gwyn: (buckaroo jidabug)
I'm sitting out on the balcony of our amazing ocean-front hotel room, watching the surfers and the people walking along Ocean Blvd. beach walk and enjoying the weather, waiting for Tina to wake up again. She went off before dawn to do sunrise photography, a perfect complement to the sunset photography she did on the roof terrace last night. It was stunning, some small band of clouds suddenly making an appearance just as the sun went below the horizon so that we got crepuscular rays. Toward the actual sunset a number of people joined us on the terrace and everyone was asking her about her professional equipment.

I bought a fancy cocktail in the bar and brought it up to lie back on the chaise and drink while waiting for sunset, and of course spilled it right away. That was really the only major downside of the day--even with a last minute gate change to the far satellite terminal at the airport, it wasn't as crappy traveling as usual, and I even had a middle seat free next to me, which is unheard of on Alaska flights--the guy in the window seat and I were looking at each other like "dare we hope?" as they closed the doors. Made the trip a lot better.

Lindbergh airport is nearly exactly the same as the last time I left it--ten years ago. I was surprised how little it had changed. It looks like they're making some cosmetic changes to the terminal Alaska flies into, but otherwise it's largely the same. And as we were driving around yesterday, I realized there were still so many businesses and buildings that haven't changed in a decade, either.

Oooo! An armada of pelicans just flew right in front of my face!

Anyway. That makes me feel probably even sadder than I was coming down. But it's so beautiful right now that it helps mitigate some of the sadness--today it's going to be 71 F and we're hoping to head over to Coronado. We went to the Cat Cafe we'd read about on Cute Overload yesterday, which was nice, and stopped for food nearby. Downtown/Gaslamp district has changed the most. It used to be just business and the Horton Place mall, and now it's absolutely filled with condos and apartment buildings and everything's bustling. At one point I was just standing there blinking, realizing I didn't know ANYthing of where I was, that I couldn't identify a single thing. And felt incredibly old, too.

But this is the first time I felt like I really understood why my sister loved living here. I had always had the dream that eventually I'd move down here with her and we'd live in a house and complain about the kids these days and have a million cats. Maybe I'll still move down here (hah, like I could afford it), and yell at clouds in her memory or something. But it's so gorgeous, and still a small city in spite of everything, a beach community still in so many ways. Pacific Beach was always my favorite, and the hotel is fantastic, really chic and lovely but still has that feel like it belongs to a beach community. I could get used to the terrible water if it came with sunshine and the occasional marine layer cool day, just the things sis_r liked best.

We went to Joe's Crab Shack for dinner last night, where I'd gone with sis_r years ago before it became a big chain. Got too much to eat, but it was strange, going there and then walking by the bar where we'd played pool. I don't know that there's a part of town I don't have a memory of her, and maybe that's the thing, I need to come here more often and make new ones.

God, I don't want to leave and go up to that putrid hotel in the putrid airport district of LA. :::cries forever:::

mmmm hunky surfers in half-off wetstuits walking by...

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