||[Mar. 16th, 2005|12:20 am]
|||||At the Drive-In - Arcarsenal||]|
Last Monday (the 7th) Erin and I rode out to the airport to catch a plane to San Diego. Actually, a plane to Denver and then another plane to San Diego. Flying went well, as usual, and I took no less than 100 pictures out the window. We had window seats on both planes. Rock.
Landed in San Diego and Sam met us there with a cab. Got all our bags loaded up and headed off to our fantastic resort-like hotel (the Good-Nite Inn / SeaWorld Area*). Arriving at the hotel, Sam proceeded to argue with the cab driver about the distance of the trip and how there was a lot shorter way to get there that would have saved like $7.00. He told us to go check in while he and the large taxi driver had a discussion, including a phone call to report him to the main office people. Don't mess with Sam.
Our hotel was nowhere near SeaWorld and also not resort-like at all, so the arrival was unenthusiastic. Humorous even. The light fixture sticking out of the wall had no lamp shade on it... it was just a light bulb. Whatever, it was practically free to stay there for 5 nights.
We dropped off our bags and walked over to the bus station down the block and caught the 34 over to Mission Beach. Just missed the sunset behind the clouds, as seemed to happen every day. Pretty windy and chilly there at night, but still nicer than winter in MO. It got down to around 55 probably.
After running around on the cold sand for a while, we went and ate at this little italian place right by the beach. Pretty decent little joint, and fairly good food. I tried a beer called Arrogant Bastard Ale which was 9.8% alcohol and worked well. I proceeded to get pretty buzzed. Finished dinner and then took a leisurely walk down the, uh.. walkway thingy... because Sam claimed Hooters was just down that way. The walk ended up being just over 2 miles and about 30 minutes. Never trust Sam, he is a dirty liar. Hooters ended up being a bust (no pun intended) and the balcony was closed because it was "too cold" for the girls in their little outfits, so we left. Sam took us to a place called Open Bar. Tried a few rounds of his "canadian" shots (so.co. and amaretto). Had some more beers... woo boy it's fun to party on a weeknight. Drunk night #1.
Tuesday we got up and ate breakfast at Perry's Cafe (The Breakfast House). Good stuff, and large portions. From there we bought 4 day unlimited trolly/bus passes (sweet deal, and a life saver) and then took a trolly to downtown and then caught a bus to Balboa Park. Really nice place. Lots of beautiful green grass, trees, flowers, and even some lizards. The entrance has a big fountain, followed by long reflecting lilly ponds with fish and ducks in them. Very cool looking buildings there too. We went in to the Museum of Photographic Arts which ended up being free since it was the 2nd Tuesday of the month. We got to see the Jeff Bridges exhibit "Pictures" which was great! He's a good photographer, although I think being around actors and actresses on sets of movies with professional lighting and cool things happening all the time helps. Still, I never knew he did that, and it was very cool to see his work.
From there, we walked over to the San Diego Museum of Art (similar to the Nelson here in KC) and looked around their permanent collection. They were between exhibits, so we didn't get to see their Asian art stuff. Pretty decent, nonetheless. We poked around there for a while before heading back downtown where we caught a trolly back to our hotel and met up with Sam, had big burritos and then headed out for round 2 of drinking...
Karaoke night at Captian's Quarters! Holy shit.
So that burrito I ate earlier in the day (and another full 15" plain tortilla of Erin's) must have been blocking up my stomach because I drank an utter shitload and was not even barely buzzed by the time I had to go up and do my song. Under my belt was two Jaegar bombs, one sex on the beach, one tequilla sunrise, and I think maybe a beer of some sort... plus lots of sips of Erin's pineapple and Malibu's. It was crazy. So I did my song, rapping like the white fool that I am to Jay Z's "Dirt Off Ya Shoulder". Nuts. Never done anything like that before, but I was getting into it and everyone seemed to like it. At one point someone did actually come up there and brush my shoulders off. Other karaoke highlights include Erin and Sam (and me sorta) doing Madonna's "Papa Don't Preach" which I think none of us really knew, and Erin and Sam again doing Kellis's "Milkshake" which was awesome ass-shaking craziness. Pics of all that to come.
Bound and determined to actually feel drunk that night, I called Nick who instructed me to get a 3 wise men shot... oh my god. It's like Jack Daniels, Jose Cuervo, and some kind of black label rum or something... three shots, all mixed up and then poured together back into three shot glasses. I did two of those and Erin did one. I know I also chugged a Bud Light and some more of Erin's pineapple and Malibu. Drunkenness succeeded. One chatty taxi ride back to the hotel and drunk night #2 was done.
Wednesday we woke up and shared a Denver scramble at Denny's across the street from our hotel before heading out via trolley and bus to the mall. The mall is a pretty cool multi-level building which seamlessly moves indoor and outdoor and has no real rhyme or reason to its walkways and staircases... nor bathrooms for that matter. I wasn't really feeling too well in the stomach (amazingly) so I was kinda dragging around. I also realized then that I needed to poop and couldn't (a problem which would be resolved no sooner than FRIDAY).
After the mall, we bussed it down to Harbor Drive and ate at Anthony's Fish Grotto across from our old beloved Holiday Inn on the Bay. That place is wonderful. Nowhere else is $51.00 better spent on a seafood lunch. The building sits over the water and the view is great. I had three types of fish, as well as a fish/shrimp/scallop appetizer. No fried twinkie this time though...
I believe then we headed back and met Sam and migrated back to the beach. This time the waves were crashing unbelievably hard. 10 to 12 foot waves. Lots of the beach was washed away. Someone said there was a storm out at sea that was doing all this. We had planned to go out again to a place called Margarita Rocks for $1 coronas and margarita's, but tiredness killed the plan. Instead, we ended up eating some appetizers at this place near the beach. I had a couple beers and was doing good. We finished off the day back at Sam's base watching some movies... a stupid Martin Lawrence movie which I can't remember anything about, and Napoleon Dynamite. Caught a cab back to the hotel.
Thursday: sleep in late. Really tired. Erin and I had lunch at Denny's and then took the bus back to the beach again with the intention of swimming and body surfing in the killer 12 foot waves. When I got in, I realized the water was very cold and very powerful. The undertow was ridiculous, and the waves coming in were so violent it wasn't even possible to get out there and try to ride one in the typical sense. I jumped along with one foaming beast of a wave and it carried me in so fast that I couldn't stop and get up on my feet again. It was actually pretty scary being dragged along shallow water scraping my knees, hands, shoulders and whatnot on the ground unable to get up. After that I decided that wading in it was enough.
It never really got sunny while we were there that day, so it was kinda chilly. Also the sand was all wet and dirty and there were bugs eating the seaweed, so it wasn't very good for laying out and relaxing, though we tried for a while.
After we threw some clothes back on, we walked around the beach shops and Erin decided on some new shoes while I watched a video about surfers and them dying in action. I found out that to really ride the big waves you have to go really far out there. They said they paddle out for about two hours and then possibly wait for another two for the right one. And then after all that it just throws them down to their deaths. What shit waves.
We tried to go have a drink of water while waiting for the bus to show up, but of course it DID show up right as we were making our way back to the bus stop... so I ran, in flip flops, and caught it. Back to the hotel again to get changed and meet up with Sam. While we were waiting, I had opened the window outside our hotel, just in time for us to hear some skinhead mexican gangster looking guy go knock on the creepy "plant man"s door and exchange some shouting, some "what the fuck!" and then body slamming against the door. I closed the window.
We went and took the bus back toward the beach and Sam caught the same bus to join us for dinner at a place called The Green Flash. Very cool place. Sits right on the beach and has an outdoor (but glass walled) patio with heaters for a fantastic setting. We had some very good dinner there while the waves crashed just a few yards away. Fantastic pumpernickel bread.
After dinner, we went to go sit on the sand dunes and watch the water for a while, since it was really being strange. It had washed a WHOLE LOT of the beach away and was coming up all the way to the retaining wall and flooding through to the sidewalk on occasion. While we watched, we noticed lots of little fish being washed up on shore and then flopping around to get back to the water. I tried to help one and picked it up and threw it back in, and consequently my hand stunk like fish for the rest of the night, despite repeated attempts to wash it off.
We then went back to Hooters to pick up a shirt for Whitney and use the restroom and wash my hand and stuff. Then we really had nothing more to do there, so I volunteered us for another 30 minute walk down the, uh.. walkway thingy again. We caught the bus back to town and then had ice cream at Baskin Robin's. Said good night, and split off toward our hotel. Arrived back in time to see two large muscular (manly) ladies dressed in hooker dresses and knocking on the "plant man"s door. Oh my god. There's a two star hotel for ya... Starting to be creeped out, and wondering if the plant and special knock is a coincidence. "Good Nite Inn, 2nd floor, look for the plant. Have the money ready." Someone also stole our "do not disturb" sign.
Friday, our last full day, and my 22nd birthday. I woke up to the happy birthday elbow being drawn on me.
We went back to the Breakfast House and had some more good breakfast, then took the right combinations of trollies and busses to get to Coronado Island. This place is a millionaire retirement community, with several resort hotels, including the Hotel Del Coronado, one of the nicest and oldest around. (Built in 1887...) People were protesting for some reason.
We wandered through their facilities, including lawn and patio seated brunch, tennis courts, pool and spa... all meticulously kept and very beautifully decorated with flowers and perfectly cut grass. We were so jealous.
We took their walkway down to Coronado beach and enjoyed their warm, clean, dry sand... something we really missed at Pacific and Mission beach. Turns out, the Coronado people were smart and built a large hill of sand to keep the waves from washing crap onto their well-kept sand. Only the other side of it had seaweed and shells and things. Erin and I kicked off our shoes and I rolled up my pants, and we proceeded to play on the beach and wade in the water for a while, collecting shells.
Back up on the main strip through town, we checked out some of the shops (after jay-walking right in front of a cop), and saw such things as wedding invitations for gay weddings (groom and groom or bride and bride). We also went in a Petco, but their lack of baby kitties disgusted us.
Bus took us back over the bridge to downtown and went back to the mall so Erin could pick up some more little things from the Sanrio store. While at the mall, we had ice cream, which means I ended up with chocolatey pants, so we had to go back to the hotel again before going out to dinner (nice restaurant.. dress code). Sam got out of school, came and met us at the hotel, and went with us to dinner.
Dinner was lovely. We went to a place called the Fish Market and ate at their "Top of the Market" restaurant overlooking the harbor. They had delicious fresh seafood (I had Alaskan king salmon). I also tried a glass of some kind of Pinot wine wich was actually decent, although still not my favorite beverage. Finished with some very rich desert thing... chocolate cake kinda, don't remember what it was called. Erin bought dinner for my birthday, which was very nice.
From there, we made the "just down the street" walk that again turned out to be no less than ten blocks BEFORE getting into a cab for the remaining four.
1st bar: Maloney's Tavern - real cool atmosphere.. had a video DJ who played decent music and occasionally interjected video clips from movies, such as the pledging scene from Old School, and the getaway with Eleanor in Gone in 60 Seconds. Had two beers, a Canadian shot, and a Captain & Coke.
2nd bar: Moose's - $5.00 cover charge (which Sam picked up for us). Very loud dance club. Really packed... no place at the bar. Ordered some drinks and paid cash before leaving. Not really our kind of place. Had another Captain & Coke.
3rd bar: Rockin' Baja Lobster - Ferrari 360 Spyder parked out front. Real cool bar tender who made me all sorts of crazy stuff at my request. I had some kind of electric rasberry lemonade or something, another Jaegar bomb, a "liquid cocaine", god knows what else, and topped it all off with (by my words, "give me something that will kill me."): Irish car bomb. Jaegar and Bailey's shot dropped in a half glass of Guiness. Lordy. I was all kinds of trashed.
Took the absolute most insane cab ride back to the hotel (dizzy all over the place) and Erin set me up with the "I-drank-way-too-much-on-my-birthday" washcloth and took pictures of me. I tried throwing up, but nothing came out. I probably would have been better off if I had been able to throw up. I was dizzy for the entire next day, nauseated by the scent of alcohol which oddly seemed to be everywhere we were. In line at the airport, the bar in Denver Quiznos, even the lady next to me on the plane ride home had to order a bottle of wine. Gah.
In all it was quite a memorable trip. A lot different from the one last summer, but still a lot of fun. I snapped 437 pictures with my digital camera.
It was good to be back home, and I had a nice birthday dinner here as well.