A time to share

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

San Diego

Last Thursday we packed up our daughter, took the dog to a kennel and flew off to San Diego. Our purpose was to have some fun, get away and to see our son Eric before he heads off to duty in Iraq. The flight went well on a Boeing 737-400. Wonder if I towed it while it was in Renton, probably!
Eric picked us up at the S.D airport and drove us to our hotel. The marines gave him a couple of days off. Big of them... I would have thought they would let him come home for maybe ten days or so before his tour of duty. Instead, the four of us (Ryan came down Friday) had to go to him. Oh well, San Diego is a great place to take a vacation! Beautiful weather, great beaches, warm ocean waters...
We stayed at a local La Quinta Inn as the hotels were all booked. Hey, we weren't there for the hotels! It had a swimming pool and a nice continental breakfast each morning. No complaints. Good shower too, all the necessities!
Eric looked great, although he seemed a little out of sorts with us hovering over him for several days. He finally warmed up Saturday night. It was like we invaded his space, broke up his routine, which of course we did!
Thursday night found us trying to eat in Old Town at Guadalajara's Mexican restaurant, we arrived at 8:15 and they weren't taking anymore customers. The place was packed. The restrooms were both "out of service." Hmmm, maybe that is why they were turning people away? We had eaten there two years prior and really enjoyed the food and the experience.
Eric suggested the Coyote Cafe. He had eaten there before. Good call. The food was excellent.
Friday morning we got up and headed off to the San Diego Zoo. We were there 11 years ago. Katie was almost three then. We walked about and enjoyed the weather and the zoo. It was a good time. No schedule, just walking, talking and taking pictures.You can meet the strangest critters at the zoo, some large, and some, well, not so large.

Eric left about 3pm to pick up his brother Ryan at the airport, and then came back to pick us up... Friday night we were invited to eat dinner with John and Rachel Galvan, John is an M.P. Dog handler like Eric. They have become fast friends! We had a great time dining and sharing and just being with them, they had some fun stories to tell about times with Eric..
Saturday we mosied our way to La Jolla beach. (Pronounced LaHoya) It is right next to Torrey Pines Golf Course, home of the 2008 U.S Open. I looked into playing it on Sunday afternoon, but decided against it, the boys wouldn't get out of it the greatness of the course and the price was steep and we would only get in maybe 14 holes. I didn't bring my golf clubs or any of my golf attire, shoes balls etc... Next time though I will plan for it!
La Jolla beach was a blast.

We enjoyed body surfing and splashing about in the warm Pacific Ocean waters. Throwing the Frisbee around, I think this was just about the most fun Katie had, playing with her brothers and me in the surf. Joan got brave and joined us as well, it was nice to see her "let her hair down!" I got sun burned of course, it is a yearly ritual with me. I tell anyone who comments on it that it is just the way I tan, "I tan red!"

After a short stop at our hotel, we went to San Diego's Old Town. Lots of people, shops and restaurants,(Mostly Mexican) kind of a Pike Place Market atmosphere at night. We went there two years ago when Eric graduated from boot camp. Ryan didn't go with us then, so it was a nice time for him. We ate at Jack & Guilio's, a fine Italian restaurant. If you ever go to Old Town, And you should. I highly recommend it. Two years ago I ordered the Chicken Cacciatorre, excellent. Of course, I ordered it again. Excellent again.
Late nights and early mornings. Swimming in the hotel pool... meeting people from all over, a family from Egypt, now living in Las Vegas. Marine buddies of Erics'.

Sunday morning meeting going to church. Ryan planned a nice church adventure for us. I don't really know how to explain it but his home church in Seattle is connected with churches all over the country, perhaps the world. He found a Church of Christ in San Diego and we drover there. They were holding services at a Marina. The sermon was really good and hard hitting. We were welcomed as if we belonged and the people were really friendly.

After church we walked about the marina a bit. San Diego is really beautiful, I mean, water everywhere, parks and it seemed there was always a gentle breeze.

We rented a car as Eric would be working on Monday and Tuesday. We ended up at Camp Pendleton
where Erics' dog Zoran is kenneled.

Eric enjoyed showing us his working grounds. The Marine corp Kennels. I think there were upwards of 30 hounds in the kennels. They were loud and rambunctious when we arrived. I think they were all hoping we would let them out and they could run and play and stretch their legs.
Eric took Zoran out and ran him thru the obstacle course. You could see great affection and love between Eric and Zoran. Zoran is a really nice dog,

well mannered and well trained. Eric has done a fine job with him. Later, another Marine arrived and Eric had him use his dog and Eric demonstrated how they attack and respond to their handler.Eric was the one being attacked! I don't know who had more fun, Eric or the attacking dog, or his handler. It was really eye opening and enjoyable to see Eric working at what he is trained for.
Would YOU be afraid of this SWeet dog???

Having no plans for dinner, Ryan talked us into walking the block or so up the street from our hotel to enjoy the fine dining and entertainment of Benihana's.

Katie had never been to Benihana's before and Joan and I haven't been in about 25 years. While the prices are some what high, it was well worth the time we had. The food was excellent and the chefs really make you laugh and have a great time. We were paired with a man and his daughter who just happen to be from our state and live fairly close to us. They were gracious and fun, Nick and his lovely daughter Ashley. At Benihana's, the chefs have fun with food, here is an onion ring choo choo train, smoke stack included!

Sunday night in the hotel room was a wild and somewhat weird time... how to explain???
Ryan was getting up very early to catch a flight back to Seattle so he could be at work by ten. Eric was driving him to the airport and then heading to work himself Monday morning...
The Flynn clan got crazy... It all started because of Eric's... well, he had been passing gas all weekend and laughing about it, it was bad to say the least... Now not only Eric, but papa Flynn and Ryan had the problem... Poor Katie and Joan...
Us boys were having too much fun stinking up the joint, Joan was getting angry and trying to keep everyone in line...

but she succumbed to Eric and Ryan's antics and began laughing... we were all laughing and trying to get to sleep, but soon a pillow fight broke out between Katie and the boys... She had no chance, she loved it!

What a commotion! Eric and Ryan began jumping on the bed, strutting their stuff, mom yelling at them half heartedly to "knock it off."
We had a grand Ol' time.

Monday morning and what to do today? Ryan off to work in Seattle, Eric at work in Pendleton... no plans.
So we went to Del Mar Race track and watched the thoroughbreds run. Joan and I had never been to the horse races. It was a beautiful day.
We asked many questions of many people, never did figure out how to bet. We lost a few bucks but had a good time along the way.
Almost immediately after arriving, as we were walking around the paddock, I got jostled by a big man and he immediately apologized. Him and his buddies were having a bit of fun pushing one another and I got bumped into. One of the men is the son of a horse owner. He asked us about our time in San Diego and found out that it was our first ime at the races and that Katie loves horses, (What 14 year old girl doesn't?)
He invited us to join him and his party in the inner circle of the paddock. The paddock is a circular area that they walk the horse around right before they are about to race so people who are betting can see them. Hey! This is pretty cool. We were introduced to the jocky and we found out later that he is a Hall of Fame Jockey!
The owners son told us that his horse hadn't ran in about a year due to injury, and was picked to finish last by one source, and first by another. He told us that if she finished first, were could join them in the winners circle to be photographed with the winning party! WOW! Now that gave us some incentive to root for his horse. Well, funny but his horse finished dead last! Oh well, it was pretty cool anyway!

Went shopping with the ladies Monday night. Found some nice things for Katie, and Tuesday found us on a jet plane bound for Seattle.
Everyone had a much needed vacation and family time!


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