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Thursday, October 25, 2012

San Diego Trip: Part 1

As everyone knows, the Jones family is like a part of our extended family.  Dyani, Donovan, Edward, and I were always together as kids.  Our parents met when my mom was pregnant with me while at a Scottish Dance group at our church.  My mom and Kateri have been best friends for as long as I can remember.  So like the brother he seems to be, Donovan included me and Edward on the email list for a big family reunion/40th wedding anniversary event he was organizing for his parents.  

Back in April of this year he started organizing it.  At that time I wasn't sure my mom would be healthy enough to go, but lucky for us, she was.  Since I'd spent so many month working on my experiment (weekends, nights, whole weeks where I'd sent Eddie off to live in Gualala so I could work around the clock in lab) I felt like it was time for a proper Bower family vacation.  So instead of just the weekend Donovan was planning for us, we extended our trip to nearly a whole week.  It was dang near perfect.

My vacation started on Tuesday, September 26, when Eddie and I hosted a potluck party for my lab.  Some people stayed super late but I went about my usual cleaning/laundry/putting Eddie to bed and packing our suitcases.  The next day I had my first panel interview for a teaching assistant position--I nailed it and was offered the position a few hours later.  We left for Livermore that afternoon and hung out with my dad in the garden, had dinner, and then went to visit our friends and their new baby boy.  (Garden fresh dinner and a newborn baby?  What a great way to start a vacation!)

My mom, the Edwards, and I departed from Livermore at 5:20am on Thursday, September 28.  Lucky for us, Eddie fell back asleep almost immediately so we could drive in peace and quiet and there was no traffic while I drove.  We stopped at McDonald's in Lebec at about 10am for latte's and breakfast sandwiches.  Eddie got some energy out by climbing around  on the handrails outside.

Edward took the wheel and got us down to yet another McDonald's in Del Mar for smoothies.  By 2:45pm we arrived at the condo in Mission Beach.  
The condo: three floors, each with a bedroom and bathroom and balcony.  It was really nice and was soooooooo much cheaper than staying in a hotel for that many people.
Of course Eddie fell asleep as soon as I turned the van onto Sunset Court so I parked in the garage and left my mom to watch him while Edward and I used the rental house beach bikes to go grocery shopping at Trader Joe's.  I'd brought our bike trailer along, knowing there were bikes available, so we could tow Eddie to the beach.  
We used the bike path along Mission Bay to get to the store.  It was so nice.
We were definitely not in Davis anymore...there was hardly any bike parking at the store so we improvised.  You can see the security guard taking a break in his car.  He was giving us the stink eye the whole time.
That night I made a salmon chowder using veggies I brought from my dad's garden.  It was sooooooooo good.  I'll make it again and post the recipe here.
Dave and Jennifer both had to work a half day that Thursday so they met up at her apartment and then took the train to SFO to fly down to SD.  Their flight didn't get in until 11pm (and then was delayed due to fog in SF) so we had some time to kill after dinner.  After unpacking all our stuff, we decided to head out for ice cream.  Our trip happened during a bit of a late summer heat wave, so it was still quite warm out by 8pm so we decided to walk to Cold Stone Creamery.  I'm so proud of Eddie and my mom--they both made the whole way on their own.  Eddie rode a trike we found in the condo.  It was heehee-larious to see him pedal that thing really fast down the side walk.  It was a 0.8 mile trek each way and he did it all without complaining.
Uncle was nice and carried Eddie across all the intersections.
The next day when our entire household was there, us kids went to Sea World.  We biked there and back, me with the lovely (not) task of towing Eddie in the trailer.  Ouf, beach bikes are heavy enough as it is and with only one gear and a few overpasses, it was quite the workout.

Given that school was in session and it was nearing fall, Sea World wasn't crowded at all.   We started off with the killer whale show.  And wouldn't you know, the most fascinating things to Eddie were the pipes shooting water and the giant underwater gates that open/close to let the appropriate whales in/out.  That kid is 100% Bower, obsessed by infrastructure.  He sat on Edward's lap during the show and we kept saying, "Oooh, look at the whale jumping out of the water so high!  Isn't that cool?!"  And his response was, "Look at the gate down there in the water, Mama.  Uncle, what is that gate for?  Why is it under water?  Where is the shooting water coming from?"  COME ON, KID!

The rest of the day was spent wandering around the various exhibits and shows.
Adults at the sea otter show.
Bowers inside the shark exhibit.
We went to the beach every night so Eddie could play in the sand.  It was only about 30 seconds to walk there.
The boys, heading for the water.

That Friday night the Jones family arrived and all 24ish of us met up at Tony Roma's for a group dinner.  Actually, we happened to meet up with most of them on Mission Boulevard as we all walked down to the restaurant.  Catching up with everyone was fantastic and it was so fun to see Kateri and Dale with all 5 of their kids and all their kids.  Currently, they have 5 grandbabies ranging in age from 9 years to 2ish months.

It was quite late for the kids to be out, especially Eddie after a full day of Sea World-ing and only a 20 minute nap on the bike ride home in the trailer.  Plus, Dave had taken him to play on the Mission Bay beach near the condo before dinner.  So after more than a few warnings about needing to sit and eat his dinner, Dave whisked him back to the condo early, leaving me to eat my dinner with everyone.  (Thanks, Lover!  And Sorry Allen for Eddie kicking out as he crawled around on the booth.)
Dave, Eddie, and I shared a bunk bed room on the main floor of the house.  I intended for the smallest one to sleep on the top but he made me sleep there instead.  
I'll do another post later about Saturday/Sunday with the Joneses and yet another post about the tail end of the trip.  Stay tuned!

1 comment:

steph.kelley said...

Oooh I love serial posts! :) This sounds like an amazing trip. Warm CA weather — ahhhh! I look forward to your salmon chowder recipe. xoxoxo