There were two kids seated in the row in front of us, luckily they fell asleep soon after take off. Quick trip down to DC, Dulles, soft landing. Our outbound gate was close to our arrival one, but we had 4 hours to kill so we walked through the C concourse to D and went to the TGIFriday's there. We had a passable meal, then back to our gate. Cris got me a smoothie (it's becoming traditional for me to have one in Dulles) and we read and waited for our flight. It was full up, but I was able to get us shifted to be next to each other (we'd had two middle seats), but the family we apparently disrupted was vocal about getting back in one row asap (disrupting boarding a bit in the process of getting everyone to move around). Finally all set and on our way on time. Food was okay, ravioli, lots of water, two movies (Spanglish, then we voted for National Treasure over Oceans 12 - though the captain demanded a recount). We had a wonderfully snarky flight attendant making announcements (she acted surprised that the flight crew recognised SAN, told people they could use their cell phones while we taxied to our gate but only if they talked really loudly about things that no one else wanted to hear - coincidentally keeping everyone in their seats until the fasten seatbelts light went off). We had a bit of a wait for our bags (lots of flights in at the same time as ours, and only 3 carousels). Then another bit of a wait until the hotel shuttle picked us up (but I enjoyed breathing the outside air after hours in planes and airports). We ended up with a van full of goths for the ride out to Shelter Point. Checked in to the Shelter Pointe Hotel okay, got an accessible room just off the lobby, though it was down a tiled hallway that was a bit annoying to navigate - all the tiles around the hotel were edged by deep grooves and the surfaces were uneven, which made walking with the cane a bit of a challenge. I took a shower while Cris went out to get water from a convenience store, and fell asleep - he had a long way to go, but I was dead tired at 10pm. Room's on the ground floor near the two story lobby (with gas fireplace big enough to roast an ox), and across from the pool. No pre party for us.
Back to room, text messaged Amy about going to the San Diego Zoo and talked to her when she called back. We met her in the hobby at 10am, decided to pick up the rental car later in the day, and shared a van cab with a couple from Nanaimo to the Zoo. Our cabbie gave us a mini tour on the way, pointing out sights as we passed them.
We queued up to do the bus tour first, the rain held off mostly, we were
on the upper deck so it could have been wet.
Then we walked around to catch more details. The aviary rocked, a rock
almost landed on me. Lots of small herbivores in various enclosures, and
we saw the pygmy hippos, the giraffes, camels, elephants, snow lepoards,
a black lepoard and more.
I called the same taxi driver for a lift back, he toured us through Balboa park and the museums.
Went straight to the meet and greet, got laminates and t-shirts and goodie bags. Talked for a bit until the rain came down, and went back to our room. Made dinner reservations for us, Amy, Stuart. Got picked up from the lobby by the Enterprise guy and got the car sorted out. Back and read for a bit, then out to Sushi Ota, picking up Stuart from his hotel on the way. The restuarant was pretty busy, but they had good fish at a decent price. The salmon nigiri I had had a train of fish, very generous. The plum wine was good too, and I had plum wine ice cream to round off. The spicy yellowtail roll wasn't that spicy.
Back to hotel and got ready to head out to 4th and B - it was 8 by the time we got back. We'd just made it on time for our 6:30 reservation, with a few turns, and came back much more directly.
Put on short velvet jacket, sleeveless dress shirt, and capri pants with striped socks. Drove over, found free parking after one circle, and went in just in time to catch most of Shaolin Punk's set, which was energetic and fun. Mr Monster tried to be a surf punk band, but the singers were not so good. They did a cover of Sci Fi Double Feature that almost worked. More Machine than Man had videos projected on a screen in front of them, so we could occasionally see them through the screen when the lighting was on them. The lead singer of Ego Likeness reminded me of Caroline Blind - sexy womanly voice. Talked with Michelle for a while, and Amy, seated up a few risers at a table. Left around 1am, to sleep.
Then Cris and I drove out to the Museum of Man in Balboa park - large breadth in the Weapons of the World exhibit, though some repeats in the cabinet's contents. Walked through the Alcazar moorish garden on our way out. Cris got the car and we drove down to the alternative shopping district (ran into the tail end of one of the shopping trips, I think). Browsed Bluestocking books, Wear it Again Sam, Off the Record, and got tea time soap in Shwoomp.
Then we decided to try and find Ranchos Kuchina to get a Mexican dinner. We drove past the street outbound on Broadway, passed by it only seeing the Ranchos sign on the way back, called 411 and asked where they were, and finally got there. Parked in alley behind it, and went through the Mexican grocery to the street and into the restaurant. Good if different sangria (wine with an iced guava mix poured in), chips, and I had an avocado burritto with green sauce that was quite good.
Back to hotel at around 6:30 to see the indoor fashion at 7, which started at 7:30. Doomie didn't turn off his mic as he was trying to get models onto the catwalk, so we were giggling at him talking firmly to them. We were opposite the lights, so it was hard to see details. Exquisite Restraint had a cool collection. Quick change to my Shrine dragon covered gown with the trailing sleeves (with my tricorn, of course, this time with a scarf under it tied to trail down my back) and then over to the venue - we got free rock star parking across from 4th and B and went in. Sat on one of the couches under the balcony overhang - the couch was a bit soft, but much more social - Amy and Stuart, Jason, Cossack and Tatyana joined us at different times.
Bands: Mercurine - the lead singer reminded me of Becky, but her voice wasn't quite up to that standard. The Strand were much more crunchy than I was expecting, though I think they were a bit distorted as well (Michelle said she could understand him better at AZ shows). Machine in the Garden provided background noise was I got caught up in a conversation. Summer's dress was dripping with red ribbons, it was neat. The Azoic had good stage presence, the lead singer reminded us of Alexis. Picked up their new cd just before leaving.
I was pleasantly surprised that the women's washroom was pristine, and had an attendant who squirted soap on my hands. Cris had warned me that the men's was a typical club bathroom. I adjusted my head scarf under my hat and headed back out. We left as the Azoic was finishing up, as we had brunch reservations the next morning.
We had left extra time to get there, which was needed when we took a wrong turn. The island is very flat, the hotel is very large. The brunch was held in the ballroom, under an arching dome, open to light at both ends. They had a huge array of great food set up on 5 different tables, it was so worth it to go over to the island. I had a crab leg, smoked salmon, 3 kinds of shrimp, sushi, an oyster, swordfish, scrambled eggs, a mimosa, 2 pots of tea, OJ, tiramisu, flourless chocolate cake, and more. We took a walk on the hotel grounds and sat to watch the sea from a semi circular bench. The sun was warm and the wind light as we sat there, but the crowds were heavy. We could see the bluffs at the opening to the Pacific.
Back over the bridge and to Balboa park again, where we were ordered around in a parking lot as stupid people tried to back up into us. Cris dropped me off and found a better spot, then we went to see the Photography Museum. They had two exhibits on: Edward Burtynsky, a Canadian photographer of mines and the detritus of human manufacturing - gorgeous landscapes in quarries, neat side by side photos, and Andrea Modica, a portratist - loved the one of the two kids in bed, one lying down, the other cross legged with her hands over his eyes, plus the one with someone cupping the fall of a girls straight hair off the side of a bed.
No postcards of those two pictures (very small exhibit space, no permanent collection that we could see), then went down in elevator to the model railroad exhibit. Lots of scale models of trains, it was interesting to listen to the afficionados as we wandered among the dioramas.
Next it was back upstairs and we walked through the Japanese Friendship Garden, with a calligraphy display in a small building. Some C11 attendees were going in as we came out. Got a very hot cup of chai in the tea house/noodle shop, and walked back to the car for the drive back to the hotel. Called my dad to check on wine to bring to Uncle Gerard tomorrow (red), and wrote up travel dairies sitting on our porch and observing goths stalking by. Need to check email... Missed the workshops, as got back to hotel at 3pm. Just DJ's tonight, so probably won't stay too long.
Rested and read for a while, and tried to collect a few people for supper, but the corpgoth dinner was at the same time and thwarted me. Cris and I headed out of the hotel at 6pm and drove over to Broadway and 5th and snagged a parking space just down from Khyber Pass. We still weren't very hungry after the uber filling brunch, so we went back in to browse at Off the Record. Cris got a Kraftwerk t-shirt, then we went back to the restaurant where we were seated quickly. They had neat translucent plexiglass between us and the kitchen, and murals on the walls. I had the vegetarian platter and a good mango lassi (way too small, as usual, I need to make one at home that fills a blender again). The cherry rice was sweet, the other three were savoury, and the 5 veggie samples were good. I was fooled by the spiced cornstarch on the dessert tray, it had looked like ice cream when it went by for display to other tables. So, we went off to Extraordinary Desserts instead for our final course, again snagging a parking space right across the street. There was a longish wait at the counter, and a longer one at the table, tilting our V marker to try and lure a server to bring us our sweets. The lemon meringue cake wasn't the custardy pie that I was expecting, but it was a good yellow cake infused with lemon. I had a pot of jasmine earl grey tea from loose leaves, it was really good. We sat outside, moving under the heat lamp as the order took a while to appear and I was getting chilly even with my coat on. A kid kept rolling by on his roller shoes, he was lucky he didn't run into a waiter, or us. We headed back to the hotel once we were done eating, stuffed brim full and with leftovers, and I made the mistake of lying on the bed. I fell asleep while Cris was puttering about and we ended up punking out on the Port Royal Ball.
We hit traffic and I called to warn Gerard that we'd be a bit late, but we made it there just 15mins after our ETA. We had a good chat and then he drove us in his new yellow Focus (we had a white Focus for our rental) to Red Lobster, and I was able to reset the GPS unit for him when it got confused. They gave me more than 30 shrimp with my meal deal, but I ate every one. Back to Gerard's place, and I had Cris take a picture of me and me uncle for posterity - it had been a lot of years since we'd seen each other. Traffic was light heading back, well, relative for California, but the bright head lights were annoying. We had lots of new music to listen to at least, and didn't need to pop over into the carpool lane to keep a constant speed.
The moon was low and red as we pulled into the hotel lot, at around 9:30pm. We did some pre-packing and then fell asleep, worn out from the 250 miles of road we'd rolled over.
Despite having to walk through the colourful tunnel to the next concourse
over, we made our connection with time to spare (we got in a bit early
from SD, actually). The flight home was fine, though we had a bit of a
wait for our luggage. Taxi home, found a piece of paper saying that my
suitcase got opened and inspected, and rather compulsively threw
everything in there into my laundry basket. Managed to get to sleep at a
decent hour (ie midnight instead of 9pm) and was up for work the next day.