Friday, September 14, 2007

vacationing with my family

We're in San Diego for the weekend, taking advantage of Southwest's triumphant return to SFO ($26 one way to San Diego!). It's our first real vacation in four years, albeit just a long weekend. It's delightful (Lola says, "Best... vacation... ever!", and Iris, looking through the minibar, said, "This is heaven! Mom, can you imagine anything more like heaven than this?), but vacationing with this family is definitely unique.

The Sober Husband didn't want to eat out all weekend and found a grocery store. He proposed that we eat room temperature lentil soup and canned baked beans for dinner, served in water glasses. The man was actually surprised that I found his plan disgusting. After this reaction, he decided to heat his mass of beans in the room's coffeepot over my objections ("I may want to make some coffee, and I don't want lentil coffee").

We went for a long walk along the beach in the evening, and the children became frantic after we walked past a house where the inhabitants were watching Spongebob. "We're missing valuable TV! We need to get back to the TV!"

But on the other hand, our hotel room is lovely, and when we're lounging by the pool, there is a little flag on the back of the chairs, and if I raise that flag, a polite woman will come around and bring me a margarita. What's not to love?

Today we went to the San Diego Zoo for much of the day, and it was truly amazing. The zoo is artfully built in a canyon, so there are many levels and things tucked away hither and yon. The family favorite was the hippos' enclosure, where glass allows you to see the depths of the hippos' pond. Who knew that huge hippos float underwater like balloons, bobbing gently in the water, completely submerged but occasionally sticking their nostrils above the water level? How can something so heavy float so effortlessly? Iris and I saw bonobos playing tag and a delightful sort of monkey called a swamp monkey, and so much more.

The children are campaigning to move to San Diego. I can't argue with them. Neither the Sober Husband nor I ever intended to live in San Francisco permanently; it just happened. It would be a lot of work to move, however (sell the house! find new schools! make new friends!). And here I am an anomaly: I notice a lot more people staring at me as I walk about. I'm an example of a type found all over San Francisco: black-haired chubby girls with very good tattoos and sometimes a bit of a retro thing going (a brush of the old Bettie Page). In San Diego this phenotype does not seem common, whereas in the Bay Area, you can't swing a stick without striking several.

Now I'm dying to go to the beautiful outdoor hotel bar, but the children cannot bear to leave the television. Sigh. It's such a romantic destination here, but when the fruits of one's love are with you, you can't expect much more romance than watching cartoons.


Michelle Gable said...

Your girls are right... San Diego is an awesome place to live! :)

2amsomewhere said...

the children became frantic after we walked past a house where the inhabitants were watching Spongebob. "We're missing valuable TV! We need to get back to the TV!"

I forgot to tell you this story when I was out your way.

There is a student at our preschool co-op who is from the Phillipines. He joined the school sometime last year and barely spoke English. This fall, he is jabbering up a storm in English.

My wife, surprised by this, was talking to his parents. They said he learned the language over the summer by watching episodes of Spongebob Squarepants.

So I guess such programming is more valuable that one might at first think... Although I have my doubts about the merits of knowing about "Crabby Patties" at such a young, tender age.


JKG said...

Lived in San Diego for a year.

Military city. In every sense.

Mission Blvd. is beautiful.

I would characterize southern Californians (deep generalization, but I seemed to bat almost 1.000 on this) as "superficial."

Except that superficiality seems to imply some substance beneath, over which to be superficial. Perhaps "shallow with pretensions to depth" is closer.

If you think the immigration debate is fierce in SF, wait until you move to SD. Vicious. If you do choose to move, however, I know the head of the ACLU office there. You may need him.

hughman said...

san diego didn't impress me too much but i agree the zoo is awesome. during their gay pride every year, they have a big dance party at the zoo and you also get entrance to the zoo at night which was awesome. i loved the penguins.

FENICLE said...

Enjoy San Diego! We have our first vaca planned for mid-Oct. - the first in almost 6 years! WAY TOO LONG :)

Missy said...

It's been over a year since we went to SD and my younger daughter is still talking about living there.

I have a good friend who learned all his English from cartoons as a five year old, and he has a flawless accent to boot.

I'm so happy you are getting a good mini-vacation!

The sudden frugal streak of the Sober Husband is note worthy.

hughman said...

also, who is watching the kitties and zoe??

Anonymous said...

I just got back from San Diego a couple of weeks ago. A play I wrote was in a festival there. Too bad you weren't down there then.

I used to live there in my twenties, before moving to San Francisco. It's way too conservative for you, DH. And the general atmosphere is too "health conscious" and I use quotes there because it's really a thinly veiled appearance fixation.

I still enjoy visiting, but it's no SF.


the Drunken Housewife said...

I wish we'd intersected with you, Kim, but our airfare sale didn't start until recently. I miss you!

Hughman, I took the kittens to another foster parent for the weekend. As for the big cats, Zoe, and the rats, we just put out extra food and water. We aren't gone long enough for them to need a sitter. I have alerted friends to break into the house to get the pets if we don't return safely (commenter and real life friend M has promised to dress up like a ninja kitty for the rescue mission if need be).

Alison said...

Thanks for the card, by the way! It’s so nice to get mail that’s not bills or incomprehensible tax stuff.

My girls turn into TV addicts in hotels too – to the extent that they sat glued to cheesy cartoons in Polish or Czech or whatever when we travelled in eastern Europe … We are obviously much worse parents than you, because we occasionally left them in the room while we nipped down to the bar for a drink (leaving them with instructions to come and get us if anything involving fire or blood happened but not otherwise).

Unknown said...

[smacks self on forehead]

Fire and blood related! Yes, that's the defining line for when to come get us. I gotta keep that in mind. {chuckle}

We took our first vacation since 2001 ourselves this past month, a well-deserved cruise. I am not sure, but the memories are could buy us a few more years before our next vacation, if we had to. Here's to hoping we don't have to wait that long!

My daughter Kim was eyeing my spiffy new penguin (thanks DH!) when it arrived last week.

I'm going to get called a P0s3r by the IT guys though for the shirt. LOL. That was perfect!

Trouble said...

You know, of all the cities in California, San Diego has long been the only one I'd remotely consider relocating to. It just seems so LIVABLE.

the Drunken Housewife said...

Alison and Thi, I'm so glad you got your mail! Thanks again for your help!

Thi, I got t-shirts for the readers who wanted geek packages from the old husband. He went into work and let it be known that he was in the market for geek t-shirts, and the guys there delighted in digging up some. (At that website, they are always getting free t-shirts presented to them by other companies hoping to get into bed with the website somehow). I sent you my favorite one; it doesn't get much more geeky than that, and it was a fun shirt.

Anonymous said...

It is a beautiful place to live. I am glad you are having a nice time visiting!

If you are ever considering a move to San Diego, I'd be happy to show you around San Diego as well as help you look at a few homes. I even know of excellent Realtors up in San Fran if you ever need a connection there.
You can search homes anytime for free, no sign-in/reg.

By the way, your comment about your retro style makes me think of a good friend of mine. She moved to Seattle but recently came back to SD. :)