6/20/16 Chronicles

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  Monday 6/13/16

Our house is closing Wednesday. The bank was supposed to Fedex the papers to us at our hotel here in downtown San Diego, but when David asked them at the hotel, they said they hadn't received anything. It was the weekend, so he couldn't call the bank until this morning. They said they'd sent them, so he had to check again with the hotel. Sure enough, they'd received it. Oops! So then we had to sign a ton of papers, then we had to find a notary and get one of the pages notarized. We had to walk over to the UPS for that and then find a Fedex place to send it back. He also had to make sure that our bank in Alabama wired the money to the bank in Arkansas. We walked the wrong way for a few blocks while walking to the UPS, so that didn't help! This all took up a good deal of our morning. I had planned to sleep in, but I had to wake up early to sign tons of papers and then go with him over to the UPS place.

Then I went back to our hotel and had breakfast at a nearby place called Tender Greens. I had a delicious veggie frittata. Barb joined me for a little while. David got finished getting ready and then we all took the trolley over to Old Town. I think I'd only been there before to go to the restaurants. If I went another time to look at the stuff, I don't remember. It's a pretty cool place. It's kind of set up like an old Western town (like old San Diego), but with lots of historical signs, some movies and recordings (like a museum), and many stores and restaurants. It has a big park area in the middle. All of the historical stuff is free, too, which is nice.  I took many photos and bought quite a bit of candy at their great candy store. They had candy cigarettes, which I haven't seen since I was a kid! I had to get some of those, for nostalgia sake.  They had lots of sugar free candy, too.  And delicious fudge! I posted many photos on Instagram.

We had lunch at a pretty good place there called Casa de los Reyes. They had the mariachi band and the whole nine yards. We looked around at lots of the places (old hotel, old school, old courthouse etc.) and in the stores. Barb and I both bought San Diego sweatshirts, the kind that zip up. We needed some for the games later. It was a bit chilly and my little sweater wouldn't cut it. All of my heavy sweaters, sweatshirts and coats are packed away.

We were supposed to meet my brother David there. He lives in Tijuana now, if you recall, so he had to get across the border and then take the trolley up to meet us. He had said he would call me, but I never heard from him. He doesn't have a cell phone, so I couldn't call him. Well, he left my number at home, and ended up sitting around the trolley stop for a few hours before giving up and going home. Oh, well. Hopefully we can get together later in the week.

Later, we stopped at a place called Barra Barra for some soft drinks and to rest. Then we took the trolley back to our hotel and had a nap. We went to the Padres game. They were playing the Marlins and lost badly starting in the 3rd inning. It was a terrible game. We did get to see 4 home runs, three of them by the Padres, but they had no one on base so it was kind of fruitless. They lost 12-4, I think. We left early, in the 7th inning. We were all disgusted.

We got our photos up on the scoreboard again, so that was fun. You just have to take your selfie and post it on Twitter with the hashtag SDHD and they put you up. I had the gluten free hot dogs that they sell at the stadium, for dinner, and some other snacks.  Their food is very good, but the gluten free stuff takes a really long time, like 20 minutes.

After the game, we went to the Field for more fun. Next door is a yogurt place and they had a big picture in the window of my favorite cookies, which are macarons. These are made with ground almonds, egg whites and sugar.  Okay, they're more of a pastry than a cookie.  They're not always gluten free, but these were. So I bought a bunch and I'm slowly eating them.  I shared some with Barb.  The salted caramel ones were not as good as the ones I'd had in Hawaii, but the rest were delicious.

We stopped at a Subway on the way back to get some more food... I ended up staying up kind of late, which I've been doing too much of lately!

It was only slightly cool today; we had pretty much perfect weather.

  Tuesday 6/14/16

We checked out of our hotel and drove to El Cajon. Barb had rented a car, which was nice. We dropped all of our stuff off at Susan's place (she was out).  We had lunch at our favorite Italian restaurant, Nicolosi's. It was great as always. I always love their gluten free ravioli. Then we went to Balboa Park. First we went to the Hall of Champions, which is basically their local sports museum. Unfortunately, it was closed for some private event. We looked at a few things that were just outside that area.  Then we walked over to the Air and Space Museum and had a great time going through there. We all got our photos taken and then they super-impose them on the moon etc. That was kind of fun. They give you a 3D version one as well. I also put in a quarter to see what I would weigh on the moon and on Mars. Much less!

Then we walked over to the Prado area and sat down for a while with a cool drink and to rest.  We then went to the Museum of Man, which is their natural history museum. We enjoyed our visit. There is a lot more to see, but we ran out of time and energy. You could need a few days to see it all.  I posted many photos on Instagram. I have more to post, though.

We drove back to El Cajon and they dropped me off. They went to another Padres game (they lost again). I took a short nap and then Susan came back, so she and I had dinner at Denny's. That was great. I love their 24-hour, gluten-free breakfasts. She also stopped at a 7-11 so I could get another Diet Coke Slurpee and some water. I went back to sleep for a while, and then we had a nice visit after that.

I also bought a lottery ticket but didn't win. Awww....!

I spent the rest of the evening on the computer and trying to do laundry. I went to bed around 3 am and the laundry was not quite finished.

  Wednesday 6/15/16

I was awakened twice this morning by the phone...telemarketer calls. UGH. I finally got up at 9:15.  We're going to go out to lunch with my SIL Susan, and my MIL.

We had a nice lunch at a Thai place. We got there early and waited for about 15 minutes for it to open. I just had some chicken curry. It was pretty good, but not very filling.

I was pretty sick all day from something I ate.  Then the movers didn't come like they said they would. They were supposed to come between 11:30 and 1:30, then I phoned about 1:15. Eventually they said they'd be here "between 3 and 3:30."  Then they still didn't come, and I had to keep calling and waiting. Then when 6pm came, we told them to come tomorrow because we had plans. Instead, they said Friday morning. Hopefully that will work out.

It did give us some chance to take naps and for me to work on my site (and finish my laundry). It was good to have some down time, and chat with Susan, even though it was also somewhat stressful dealing with these people and waiting around, getting annoyed.

David and I went back to the Gaslamp to meet with Barbara at the Sofia Hotel.  She had just come back from spending all day at the Wild Animal Park in Escondido (now it's called something else). She had a great time up there and took many awesome photos of the animals. We went to dinner at Bandar, which is a great Persian restaurant. We'd been there once before. The food takes a really long time, but it's excellent. Most of it is gluten-free, too.  I ordered the lamb shank, which came with delicious rice. The tomato sauce was on the side. I really didn't need the sauce, either. I also had some of Barbara's. She had some kind of seasoned ground meat.  It was all very good.

Then we went to Ghirardelli. I had a delicious caramel sundae. Then we all went to The Field and had some more fun. I definitely ate way too much.  We had such a nice time with Barb's visit. It's a shame it went so quickly! We walked her back to her hotel and then came home. I watched some TV and worked on my site.

  Thursday 6/16/16

We were both very tired and slept in pretty late. Susan had already picked up her mom and brought her over to the house.  We had a lot of nice conversation. Then we took some photos, and Susan took her mom back to her senior place.  Then we went out to lunch again at Nicolosi's.  It's also been nice chatting with Susan so much.

We stopped at the store on the way back so I could buy a birthday card and bag for Susan's present. Also, we stopped at 7-11 so I could get another Diet Coke Slurpee. I love those things!  When we got back to her place, I wrapped her presents in the bag. These were some things I had picked up during the past year in Hawaii. She seemed to like them.  Then David and I packed some things for an overnight trip to the downtown San Diego area again.  We stayed at the San Diego Gaslamp Plaza Suites, which is a small hotel right downtown. We got a good price for our room and have stayed there quite a few times. When we checked in, the woman at the desk was very nice and made some great jokes. She was a character.  Then she told us that they had given us a free double-upgrade. She said to me, "Especially for you. You will really enjoy this. You'll see what I mean."  So I replied, "Why, does the room come with a handsome young masseuse?"  She gave me a good laugh for that one.

The room is amazing. It's not a super pricey or swanky hotel, but this room is huge! It's a big suite with two bathrooms, two flat screen TV's with DVD players, a separate living room area, two wet bars and two closets. Wow!!  Too bad we're only in here for one night.

We went to The Melting Pot for dinner. Originally we were going to meet with our friend Ariel, but her car broke down, so she wasn't able to make it.  She's actually the daughter of our old friend Chris, but we've met her a few times, and she's my social media friend.  Anyway, neither of us were all that hungry, but I wanted to try fondue. Also, the place has gluten free bread etc.  We just got the spinach and artichoke cheese. It came with gluten free bread for me, regular bread for him, some green apples, and some veggies. It was really good.  We'll have to go back there sometime when we're hungrier.

Then we just went briefly to the Subway to get soft drinks. He went off to the Padres game and I stayed here to enjoy the room, work on my site and watch TV. I love hotels and this is fun for me, more or less. Of course, I would rather be out doing karaoke, or shopping, but other than that... I'm not really a baseball fan. Fortunately, he doesn't mind going to games by himself. We'll probably go out for a late night snack after the game. I had invited Mary to come over, but she was working. I texted Stephen, but he didn't answer. I had to enjoy the room by myself! Which was fine..

I had a nice, relaxing night watching TV. Then we went over to Ghirardelli again for ice cream, and then to The Field for some drinks. I also bought a bear at the Ghirardelli store, and some chocolate for my brother-in-law.

  Friday 6/17/16

The movers were supposed to come at 9am, so of course they called EARLY, at 8 and said they will be there soon! We were awake but still getting ready to leave the downtown, so we had to hurry up. We were both so tired. We had to stop first at Susan's to pick up the key and leave our luggage.  Then we met them at the storage locker. We let them in and then left for about an hour because they said it would take about an hour and a half. Boy, that stuff was sure dusty. I hope most of the dust comes off before it gets to our new home! I will have them put it in the garage, but still. Ewww. Hope there aren't too many spiders.

They got done pretty quickly. That was fairly easy once they got there. I've never seen movers do this, though. Instead of loading it all into the back of a big truck, they put the boxes in large wooden containers. I guess they transfer them later to a big truck. Weird. Hope they don't lose anything. On the way back, David drove me through Jack-in-the-Box for lunch, I think.

When we got back to Susan's, I repacked our stuff because we weren't staying that long. Then David and Susan went to run some errands. I mailed another box full of stuff to our new place and David had some other stuff to mail. I rested after that for awhile. John and Susan had a game, I believe.

Then we drove up to Riverside to see our friends there. It was very hot and the traffic was awful. We were worried that we weren't going to make it. We had to keep turning off the a/c because we were concerned about the car overheating. We were driving Susan's old SUV. Eventually it let up. Whew!

We had planned to have lunch with friends but had to cancel because of all of the last-minute stuff we had to do....sorry we couldn't see our friends George and Beth, or Ira, or Mary or my brother David again, or others.

It's been quite a while since we've seen our Riverside friends, though, so it was great to go up there! We stopped at Canyon Crest shopping center to pick up some wine and other things. We stayed at Paul and Monty's place and then had dinner over at Shaun and Jadie's. We had a great time! They're all old friends and the food was great. Jadie made a delicious flourless chocolate cake for dessert. Yum! Shaun cooked up some delicious steaks. Paul made salad with cashews, and not sure who put out cheese and crackers and chips, but it was all great!! I took quite a few pictures. Some  I posted on Instagram, and there will be more when I get time. Hopefully this week.

The time just went by too fast and we laughed a lot. We used to live in Riverside in the 90's, so David and Shaun worked together. Shaun and Jadie used to live down the street from us, and we saw them every weekend for 8 years. Monty worked with David at Texas Tech and then ended up moving right around the corner from Shaun and Jadie! Weird coincidence. Monty and Paul's place is like a really great B&B and has wonderful art and furniture (the most comfy bed ever) and a beautiful garden outside. Also a great dog named Maggie that lives next door. It's just always so enjoyable to visit them. We stayed up late chatting and having fun.

  Saturday 6/18/16

We got up pretty early (oy!) and went out to breakfast with Monty and Paul.  Monty had to get to graduation. He works at Cal State San Bernardino as a professor in the business college. They're the ones who introduced us to our friends Tom and Cynthia in Hawaii!

Then we drove back to El Cajon to return Susan's car. We got all of our luggage together and called a cab... we went back to San Diego and stayed in a hotel near the ballpark, Hotel Indigo. It's a pretty nice place. We walked around a bit and had some drinks at The Twisted Kilt and then went to Dragon's Den because David wanted sushi. I also tried their kung pao chicken, which was not only gluten free but delicious. Best I ever had, seriously. There was also a great dog there named Oscar or Rosco (?).  Very sweet old dog and I fed him some of my chicken. I think we had a short nap after that...

Later we went to the Field for dinner. We met up with my brother Stephen and his wife Zina. It was very loud there. They don't have too much there that's gluten-free, so I just had some corned beef and potatoes. The corned beef was dry and too lean, so it wasn't very good. I was not that hungry, anyway. I would have had an appetizer, but I couldn't eat any of them. There was a good  Irish band playing, and we were right next to them. It was way too crowded and loud, so after they ate, we went over to Dick's Last Resort and sat there at an outside table for a while. It was much quieter. We had a lot of fun! I had invited my brother David, but he was having internet trouble and also, since he lives in Tijuana, and has bad eyesight, I didn't realize he couldn't go back at night (too difficult to navigate with his poor eyesight).  We had also invited Ira, who didn't show up, unfortunately. We had wanted to stop and see Ira at his house in Temecula, on the way to Riverside but the traffic was terrible and we got a late start, anyway.

Then we went to the ballgame, Padres versus Nationals. It was a lot of fun. They gave out blue fedoras that said "San Diego Padres" on them. We were stylin'!  We had really great seats, very close up (4th row I think?).  I'm not a huge baseball fan, but it was a great game. They started out tied, then the Nationals pulled ahead, but then they made a big error and the Padres just smashed them and won 7 to 3.  David was glad to finally see a winning game after going all week and watching them lose!  We had fun taking selfies with the fedoras, too. They still do the thing where you take a selfie and they put it up on the big screen, but for some reason they only seemed to put us up once, and I didn't get a photo of it because I was eating. I kept watching for us later, but they didn't show it again. They showed most people MANY times! Fooey. Guess they didn't like us! LOL!

Afterwards, there were fireworks, and they were excellent. Not only were the fireworks themselves great, but they interspersed them with some old videos with Padres history, which was fun. I recorded some of them and posted them on Instagram..

We went back to our hotel and then found a nearby restaurant to get some food because we hadn't eaten much at the game. We stopped at a place called Half Door Brewing Company. We split a burger and fries, both of which were excellent. We were pretty tired and hit the sack after that. I had trouble sleeping, though.

  Sunday 6/19/16

Today was a very long day. We had to get up pretty early and headed to the airport. We have just way too many bags due to moving. Normally we don't take more than 2 checked bags and a few carry-ons. This time we've had 4 bags (one is my guitar) and quite a few carry-ons. One of our bags is a really large one, 33". However, we always weigh our luggage to make sure it's under the requisite 50 lbs. Then our other bag, which is older, is 28", but the handle that you use to roll it doesn't work, and it's literally coming apart at one of the seams, plus the main zippers don't work too well (the pulls have come off). We should have gotten two new ones. That one steers very well, though, so that makes it easier.  Then we have a smaller bag and when we were packing, the outer pocket's zipper broke, so I had to take everything out and we taped it up, hoping security wouldn't give us a hard time.

When we first checked in, one of the guys at the American counter asked his supervisor if our 33" bag was too big, but she told him it was fine (whew!).  Then as we went through the TSA line...the first guy told me, "No, you have too many bags." Actually, he reminded me of the Soup Nazi... I told him, no problem, I can condense them, it's fine, but he wouldn't hear of it. So I had to pull all our stuff over to the side and condense it down to two carry-ons, and then he let me through. He was a real jerk.  See, we have one real carry-on bag, and a computer bag. Then I also usually have my purse, and a bag with snacks, and then a plastic bag where I carry my pillow, blanket and sweater for the plane. No one has ever hassled us before about it.  I can just fit all of that stuff into a few bags if I need to, but I'd rather keep it separate, that's all. It doesn't mean I have a lot more carry-ons.  After we went through security, I took it all out again! So it was pointless. Just some jerk exercising his little tiny bit of power.

Then when we went through security, even though we had the TSA Pre-Check, they "randomly selected" us to go through the scanners.  So first I had started to go through and then the woman said, you're randomly selected, and sent me over to the other line where they do the body scan. Well, David was already going through it, and he took some kleenex etc. out of his pocket, so I went over to throw it away. So I started going through the body scan line, and the woman looks over and says, "Wait, didn't you just go through here?"  I replied, "Yes, you just sent me over to this line." and then she realized she had been mistaken. What an idiot. Then somehow it beeped on me and she had to do the pat-down (I hate that).  Other than that, it was fine...we've definitely had worse, but it was sure annoying.

We had breakfast at some little place...I just had scrambled eggs and tater tots. The waitress checked to see if it was gluten free, so I had to take her word for it. You never know. I have definitely not been eating healthy lately and have gained a lot of weight back.

I was very tired because I'd only gotten about 4 hours sleep. David slept a lot on the plane, but I couldn't sleep much. I mostly watched a movie, "Aloha."  This is one they filmed in downtown Honolulu our second year there, so that was kind of cool. I recognized a few sites. It wasn't a good movie, though.

The woman sitting by the window seat was deaf and complained to me that the closed-captioning on the movies and TV shows was not working. She seemed very nice, but I'm not sure what she expected me to do about it. I have the feeling that she may have not flown by herself before and is used to someone helping her a lot. Anyway, she's lucky that she got me since I know all about this kind of thing. I quickly determined that many of their shows and movies are not closed-captioned. My movie was, but hers wasn't.  It wasn't a problem with her particular TV. It was a failure of the airline's system.  She asked the flight attendant about it as well, but they didn't know how to fix it.  She had a book, though, at least, so she wasn't too bored.

We had a stopover in Dallas, but not for very long. David got some food, and I got a soda. I had plenty of snacks and there was nothing there in our particular terminal that I could eat because it was mostly pizza and sandwiches. We were on a tiny little plane for our flight to Texarkana.  The flight attendant was super nice, and even though they weren't serving a regular beverage cart service, due to it being such a short flight (just water), she got me another Diet Coke. I noted her name but then forgot it. I wanted to let American Airlines know how great she was.  She was super energetic and even though she was the only flight attendant on the short flight, she never stopped moving. They should all be as good as her (she wasn't that young, either).

The Texarkana airport is really tiny - looks like a small bus station. When you fly in, you still have to walk down the stairs off the plane, like it's the 1980's or something. Then we had to wait quite a while to get our luggage and even longer to get a cab to our hotel. There are no luggage carts, either, so we had to lug all of this stuff outside, and it was super hot and humid. Just miserable. In the high 80's, with 65% humidity. Much worse than Hawaii - no ocean breezes. I stayed inside while he waited outside for the cab. Too hot for me!  Then 2 cabs came and there was dispute over who got what cab, and they crammed our stuff into the smaller car, for some reason.  We were so tired and it was just awful. By the time we checked in, we were both exhausted, but I was hungry, so we went across the street to Denny's for dinner. It was good. I went to sleep very early after that.

Then someone phoned from San Diego (not sure who)  about midnight and then when I answered, no one was there. And this happened about 4 times. I tried calling the number back, to no avail. I hope it wasn't the movers or anything.  (later on I phoned again and left a message; the guy phoned back and said that his phone was acting weird, calling up people without his knowing, including his boss! So I just blocked his number).

Hope you had a better and less stressful weekend than I did!

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