What Happens in San Diego Part 1

Well friends, I am back from California.  This trip was… interesting… to say the very least.  Don’t get me wrong.  For the most part, it was amazing.  I saw a blue whale, I hung out with sea lions, got to visit some amazing museums, and saw One Direction in concert (for the record, they put on a great show).  But there were a few bumps in the road as well.

Why don’t I just start at the beginning?  I’ll try to keep this as brief as possible.

The first incident occurred in Dallas, before I’d even made it through security. I accidentally left a bottle of my favorite lotion in my backpack and it had to be thrown away.  I was slightly distraught as Bath and Body Works doesn’t make that particular lotion anymore, but I told myself that in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t a big deal and that California was still going to be great.

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Things quickly turned around once we hit California.  For one thing, I got to pick my own rental car and it was the easiest decision I’ve ever made in my life.

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A baby blue slug bug. Is there any way I WASN’T going to pick this car?!

After cruising around for a bit in our sweet ride, my sister and I headed to the beach which was way too crowded, and then to the marina for our afternoon whale watching adventure.  I love being out on the water.  It’s exhilarating and uplifting and so absolutely freeing.  And knowing that we were going to see whales made it even better.

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For the record, I have about a zillion other pictures.  I’m trying to share the best here, but I’ll probably add more to my Tumblr and my Pinterest board. Anyway, seeing Dudley the Blue Whale was one of the most amazing moments of my life.  I’ve always loved marine life, whales in particular, and although it’s always been a dream of mine to see whales in the wild, I never imagined I’d get to see a blue whale!  The largest animal to ever exist.  It was so incredible.  Such a dream come true.  I’ll never forget that boat ride.

After the whale watch, my sister and I were starving.  Since we were by the ocean, naturally, we wanted some seafood.  For some reason, however, we had a very hard time finding a seafood restaurant.  Odd, since we were in California, but whatever.  We finally found a Joe’s Crab Shack and helped ourselves to calamari, shrimp, fried fish, french fries, and hushpuppies.

That was the beginning of the second incident.

Fast forward a few uneventful hours to 3 AM that morning.  I’m dreaming about a house party and I’m waiting for this really cute guy to arrive when all of a sudden, I hear coughing.  I hear gagging.  More coughing.  A few agonizing moments later, the toilet flushes.  Knowing exactly what was going on, I called my sister’s name.  She appears a few minutes later, white as a sheet with dark circles under her eyes.

“Don’t panic…” she begins.  “But I just got sick.”

Food poisoning.  In a hotel room.  At 3 AM.

Now as you may or may not know, I have this annoying little phobia.  Of vomit.  Not just of me vomiting, but of others vomiting around me.  Perhaps it was my anti-anxiety medication or sleep-deprivation or maybe my big-sister instincts just kicked in, because I wasn’t panicked at all.  Instead, I threw on my sweatshirt and trekked down to the lobby in my PJs, retainers, and bed-head to retrieve tea and tummy medicine.  After commiserating with the night watchman, I headed back up to the hotel room.  I made my sister tea, but she was still really sick.

Not sick enough, however, to pass up an opportunity for a food poisoning selfie (yes, I do have her permission to share it here).

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Unaware that she’d taken that picture, I actually took a selfie myself to send to our mom.  It’s probably only fair that I share it here as well.

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That’s my sunburned, sleep-deprived, 3 AM, dealing with food poisoning face.  It’s not a happy face.

Two hours later, she was finally feeling a little better, so we went back to sleep.  We slept for a good while (which is just what she needed) before she decided she felt well enough to venture out for a smoothie.  We didn’t want to force anything, but we also knew she needed to stay hydrated and needed to at least try to get a little bit of nutrition in her.

As we were exiting the hotel, we passed by the manager, who happens to bear a striking resemblance to Chris Pratt.  We both exchanged a look and an inner dialogue that went something along the lines of, “Hi, hotel manager Chris Pratt.  Sorry I vomited in your hotel last night.  Call me.”

Thankfully, by the time we reached the smoothie place, KJ had gotten almost all her color back and she was able to laugh and joke about what had happened.  She did very well with the smoothie.

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Afterward, we decided to take a chance and head to Balboa park.  We visited the Museum of Natural History and saw the Mayan exhibit.  Again, it was incredible (though, to me, Dudley the Blue Whale was still the best).

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Afterward, we met a young lady named Jamilah.  She’s made it her mission in life to revive the art of Polaroid Photography.  She takes pictures for free but accepts donations for her art.  She’s so cool and sweet and I love her dedication to old school photography.  You can follow her on Instagram: @strangeframe_

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(Yes, I was carrying Boy Band around Balboa park.  Don’t judge).

After we met Jamilah, we decided to head back to our hotel.  KJ wanted to rest and I didn’t blame her in the least.  While she took a nap, I went down to the hotel pool, sat in the hot tub (it is WAY too cold in San Diego for real pool swimming), and read one of the most amazing books ever, Defending Jacob by William Landay.  I love to read and I love books, but this one really has stayed with me, even days after I finished reading it.  It’s gripping and captivating and heartbreaking and disturbing.  I loved it so much.  Highly recommended.

Thus concludes Part 1 of the San Diego Adventures.  Tune in next time (or perhaps even later on today) for Part 2, featuring Sea Lions, One Direction, and A Bank Account Theft.

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Cemetery Tours and Haunted Houses

After my presentation on Ghost Story Trivia at the Colony Public Library, I was invited along on a history tour of the Colony.  We visited an old cemetery (which, of course, I loved) and The Spencer House, which I am convinced is haunted.  I wanted to share some of the pictures I took here with you!

From the Cemetery:

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From the Spencer House:

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And a few that I photoshopped for the sake of my autumn expectations.

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Finally, I have to share my spooky experience from the trip.

At the cemetery, most of the graves are centered off in one general area of the yard.  However, I couldn’t help but notice this one tree off to the side, and the grey bricks that lay beneath it.  At first, I dismissed it, thinking it was probably nothing very interesting.  Still, I couldn’t help but feel that I needed to go over and see what it was.

When I arrived at the tree, I found that the bricks were actually broken fragments of a small grave marker. There were only three letters carved into the stone. J.E.S. My initials.

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