Holidays Our little holiday diary

California 2001 Part One

California Sept. 2001 (shortly after 9/11)
After our 1997 trip to my brother’s house in Ramona (California) I couldn’t wait to go back again and after another invite from him, Diane and I were quick to book the flights.
I was at work when I was told by my co-workers that there had been a plane crash in New York. I thought they were jerking my chain because I had been going on a bit about our upcoming holiday. When they told me about a second plane crash in New York I really didn’t believe them. However, I normally have my lunch sat in my car (for a bit of peace and quiet) and when I turned on the radio; it was all about the two crashes. After work, I dashed home and sked Diane if she had heard about the crashes. She hadn’t. We turned the TV on and it was obviously full of the crashes. We discussed whether to cancel our trip and decided that just at that time; the security would be so tight that it would be safer than usual to travel, so we left the arrangements as they were.

Monday 24th Sept.
The flight out from Manchester to Atlanta was about 75% full and uneventful. The onward flight to San Diego was virtually empty. We were rattling about like peas in a drum. Any seat in the house as they say! Apparently, nearly all internal USA flights were being avoided like the plague. We had hired and paid for a car to go from San Diego to Las Vegas and back after a five day stay. We found out that we could get flights from San Diego to Las Vegas for $30. They were so desperate to get passengers back on the planes.
Anyway, on with the tale. Arriving at San Diego airport 35 minutes early only to find that we were one suitcase missing. We reported this to Delta Airlines who assured us that it would be found and sent on to us at my brother’s house. Alf and Denise picked us up from the airport and on the way to their house we stopped off at the local “Jack in the Box” Café for a quick bite to eat before carrying on our way.

Humming birdsTuesday 25th Sept.
After a good night’s sleep, we headed into Ramona to have breakfast. Had a quick wander round Ramona before going back for a lazy morning sitting on the veranda watching the humming birds as they enjoyed their breakfast from the feeders. Our missing suitcase arrived just after 3.30pm. Alf has a friend (Steve) who owns a buffalo farm so we took the opportunity to go there and have a look round. Steve introduced us to “Jasmin” who, at that time, was the worlds’ smallest, full sized buffalo. By this time, we had worked up an appetite, so we set of for Escondido where Alf and Denise knew of a great little Chinese restaurant. We managed to stuff ourselves rotten and then made our way home for the usual drinks and a good natter before bed.

Wednesday 26th Sept.
It was a unanimous vote that we all go out to have breakfast, so, washed, dressed and off to Denny’s for a sumptuous brekkie! Then we went on to Wild Life Park where we spent the rest of the morning just wandering Pict0005round and riding the monorail, a very pleasant way to spend a morning. In the afternoon, Diane, Alf and I headed for the golf course. I played slightly better this time, even though I was distracted for most of the round by a beautiful young Japanese girl who followed us round selling cold drinks from her motorised trolley. (Not that I complained). I was thirsty for much of the time!!!

Thursday 27th Sept.
Messed about in the morning doing odd jobs around the house and garden. Managed a quick game of golf on Alf’s giant TV. I was slightly better on that than on the real course. We eventually went off into Ramona for some retail therapy and taking a few photos here and there. After lunch we carried on into San Diego for even more shopping. On the way back later in the day, we called at a bar called “Cheers” for a few beers and the odd game or two of pool. All in all, not a bad day at all.

Friday 28th Sept.
Up and out at the crack of noon! Into San Diego for breakfast before heading for San Diego Zoo. It is reputed to be one of the best in the world. It was very good but blisteringly hot. Very few of the animals could be bothered to get of their arses and show themselves. We ended up peering into every nook and cranny for a glimpse of anything faintly resembling and animal. What few we saw we manage to get pics of. They are in the gallery somewhere. (Or will be when I’ve put them in). FlagThe evening brought a welcome relief from the heat and we had a quick snack before making our way to Poway for a rodeo. Another great show but was rather poignant in view of the recent 9/11 tragedy. They did a flag raising ceremony prior to the start of the evening. (I will try and get some sort of brief video on for you to see).

Saturday 29th Sept.
Talk about having a lazy day!! After consuming a mountain of pancakes with lashings of maple syrup (nearly making myself sick!!) Alf, Diane and I drove into Escondido to see Denise at work. Alf had some things to sort out with her. The three of us then went into San Diego to shop for some artist’s supplies for Diane and some food for a B.B.Q. that we were planning for this evening. After eating, we all played Trivia Pursuit all evening and of course the usual drinks. The sort of day I can manage anytime.

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