Duane, Dawn,
Sam, Nick, and Mike
(Jessy and Jenny)

Home Up Boating Music



2/17/2008 - 2/23/2008

South To The Sun
"A Winter Break trip to San Diego"


Friday dawned foggy and rainy.  Sam and I had an appointment at UCSD university for a prospective student tour while Dawn was going to meet with her brother Tom, who had flown in early for a business conference the night before.

Sam and I left around 10 to drive up to the campus for our 11 o'clock appointment.  Things were slow at the parking permit machine as the wet weather made it act up and not take dollar bills correctly.  Finally we got our permit and went to find parking.  Our ticket was good in any 'B', 'C', or 'V' lot.  We found many open 'A' spaces but none of the others. 

We tried the parking garage which was a big mistake and after making our way all the way to the top and back down again finding no places we went NW to the fringes of the campus thoroughly frustrated.  We found a spot in a lot over by some student housing just as the clock struck 11.  Unfortunately, we were still a long walk across the unfamiliar campus to Triton Center.

We passed through the engineering school area and finally found the center of campus.  Asking at the information booth we were told there was no such place as 'Triton Center' but we should head through a couple adjacent buildings to student services. 

On our way there we came across a group taking a tour.  It wasn't our tour but we tagged along until we got to student services and the sign proclaiming we were at 'Triton Center'.  Since it was now 11:30 we asked the girl at the desk what our options were.  She gave us a map (which we could have used at the start), and told us to head to the library and the turn left.  She felt we should run into our tour group at some point. 

Following her instructions took us to the quite cool library building, but we never saw any sign of a group to join.  By now we felt we had conducted our own tour sufficiently and after some shopping for UCSD sweat shirt in the bookstore we headed back to the car.

As it turned out we arrived back home before Tom had even left to come over to our condo.  He arrived early in the afternoon and we all had a good time catching up on each others family news and enjoying what now was a nice sunny afternoon.

It was nice to be at the condo where we had plenty of space to relax and enjoy the conversation.  Before we knew it evening had come and it was time for dinner.

We decided to all go to dinner at 'World Famous' just a ways south along the boardwalk.  We found the restaurant eventually and once we dropped the car off at the valet (parking is just terrible along the boardwalk) we we seated after just a short wait.  Not bad for a Friday night with no reservations. 

Everyone had a good filling meal along with lot's of fun was had by all.  We finished up the evening back at the condo with 'Cold Stone' ice cream for desert.


Going Home

Saturday dawned a beautiful day, the nicest of the week, perfect for our departure.  After finishing up packing and the necessary cleaning chores we left just after checkout time, 11am.  We dropped off the keys, made a quick stop at the store and then headed across town to the airport.  As we had some time to kill before our 2:10pm flight we stopped at a park and relaxed while we soaked up the warm sun.  Nick and Sam spent time building sand sculptures.

The rental car return was quick as was check in and security.  They did have little trouble figuring out what Nicks laser etched crystal block was in the xray machine.

Soon we were boarding our flight to Portland Or.  Flying free as we were you don't get the pick of the best flights and our return route included a stop over.  Once on the plane it turned out that we had the perfect empty seat in our row of three and were able to relocate so Nick could get the window seat he wanted.  It was a quick though turbulent 2 hour flight and we touched down in Portland.  We quickly made our way to the Horizon gates and were able to get re-booked onto a 5:30pm flight instead of the 6:30pm we originally had. 

The flight back to Seattle was a new experience for the kids on a small Q200 40 seat prop plane.  Once back on the ground in the chilly northwest we free'd the car from the Doug Fox parking lot and were soon at home.  Dawn and I then drove up to Dennis's and rescued him from the terror dogs Jenny and Jessy. 


The Day After

Sunday found us settling back into the routine of life, music at church, laundry, and housework.  We did decide to finally go do something we haven't done for a long time.  The Suburban is getting a bit long in the tooth and is not the best choice for daily commuting to the office.  It was time to get a new vehicle.

I'd been looking for something different for a while.  I still wanted a very capable vehicle, just smaller with better gas mileage and a bit more fun.  There are a lot of midsize SUV's on the market, but only one that truly is a do anything, go anywhere vehicle that is also a convertible.  Dawn and I decided to go for a test drive and of course were hooked once we spent some time cruising with the wind in our hair. 

We returned later in the evening with our newest addition, a Silver 2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with full 'Sahara' trim.

This is the 4 door version of the completely redesigned classic Jeep.  While it's still the most off road capable vehicle in the entire Jeep line, the 'Sahara' package plus some other additional options brings a nice city style to the classic utility vehicle.

For those who care, it has a 205hp 3.8l V-6 with Command Trac 4wd, a heavy duty rear axle and Trac Lock limited slip rear differential.  This is coupled to a 4 speed automatic transmission.  All the usual off road gear such as skid plates (including a couple optional ones), Electronic stability control, and tire pressure monitoring are on it.  Add to this 4 wheel anti lock disk brakes and the 18" aluminum wheels with oversize tires and it is ready to go anywhere.  Fog lamps and tinted windows along with tubular side steps complete the package.

It has the dual top option so we have both a 3 piece freedom hard top and the usual fold down soft top.  It has the tow package, remote start, and even removable doors.  With the top down, the doors off, and the windshield folded down you have true open air motoring.

Bringing some upscale creature comforts to it's rugged reputation, it has power windows and locks, remote keyless entry and security system, air conditioning, Reclining front seats and 60-40 split rear seat.  The adjustable seating, interior trim, and carpet makes it very civilized and comfortable.

It has the high end MyGIG stereo with a 7 speaker 368w infinity sound system including sub woofer. The touch screen MyGIG has AM, FM, and Sirius Satellite radio; a CD/DVD player; a MP3 player port; and a 20gig hard disk you can load your music up on.  It even plays movies.  Mix in a full GPS Navigation system and it does everything but drive you to your destination.

We look forward to lots of fun adventures in the new Jeep. We still have the Suburban to pull the boat, and for the time being Dawn still has the Dodge van.


























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