Saturday, August 30

Almost done.

Vacation, Day Seven

We got up early on Saturday morning to take a walk on the beach.

It was foggy as usual. Since Imperial Beach is right on the ocean, the marine fog usually hangs around all morning, burning off by noon or so. I remember it being that way when I was little too.

I was looking forward to our walk because it meant I could absorb everything at a slower pace than on my morning runs and take some pictures. And I could get my husband to help find treasures in the sand!

We found lots of whole sand dollars which was pretty neat. And I just love all the colors of the rocks and how smooth they are. As we neared the pier, we saw an area taped off with that yellow police tape. We could see something on the sand. I said, "uh-oh, that doesn't look good." As we got closer, we saw that it was a full grown sea lion that had washed up on shore. It must have just happened because the lifeguards were the only "offical" folks there. At first we thought it was dead which was sad enough, but then as we walked by it, the sea lion moved. Oh! So upsetting. It was dying. On the beach. Right there before us. It looked like it had gotten caught in a net and it just about broke my heart. I got all upset of course. We continued on our walk, but that sight definitely put a damper on things. So sad. (When we walked back, the sea lion was gone. I think the marine folks took it away.)

Oh, and I think I mentioned all the kelp on the beaches. Here's what I mean...

We also saw a couple of lobster tails.

Except for the sea lion sighting, it was a nice walk.

That afternoon we headed to the H&M in Chula Vista. It was at this place called Otay Ranch Town Center. We knew nothing about the place. I was just armed with Google Map directions to H&M from Imperial Beach. As it turns out, Otay Ranch Town Center is an *enormous* shopping center. Just about every chain store you could possibly imagine seemed to be there. We were a bit awed by it all. And also thinking, "man, maybe we should have come earlier." But no, we didn't want to spend our vacation shopping. I headed in to H&M while Will went off to entertain himself. I have to admit I was in there an awful long time. I tried on a ton of stuff and walked out with maybe five things. It was a nice treat to finally have some decent shopping.

We went over to the VANS store so Will could get his own fix. He bought a pair of classic slip-ons. He really wanted the Iron Maiden high tops, but we both knew he probably wouldn't actually wear them. He bought me the best flip flops ever. Seriously. I've never owned a pair of Vans in my life - I am more of a Converse girl. But these flip flops. So comfortable. I love them.

We also popped in Anthropologie too. Such pretty things, but way out of my price range. And nothing ever seems to fit me anyway. In their housewares section, they had a ton of owl stuff, but I refrained from buying any of it. I really wish I could afford this lamp though. It was super cute.

At that point, we were ready for cocktail hour so we high-tailed it out of there and back to IB. Uncle Jim had a pitcher of margaritas ready to go in the fridge. Sweet! He and Will drank whiskey.

And more whiskey. I stuck to margaritas. Uncle Jim made an excellent batch.

I pulled out all my cameras and took photos. I had a terrible time getting a proper exposure with my Polaroid Automatic 250. I really wanted a nice group shot, but they all came out too dark. This one was the first and best of the bunch.

Of course drinking and photography do not always go well together. The next night I realized what I was going wrong. Ooops. But oh well, we had fun. It turned into quite the festive evening.

Vacation, Days Eight & Nine

And so the journey home began with hangovers for both of us. Not the smartest thing to drink a lot the night before a long drive. We just weren't thinking about it. The drive wasn't too bad though. We drove through southern California and watched the temperature get hotter and hotter. We stopped at In-n-Out Burger in El Centro, CA. We'd been wanting to eat at one throughout the trip and that moment was the best one. These burgers saved us.

Man, they were good. We drove on into southern Arizona, eventually heading north to Phoenix. It was well over 100 degrees and it felt even hotter than Twentynine Palms. I don't know how people can live some place that gets that hot. It's crazy. We drove for about nine hours that day, stopping in Winslow, AZ for the night. The next morning we had about five hours to go, six with the time change. (Or something like that.) By then, we really just wanted to be back home. We did make a quick stop at a Wal-Mart in a small town. I was hoping that I'd get lucky and find cheap Polaroid 600 film, but no, it was actually priced higher than the Wal-Mart here in Santa Fe. In the beginning it was $12.14 for a 10-pack, now it's up to $16.88. So wrong.

We made it home by about one o'clock that afternoon. The kitties were thrilled to see us. The End.

Now on to present matters!

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