Sunday morning, I started flopping around again at 4:30, but stayed in bed til 7. I got up and headed off down Century Boulevard in search of coffee. It was awesome outside, and finally not windy. I walked past a bus stop with a homeless guy on the bench, and was pretty sure he was jerking off. I walked faster.
I found Starbucks at the Marriott about half a mile down the road. The lobby was packed full of teenage girls in town for a dance competition. I got the hell out of there quick, too.
We were on the road to San Diego around 8:30. Our first stop was San Juan Capistrano, my favorite of the missions I saw the first time around. The gardens there are incredible.
I’m not sure why I have such a thing for missions. I’m not a religious person, and am fairly disgusted by the history of missions in general; I think it’s the combination of the creepy and beautiful that’s fascinating. Also, I’m drawn to the bizarre trinkets in the gift shops.
Right as I walked into the mission, my camera informed me that the memory card was full. I spent too much time going through and deleting duplicate photos so I’d have some space for the many pictures I was compelled to take there. On the way out of town, I told Stephanie we’d have to find us an electronics store so I could get another memory card.
In La Jolla, we found a store called Good Guys, which wasn’t so much good as merely sufficient. I got myself 256MB of photo-storage happiness, and we were on our way to Old Town for lunch.
Last time I was in San Diego, I thought the Gaslamp District and Old Town were the same thing, and I disliked the Gaslamp District a lot, mostly because I couldn’t find a vegetarian restaurant, and the stores sucked. Old Town was at least something more to look at. The parking was a horror, but Stephanie exercised remarkable skill in navigation. She had already successfully backed out of a miniature parking lot that wouldn’t allow the world’s largest car to turn around, and then she was about to back into the tiniest, most cramped spot in the city when Dick died. Just shut off. I may have mentioned how much he sucked.
We had lunch outdoors at a Mexican place recommended by the parents (the second they knew we were on our way to San Diego, they were inundating us with travel-advice-filled phonecalls), which was pretty touristy, not terribly authentic, but good for what it was nonetheless.
Because Old Town is so touristy, it features excellent people-watching. We spent lunch trying to figure out what the deal was with all the people around us. I told Stephanie that she had to be sure to look at this girl behind us on the way out, because ‘she has a certain completely non-charming innocence.’ She laughed really hard at me and declared that ‘a patented Jenni Ripley diss’. I was proud.
We wandered around Old Town in a post-burrito coma, examining all the crappy souvenirs we could’ve been buying in Tijuana for a quarter of the price, but ten times the hassle. It didn’t seem much like a state park, because it’s so damn commercial. It’s strange to have shops in all those historic buildings. They had some cool gardens, though, and I kept threatening to toss my sister’s ass in a cactus. Then I made her take my picture in front of the largest aloe plant I’d ever seen in my life, after which I examined the photo about 50 times, saying, ‘THAT’S THE HUGEST CACTUS EVER!’
I am so easily amused.
Leaving Old Town, we got some sugar-free ice cream. It was awesome and made me really sleepy and goofy. We were in such hysterics on the way to Cabrillo that she was begging me to stop laughing so we didn’t get in an accident; I wasn’t even driving.
Per the parents’ recommendations, we drove out to Cabrillo National Monument, which had an awesome view of the city, the harbor, and the ocean on the other side of the peninsula. We walked up to the lighthouse, then drove to see the tidepools.
After that, we drove through downtown San Diego, got caught in cruise-ship-loading-and-unloading traffic at the Embarcadero, then found our way to the Coronado Bridge. You see, my sister has a fetish involving the Hotel Del Coronado, the legendary Hotel California, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it involved Don Henley in some way. I don’t ask.
We parked along the beach and walked around the hotel. It has a mall for rich people in the basement! I admit I got a little crabby again, just like I did on Rodeo Drive. It’s just so much. So much money, just to get away from poor people. I got a kick out of wandering around there looking like a total slob. It’s what I’m good at.
We went in and enjoyed the very swank marble bathrooms. We saw the atrium and the multiple pools and tennis courts and patios and restaurants. I had a really bizarre moment when I rounded a corner, caught of a glimpse of someone, thought, ‘hey, that girl looks interesting,’ and realized I was looking at myself in the mirror. I swear to god, I’m losing it.
On the way back to the beach, we passed a 7-person tandem bicycle contraption. I really really want to see one of those in use, but we were not so lucky. We spent a long time laying on the beach in the sunset. I wandered along the water, which was so cold it numbed my feet. While she stood on the shore watching the ocean, I tried to warm my feet by burying them in the sand. Then I had an excellent idea and set to work making myself a new foot. I took a bunch of pictures and sat there giggling, hoping someone would come along to see it.
It was getting late, so we decided to head back to LA and hopefully find dinner along the way. Stephanie drives like I do (although with less phone-talking and text-messaging), so it only took a little over an hour. We decided to pull off for dinner in Huntington Beach. As she dodged cars on the exit ramp, she yelled, ‘DICK, DON’T FAIL ME NOW!!’ Which of course began the driving-off-the-road-laughing routine again.
We froze at dinner; the sunburn seemed not to help. We ate half our food and headed back to our hotel for the night.