Surprise, I'm back, and you probably didn't even know I was gone. Sorry to be a little sneak, but the last couple posts were written/published before the fact – yeah, there, that's the control freak in me making an appearance.
Some notes on San Diego:
We did a lot of walking. A lot. The first day was spent exploring the residential areas around the hotel, wandering aimlessly among mismatched houses, most with dehydrated yellow lawns (the one with the greenest, most manicured grass was also decorated with dog poo). The second and third days were dedicated to downtown, the Gaslamp district, the pier, the zoo (twice through the panda exhibit, of course), Balboa park, and again around the hotel area. The food wasn't particularly San Diegan, but still good: a cafe with mouth-watering fruit tarts and pulpy OJ, too many french fries for my own good (and one case of pommes frites), the Hard Rock Cafe, an entire bag of succulent cherries, a thick vanilla shake from Ghirardelli, yakisoba with loads of bean sprouts, a very home-cooked meal from a diner (complete with a mini dish of lime jello at the end).
And of course there were the little quirky things I kept my I Spy eye on alert for: the cashier who "accidentally" let coins drop into the tip jar when handing back change; the man who, distracted by food, abandoned his wheelchair-bound wife in the middle of the airport, to which she shot back with thick sarcasm, "Well, thanks for just leaving me here!"; the interactive dinosaur game at the Natural History Museum titled "Life is great, then you die." (Am I sensing a good bumper sticker here?)
Even though it was good to cut ties with my computer for a hundred-plus hours, it's even better to be home again.