Tuesday, September 13, 2005

San Diego/Encinitas

Sunday, September 11th -- Guest blogger – Jeff Weekley (9/7-9/11)

Part of the uniqueness of staying in a hostile is that you get to meet a lot of diverse people from all over the world. Unfortunately, our roommate this night is from the country of LOUD ALARM CLOCKS! The first wake up call went off at 8am. (Not good when you stumble in at 3am). This kid had his alarm clock set on loud rock and roll, and I mean LOUD. And it DOESN’T WAKE HIM!!! It does wake Tucker and myself. Tucker is really mad. He’s on the top bunk, and loud alarm clock kid is on the bottom. Tucker starts screaming “hey buddy, turn that off…hey rockstar, turn it off, then he starts shaking the bunk bed uncontrollably until the guy gets up and turns it off. Of course this dude decides to hit the snooze button, why wouldn’t he? 15 minutes later, we are once again in the front row of a Van Halen concert. Déjà vu….this guy doesn’t wake up, and now Tucker is furious! Luckily I’m able to fall back to sleep, but not Tucker. Of course, the alarm clock guy is still asleep when we leave at 10:30. Thanks buddy. It’s your world.

With a bit of a fuzzy head, and some definite sleep deprivation, it’s time to head out to the SAN DIEGO CHARGERS/DALLAS COWBOYS game!! It’s opening day in the NFL, and I’m so excited. I’m really looking forward to this. We take the trolley to the game and get there right at kickoff time. The only problem is that we don’t have tickets and need to find a scalper. We begin to get nervous when we walk half way around the stadium and don’t see anyone selling tickets, but with plenty of people looking for them. Luckily we find some, and pay about $30 over face value. I don’t care, we’re in! Our seats are some serious nose bleeds in the end zone. Still a decent view though. It is an awesome game. It goes back and forth until the very end. The Chargers have a chance to win it, and have 1st and goal with one minute left in the game. They failed, and the Cowboys win the game. We learn why the Cowboys are America’s team, b/c there were more Cowboys fans in the upper deck of the game then there were Chargers fans. I seriously felt like it was a home game for Dallas! After the game, we sprint as fast as we can to the Trolley. Seriously, San Diego had the WORST transit system in America. They have 70,000 fans taking the trolley to the game, and there wasn’t even 1 trolley there waiting for fans after the game. It shows up 5 minutes later. By then, the line for the trolley was out of control. Good thing we sprinted!!!!

This day just decides to keep getting better. We’re off to Tijuana, Mexico for dinner! We literally crossed the border for some authentic Mexican food and Coronas. What’s better then Mexican food and Coronas in Mexico? FREE CORONAS IN MEXICO! Tucker’s meal came out so late that they gave us 2 on the house. Of course, Coronas in Mexico are only $1, so we saved a whopping $2. But still, it’s the principal of free coronas in mexico!!!!

With our belly’s full, we decide to explore the main drag. We are in for a culture shock. This place is very sleazy and trashy. It’s shocking that a place like this is only a few miles from the mecca that is San Diego. We have 3 year old boys beg us for money, and when Tucker tries to take a picture of one of them, he informs us that the picture will cost us $1. We decide to pass. After picking up some good bottles of Tequila (dirt cheap in Mexico), we head back to the States. All we have to do is flash our license to get back in. It’s got to make you feel good about our border control system.

Now its time to head to the airport. I’m sad. I had the most amazing 4 day vacation. Not to mention it felt like a week! Not much rest, lots of play. Would you expect anything less when you hang out with Tucker? My flight is at 10:30pm. This is a true red eye flight. I land back home in Atlanta at 5:30am. I maybe get 1 hour of sleep. I get home, shower, and head to work. This is going to be a REALLY LONG DAY!!!! But so worth it….

Thoughts on San Diego: Best weather in the world, in shape people, gorgeous beaches, outrageously expensive real estate, and of course….very pretty girls. I’m going to miss this place.

Saturday, Sept 10th

We say good-bye to Kathleen and Brian, pack up our bags, and head into La Jolla beach! This place is super fancy. It has to be one of the most expensive places in the world to live. Rent for a shack (o bedrooms, 1 bath) goes for $1000/month. A normal size two bedroom apartment goes for up to $10K/month. And if you so desire an ocean view, $25K/mo! Wow!!!

So today we are doing a Kayak/snorkel tour of the La Jolla beach and the surrounding ocean caves. We put our wetsuits on and head out. The guide starts with a history of La Jolla bay. The house about 100 yards from us right on the water is Dr. Seuss’s. His widow still lives there. Very cool! We later snorkel right up to it. We also learn about Black’s beach a few miles down (fat naked people), the history of the sea caves, and are pointed out the best view from San Diego (Ron Burgundy’s romancing spot!). We kayak over to Dr. Seuss’s back yard and its time to snorkel. We are in a Leopard Shark breeding ground. They are 4 to 5 feet long, look like leopards, and are totally harmless. We spot a few, but visibility isn’t as clear today as it normally is. While searching for the leopard sharks, I have another shark swim right by me. It doesn’t look like a leopard, it looks like Jaws! After the 2nd time that it swam right by me, I decide it’s time to jump into the kayak as quickly as possible. Naturally, I choose not to warn Tucker. [Tucker note to blog: that is MESSED up!!] I describe it to the guide (10-15 ft long, 3 fins, and a tail the size of my arm…scary!). He says its probably a nurse shark, which are harmless unless you get in its way or touch it. I later found out that the guide did see the shark too, and it’s not the wild life that we were searching for on our snorkel excursion! We kayak over to the caves and go in a few. They are very pretty.

After kayaking, we hike around a trail overlooking La Jolla bay. What an amazing place.

It’s time to head into San Diego and find the hostel where we are spending the night. It is right in the heart of the Gaslamp District of San Diego, which is where all the night life is. Perfect location! We clean up and head down to a sports bar called the 5th Quarter to watch the Texas-Ohio State football game. $2 Coors Lights….yes!!! After the game, we grab dinner at Dick’s restaurant. Then we head to another bar that has a good live band and is pretty hopping. We end up in the bottom floor and meet our favorite bar tender Judy! We also meet a new friend (Big Ed), who is from DC and is out here for his sister’s 21st.

We then hop over to The Bitter End. This is where we spent the bulk of the night. Tucker’s good friend Mikki and 2 of her friends meet up with us for a night of debauchery. We have a blast!!! This was our favorite of all the nights in San Diego.

Friday, Sept 9th

After a lazy morning, we say good-bye to Lance, pack the bags, and head into SAN DIEGO! Time to do some sport fishing!!! We rent some fishing rods and head out to sea. We go out about 2 miles from the coast and park over a “kilt forest” and it’s time to start. We are total rookies with this fishing thing. Tucker’s line gets all tangled up on his reel. I laugh at him, and then it happens to me! Not once, not twice, but well, I’ll stop there. I let a veteran fisher on the boat try my rod, and even he gets the line all tangled up. These rods are so bad!!! We can’t even cast with them! We spend about 3 hours feeding the sea lions with our bait. I thought these animals were cool at first, but not anymore! No one in the boat can get their bait more then 30 feet deep before the sea lions eat it! It was so annoying that I stopped fishing. We head out into some deeper water and the captain spots some Yellowtail! Several people on the boat start pulling in the fish left and right. These fish are so pretty! About 20 pounds, and make for good eating. Of course, Tucker and I can only watch as are rods won’t cooperate.

After fishing, we head to our friend Kathleen (JMU pal) and her husband’s Brian’s condo. We clean up and head out to dinner at the Rock Bottom. It’s Brian’s birthday celebration, so we meet up with probably 20 of there friends. We then head to a few bars in La Jolla and then over to Pacific Beach! We have been told that this is the spot for Thursday nights. We end up at PB Bar and Grill for the night. We have a good time, but decide that it’s a total college spring break type bar, and way too crowded. After a very close game of heads or tails, Tucker wins the bed, and I’m left to the couch.

Thursday, Sept 8th

We wake up at Lance’s place and head down to the beach. Time to try surfing on some real waves for the first time in my life! The beach is so pretty (this place is paradise). There are cliffs that drop off down to the beach. You have to walk down about 10 flights of steps to get down there. We take turns surfing. We both are able to get up…but not for long!!! Each ride ends with the wave ending up victorious. But it’s a successful morning. My only goal was to get up and ride a wave!

At noon, we decide to do a “beach boot camp” at Lance’s gym. This is a 1 hour workout on the beach. Lance joins us after work, and all hell is about to break loose. This is easily the hardest work out I’ve ever done! I didn’t know what I was in for. Jump rope, run/hop up the steps leading to the beach, sit ups, sprints, skipping, pushups, crab crawls, wall blasters, and a few other excercises that are too painful to try and recall. The hard part is that you aren’t allowed to rest for 1 second during the entire hour! (…so I may have cheated towards the end). [Tucker comment: So, at the beginning of this workout while we are jump roping Jeff says “Tucker, this dry weather is amazing, I am working out pretty hard, and I am not even sweating!!” I look over at Jeff at about the 45 minute point, and he is face first in the sand, COVERED in sweat…and cannot even move…I burst out laughing and said “Hey Jeff, I thought you weren’t going to sweat!!”] The only thing harder then this workout is….DOING IT FOR 3 HOURS! Yes, they offer the class on Saturday mornings from 9-12am. Ouch. We then go into the gym and lift weights for 45 minutes before finding a deli for lunch. We spend the rest of the afternoon watching a few games of volleyball, then I head home (Lance’s) to shower and nap. I’m beat. Tucker picks up his new bike and is obviously very excited. We grill out some filet’s with Lance, his friend Tommy, and watch the Pats-Raiders game. We head into Leucadia (1 town over) to check out the local night life. This town is totally dead. We tried the Leucadian Inn, had 1 drink and then try 1 other dive bar. One drink and out. We decide we’d rather sleep then spend anymore time in the bars of Leucadia.

Wednesday, Sept 7

Headed straight to the beach in the morning, and started surfing. Close-out waves, no good. I caught a few good waves, and got totally mauled on 3 others. Here is the definition of totally mauled: 6 foot wave crushing down on my head, grabbing me and spinning me around like I am in a washing machine, water up the nose and in the ears, and then a full body grind/face grind into the sandy bottom of the ocean. After 3 of those, I decided I had caught enough waves for the day. Kicked back and read for a while, then saw volleyball starting up again. I played another few hours of v-ball, then headed to the airport to pick up Jefferson Weekly (college buddy). We went straight to Pacific Beach Bar & Grill on the way home and hung out and watched a cool band.

Oh, daily weather since I have been in LA/San Diego: 75 degrees during the day, no humidity. 65 degrees at night, and of course, no humidity. PERFECT WEATHER!!

Tuesday, Sept 6

I hit the road again, and head down to Encinitas (beach town outside of San Diego). On the way I go check out a used bike that I found, and it was right on my way. I LOVE the bike, and buy it…can’t wait to get out and ride it! I got to Encinitas around lunch, and came across an awesome game of volleyball. There were 7 guys, so they needed on more (lucky me), and I jumped in this game. I wasn’t quite as good as them (they all played at UCSD), but I was good enough to be competitive with them. We played for about 2 hours, grabbed lunch, and played for another 2 hours. What a way to spend a Tuesday afternoon!! I met up with a buddy I race with, Lance, and his house was amazing, 2 blocks from the beach. His front yard was the coolest yard I have ever seen: palm trees, tropical plants, gas fire pit, bar, flat screen HD TV, etc. Very cool. He had a workout planned, and I met up with him and his friends in Solano beach that night. On the way home, I stopped by one of the volleyball guys houses to grab his surfboard he said I could borrow.


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At 5:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I have to say is thank God the beard has not reappeared. ~Kate

At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like it thombre - some extreme surfing - that board looks huge - what size was it a 9 ft?

I see you got a new bathing suit - about time it is better than your pair that looked like khaki shorts.

At 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is the reading going? Looks like you are getting a lot done! FYI everyone, Tucker bet me $100 that he would read at LEAST five entire books on the trip.... drinks on me!


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