Friday, October 18, 2013

More Vagabonding Down The California Coast

Surprisingly, our internet connection (or lack of it) has continued to plague me. Marcus' phone is back so he regularly tethers off in his corner to feed his addiction but the rest of us have not had luck in the places we stopped at as far as broad connectivity is concerned. It is challenging when we are SO dependent on the internet. Amazingly so. Tomorrow, finally, we'll arrive in San Diego. This is the final stop before we head to Mexico. It is where we will be meeting the other 163 boats that are also doing the 2013 Baha Haha with us. And where Pete and Ilse (my in-laws) will join is to do the rally with us - can't wait but 7 on this boat is going to be challenging!!! As we get closer and closer to San Diego and our imminent departure for Mexico, I find myself worrying about what this next phase will bring. Marcus is getting all ramped up again, like he was before leaving Seattle. Stressed and grumpy. He shared with me today his very long list of "to-do" things that need to be done before we leave for Mexico. None of them really had to do with me and the kids. Mostly they were boat-related. I feel like we have put off a lot, expecting to be able to do it when we get to San Diego... but I can already tell and am already dreading it - we're not going to be able to have a calm, easy week in San Diego before we go. We'll do what we can but I feel so unprepared. My list has things like getting Halloween costumes for the kids, going to Target, going to Costco... provisioning! I need a haircut! A pedicure? Sea World Legoland? HHhmmm... Doesn't look like I'll have much free time to homeschool...! Hahahaha. We've been having tons of stuff sent to Marcus' step-brother Pete who has been incredibly generous and helpful with us as far as mooring and accepting packages for us!! We can't wait to meet him and his wife. And also Marcus' internet buddy Michael who has been "the 6th at our table" for the entire trip as far as tips and support go for Marcus!! Can't wait to meet him and his family, too... But San Diego is for tomorrow... For now, I am writing this entry from Oceanside, California. 40 nautical miles north of San Diego. Our last stop before the end of Phase Two. (Phase One was get the boat to San Francisco and Phase Two is get the boat to San Diego.) We like it so much here, it is so much more of our style than the last places we stopped. Southern California is pretty "posh" and there is SO MUCH MONEY down here. Amazing. Since I last wrote, we visited Avalon on Catalina Island after Two Harbors and before heading back to the mainland. It was lovely but also felt like the South of France. Huge yachts, a jazz festival, hydrofoils arriving from Long Beach, a beautiful casino building. Once again, we caught a mooring buoy and I hung clothes on the life line and was probably the only one in the entire gigantic harbor to do so. The boat next to us actually closed its shutters! And we dinghied into town, walked around, had lunch, went to an arcade, went to the grocery store and then headed back to the boat for dinner. I'm glad we saw it but was fine with leaving and going to Newport Beach. We had reciprocal moorage at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Cub there but, as we arrived on a Monday afternoon, it was closed up tight. We could shower and used the rest rooms but the pool, etc., was closed. Like a ghost town. Mondays and Tuesdays. So fancy that you don't see people on their yachts, only the cleaning and polishing crews. We planned to go to Disneyland the next day so it wasn't that bad. Quiet. But Samey, Ben and I were getting sick. Getting the cold that Max had when he got back from Seattle. I was worried about Disneyland but we had been promising Ben for weeks and couldn't see NOT going. In the end, we went for him but he probably had the worst time of us all! First of all, it is all so overwhelming...! Which park? Disneyland of California Great Adventure? Well, after our pricey cab ride there, the decision was left to me and I chose "classic Disneyland". Why, you ask? Because I wanted to do "It's a Small World" with Sam more than anything else!! I could write on and on about the day but suffices to say that it was a HOT day, Ben and I did not feel well, Sam was in heaven, Max and Marcus got some good laughs in and some good rides in and a good time was had by all.

By 5 pm, we were all DONE. It was closing at 6 for a Halloween Party so we were lucky to get to see all these people coming in in their amazing costumes. Our favorite was this Asian man wearing a Colonel Sanders costume complete with beard and carrying his baby dressed as a chicken in a KFC bucket in front of him. Not original but endearing! But we did not get to see the evening festivities that everyone raves about. We'll go back. And do it the right way next time! I do have to say two things in closing on the subject of Disneyland: As I'd hoped, Samey LOVED "It's a Small World" and squealed with joy throughout the entire ride. Magical. And the second thing is that The Star Wars franchise purchase/presence in Mickey's house is just plain ODD. We taxied back and were POOPED. Wednesday night, some dear friends of Ilse's - Lee and John - came to rescue us. Literally.They were so lovely and kind. They came with TWO cars (se we'd all fit!) early to take us to dinner so that they could shuttle us to Minnie's marine supply store and then to Trader Joe's (tingle, tingle, joy, joy) and Chase bank. Then, back to the boat, where she had presents for us (including wine!) and then they drove us (again two cars!) down to Huntington Beach for a walk along the pier and an extravagant dinner at Sandy's (below Duke's)... Such lovely, kind people. They spoiled us!!! I am so grateful.

Marcus with John and Lee
We had to get off the dock at Bahia and, since the pool was FREEZING, we weren't eager to stay another night so we moved out to a mooring ball at Balboa Yacht Club and it was very, very nice. They have a free shuttle boat to land and people were really nice there. We might have left Newport Beach at this point but I really, really wanted to see some other old friends of mine who live in Norco and who I have no seen for 12 or 13 years. Again, we were spoiled. Lovely Anna and Bob (with daughter Sophia in tow -  a wise, sweet first grader!) drove out to see us, brought presents and wine and cheese and took us to an amazing Mexican restaurant.
Aren't they LOVELY???
We had such an amazing time with Anna, Bob and Sophia. I love love love them so much! Anna is possibly my blog's greatest fan... she even brought a bottle of Malbec because she read on the blog that we love it!! (Hi Anna! Love you!). It was by far one of our favorite nights out of the whole trip. Can't wait to see them again, hopefully in the spring at their place in Rosarito!!! This morning, we motored down 30 nautical miles to Oceanside.
Boat Girl
We felt very at home here from the very first and everyone has been so friendly. Many live-aboards who have been nothing short of generous and helpful. I did some laundry (woo hoo) and the kids fed some fish near one of our neighbors and tried to help one of them who has somehow gotten a pink plastic bottle top/ring around its head... they were unsuccessful but a very nice neighbor here named Kelly gave the kids tons of food to feed them with. It was really nice.

Three Fish Feeders
Everyone remembers our friends from Sand Dollar here and we are eager to see them again in San Diego tomorrow... at the first of many Baha Haha gatherings!

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