I shall have to wait to post pictures, but I am in San Diego till the 21st.
I decided to come down and stay with Daniel on the Pt. Loma submarine base, until he had to leave for Japan. Plus, it's San Diego, and no sense staying in cold and blustery Seattle when I could be sunning myself on the cheap! :) The view here is incomparable. Our hotel room is roughly 20 feet from the Pacific ocean, and the table where I work is next to the window facing the ocean. I have gotten to see such awesome things while sitting here - many F-18's, an E/A-18 Growler, helicopters, a submarine being tugged out of harbor, the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier shipping out, a couple of Destroyers coming through, and a daily parade of old-time Spanish sailing ships, ferries out to Coronado Island, and private sailboats. The Reagan had incredibly loud speakers - they were giving out instructions to the crew, and I could hear them from probably a couple hundred feet away! I guess when the boat is several hundred feet long, you need good P/A systems.
My manager was great and agreed to let me telecommute from down here. Which shouldn't be a problem, anyhow. Our whole group does it, and it saves us from having to take extraneous vacation when in fact we'd be lolling around for 9 hours a day, anyhow. Plus, I can't get back on the base without Daniel's ID, so there is very little reason for me to leave base while he is gone at training.
I got in late last Thursday, and after we both finished work on Friday, we went jogging up on top of a hill near Cabrillo state park (I think that's what it's called). It's also near a military cemetary. We considered jogging through the cemetary, but as a funeral was just wrapping up, we thought better of it and went around the top of the hill. I think I actually jogged for about a mile, total - Daniel thinks we covered about 2 miles. He was right about one thing - having an iPod does take your mind off of how much running sucks. And it was a nice way to see the landscape, although it is hard to stop and really inspect neat looking plants. I got a great view of Miramar NAS' airstrip while we were out there.
We came back to our room, showered, and went out for dinner with my friend Meghan. It's interesting, because I never was really friends with Meghan while we were in college; only after we graduated did we start talking (well, emailing) more. I kind of regret not getting to know her better before, but eh...we have time now! :) She got herself a G35 a year or two ago, and just got a house near San Diego. Yay!
Saturday we slept in, and met up with my friends Dave and Rich at the San Diego Zoo. It was freakin' cold! I ended up in a t-shirt, vest, and Daniel's zip-up sweatshirt hoodie. He actually bought a neat hoodie with a gorilla face on it at the Zoo. Dave and Rich drove down from San Luis Obispo to hang out with us, and then after the zoo, they departed for a romantic dinner and dessert somewhere off in downtown. We parked ourselves at the mall in the Gaslamp quarter, and walked around looking for dinner. We finally ended up at a place called Las Hadas (which, if I remember correctly, means "The Fairies"), and had some nice Mexican food, including a couple of free appetizers! (My favorite were the corn fritters with honey butter, but the layered bean dip was great, too). Then we went home because we were tired and my feet were sore. On the way, we saw many couples dressed up and out on the town for Valentine's day.
Sunday, we got to sleep in (again), and eventually we tottered out to have lunch. I then requested to be taken to a local yarn store called The Sheperdess, and was promptly disappointed with her selection. I expected more individuality, but maybe spinning isn't all that popular here in San Diego. She had some hand-dyed rovings, but most of them were from Ashland Bay, which is fine, but I wonder if the stockist spins because whoever had made the prepackaged lengths of roving had cut them, instead of pulling them to let the fibers stay whole. Sacrilege! Also, she had plenty of hand-dyed yarns, but some of the prices were truly outrageous. I think she was selling Curious Creek for $50 a skein... of merino. And the yardage was probably based on 100 g. But, it is her store, and she can do whatever she wants. They also had a small selection of beads available.
After that, we went to the Fashion Valley mall and had a horrendous experience trying to park. I'd forgotten what that was like. Thankfully, Daniel rented a Chevy Aveo, so we could fit almost anywhere. We wandered around the mall, and I ended up getting Daniel a shaving set at The Art of The Shave (or "The Art of Shaving"?) store. It is something I could see my brother getting into. They found a way to pamper men and make them take some time and use nice tools for a regular grooming chore. I broke down and bought a shaving brush and some cream for women. Supposedly the pot of shaving cream will last me 6-8 mos, which, if true, would definitely justify the cost. And the brushes are supposed to last at least 2 years. Plus, the "women's cream" used Rose Absolute oil in it - mmm! (Although, if I buy from there again, I would probably choose the Lemon scent). I was definitely glad to be able to get something for Daniel that I think he will enjoy in the long haul - his beard area feels softer when he finishes shaving - I think the oil and the lather are doing their job!
After we got home from the mall Sunday, we went to dinner at Solare, which was a nice Italian restaurant... I think. Our waiter looked like Antonio Banderas. Daniel ordered squid-ink ravioli, which were beautiful and stuffed with fish and broccoli. I ordered sausage-stuffed potato dumplings (big gnocchi) in butter and sage. Those were tasty! Afterwards, we walked to Cold Stone, and then drove back home.
Monday the weather turned and we were treated to lots of rain, wind, and cloudy skies. We mainly stayed in the hotel room and read, although we went out for lunch at a local Mexican place, and then my uncle Bob and aunt Carol invited us over for dinner. I haven't seen them in at least 7 years, probably more. The last time I saw them was when my sister ran the San Diego Rock & Roll Marathon... it was good to see family. I joked with Daniel that we were probably going to be served spaghetti and garlic bread (i.e. things I can't really eat)... what was on the table? ... Lasagna and bread. :) And a salad, thankfully.
Last night, Daniel got off training a little later than I anticipated, so we headed to the on-base gym. I ended up finding a little Crossfit-friendly corner, complete with kettlebells, jump ropes, medicine balls, and even an actual free barbell. I was doing a lot of other exercises prior to finding the corner, mostly using dumbbells to do overhead moves, and I did a few deadlifts on a weird machine that was *almost* free weights... it caged-in the barbell so that, theoretically, you wouldn't hurt yourself if you dumped the weight. There was also a machine that simulated using a barbell, but man that was too weird for me. Since there were no actual racks on which to place the barbell, I ended up using the kettlebells for swings, cleans, and jerks, and did a little work with the medicine ball. The best part was that guests are only charged $3 per use of the gym! (My first time in was free!).
Tonight, we are headed off to the Taylor guitar factory. My friend Peter is an (possibly the sole) engineer there, and he offered to give us a private tour! After that, I think we are headed to a local microbrewery for dinner. :)
Hopefully we'll get to work out tomorrow night, and then Friday, Daniel gets off around noon, so there will be some time to play before we both ship out Saturday. :-( I am going to miss him so much, so I am trying to make the most of the few days we have together here! Luckily, I am grateful for so many great friends in the Seattle area! I hope to keep myself plenty busy!