that never came up and my beach induced coma and he told me about the overcast, cold and abonormal weather they had been having. I informed him I was aware of that and asked if he had any other things we could talk about.

Evidently, I found out not just me, but both of us are on health kicks and counting calories and as we decided on a new place to eat and I somehow agreed to join him in walking there (as a way to actually burn off the amount of calories we were about to comsume) We left, we talked we walked through beautiful wooded areas, along businesses, by the highway on a trail and around a large parking lot which ended up being the Qualcomm Stadium. Better known as the San Diego Chargers Football field. As we were caught up in conversation and walking we suddenly realized the lot is literally fenced in. There is no way out. We were actually trapped in this massive lot and standing almost in the middle with no view of an exit. We made our way to where we were hoping to get out where we were greeted by 3 security guards who then questioned us on how we had actually gotten in. I pointed to the small opening in the fence way off in the distancewhere the trail had led us through and said just over there in that corner, uh..... (the opening nowhere in sight) and then just replied "Im with him" pointing at Dale. Dale then explained what happened. We apologized and then recognized why they were all concerned. After all its just a parking lot.... but just in front of us were dozens and dozens of cannisters (glancing at them possibly over a hundred) of explosives for a firework show that were being set up. Cannisters about three feet high and a foot thick full of of fireworks. The lady said ok this is what we'll have you do. (after recognizing we were just a couple of goofballs on a walk that got lost, given away by the dumb looks on our faces and water bottles in our hands). You see the guard on the other side of the gate? Come on through here and walk to him, tell him you're trying to get out of the lot and he'll show you how to get around. We agreed. Pointed out the opening we came through that she was worried about and passed through the cannisters through the gate to venture out. ( To me it was a bit odd and maybe more security breaching that we were literally asked to come through the cannisters while getting out rather than the fact that we had been walking through this supposedly secured area in the first place. At this point however I was only interested in getting the heck out of this maze and finally make it to dinner. We walked past the other security guard who after getting off his walkie, laughed, looked at us and said "busted" and pointed where to get out.

The walk continued..... and then some. What he had originally said was about two miles.... It was about 5. He clocked it on his phone. The steps taken, the calories burned the amount of time. We got to the place "Smash Burger" I had a plate of greasy fries and a barbequed chicken sandwich.

Arrived in San Diego, total of 8 miles walked, experienced a very cloudy morning on the beach, traumatized by a mad seagull, ate barbeque chicken and ended the day with soaking in a hot tub.

Day complete.

the great thing is........I loved every minute of it .

I'm on vacation.

Day 2 (Friday)
Today I slept in. Good stuff right there. Then went to Shades which is where this whole blog writing began.  Got to take a stroll down the strip off the beach there and crash some of the stores and shops, take alot of pics along the cliffs in Point Loma and walk the pier over the ocean. The pier there is the longest one on the western sea board. Great view and experience but still gloomy out. ITs also a great place to watch the surfers since I am presently not one myself. So I learn by watching and then imagine in my mind myself out there riding the waves. Some day this daydream will come true. I dont get here enough to try it and its really hard to practice in Flagstaff.

Im always amazed when I come here at all the intriging people you can find hanging out near the beach. Its like a big USA Network party, Characters welcome.(very similar to Flagstaff but here no little aliens , Martians that is). While on my walk and exploration of the coast I was entertained by everyone I ran into, tourists, hippies, homeless people,a few who seemed competely stoned, buff, tanned and then me. It just wouldnt be the same without the variety of characters and adds to the as I soaked up some ocean air and check out some new places here on the coast. 

Caught Dale again about 5 and he insisted on showing me his mini grass farm. Yes grass. Green grass. Legal. Just grass. Grown for the sake of a juice he enjoys making that is good for your health. Supposedly the best juice in the world for the human body. Thats the claim anyway. He walked me through the process on his deck and as I was watching out of the blue a humming bird came down and flew fluttering its tiny wings and hung there about two feet in front of my face. I stood there staring at him and he just stared at me. My first thought was it was radio controlled as this isnt something that has normally happened to me before. Kind of glanced around and quietly mentioned to Dale to check this out. He brought to my attention that I was just standing in front of his feeder. Im a dork. I slowly backed up and he came in. Im still amazed at hummingbirds and watched him flutter and drink while Dale continued farming the grass. Legal grass. I think he just still has a lot of Indiana left in him and needs a hobby.

We finished off the night with dinner and a movie. HIt up a new place called Pei Wei. Yes, Chinese. Awesome place where I was introduced to digital soda dispensors. 100 drink combinations with the push of a large touch screen menu. Im very much out of the high tech loop. Just stood there and pushed buttons and read the combinations. Caused a traffic jam in the line. Pretty amazed I guess. I felt like a little kid. Dale came to get me and pull me slowly away from the machine. I refilled my glass several times. Im now looking for an app for it on my phone. That would be really sweet.

Day 3 (Saturday)
Just when I thought the excersize was over we started off Saturday by heading to the gymn. We attempted to do a Yoga class Dale is a part of but came in late so we just did the cardiovascular rounds. I havent been in a gymn for years. I do all my excersize at home. However I did my rounds and felt it working, walked across the street for a brunch at a bakery and then came back to do my 3 miles on the treadmill. Again the fat doesnt just stop just because you're on vacation. Neither does the eating. I've been to a new place each day and feel I've grown a few pounds even tho Ive been working out non stop since I got into town.

After the gymn we cleaned up and headed over to church. Dale's part of the small groups ministry team there and the afternoon and early evening was spent there at Shadow Mountain. I love the services there. Been in and out of the place several times. Helped him set up booths in the info tent and then crashed the worship team's practice time. Shadow Mountain is the only place it seems in the world that actually has free complimentary Starbucks Coffee. Yes no kidding. I always make sure to get my fix. Sat there enjoying the practice with my Starbucks. Definitely the best part of the day. and if it wasnt for the caffeine I would have drifted off under the seats as the early morning workout was slowly taking its toll on me.
Services started at 5 and after worship heard a good message on unity and community by Dr. David Jeremiah. I often listen to his radio program turning point throughout the week after work in the evenings and always love hearing what he has to say. Its amazing how this 70 year old guy still has a passion and a vision not only for his church but for helping to direct people. Saw him pass by after service as I was helping man the booths in the small groups ministry fair tent. Just wanted to say thanks for all he does. Great evening at Shadow Mountain. Left to head back to Dales before dinner and on the way saw an amazing firework show that was at least 45 minutes long. Saw it all the way back. Had to keep my eyes on the road even tho it was a pretty amazing show. Its something they supposedly do every year evidently right from the parking lot of the place we got stuck in just a night before. THe Chargers Stadium. All of the cannisters we walked through to get out of the trap at the Qualcomm Stadium was now an amazing light show hanging over the highway. Breathtaking.
Tonights dinner was the Burger Lounge in a totally new part of town for me. Good burgers. the best chocolate shakes in the world and then back home for another round in the hot tub. We always have good man chat time in the hot tub. Life, relationships, future, past, our adventures in college, our misery in college, personal goals, ambitions and of course our twisted views on the world at large.   Dale and I have been friends for 22 years now and its obvious thats not going to change. Theres alot to talk about with 22 years of stuff to think through. and when it comes down to it were just as young at heart and insane as we were 22 years ago.
So Im realizing as Im writing this that tomorrow will most likely be the last day as I have to head back. Just trying to blog everything as its always an adventure worth sharing. Bed time. Thinking of the great yet odd time its been and just was called to come watch as one of their cats here is literally sharpening his teeth on the plastic blades of the fan blowing in their room.