Thursday June 29
Thursday was again planned to be a family day. And again, due to jet lag, we were up early. Fortunately, mom and dad also got up early so we could spend some time with them. Faye, her boyfriend Matt and the three kids were all still sleeping, having stayed up late the night before so just the five of us headed out to grab a bite.
On our walk on Tuesday, I had seen a coffee/breakfast place I wanted to try, called Swell Coffee. Now, I’ll freely admit the reason I wanted to try this place was not because I’d heard anything about how good their food was (I hadn’t) or that I was dying to try a local hang out (I wasn’t) but instead, because they had a picture of Sharktopus on their sign. If you know anything about me, you know I’m a sucker for underwater monster movies, and I’m passionate about cephalopods, so when this film was first released, my initial reaction (after “Damn, I wish I’d written that”) was this is gonna suck but I’m gonna love it. So seeing a place which embraced the absurdity of Sharktopus was awesome.
Then we got there. And honestly, I should have gone because of the food. Dad had bagels and lox while mom had a pastry and tea (in the coolest dispenser ever – really, it was a topic of conversation for many minutes) . Rasa and Monki shared the Rolled Oat Brûlée (Rasa notes the almonds weren’t yummy, but everything else was). Me? I had the Surf Punk Burrito. How could I not? And it was amazing! Seriously one of the best breakfast burritos I’ve ever had. It was huge, too (not that I was strict on my diet while in the States, but new me couldn’t eat it all – I saved half for Friday morning’s breakfast!).
Looking around, I noticed they had merch. If only they had something with sharktopus…. “we have with ‘Octoshark’ instead” came the reply to my unasked question (don’t want to get into copyright trouble). Sure enough, they had black hoodies with the creature emblazoned on the back. I went back to the table and casually dropped non-subtle hints that my birthday was indeed coming up.
After breakfast, mom and dad went back to the house and we went for a walk along the water. Where we were staying, in Mission Beach, was right between the bay and the ocean (no more than 300 meters away on either side) so if we wanted to get to the water, it wasn’t a stretch.
While we were walking, Rasa decided since I had gotten her a hoodie at the zoo, then it was only right she got me one for my birthday. Back to Swell Coffee to make the purchase before heading back to house. We were having company for lunch.
2nd Cousins Maxine and Michael were coming down from LA for the afternoon. Their mom was Beverly, who was the sister of my mom’s mom, Anne. And they had braved the four hours each way on the train since they wouldn’t be able to make it the following weekend for mom’s bat mitzvah (and they wanted to meet Monki).
We had a fabulous lunch at The Mission, great food and service to be sure, but what really made it was the company. We all laughed a ton and Michael (who knows more celebrities than you can shake a stick at and was dubbed by Lucille Ball herself as her “Number One Fan”) had brought a bunch of old family photos which sparked lots of discussion and even more laughs.
After they left, the whole gang decided to go on a Hornblower One Hour Harbor Cruise & Sea Lion Adventure (it was part of the Go Card). Being a navy town, our parking lot was also the parking for the Midway Museum, so while we didn’t go in, we did get to see it. As of the Hornblower, it was fairly standard harbor cruise, some fun narration and since San Diego is a huge navy town, we passed by several military installations, including a couple of docked nuclear subs, which, to be honest, was pretty cool! The only thing which wasn’t cool was the way Monki reacted. She started off scared when the big ship’s horn went off and then just didn’t quite get into the rocking and rolling of the boat. To be fair, though, both her parents suffer from motion sickness in varying degrees, so there is that.
When we finally got off the boat, we knew Monki would be better off asleep, but the thing to get her to sleep would be a long drive. We said goodbye to the rest of the family, who were going to the nearby waterfront area to see about food for themselves, and we headed out. Since we needed to go for a while, I took Rasa to see the Hotel del Coronado. Well… drive by it while trying to put the kidlet to sleep. Then we kept driving. I’d never gone that far before so it was interesting to see the “scenic drive” and get close to Mexico before turning around.
One last note, though, about the day – we stopped at a Burger King for a quick bite. Monki was sleeping and we just wanted some food, and it was there, so we stopped. I ordered two whoppers and a diet coke. The total came to over $14. I thought that was a bit exorbitant. Then the guy at the window suggested I get “2 for $10” which was two whoppers (like I wanted) plus two beverages and two orders of fries. All for less money than the original order. We threw the fries and one coke away (really didn’t want them) and saved money. This may be why there’s an obesity problem in America.