staying classy in san diego

honestly, this post has taken me so long to make because i stubbornly wanted to include like 8billion photos. because they are all cute! wait, i got ahead of myself. here's what happened: danaye (pictured below) and i decided to take a really really really super last minute trip to san diego to celebrate her birthday. i have known danaye a long long time and her family has taken me on a million amazing trips. lets just say, travel is something we do well. so we asked travelocity to find us the cheapest place to go... and we went!

she sweetly drove to austin sunday night so we could fly out of the same place and early monday morning we awoke and set off for the airport. we had to make a connection in houston (which was unpleasant and hot) and then we were back in the air bound for california. we ate hot tomales for breakfast and possibly lunch also. here we are in the cab on the way to our kick ass hotel.
we looked around the room, got really excited, and about 12.7 seconds later- we were by the pool!
which was beautiful but sooooo cold!
behind me you can see our "tower." we were at the top... ph? holla!!
and we ordered really expensive hotel drinks that seemed worth the expense at the time, but seemed much less worth it upon checkout.
danaye ate some burger and i ate some stolen fries.
this photo is to show you that we are in fact on the top floor.
look at our view!
there are the pools as seen from our balcony. we got really really excited about the slides but then realized it was far too cold to get anywhere near that water. the temperature in the day was like 65! and people were in the pool every hour of every day. crazies.
where the magic happens.
where the mixing happens.
keys (1716- holla)
within 16 minutes of being in our room, this happened.
this is actually the only day the sun was really out so we tried to take advantage.
but i was still cold.
then the sun left and danaye was still cold.
then we ordered a whoooole lot of room service and a bottle of wine.
the story ends sadly though: the wings were too spicy, the grilled cheese was too heavy, and my hot dog was full of gluten (so i ate only the weenie). by the time we made it to tres leches we were full and boozed. and hot tub time machine was hardly enough excitement to keep us awake. we fell asleep at like 8:00.
this is what i meant when i said "where the magic happens."
goodnight sun
the next morning i woke very early (still being on texas time in my brain) and actually went to the gym. this frightened me, for i normally look down on people that would do such a thing as this on vacation. i did get an excellent workout in, but the jackass before me on my machine forgot to clean up the 2 inches of water he left in the cupholder. so of course i plopped my phone right in it!! luckily the phone is fighting its way back to life and has almost fully recovered.

i came back after a workout and a long stroll around the harbor and woke up my little danaye friend. she was ready for breakfast (as was i) and we took off toward the red mango.
i forced danaye to do more strolling and rock looking after breakfast.
and then it was off to our favorite thing in the world- the san diego zoo!!!
we practically ran through the entrance! with the trusty zoo map to guide us, we saw every single exhibit. one of the first was this guy... the komodo dragon. i'm a big fan of this guy. he could definitely kill you. from the looks of this photo, he was contemplating the idea of eating that little boy.
these are the meerkats. they are so cute it hurts you to look at them. especially here- all curled up together. this little boy thought it was cool too.
close up meerkat cuddle.
i pretty much hate birds (i know we owned one- i hated him too) but these birds' colors were too pretty to hate.
these guys were giant. they live to be really really old and they are big fans of the "slow and steady wins the race" idea. this guy took like 5 minutes to eat a bite of grass.
the hippos are a staple of the san diego zoo. the last time i went i got a tshirt with a hippo on it (age 9) and they still make me think of this place.
and here are my distant relatives- the otters. (love)
all over the zoo there were signs and interactive stations to help teach kids about climate change. this exhibit was particularly alarming (even al gore showed the same graphic in an inconvenient truth). it is showing you how far we are from safe levels of carbon in our atmosphere. its also showing you the path we are on if nothing changes. its a powerful place to see that, because it is a fact that threatens the creatures you have been admiring all day.
this is what our current ice over in the arctic looks like.
this is what it looked like 20 years ago. (big difference)
and while i'm on my soapbox... (real quick i promise)... there is no way for us to re-freeze arctic ice. literally the only way to get it back is with another ice age (which would be really inconvenient) as it melts, it releases methane gas, warms the atmosphere, and raises sea levels. i may just need to do an entire blog on this subject...
ok i'm done.
at the arctic exhibit there was a little play area where kids could pop out from the ice. because danaye is the only one between us that can fit in a kid's play place, i forced her to go in.
she did
and here is danaye with the camels. she loves the camels.
and here's me with the otters. i love the otters.
we bought lots of souvenirs in the form of youth sized t-shirts and then departed from our zoo adventure! and look who showed up to hang out with us!! its ronald and paul wall! (aka- ron and paul) they drove 7 hours to come hang out with me and danaye! here i am in the back of the truck playing with my sunglasses reflection.
shortly after this, we went for dinner at a sushi place.
ron insisted someone try this egg thing with him and warned of it being "weird." i, always up for a food challenge, agreed. it is a roll made up of rice and salmon eggs. then a quail egg is cracked over the top of it. then you eat it. it is very eggy.
cheers to raw eggs!
and cheers to it being 2.2 times the size of my mouth!
the chef was so pleased that we ordered such a specialty- he brought us a round of quail egg shooters on the house! these are eggs with a little spice, jalapeno, and soy sauce inside. you shoot it. more eggy-ness.
aftermath of quail egg shots.
(i swear i thought it was really tasty)
back at the hotel we admired another beautiful sunset. danaye wanted to get sun, but i wanted to be warm.
the next morning, while ron and paul cleaned up their hotel room, danaye and i went down to the beach behind their place. it was a small cove. still cold.
then we went to the real beach! it was still cold! but that didn't stop everyone...
danaye actually got in the water (brave). and then ron fake tackled her. (i promise, he didn't actually)
here's paul. he was suffering from a bit of a sickness. at this point, he was feeling better thanks to the pain killers lindsey always keeps on hand when traveling.
ron, looking pensive.
danaye bought some shorts. (she hearts ca)
everyone was really excited for my picture taking.
danaye found a sand dollar!
this lady was really really cold...
we left the beach to find some lunch. paul really wanted soup (for his sickness) and he especially wanted it in a bread bowl. so we hunted.
we found a chair in a yard.
and then we saw the green flash!! this is also ironic, because i had been trying to explain the green flash to everyone the previous night. either due to the sake i had been drinking, or due to everyone's skepticism, they did not fully buy my story. but here we found a lunch place that knew exactly what i was talking about!
the sun came out just long enough for us to sit on the patio.
i had a drink that involved pineapple juice.
paul asked for a bread bowl, but they didn't have one. so he asked for just bread and an empty extra bowl. he then crafted his own bread bowl. i think it turned out pretty good.
i might do this too much in photos
that evening we went to a little market where people were selling food, fresh veggies, clothes, and all kinds of devices for marijuana smokage (which is medically legal in california).
sexy photo ron.
we went for a sunset walk on the beach and watched some people surf.
it was nice and still cold.
the next morning we flew home. thanks to a stop in phoenix and a major delay, we left our hotel at 11:00am and pulled into my driveway at 11:00pm. (yuck)

but the trip was great! thanks to ron and paul for showing us some cali fun- and thanks to my friend danaye for always being up for spontaneous fun! love you lots and happy birthday!!