Posts Tagged ‘san diego’

I’m Going Nowhere Lately

February 2nd, 2010

I have been feeling a little bit like Ray Lamontagne lately.  Maybe a little bit of Dave Grohl (that dude is extremely talented, btw).  Although I have made an effort this year to be more pro-active with my guitar playing and learning, that is not the similarity to these rockers that I have been feeling.  I decided to grow a beard.  San Diego doesn’t get that cold in winter, but its a fun thing to do to try and stay warm.

Growing hair is an ocean wave that tosses between tediously annoying, and exhiliratingly fun.  Sometimes you have to wade through the annoying and ugly times, to enjoy the fun trancedent times.  Maybe this is too philosophical for a snide about facial hair.

The last time that I grew my face out, I trimmed my mustache so that it would remain above my lip.  This time I decided for the walrus bushy look to my mustache as I have let it grow as long as it can, and it covers both of my lips even.  This has caused some difficulties.  When I sip water from a stryofoam cup while at my desk, minutes later I will feel water dripping down my lip and chin.  The mustache just gets in the way.  I will go out to a neighborhood bar for a Guinness and I will have a beer lip from the froffy head of the delicious beer.

But far and away the most difficult part is when I have to open my mouth wide to take a bite of something, most often, a delicious sandwich, or a rustic salad.  I will open my mouth, go to take a bite, and as I bite down I will grip my mustache hair between my sandwich and my sharp teeth.  As my teeth dig into the sandwich, my hair will tug from my upper lip.  This is quite painful.  But like how I treat life, I pride myself on endurance, longevity, loyalty and dedication, and of course stupidty.

I started growing the beard in November, and I hope to continue through to April.  Some people declare March as Mustache month, so perhaps I will shave down to just the stache then.  Though, maybe I will still be loving the poetic rocker look and continue to go Eddie Vedder on my face.

My beards in the past, have been multi-colored.  They have been like the United Colours of Bennetton.  They have been mixtures of brown, black, blonde and oddly, red.  However this time there have been some strands of grey.  You can’t really see them in the pictures that I put here, cause there are only a few.  What you think you may see in the pictures is just odd lighting.  But yes, my beard now even has some grey.  I am older, wiser and more mysterious.

And yes, I just did a long obnoxious post about my facial hair.

Arreviderchi Italia

May 28th, 2009

May 28

goodbyes_smGot up at 5am and left our place at 6:05.  We walked a few blocks to the taxi stand outside of Piazza Navona.  Goodbyes were said, and tears were cried.  Ciao Rome.

Ending trips is always sad.  Especially if you’re traveling with someone and you don’t get to sit next to them on the airplane.  You feel disjointed, alone.

Trips ending suck.  There is no more excitement, just finality’s.  Going back unhappy that life is moving on, life is getting older, quickly fading away.

I assess that I have about 30 years of able travel left in my life, before bones and knees ache and travel is difficult.  Lately I have gone on big trips every couple of years (London/Paris in 2007, Rome in 2009), so that would leave 15 years left of able worldwide travel.  I better make every trip count.

It is sad leaving Rome, ending this trip.  Where will I be in life next time I come to Rome?  The last time I came to Rome I was about to be a senior in college.  How much different is my life now from what I expected and hoped?  Will this have been my last time to Rome?  Did I just say goodbye to the Trevi Fountain?  Even more, will this be my last trip to Europe?

I just got on the plane and I am sad–as you can tell.  I hope the person that will be sitting next to me is small in size, not grotesque, doesn’t smell badly, and is a nice person.

This flying stuff has been a lot easier than I remember.  I could almost get used to it.  I have been on the plane for 7 hours now, taken  little naps, and watched 1.5 movies.  I have put on Coconut Records 21 tracks on my ipod and I have not made it to song 11 awake, multiple times.  I think i have done this play-list 4 times now and I sleep till it finishes, then the engine noise wakes me up.

I watched the movie Marley and Me and I must admit that I cried numerous times.  Why do they advertise these movies as comedies and then draw the rain?

One part that got me was when Owen Wilson said “He gets to come home” and then of course the other moments towards the end, and the sudden end (which reminds me of a scene in the movie Fletch).

Dr. Joseph Dolan: You know, it’s a shame about Ed.

Fletch: Oh, it was. Yeah, it was really a shame. To go so suddenly like that.

Dr. Joseph Dolan: Ahh, he was dying for years.

Fletch: Sure, but… the end was really… very sudden.

Dr. Joseph Dolan: He was in intensive care for eight weeks!

Fletch: Yeah, but I mean the very end, when he actually died. That was extremely sudden.

I woke up from one of those naps to see that Get Smart was on and about 75% done.  Darn.  I feel that I need to take advantage of the things that make time go fast:  the movies, the sleeping…

They just showed the chart of where the plane is.  I love those things.  They show a picture of where in the world the plane is and the course it has taken.  Right now we are nearing Newfoundland and the edges of Canada.  It says we have 3:03 left till NY.  Oops, maybe I spoke too soon about getting used to this.

When I get into NY, there is customs and then a 2 hour layover before another 6.5 hour flight.

It’s been 10 hours since I caught the cab in Rome and an exact 12 hours till we arrive in San Diego.  Add that up, plus the hour earlier than that that I woke up this morning in Rome…travelling is tough.

And if I haven’t mentioned it, let me make sure I do here:  My last 3 meals in Italy regretfully sucked!

We are currently flying 841 Km/hr.  It’s 4:30 pm in Italy, I wonder what Debbie, Steve, Kathie and Jeane are doing.

I am now writing this the next day, after getting home.

I shouldn’t have mentioned during our layover in NYC that the 3 flights of the this trip had been relatively easy compared to flights in the past.  Well, 3 out of 4 now.

We were delayed at first boarding our plane, and then when I boarded, they were frantically still cleaning the plane.  We taxied out and sat for 30 minutes due to rain and busy-ness and then they announced that they heard a funny noise and we had to go back and get maintenance done.

As we were heading back, they said that they think it was just too much air conditioning and that they were gonna head back out and get in line again.

We waited 2 hours on the runway.

We took off and I was sitting near a cougher, a baby crying, a lady interrupting me asking random questions (Is the ocean cold in San Diego?), and next to a guy that had zero spacial sensitivity as he had his legs spread wide, was shaking and singing out loud to his death metal music and who was often reaching down and up his shorts to itch himself.

The movie sucked.  I watched 15 minutes of it and then read 400 pages of the Angels and Demons book that I bought at the airport in JFK, and then I took a nap.

During my nap, I pulled my hood over my head and put my earphones on.  The Itcher next to me wanted to go to the bathroom, but didn’t realize I was asleep.  When he tapped me, I jumped and let out a startled yelp.  It was funny.

26 or 27 or…hours after leaving Rome, we arrived in San Diego and Robbie picked us up.

Got home and talked to Adam for awhile, gave him his arsenal jersey, did a few random things and went to bed.

It’s odd being “home.”  I am afraid of falling back into habits of becoming lazy again, and not challenging myself.

I also am stressing about all I need to do to be responsible, to catch up on things, to eat, to see…I keep reminding myself that I don’t have to do it all in one day.

It was a fun trip.  Much different mentally than 11 years ago.  I wonder if that was because I was in charge this time and had responsibility to think and worry about other people?  Maybe it’s cause I’m older?  Maybe I had less enstranglement of thoughts and worries of life last time?

Seasons of life are strange.

I write this on the 29th now.  I woke up in the middle of the night with strange dreams, not sure where I was, quickly throwing on my shorts.  I realized shortly that it was 2 am and I had been asleep for 90 minutes only.

Got up eventually and went and ate pancakes for my first meal back.  I still can’t believe that my last meal in Italy was a hot dog.

Now I am going to try and have a lazy afternoon, finishing hopefully the last 300 pages of that book.

Sad.

Longing.

Grateful.

Arreviderchi Italia!

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVYpL5Mky5w

Zantastic

May 7th, 2009

What an odd and interesting day  Let me take you back a few weeks though.  

I have been losing weight for the past few months because:

  1. since my knee injury, exercise is very limited.  I went from exercising 6 days a week down to zero.
  2. the last time Juan visited, we did some heavy eating and drinking.
  3. I wanted to create room for pasta and pizza and wine while I was in Italy.

I dropped around 20 pounds back to the weight I should be.  Sometimes I used good ad healthy methods for these results, and sometimes I used poor methods- like cramming for a test and pulling all nighters–you may get results, but you may suffer for it.

The last part of this week I have been increasing my food intake to prepare my body for heavier loads and the last few meals, my body would get a little sick to my stomach.

After I ate Monday night, my stomach started having problems and feeling very nauseous.  Come Wednesday I almost called in sick to work, and suffered through the day.  I was hoping it was just stress from the trip.

Today, Thursday, I woke up at 4:15 am for my trip.  Before Robbie even arrived to pick me up, I had already knelt at the toilet in anticipation of vomit.  Fortunately it never came.  But it got really bad.  A few ties I had to run upstairs.  I was nervous that they wouldn’t let me o the flight or worse, that I would be throwing up on the plane.

I had Robbie make na emergency stop at CVS where I picked up a sprite, some zantac and CVS brand antacid.

Just in the nick of time the zantac kicked in.  I was partially hoping Robbie would drive slower as I wasn’t ready to be at the airport feeling this way.  

I could feel the drug kicking in just before I got there an shortly after I did arrive, I felt a lot better.

But it wasn’t gone.  It went through waves all day.  Some moments it felt like the ed of the world and at other times I felt great.  

I went thru the maximum allowed for a 24 hour period.  I’m hoping I survive this flight I am on at the moment.  

My flight this morning from San Diego to New Yor, I was in seat B.  I had booked each flight to have the aisle seat as I sometimes get a little claustrophobic in tight spaces.

So I get on this flight and to my surprise I am in the middle seat.  Fantastic.  But this turned out to be one of the couple of good surprises of the day.  It happened to be the exit row and the leg room was massive for a coach seat.  i sat there, stretched my legs, happy.

I was kept company by a few Cd’s I bought on itunes last night.  A couple by the one-man band Coconut Records; the solo live album by Noel Gallagher of Oasis; some Sia; and a little Jason Mraz

I arrived in New York and although I had a very short layover, I went and hung out in the American Airlines Admiral Club.  That club is so worth it.  You enter the room and it has abn aura ofpeace and calm,m not like the chaos and fear of the terminal.  

I got myself a ginger ale and took another zantac.  I was feeling nauseous and was hoping for calm to envelop y insides (sadly as I sit on the plane and write this, that hasn’t happened).

(another thing, as I sit here, the lady in front of mejust let the stewardess have it).

I board my flight to Milan and I’m disgusted at first by my row.  There was chip debris everywhere.  It was like I was i my living room.  As wegot closer to take off though, I began to love my seat and row.  5 minutes before take off, and the seat next to me was still vacant.

We pulled away from the gate and I was happy.  Despite having and up and down sick day, I’m on an international flight with a full row to myself, drinking some sprite and watching “Yes Man.”

Only about 9 more hours to go and I’ll be in beautiful Lake Como.  

Ciao Bello

Earth To Italy

April 27th, 2009

So I have been planning a trip to Italy to travel around as well as to visit my parents.  Finding hotels has not been an easy process.  For instance, during my time in Rome, there will be a sporting event that could equate to our Super Bowl. Google Earth has this great feature where you can turn on icons to represent lodging.  But even with that great tool, almost every place I searched for in Rome ended up being unavailable.  Eventually I found a place through http://www.vrbo.com.  

I figured out general locations where I wanted to be situated in each city.  Then, when looking for a room, often the hotel would claim that they are near that location.  But Google Earth has been a great tool in this.  I would merely punch in the address of the hotel, and it would show me exactly where it was in relation to where I wanted to be.  You would be surprised at how many hotels claimed to be near the Duomo in Florence, only to be not so close.

At this point I have everywhere booked, except for 3 nights – 2 of those nights are in the Cinque Terre.  Here are the screenshots from Google Earth and websites where appropriate.

 
Here is my itinerary:

  • May 7th leave San Diego
  • 8th land in Milan
  • 8-9 Lake Como
  • 10th Milan (I am hoping to  get tickets to the soccer game or the opera as a fallback)
  • 11-12 Venice
  • 13-14 Cinque Terre
  • 15, 16, 17, 18 Florence
  • 19, 20, 21, 22 Montalcino
  • 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 Rome
  • May 28th Fly home

 

Lake Como
La Pergola

La Pergola, Hotel and Restaurant, drawn from a sixteenth century-building, lies by the lake, in a most typical fishermen’s hamlet called Pescallo, right on a shore of the promontory of Bellagio, turning south-east and facing the Lecco branch of Lake Como. The House was drawn from a building dating back to 1500, and assigned to a convent in the past centuries. The centre of Bellagio is but 10 minutes’ walk, among the luxuriant olive trees and mediterranean vegetation spread out on the Spartivento Point.

La Pergola

 

Milan
Best Western Cristoforo Colombo
About a 15 minute walk from the train station and about a 15 minute walk from the Duomo.  Im desperately hoping to get tickets to the Juve v. Milan soccer game, but am considering the opera as a backup plan.

milanhotel

Venice
Hotel Ai Do Mori
They have a crappy website.  They need Gorirra.  But it is only about 10 meters from St. Mark’s Square.  

Venice Hotel

 

Cinque Terre
Vernazza
Ivo Camere
The apartment which is also in the center of the town is accessible via a characteristic “carugio” (small side street) and is steps away from the piazza and the sea. 

vernazzahotel

 

Florence
Brunelleschi Hotel 
Hotel Brunelleschi is located in the middle, pedestrian area of the historical center of Florence, just steps away from the Cathedral and the Signoria Square, from a part overlooking the Via Calzaiuoli.

Florence Hotel

 

Montalcino
With My Parents
Next time I get the address from my parents, I’ll take a Google Earth pic.

montalcino

 

Rome
Private Apartment
its perfect location. From there the most important sights of the City can be reached with a short walk. You are just in the heart of the centre. 200 metres from Piazza Navona and Pantheon, 300 metres from Spanish Steps or Trevi Fountain and, in the opposite direction, just crossing the Tiber, you can reach Sant’Angelo Castel and St.Peter Cathedral (400 metres).

Rome Apartment

Spring Is Around The Corner

March 29th, 2009

I love spring time in San Diego.

Most spring breaks during college I would go on a mission trip down to Ensenada, Mexico.  One year I went as part of a team teaching vacation bible school in a little town.  Another year I went on a basketball team and we played against military, city, and prison teams.  Each year instead of spending the night in a high school gym on this side of the border the night before, my team would crash at my parents house on Camino del Valle

caminodelvalle

My parents had this 50 yard daisy bed along the street.  When my team would stay there before our trip to Mexico, it would not be in bloom.  But when I would return a week later, it would be full of big bright purple and white daisies.  There would be a dramatic change all in a week time.  That was when I knew that Spring had arrived, and I would get a skip in my step.

My parents no longer live at that house, and the new owner removed that flower bed.  But its memory will always exist in my mind and will bring me great joy.  I still love spring, and now the consistency of the daisy bed, has been replaced by the love of the orange California poppies that perk up this time of year, this month of year, this week of year.

Sunny Days

March 25th, 2009

Today's WeatherThere is nothing like a 45-minute walk, in 80.2 degree temperature with a blue sunny sky to make one feel happy to be alive. I love San Diego, and I love the beauty that God created.

Operation Hot Mother (Motherboy XXX)

October 28th, 2008

This article ran a long time ago, but I am a proud son so I wanted to make sure to grab the link and the article and post it here for posterity.  http://www.floristsreview.com/main/march/featurestory2.html

Debbie Morales
Holiday Flowers of San Diego
San Diego, Calif.

Date: Oct. 8, 2006
Ceremony and reception site: Admiral Kidd Club, a military facility on San Diego Harbor
Number in wedding party: 9
Number of guests: 185
Approximate retail floral bill: $7,500

Not everybody can pull off an oceanside surfboard ceremony, but for this couple, who got engaged while scuba diving (the groom had written “Will you marry me?” on a wipe-off board), it made sense. The couple—the florist’s daughter and new son-in-law—had spent time in Southeast Asia and requested orchids and other tropical flowers that reminded them of that experience. Leis of green and white Dendrobium orchids adorned the “altar” along with coordinating tropical arrangements. The most tedious part, Debbie Morales shares, was ensuring that the borrowed surfboards did not get damaged. She created the horizontal spray in a casket saddle and secured it to one board with pew hooks. Twenty-two “trees,” made of brake fern and Dendrobium orchids, were created by inserting bouquet holders into 8-foot-tall bamboo shoots. The trees helped direct guests from the ceremony to the reception.

This Week I'm Thinking About: Kelly Le