I looked at my 4-day trip that started on Saturday, 8/26. And I saw I had a layover in San Diego! Yay! And then I saw that the layover was a long one. 21 hours!
So I let Dale know and we made plans to get together. It's been a long time so I was really excited to hang out with Dale. For the chile rellenos, I mean. Just kidding, Dale. (Dale takes me to his cousin's Mexican restaurant every time I visit and we LOVE his chile rellenos and refried beans..)
But Dale tells me that the restaurant will be closed on Sunday while I'm there, so we will have fish tacos from somewhere else. I try to muster up some excitement for fish tacos. Which I actually love. But not compared to Dale's cousin's chile rellenos. Dale told me the first time that we hung out that those chile rellenos were "as big as your hand!" They ARE (not counting your fingers, just your palm).
So I got to San Diego about 10:30 am. I changed from my monkey suit into real people clothes. Then I ran around the corner from the Doubletree to the nail salon that I go to there and had a gel pedicure. I do have my priorities! Ladies, you get that, right?
Then I rushed another few blocks to the train station and hopped on the Coaster which runs only the 40-mile stretch between San Diego and Oceanside (where Dale lives). $11 round trip. It's about an hour and it's such a relaxing ride. That Coaster train just glides quietly. (See how I'm talking up San Diego here? See what I'm doing? EX6!)
Dale is right there waiting when I get off the train in Oceanside and I hop in his truck. He brought me an ice cold bottle of water. I think that was really thoughtful! We decided to eat first because I was starving (c'mon doesn't a good pedicure work up YOUR appetite? Lol).
Then Dale drops THE BEST BOMB ever. He has CHILE RELLENOS for me at his house!!! He drove over to his cousin's restaurant the day before and got them To-Go. This man is brilliant, I say. Absolutely brilliant.
When we get to his house, Dale MAKES fresh guacamole for us and produces the To-Go chips and salsa from the restaurant, too. I have to admit that I'd never seen anyone make guacamole that delicious while sitting at his desk in front of his computer! Well, truthfully, I've never see anyone make guacamole at a desk, delicious or not. And he has a secret ingredient...ask Dale. Maybe he'll share his recipe. Maybe.
While the chile rellenos and beans baked, we snacked on guac, salsa and chips and gossiped. Such fun. And really at no ones expense. I promise.
After lunch, Hoggie deigned to come in his cat door. Dale has built an amazing maze of walkways all along the back of the house. Each walkway ends in a different cat-sized "room" which is really a viewing perch for Hoggie to relax and contemplate the Great Outdoors, complete with pillows for Hoggie's comfort. There's even a room big enough for the covered litter box "room" with a gate that Dale opens to scoop the litter. Truly ingenious. I've seen it on other visits, but it never ceases to amaze me. It's all wooden-framed and covered in chicken-wire, so that Hoggie gets the full outdoors experience without being in any danger from the coyotes that roam the hills near Dale's house (and try to eat cats. Ew.) That's the reason Dale built it all in the first place--to protect Hoggie. Anyway, Hoggie decided I was worth coming in for (or maybe it was just the soft bed where he wanted to nap?). And Hoggie and I had a "moment". And Dale took a picture.
Then we drove around Oceanside, up and down the waterfront. We people-watched and I talked to him about EX6 and what city would be good and if I could talk him into coming if I couldn't convince everyone to vote for San Diego/Oceanside area.
He promised that we'd get ice cream cones, but we both forgot since we were stuffed with chile rellenos. Then it was time to drive me back to the train station. We tried to take some selfies in the parking lot at the train station...and for two old people trying to take pictures with an iPad, we did pretty well.
A relaxing ride back down to San Diego, a walk through Little Italy where I bought a bottle of wine and a perfect avocado, some EX time and FB time, then sleep for about 5 hours, with a van pick-up time at 5am...and off to LAX, then ORD, then MCO. (That's San Diego to Los Angeles to Chicago to Orlando.)
Now here are the pictures:
See, it IS as big as my hand. And that was the LITTLE one.
The homemade guacamole, the salsa (I should have taken the top off, duh), and the freshly fried (well, yesterday) tortilla chips. SO good.
Me, posing with my chile relleno. (Nice expression, Sky...)
Hoggie and I were having a "moment". He's a good cat.
Dale has this crazy "Free Wi-Fi" sign just above his computer. No, I don't know WHY. But it's very cool!
This was one of our first attempts at a selfie. Is it still a selfie if there's two people? Shouldn't it be called an "us-ie"?
And this is us, laughing at ourselves trying to take selfies with an iPad.
It was another VERY GOOD ADVENTURE.
Thank you, Dale, for being such a fun guy to hang with!