Monday, June 30, 2008

Monday in San Diego

I decided to stay in the apartment that Brian built above his garage for guests. It's an incredible place to stay for vacation. There's satellite TV, a fridge, a microwave, internet connection, and a bathroom with a shower!

I slept great in the ideal San Diego climate and on Monday morning I woke up feeling great. Robbie had spent the night at Michael and Katie's. In the morning Michael, Robbie, and I all went to The Mission on University Avenue for breakfast. I had the breakfast burritos.

After breakfast we took Robbie to the airport and I went back to the apartment and took a nap. In the afternoon I walked around the neighorhood and got some great pictures of some of the plants growing in peoples' gardens. I recognized some of the plants from my previous travels to Sydney. The climate of San Diego is very similar to Sydney's.

July 1 177 July 1 178 July 1 182 Bougainvillea

After Brian and Jen got home with the kids, we went to Michael and Katie's for dinner. They had prepared tacos for us and then we went to the grocery store for ice cream.

- Andy

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Las Vegas

When I arrived in San Diego, Brian and Michael were waiting for me in the Murano. Robbie showed up about an hour later and we made for the hills.

We stopped at an In & Out for burgers and then off to Las Vegas. It was a 5 hour drive from San Diego to Las Vegas through mountains and desert and past Joshua trees and salt flats.

That 70's Moment Mountains Salt Flats Hot

Did I mention it was hot?

Once we got to Vegas, we checked into our room at Mandalay Bay and then wandered around in a casual search for food until we arrived at ESPN Zone. They had Fat Tire in the big bottles, so I had a couple of those and then we played some games. Robbie rocked the boxing game and Brian was not too shabby at horse racing.

Horse Racing Robbie Boxing From the Hotel Window

After that it was back to Mandalay Bay for some games and a couple hours of sleep.

On Saturday we sat around in the pool, which was fantastic, and then napped in the afternoon. I received a sunburn on my back and legs from sitting cross-legged in the shallow pool. We had reservations for dinner at Bouchon, a French restaurant by chef Thomas Keller. He was the chef consultant that Pixar contacted for the movie Ratatouille. He invented the preparation of ratatouille used in the end, he calls it "confit biyaldi"

The Menu Porc Braisé Poulet Rôti Steak Frites Truite aux Amandes

The food was not bad, but it did not blow anyone away either. There are certainly better restaurants in Las Vegas... sorry Thomas.

After that we had some more drinks... and then it's kind of a blur. On Sunday morning we went to Circus Circus for a few hours and then back to San Diego in time for dinner. Brian grilled some awesome steaks. After that we went out for ice cream and Katie mis-stepped off a curb and ended up breaking a bone in her foot!

Fremont Street Experience Robbie At Circus Circus Luxor Brothers and Others

- Andy

Friday, June 27, 2008

Finally a Vacation!

On Friday, June 27th at 4am I was awoken by my internal alarm clock. It was time to make my way to Midway Airport in Chicago for my flight to Minneapolis and then to San Diego. The plan from there was to drive to Las Vegas with Brian, Michael, and Robbie for the weekend and then spend the following week in San Diego.

When I began to go through the morning ritual of feeding Zoe (dog) and preparing my own breakfast, it became clear that Zoe was horribly ill. She had left several messes in the kitchen for me to clean up. To add to the pandemonium, Isabelle was also in a rush. Finally I made it out the door and over to the train station only to realize I had forgetten my train pass. I needed to walk to the ATM to get cash, and by that time I missed the train. I hailed a cab and finally my journey was afoot.

I arrived at Midway in plenty of time for a cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich at Potbelly Sandwich Works in the airport. I slept through the quick flight to Minneapolis where I had a 2 hour layover.

Minneapolis Airport Preparing for Takeoff I'm Flying!

The flight to San Diego was uneventful, I read a chapter in The Pirate Republic and listened to some music. I got a lot of pictures from the window of the western topography and San Diego.

Grand Canyon San Diego San Diego Airport

- Andy