Christmas, to me, means going to San Diego. That's where many of my relatives live, and where I was born, and where I have been every Christmas except one. It's hectic and crazy and about 1000 miles of driving (and let me just say that driving up and down CA isn't nearly as enjoyable as getting out of CA!). My mom made a funny comment down there, she said something like it's really so wonderful to see everyone, but it's not a good Christmas experience. Perplexed and befuddled, I asked her what she meant by that. She said "well it's just so hectic and crazy." Well yes, I agreed, it is, but to me that IS Christmas, it's all I've ever known. What a revelation. It was especially insane this year though.
The drive home now ranks at the worst drive back from San Diego ever. (I remember when I was a kid the transmission on the old Suburban crapped out along the way, so that might have been the worst drive TO San Diego, but I'm not sure that counts, I was very young). 500 miles in 11.5 hours. Los Angeles was a parking lot. And then about 50 miles south of Los Banos (me driving, Mom passenger, in the minivan) the tire pressure warning light came on. Eh, no biggie, that light has been on the fritz for years and comes on for no reason at random times. Well, about 15 minutes later, hurtling down I-5 at 80mph the right front tire blew. Thankfully it didn't jerk the car around, and I felt it right away and since I seem to be the queen of flat tires I knew what was wrong and got over on the shoulder ASAP with no damage to the rim. There was no way I was going to try to limp home at 55mph on the spare "donut" tire, so about a half hour later the AAA tow truck arrived and we got towed to a Walmart tire store in Los Banos. They put on a new tire and we hit the road again. What an adventure.
Now, I thought I got rid of the tire curse when I sold the Taurus. I had 14 flats in the 15 years that I drove it, and probably 4 or 5 "goose eggs" on tires that I got fixed before they blew. I thought the curse was on the car but I have to wonder if it's on me. I hope not. I made it to Georgia and back in Jan's car with no problem, and I made it to Wyoming and back in the Avalon just fine. So I hope this was a fluke. But, it is now 15 flat tires in my life.
Anyway, here's a little sunshine for you, these are a few pics I took in San Diego.
Crystal Pier, Pacific Beach:
Okay, gull ID is not my strong point, but I think what we have here are Heermann's Gulls (the dark ones with the dark orange bills), a Western Gull (the light one with pink legs), and a California Gull (the light one with yellow legs). And yes I totally had to look that up, and I'd never heard of a Heermann's Gull before.
Brown Pelican. I took all these pics with the little pink camera. Not too shabby! Cropped photo, of course!
Seals in La Jolla:
99.99% of the people there probably thought this was just another gull on the street light. It's actually an Osprey. :-)