TJ: "Oh really?... (Gets up and heads to the bathroom) That's weird, I mean I just fixed it the other da... Ooohhh MAN!!! REALLY!?!?!"
Conor: "Mmmm pineapple... bummer dude. Say Cheese!"
Laura: "Take a knee and chug it Teej!"
Laura and I sat down for dinner on a Thursday night thinking about what we should do for the coming weekend. We quickly realized that it would be one of the few weekends together without travel plans since our move to AZ back in August! Being only 5.5 hours drive between Chandler and La Casa de Hanson (TJ and Erin's place) in San Diego and with a couple of good friends from the East, Quinn and Karen, in Rancho Bernardo for a wedding, we decided what better thing to do but hit the road again to go see them all.
After a fairly easy drive across the desert, we got to the Hanson's with about 4 hours left on the bar clock. After exchanging pleasantries and assembling a small group of friends, we headed out to a GREAT bar called El Camino in the Little Italy district. (Any place that advertises $1 mimosas is A-OK in Laura's book!)
The El Camino is conveniently located no more than 3 blocks short of the main runway of San Diego Int. Airport, which, in combination with an entire back bar sans roof... Makes for a pretty sweet show. It only took a couple times before we were used to pausing conversation and reaching to hold onto our drinks as rumbling 737s went wheels-down-cruising overhead at stone's-throw distance. Great beers (in boots), margarita's (pitchers), music, and friends for a really fun first night in the city. If you find yourself in San Diego sometime soon, I highly recommend checking it out.
Saturday morning we were up and at 'em, and headed up north for mimosas, bloody marys, and a light lunch with the McAllisters on the veranda of the Rancho Bernardo Inn. It was great to see some friends from the East Coast and we settled right in to cocktails and conversation just like old times back on Chickory Way. As we really start to settle into life in AZ and look more forward to meeting and making new friends here, it is great to know and appreciate all the great friends we have made seemingly ALL over the country during the past 6 years and how easy it has been to keep in touch. We are really looking forward to having many of them come visit us as this winter for a nice dose of that great Arizona sunshine. Book your flights people, we have guest-rooms ready!
We spent the next few hours at the pool, tiki-bar, and sauna after suiting up and sneaking into the Marriott resort downtown with Erin and Teej; another great idea which Laura and I never would have even thought of. While the girls showered and got ready for the evening, TJ and I set off for a little long boarding session around Balboa Park and happened to randomly (I swear!) find ourselves pint in hand at Hamilton's Tavern in the midst of an awesome Oktoberfest celebration, complete with a delicious brat buffet! We got out of there just in time to keep from, likely, ending up in the dog-house... Close call, but we made up for it by taking the ladies out to a fine Italian dinner back in Little Italy and capped the night off watching the planes over cigars on the porch. Tough life... I know...
Now what trip to San Diego would be complete without spending some quality time with Zoo animals? Sunday came all too soon and we decided to head to the zoo for a few hours before hitting the road. Having spent lots of time at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle and the Portland Zoo, one of our favorites, we were really impressed at how close you could get to all the animals, especially the big cats, and how active they were.
It didn't take long for TJ to explain why we shouldn't hang around the male lion too long though... After getting "sprayed" on a previous visit, he is convinced that he was officially welcomed into the pack and didn't want things to get weird for Laura and I if/when they smelled that he was back...
We are starting to accept that this whole "It will be great to just get home to AZ, relax, and settle in" idea we have had for months now isn't going to happen anytime soon... And you know what? With all the fun we've been having. Why would we?!? It's been a great ride and we can't wait to keep it going. Next up: Spokane, Alabama, Montana, Vegas?... Mexico?...New York?... Delaware?... Who knows? Stay tuned!