It’s already been a month since our fall ’09 California trip. I want to try to get a bit better about blogging earlier about this sort of stuff but time seemed to take me in different directions. There are tons of photos and they’re all up on flickr. Rather than putting all the photo albums in this post, I’m simply going to put a short one but then I’ll provide links below for the rest.
We spent 11 days there in total, about half in San Diego and the other half in Pasadena and Burbank. Luckily, Adi’s genetics conference paid for the San Diego half of the trip. The best thing about our hotel was the view and the worst thing about it was the fact that we found out that the owner of this particular Hyatt, Doug Manchester, donated $125,000 to passing proposition 8. We saw protesters outside the day after Maine Proposition 1 passed. The parking garage attendant informed us about the reasons for the protest and it was confirmed at the hotel the following day.
I guess that explained the decor, which I referred to as “Early Reagan Republican”.
It looked like it was right out of some “high class” country club in Anywhereville, USA. But we had already checked in and it was the conference hotel so we didn’t check out. Had we known earlier, we probably would have.
So we decided to enjoy it, especially the view.
The best thing about going to San Diego was seeing my niece Tara, her daughter Makena, son Joaquin (for the first time), and husband Carlos (for the second time). We got together almost everyday and it was really fun just to hang out. Joaquin was the perfect baby, at least while we were there. Here’s a link to the first full set of photos on flickr that show our first couple of days and a lot of photos of a cool Mexican restaurant called El Camino that Adi and I ate at in South Park.
The second day of our trip, Tara, Makena, Joaquin, and I got together at Balboa Park while Adi was busy at his conference. The weather was perfect, we had a great time, and of course, I took way too many photos. There are also photos in this group of Adi and I at the beach in the afternoon and then La Jolla at sunset.
Adi had some time off mid morning one day so we took a quick trip and tour of Coronado Island and shot a lot of photos of the Hotel Del Coronado. In the afternoon, I met Tara and the kids again at the Fashion Valley Mall and bought some sunglasses. There are some great photos in this set of me and the kids.
On our last day in San Diego, a Saturday, Adi was at his conference all day. In the mid afternoon, I got together with Tara, Carlos, and their family for some fun at the playground at Mission Bay Park. At night, we went to a seafood restaurant near the hotel. There are only 22 photos in this one (short compared to the other sets).
That night we said goodbye to Tara, Carlos and sweet Makena and Joaquin. And the
next day, after a morning conference session, we headed up the coast and toward LA and eventually made our way to Pasadena, where our friends Vanessa and Joe live. They also have a newborn, the six-month-old Olivia, who was adorable and a very good baby, especially when she was in motion! We also spent time with our friend John Toal and saw his new dog Pierre, which Adi kept referring to as Pied-A-Terre for some reason. There are a ton of photos in this slide show, a lot of the Huntington Gardens in San Marino.
All good trips come to an end (and luckily the bad ones too). We extended our LA trip by 2 days and it was well worth it. We felt less rushed and enjoyed the extra time with our friends and driving around what my friend Neil refers to as “God’s Country”. As always, LA bewitched, bedazzled, and bewildered me. Many people hate it but I’ll always have a special place in my heart for this crazy city. And yes, I did envision myself living there again one day. But not in the near future. Here’s the last slide show, which includes our time at Farmer’s Market in LA and a few photos from the Dearly Departed Tour, which was quite good.