Sunday, July 07, 2013

My unexpected trip to San Diego...

... was so that I could apply for an expedited passport. Since my passport was no where to be found, I made an appointment with the State Department's 24-hour telephone appointment service at the San Diego office. I was given an appointment July 3 at 9:30 a.m. Downtown San Diego is about an hour and half south of where my parents live - if there isn't any traffic. Morning commute traffic on the 5 freeway is usually something you can count on, so my Mom suggested we spend the night at a hotel close to the passport office so I could simply walk to my appointment. Since I was still panicking about losing my passport, I (intelligently) went along with my mother's clear-headed advice.

We took the boys with us and made it a 24-hour mini vacation. One of my favorite spots in San Diego is Old Town, a historic park that has a lot of fun shops and restaurants. And covered wagons, as you can see from the photo to the left. After checking in to our hotel, that's where we headed for the afternoon and to have dinner.

Xan is a huge fan of root beer... especially when it comes in a bottle. So when we saw this Jerky & Root Beer shop, I knew we were going to have to stop.

And this shop had a lot of different types of beef jerky, including turkey, buffalo and... kangaroo.

Xan had some trouble trying to decide on which root beer he wanted to try... and they all came in bottles, so that didn't help with the decision-making!

Xan finally selected a root beer, I chose a cream soda and Will gave a bottled Shirley Temple a try.

Walking around the shops, we took in all the tourist-trap merchandise, but I did learn something interesting about southern California:

So, now you know where to get a good gourd when you need one. And the hibiscus flower below was about 9 inches across - absolutely huge. This photo doesn't do it justice.

We ate dinner at a Mexican restaurant in the Fiesta del Reyes square, one my family often frequents when we are in the area. We met up with some family for dinner, and I ran in to a friend of mine from Iwakuni who was also visiting family. I didn't even know she was in San Diego! Talk about a small world!

The next morning I headed off to my appointment at the passport office which took about an hour, but went very smoothly. I should have a passport by noon Monday. I will feel a lot better when I have that little book in my hand!

Then it was time to take the kids down to the coast and check out the "big ships" at the Maritime Museum before we headed back to the O.C. On the way we stopped by the old Santa Fe train station. The kids really only had train stations in Japan to compare it to, and it did look quite a bit different.

 A required stop ay Starbucks.

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