It’s no secret we normally hit the road in June. It coincides with the time that Randy’s free from his responsibilities as a teacher and has a birthday, and we have a wedding anniversary. Recent past years have included Sedona, and Sea Ranch; this year San Francisco proper got the nod.
We jammed as much as we could into four days: Beach Blanket Babylon, a Tony Party with the Ray of Light Theatre, the Disney Museum and the deYoung’s Summer of Love exhibit, a tourist swing through Fisherman’s Wharf and Coit Tower, and amazing food all over the place. The stay was anchored by the fabulous Tilden Hotel, which gave us the needed moments of rest and calm in addition to a place to leave our stuff. Embarrassed to say I never would have heard about it but for a blind bid on Priceline – now I can’t imagine returning to the city without looking for availability there first.
Of course, it didn’t hurt anything that midway through the trip we stopped at the Cathay House for sustenance and spiritual guidance and we blessed by our representative of the Ancient Order of Chinese Busboys and Cooks with these bits of wisdom:
Be alert for new opportunities [in bed] – pleasure or business [in bed].
You will soon be singled out for a promotion [in bed]. Congrats!
Back in San Diego after six days and five nights in California’s Central Coast.
Lots of beach time. Some serious kayaking in Morro Bay. Some very serious eating in San Luis Obispo. Even some ridiculously over-the-top shopping, including a Jake Early seriograph for the living room.
Want proof? Photos are slowly getting posted over in the gallery.
Originally we headed somewhere mid-June for a two-fold celebration: school being out (and the start of Spinner‘s summer vacation) and Spinner’s birthday. Then we got married on vacation in June 2008, which made 2009 and 2010 a threefer when you include the anniversary celebration. Now with budget cuts school gets out much earlier, so the vacation is back to being a twofer, but this year we’re back at The Cliffs. Five days and four nights walking distance to the beach with the dog. Do you think he’ll be happy? I think he’ll be happy.
Catching Up On The Lost Week
One week ago today, thirty or so very good friends and family gathered at The Linkery in San Diego to celebrate Randy’s 50th birthday. The people at The Linkery outdid themselves with great service and great food, and while the Big Five-Oh is easy to poke fun at (and there was a ceremonial presentation of Spinner’s first AARP card), the rapidly-marching-to-death jokes were kept to a minimum, and as far as I could tell a great time was had by all.
Very early the next morning we left Diego and the Great Basil Forest in the care of a wonderful housesitter, and set off for Hawai’i.
In hindsight we’d redo the itinerary. It seems ridiculous in hindsight to fly 21 minutes from San Diego to LAX, then sit on some very uncomfortable seats at LAX draining the batteries on various portable devices for three hours until our flight to Kona. We could’ve driven to LAX in less than two hours, and still left home at least 90 minutes later than we did. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice… As for Delta – I know it’s been a long time since I’ve done anything but a hop from here to the Bay Area, but $25 to check a bag and no food except a bag of peanuts on a five-hour flight? Ohmygawd you’re cheap bastards and you’ll get no linkey-love here.
Once we got off the flying metal deathtrap though, life was renewed. I suppose for Randy it was like how Logan’s spin through carousel should’ve been. Hours of people reminding you of approaching mortality, more hours trapped immobilized in a sealed metal tube, then whoosh…PARADISE!
In our first two hours on the Big Island we swam in the ocean, swam in the resort’s pool, then had mango daquiris and kalua pork quesadillas at the hotel’s poolside bar.
Yes, I got injured a couple of times, but it was all still absolutely worth it. I got stung by a jellyfish or something, but I got stung swimming the water portion of the Ironman course in Kona. I beat up my ankles on some silly rocks, but I did it body surfing at Magic Sands on the Big Island. I suppose I should mention the dead brain cells from several rounds of Mai Tais too, but that doesn’t sound nearly as butch as the swimming and bodysurfing. Would it help if I said they were flaming Mai Tais?
We visited palaces and churches and archeological sites and generally behaved like gawking tourists we were. Spent lots of time sitting on the seawall just watching local life: the triathletes and open-water swimmers, the locals playing, the outrigger canoe clubs, the birds and crabs doing their things.
We had a great time. The vacation was way too short. Probably wouldn’t have come back but for the grim realities of modern life spelled out by Quicken, even given my responsibilities to appear in court this Tuesday.
The flight home was relatively uneventful: same tin-can of death, same lousy service, still no love for Delta. Diego not only survived, but seemed much better after five days with the housesitter than he’s ever seemed after any time at all in the kennel. The Great Basil Forest is thriving. After 36 hours the mountain of laundry finally seems surmountable. I’m back and I accept it, happy or not.
Focused on the upcoming vacation, and really wondering why I took on so much family law work. OK, it was for billables in a recession, but ramen can be tasty and if I’d stuck to my principles I’d be much skinnier heading out to the Hawaiian beaches next week. I’m expecting to be seeing lots of sights like this or maybe this. Maybe even a Baywatch moment. At this point even hanging out with cute little tropical fishies would make me very happy. If you know reality is different, please don’t spoil the anticipation for me. That anticipation is really all that’s keeping me going at this point.
Revised Vacation Planning
I’ve been on five of the seven continents (missing Australia and Antarctica), but have never made it to Hawaii. In a little more than two weeks I’ll be rectifying that mistake with five days in Kona. The only downside is that the timing means our anniversary dinner will be served by Delta at 35,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean. At least we’ll have an ocean view and won’t have to worry about a designated driver. Expect many photos.
Pongo used to post here from time to time, using his special powers to telepathically move my fingers over the keyboard.
Diego’s never felt the need, but we did feel that he should have the opportunity to share his vacation experiences in his own way.
Still photography from the week is up in the galleries. It was a great vacation, and I’m still regretting listening to the pesky voice of financial reason and letting it end.
Business in 2009
I’m probably not supposed to post about how hot it is here during this brutal winter (86 F according to the desktop widget). I’m probably not supposed to post about how busy I am with new business in the middle of a recession either. But both have led to the same result: drained and tired. The shifting economy has left me with an overabundance of family law work. Divorces, child custody, etc. It’s work, and the cases pay the bills, but they have the same impact on me as Harry Potter’s dementers: they just suck the joy out of living.
Business transactions and planning are win-win when done right. Either you’ve got a good deal, or you walk away no worse for wear.
Even estate planning leaves you with satisfied clients who have a proactive outlook toward life.
But family law… he said, she said, the wicked step-monster said… Everyone loses except the Howling Point A/R department, and they’re too depressed by the work to actually do anything fun with the earnings anyways, so the profits just get drunk away.
Ten days ago Randy and I were looking over the cliffs at Big Sur. Exploring the tide pools of Morro Bay. Now I’m back to bitching about my soon to be ex-desk and trying to rebalance the case load. Need to start planning another vacation.
Love to have you all here, but since you can’t be, thought you’d enjoy seeing Diego’s morning run just north of Pismo Beach. This was walking distance from our room.
Does everyone understand why he’s called the Blur of Fur™ now?
Another Government Holiday?
I had no idea National Donut Day was actually observed by so many people. Especially court clerks and phone center operators. Very frustrated that the most productive part of my day was a couple of games of Scrabulous. C’mon folks, pick up the #$^% phones! Would it kill people in the legal industry to return calls on a Friday? I bet every call I’ve made this week will be returned during my first hour of surfing in little unnamed spots around SLO county the week of the 16th. Karma hates me.