Coll Writes

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San Diego Sunshine

Written By: Colleen - Feb• 27•13

On Tuesday, February 12, Jay and I embarked on a week-long California adventure to visit his families in both San Diego and Los Angeles.  I want to recap the trip here for posterity, so I’m going to break it up into two posts, one for each city.

We got to San Diego around 9:00pm PST on February 12.  We stayed the week with Jay’s grandma, Bev, and step-grandfather, Rob (Jay and Jack listeners/old message board folk will know Rob as IronFiggy).  Our first act of California was on the way back from the airport: Jack-in-the-Box.  I wasn’t hungry, but I had a Sourdough Jack anyway.  I was on vacation, right?  Time to live it up a little.

grandmabev-omeletwithavacadoOn Wednesday, Feb. 13, we started our day with an awesome omelet by Grandma Bev.  The woman is famous for her amazing omelets.  With full bellies, we set out to rent a car and drive about 25 minutes to see Jay’s maternal grandmother and uncle.  We picked them up and took ’em to Bob’s Big Boy for lunch.  Jay can pretty much eat anything at any time, so the three of them had burgers.  I had barely digested breakfast, so I forfeited the full Big Boy Burger experience and had grilled cheese, lol.  It was a really nice lunch and very good to get to see them again.

After we dropped them off, Jay wanted to give me the tour of where he used to live in that area.  I had seen one of his old homes and his high school right after SDCC…2009, maybe?  I was rocking a massive headache at that point from the climate change (San Diego is very dry), so our first stop was his childhood Target!  Very exciting, I know.  Jay bought a Joker toy and I bought Excedrin.  We were off to a great start.  We toured his old neighborhood, then went to visit his longtime best friend, Ryan.  Ryan was co-Best Man in our wedding.  We hung out with Ryan and his girlfriend Jen, then met up with his mom and brother for Ash Wednesday mass at St. Kieran’s.  St. Kieran’s is Jay’s old Catholic school for grades 1-8 and he had the best time there.  Ryan and Jay spent a good half hour reminiscing about the “good old days” before we left for church.  It was nice to listen to them.  🙂  After church, we went out to eat at a place called Downtown Cafe Bar & Grill in El Cajon.  I had a really great time getting to know Ryan’s mom, brother, and girlfriend.  They are the nicest people.


Dinner with Ryan, Jen, and family.

sandiegozoo-panda-21413Thursday was Valentines’ Day and Jay and I spent it at the San Diego Zoo.  This was my first trip to the zoo.  My goodness, is it a huge zoo!  It took us almost 4 full hours to walk the entire thing.  We saw everything from the two-headed snake to Galapagos turtles to monkeys to tigers to elephants.  Yes, we saw the pandas.  We saw reindeer and a little arctic wolf acting like a puppy; it was the cutest thing ever.  OH!  And we totally watched a gorgeous jaguar take a shit!  Oh yeah, the zoo was fun.  I highly recommend it if you’re going to be visiting the city.  Just remember to wear sneakers, because it’s a lot of walking.  I’m really happy that we ended up going because it was a fantastic experience.  Right next to the zoo is Balboa Park, so we headed there to walk around some more and watch the sunset.  If I lived in San Diego, I would totally walk/run around Balboa Park multiple times a week.  I think I loved our time at Balboa Park even more than the zoo.  Jay got a really cool panoramic picture on his phone from the top of Cabrillo Bridge, which overlooks the city.


Galapagos Turtles.


Arctic Wolf


The jaguar looking for a place to GO.




Balboa Park


Overlook at Cabrillo Bridge

We left Balboa Park around 5:30pm and headed over to Jay’s Aunt Tammy’s house to have dinner with the entire San Diego chapter of the Glatfelter clan.  Jay’s uncle made carne asada tacos.  SO GOOD.  I swear, between the omelets and the carne asada, I would be so fat if I lived in San Diego, haha.  Family dinner night was a ton of fun; we finished it by watching the premiere of Survivor: Caramoan together.  It couldn’t have been a more fun night.


So much food…

Friday was our last full day in San Diego.  Weather wise, it was a fabulous day.  We decided to hit up the beach in La Jolla by the Children’s Cove.  Our first official date was in La Jolla at a place called George’s.  We actually went there this past July to celebrate our 5th dating anniversary.  We walked up and down the beach for a while, then walked around some of the stores close to the beach.  We checked out the La Jolla lululemon store for me and an art gallery featuring original paintings by Dr. Seuss for Jay.  Man, San Diego is such a nice place.  If I ever have a lot of money, I’m going to buy a huge apartment in NYC, a home in Raleigh, and a condo in Downtown San Diego.  Then, I’ll have all my bases covered!


Jay. Beach.


 Another panoramic shot.

Me. Video.

sandiego-coll-hardrockbirthdaysundaeThat night, we went to the Hard Rock Cafe in the Gaslamp District of San Diego with Grandma Bev and Rob.  We had the most ridiculous waitress ever – she had a personal story for every single question we asked her and claimed that like 4 of her 10 siblings worked there with her or something.  Talk about taking the “relate to the customer” method to the extreme.  I swear, if we had asked for ketchup, she would have told us about the one time that she ate ketchup with her sister in the restaurant’s kitchen.  It gave us a good laugh and she meant well, so we couldn’t make fun of her too much.  We all got burgers and they were really good.  Rob had told her that we were having a belated birthday dinner for me since we were in town from North Carolina (“Oh, I’m from North Carolina!” -Our waitress), so they brought me out a little sundae with a candle.  It was super sweet.  All in all, our trip to San Diego was AWESOME.  We both had a really wonderful time.  <3

We left for Los Angeles County the next morning, but that part of the story is to be continued…

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