Monday, July 29, 2013

The Vacation - The Grande Finale!

Here are a few pictures from our picnic in Balboa Park...first class and wonderful...the only way Wedding by Di does it.

Wednesday afternoon visited Old Town in San Diego and the Fiesta de Reyes!  The outdoor restaurant ran year around...THAT is how good the weather is in San Diego.

The many places on earth where you may find yourself surrounded by beautiful vistas, warmed by the sun, cooled by the breeze, and completely comfortable with your surroundings.  San Diego has several places like this...perhaps hundreds, if I stayed long enough to find them all.  Balboa Park was one of those places.  One large piece of Balboa Park is the San Diego Zoo.

Thursday was a fantastic day, weather least for us.  It was about 79-80 degrees, partially sunny and about 40% humidity.  Most of the world would kill for this weather, but for San Diego, this was a hot day.  I heard one local even refer to it as a "heat wave".  For us, it was the perfect day for the San Diego Zoo.

The entrance sets the tone.  It is fairly breath-taking.

Needless to say, we covered the entire park...partially by foot the later by bus tour.

These guys were massive!

The San Diego Zoo was amazing!

Melissa was dog tired after a day on her feat, so Friday was a perfect day for me and little man to venture up to Carlsbad, CA.  This part of the trip was for me and little man, for sure.  About 3 weeks before our trip, on a whim, I contacted the media people and fan club for Tony Hawk.  When grilled by Michael about who lived in San Diego, Tony Hawk was the only name that popped into my head that lived there...and when I did, he lit up saying, "Oh Dad!  Can we meet Tony Hawk?"  So I did my best to make magic happen.  Within a day of emailing them, the Fan Club President (and super duper cool chick) contacted me back and we made plans.  Today was the day those plans where to take place.  Tony was off to the X-Games in Munich (though, I had already met him at the airport while waiting for our bags to arrive).  The pictures tell the story pretty well, but one thing I will add is that the people there were so open and down to earth, despite being part of a mutli-million dollar series of companies...Tony Hawk is just a nice guy who seems to hire and surround himself with good people...a success strategy I wish our Government and big business would consider.

Love the mullet.

The bounty...what a cool thing to do for us. 

It is hard to imagine just how big this half pipe is until you see it in person.  It is a one-of-a-kind, built and designed for being taken apart and packed into just 1 tractor trailer truck and can be set up anywhere.  It is just the kind of toy a legend like Tony Hawk would be expected to have at his disposal.

The picture above and below are of Tony Hawk's office.  The picture above has little man messing with Tony's very first I was saying "Please do not break anything!"

I was a bit beside myself.  Though I have never been able to quite get the hang of skateboarding, I have followed since the Bones Brigade.  The music, clothes, and culture of skating was just cool to me.  Plus, Tony was one of the guys who turned his passion into a business...paved a path for future skaters to follow...created an entire industry and sport from a passion.  Powerful be that successful and let me stomp around your office and things, tells me he made it through all that and is still a nice guy.

After we left, I couldn't help by fantasize about how cool it must be to work doing something you both love and are really good at.  Then I thought about my passions.  How could I turn work for my passions?  How cool would it be to work for Tony Hawk? be part of something so dynamic yet, kind of simple because it was just people being themselves and doing what they love.  These thoughts haunt me daily now...and that, frankly, is a good thing.  I need that kind of motivation.  Right now, I am stuck, like most Americans, but further complicated by our situation with Cancer.  I neither hate what I do for a living or who I work for, but I am not passionate about is just work.

I used my natural navigating skills, now just settling to the west coast, to steer us in to Legoland in Carlsbad, CA.  I have to say, for big kids and adults, it was a bit corny, but for the little kids, it was impressive.  Kids from 4 up could ride almost anything in the park.  The water park thing (in one of the picture below) was the biggest hit.

We got home from our day about 8pm or so, ordered in pizza and had an early night.  We were all pretty worn out by then.

Saturday was our leisure day.  We decided to go to Fashion Valley Mall to find a new carry-on for our flight home.  Next time, I may not even need to check bags.

Sunday, early, our wake-up call did not happen, so we hit the ground running and got to our flight just in time.

I will greatly miss San Diego.  When got on the plane (a vintage mid-80's model, BTW), I was really hating having to leave.  Now, almost a month later, I feel what I can only describe as "home sickness" for a place I hardly had a chance to get to know.  Maybe one day...

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