On April 1st Gili’s cousin Daniella was getting married in San Diego. Gili’s dad, Dave, came from Israel especially for the wedding, and invited us to join him for the weekend. At first I didn’t think I would go. It seemed a bit expensive to go just for the weekend and I thought that I’d be so beat up from skiing by then that I’d enjoy a relaxing weekend at home. But since my ski season ended early, and I “enjoyed” many relaxing weekends at home since then, a sunny weekend in San Diego didn’t sound that bad at all. So for these reasons Gili and I didn’t fly together, but we had very similar flights.
We went to the airport together and even our flights were gate by gate. We said goodbye and said that we’d try to meet in LA, since we both had connections through there, but if not we’d see each other in San Diego, a few hours later. Little did we know. The flight was fine and I was glued to the VOC journal that we just received the day before at the VOC banquet, so the time passed quickly. But as we were landing a funny thing happened, or not so funny actually. We were already very close to the ground but then all of the sudden the plane went back up, as if it was taking off again. The pilot said that the airport is too busy so we’ll now have to circulate, but later I found out that “he missed the approach” meaning that he messed up the landing. We circulated for 45 minutes and only when we finally landed I realized how late it was. LAX is probably the worst airport ever, and I had to find my way to another terminal, where I found out that I was too late to make my flight which was the last flight to San Diego that night.
Making a long story short, after standing in line, arguing with American Airlines agents, crying and hurting I understood that nothing good would come of it. Finally I had to walk back to Alaska Airlines terminal and they gave me a hotel room with no problem, because it was their flight and their pilot that messed up, even though it was an American Airlines Booking. Then I waited for an hour for the shuttle to go to the hotel, and then waited in line again to get a room. All that with a broken arm, still in a sling, and very tired. I finally got to the room, had about 3 hours of sleep and went back again to that horrible airport. As we were sitting on the plane to go to San Diego it turned out that the SD airport had shut down because of fog! Just my luck, when does it ever get foggy in San Diego?! Finally we took off after about two hours and I found Gili and his dad in the hotel. Gili of course made his connection with no problems and they were wondering what had happened to me until they realized I missed the connection. Apparently American Airlines wouldn’t agree to tell them which flight I was on due to “security reasons”.
I was exhausted and all I wanted to do is to get some sleep. My short visit in San Diego got even shorter and I passed most of Friday sleeping and dozing off. In the evening we met some family for dinner. Together with the San Diego crew (Mark, Daniella, Saul and Cindy) we met up with Gili’s cousin Ilan and wife Erica who arrived from Hong Kong with their baby Leon (10 months). I never met them and Gili hadn’t seen Ilan for a very long time. It was great catching up with them and to hear about life in Hong Kong. Also, Gili’s aunt’s Marcelle arrived from Australia and I never met her either, so there were a lot of gaps filled.
Last time we were in San Diego was just before we started our cycling trip in Baja California in November 2010. There was a heat wave then and it was about 32C and for some reason I thought it is always that hot in San Diego. But we woke up to a chilly and cloudy Saturday morning. However, one of the big advantages of San Diego, is the fact that it is so close to Mexico. Gili did his research and found a great taco truck named Mariscos German. We ordered too much as it turned out that Dave is not a big fan of Mexican food… The ceviche was excellent, the fish tacos were just like in Baja and the Marlin taco was amazing. There was a guy there that said he’s been researching Mexican places in San Diego for 30 years and we “stumbled” on one of the best. Gili had to explain to him that we didn’t just stumble on this place and that he too did his research.
On Sunday we met up with Ilan, Erika, Marcelle and baby Leon and we took a walk near the water. There were many seals around and we watched them for a long time, they are such cute animals. For lunch we stopped in another Mexican place, but we only had a small lunch as we also had a wedding to go to. We had a short nap and a quick dip in the hot tub and then it was time to head out to the event that brought us to San Diego in the first place – Daniella and Larry’s wedding.
The ceremony took place near the ocean. It was a beautiful day, but quite windy and we were nervous that the chuppa would fly into the ocean. Dave, who was one of the pole holders, was holding on with all his might. Now, I must admit that I had a bit of a culture shock from the wedding. I’ve only been to one other wedding in North America, and it was of our friends Beck and Hugues’ and they had a very small celebration (35 people) in a beautiful house on Vancouver Island. So I’ve never been to a wedding with a maid of honor and bride maids and best man and groomsman and so on. I’ve only seen it on TV and movies before that. The wedding was nice, there were speeches and great food and also a bridge made of ice that is apparently where Larry proposed. I couldn’t do much dancing, but it looked like people were having lots of fun. The evening ended with people holding fireworks and the couple leaving through them.
Gili and I had early morning flights, again not the same ones, we had to be at the airport at 5:00am. My connection now was through Phoenix, so I didn’t have to go through the horrible airport in LA again. I enjoyed the weekend and the wedding, but I was really happy to be home. Dave arrived that night for a one week visit. Congratulations to Daniella and Larry and thanks for the excuse to go to SD and also to have a very nice visit with Dave in Vancouver.