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March 12, 2010

brrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!

It's cold in San Diego!

March 16, 2010

boats in San Diego

Here are a few photos of some of the many boats I saw in San Diego (the first three are views from my room):
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March 18, 2010

arrival in San Diego, two missions, & the first GTG

My Hawaiian Airlines flight to San Diego Thursday afternoon was fine except for the woman sitting next to me who did not seem to understand the concept of personal space. The food was even pretty good (although it was non-edible on the way home). Pauline & Steve kindly offered to pick me up at the airport. Thank you Pauline & Steve!!

My flight arrived about 15 minutes late. I gave Pauline a call when I arrived. They were just arriving at the airport. I called a second time to let her know that I was at the carousel and that my bag had yet to come out. She said Steve was heading inside to look for me. Steve knew to look for someone holding a blue pillow. As she was describing what he was wearing, I noticed someone walking towards me with the same outfit. It was Steve! My bag still had not arrived although others were spinning around the carousel. Pauline was outside trying to find a parking space. I handed my cell phone to Steve while I continued to look for my bag. When my bag finally came out, Steve was gone. He and my cell phone were now somewhere outside. Fortunately the airport is quite small (or at least it appeared to be small when I arrived) and I found Steve and Pauline waiting for me outside.

This was the first time I had met Steve & Pauline (photo from Saturday night).
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They were so kind to not only pick me up from the airport but to also bring me a take out salad from the restaurant where they had dinner since I was arriving a little before 9pm when all the restaurants in San Diego would be closing and three big bottles of water for the weekend.

The ride from the airport to the Island Palms Hotel, where many of the Slow Travelers would be staying for the weekend get together (GTG) was quick. It was dark outside so I was not able to see much of San Diego. They drove me to the lobby where I checked in and then we drove to the building nearby where my room was located. The rooms at the Island Palms Hotel are pretty spread out in various buildings on both sides of the lobby.

Daytime view of the building/my room was on the far left/not shown in this photo:
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Steve helped me carry my bag to up to my room. Both Pauline & Steve were tactful with their comments about my room when I mentioned that I was lucky to reserve a King Marina Room View. I looked out my tiny balcony and saw a couple of boats along with cars in the parking lot. Pauline suggested that perhaps I might have been given the wrong room and encouraged me to call the front desk to ask for another room. I have never done this before! When I called the front desk, they sort of admitted that I was not given the room that I reserved and tried to blame it on the internet being down. I think they were hoping that I would not notice or say anything. They told me that they only had Marina View rooms with two queen size beds available instead of a king size bed. I told them that was fine.

We carried my bags back downstairs and I walked back to the lobby while they watched my bags. I was given the key to a new room in a different building (I don’t have a photo of this building). The second room was much nicer and ended up being located right below Pauline & Steve’s room. It also had the correct marina view. I left my bags in the room and we headed over to Judy/TourMama’s room where a few people were meeting after their dinner at The Vine.

Of course we had no idea which room Judy was in. I asked when I was checking in for the second time. We went to the room that I thought he said she was in. I put my ear up to the door and did not hear any noise. We were all too chicken to knock (or at least I was and if I remember correctly, Pauline & Steve did not want to knock either). There was a phone on the wall in the hallway. Pauline called the front desk again. I must have been jet lagged already as I mixed up the numbers for the room. Her room was on the next floor up. We went upstairs to her room. Still no noise though when I put my ear up to the door. Pauline called Colleen (from CA) and found out that they were just pulling in to the hotel driveway. We met them downstairs and then headed back up to the room. I think there were about 10 or 12 people total that met up in Judy’s room (all new friends to meet except for Judy & Bill who I met last summer while in Florence). We all settled in and chatted til about midnight. I unpacked after returning to my room and ended up getting to bed about two in the morning.

Continue reading "arrival in San Diego, two missions, & the first GTG" »

March 19, 2010

little Italy, San Diego birds, and a Mexican fiesta

When I returned to my hotel room Friday night, I was so cold that I turned the heat up to 80 (as high as it would go) and got into my flannel pj's. I woke up in the middle of the night from the heat! Five minutes of the sliding glass door being opened as well as lowering the heat solved the problem. This ended up being a nightly problem (although I learned not to dress so warmly and did not put the heat up as high).

Saturday morning, the weather was a bit overcast and seemed even colder than Friday. A bunch of us planned to go to Little Italy. We met in the lobby and arranged rides. Some of us went in a taxi type van and others went in cars.

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My first objective was good coffee. We all decided to meet up at Caffe Italia. The espresso was yummy. I was tempted to order some cheesecake but it was going to be too difficult to eat standing up (not enough room for everyone to sit) so instead I got a muffin. I also bought a few bagels for breakfast for the next two mornings. Although it was not fun lugging them around (my pack was already full of extra warm clothes) the bagels ended up being a great idea since the food was horrible on the plane. I enjoyed one Sunday morning, one at the airport Monday morning, and another one on the plane.

The Little Italy Mercato takes place every Saturday. As we walked up and down the streets looking at all of the various items for sale (food, clothing, kitchen stuff, etc) I had a great time chatting with everyone. As you can see, it was very crowded at the market.
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Six of us took advantage of the buy five get one free offer for a garlic plate grater that also came with a garlic roller tube and brush. When I got home, I realized I already have a similar type dish in the shape of a white fish on my stove! At least now I have the directions as well as the roller tube and brush. The one I just bought is much prettier though (colors that match my kitchen). I would have loved to buy some of the food being sold, but it would not have worked out traveling back to Hawaii. I did buy a delicious orange that I also enjoyed Monday morning at the airport.

After about an hour and a half, we started to talk about lunch. Here's a group shot of part of the group who went to Little Italy on Saturday before we all gathered back together to formally discuss lunch options.
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Panda, jgk, colleenk, Gaia, scg, teaberry

We checked out a few places for lunch. A bunch of us decided to go inexpensive and ended up eating at a pizzeria. I can't remember the name of the place now. It had a nice outdoor patio area out back where we sat and ate our pizza. I thought the pizza was pretty good but not as good as the pizza in Italy.

After lunch, some of us decided to walk to the Gaslamp Quarter. Most of us were not too impressed when we arrived. It seemed to basically be a bunch of stores like an outdoor mall and most of the stores were the same stores we have here in Hawaii. I would have been thrilled if there was a Trader Joe's there but Trader Joe's was located in a different location in San Diego. I think the Gaslamp Quarter may be an area that is more interesting as a place to visit in the evening.

At that point, five of us decided to head back to the hotel. The cab would only take three max, so we took two cabs back. Our next formal event (when I say formal, I mean an event that everyone would be attending/not formal attire) was in the evening.

I had some time before dinner, so I walked across the street to take a few photos of the bay. I posted the boat photos previously.

**Warning Sandra - bird photos coming up - scroll quickly on down past the next three photos.

Continue reading "little Italy, San Diego birds, and a Mexican fiesta" »

March 21, 2010

the rest of my weekend in San Diego

Last Saturday/Sunday was the weekend for Daylight Saving Time to begin. Because we don’t change our clocks in Hawaii, I haven’t had to change my clocks for years now. I made sure to double check on which way to change the time so I would not be late for the Sunday Brunch. The change in time also meant that 9 am was no longer 7 am Hawaii time but instead 6 am Hawaii time. Not the best news for a night owl.

I am still trying to figure out the time change and how it affected me (sort of like a math word problem)… since we don’t change the time in Hawaii, and I left Hawaii losing two hours but returned to Hawaii gaining three hours, does that mean that I gained an extra hour in my life?

The Sunday Brunch, which was being held at the Island Palms Hotel, would be the last of the three scheduled formal events where everyone attending the ST GTG would be gathering (except for a few people who had to fly out that morning to get home for work the following day).

It was so nice getting to spend one more day together and to be able to spend time talking to a few more people I had not had time talking to at the previous two events. We talked, we laughed, we drank & we ate.

Here are a couple of photos I took before we started eating.
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As the brunch came to a close, all those who purchased the wine glasses from Mindy got together for a group photo.
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After the group photo, the goodbyes began. That was the sad part. At least I did not have to say goodbye to everyone yet. A bunch of us were planning to go to Brigantine for dinner that evening. After the brunch ended, I went for a short walk and then went back to my room to pack.

We met back at the lobby of the Island Palms early in the evening to walk to the Brigantine. I think it was probably a 20 minute walk. Brrrrr! It was chilly outside. There were about 15 or 20 of us having dinner at the Brigantine, although we were not all able to sit together because the Brigantine was so busy. Our table ordered two orders each of fried clams and calamari. Good, but not as good as New England fried clams. We also all ordered fish tacos - YUM!! After some discussion, we decided to go to Humphreys for dessert. Again YUM!!

Because Shannon's brother works there and was working that evening, we were treated royally. First they put together a long table (forget how many it seated), but once everyone arrived, it was apparent that the table would not fit everyone. They were able to fit us all in another area (I think there were probably about 16 or so of us). It was great being able to spend a little more time together before heading back to the hotel. I really was not ready to say goodbye just yet. When we returned to the hotel, a few of us gathered in ColleenK, Jan, Sheri, & Terry's suite. We chatted for an hour or two and then I finally said goodbye to everyone.

Continue reading "the rest of my weekend in San Diego" »

March 22, 2010

inside the church ~ Mission San Diego de Alcala

I wrote a little about my visit to the Mission San Diego de Alcala here (scroll about 1/2 way down after clicking on the link).
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For today's post, I thought I would share a little more about the church.

The current Mass schedule:
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Two photos taken inside the church:
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A short video taken as the choir began to sing:

March 23, 2010

the bells ~ Mission San Diego de Alcala

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Taken from outside the mission:
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Taken from inside the courtyard (not the best time of day to take this view):
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March 24, 2010

the courtyard ~ Mission San Diego de Alcala

Here are few photos I took while exploring the beautiful courtyard/garden of the Mission San Diego de Alcala.

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March 26, 2010

the museum ~ Mission San Diego de Alcala

The Mission of San Diego de Alcala also houses an interesting museum.
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Photos taken right outside the museum:
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Continue reading "the museum ~ Mission San Diego de Alcala" »

March 27, 2010

"fresh"~ PhotoHunt

PhotoHunters

My PhotoHunt post this week is also related to my visit to the Mission of San Diego de Alcala.

During our visit, it was hard not to notice the two guys hard at work applying some sort of fresh thick white plaster onto the wooden beams.

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