I must have been dreaming!!
Let's start with the airport. I knew it was going to be crowded. This was, after all, the start of the long Memorial holiday weekend and the start of summer vacation for school kids here in Texas. I knew there might be trouble when I saw that my flight, which was originally scheduled to depart from Terminal C, was changed to Terminal E. This is where all of United's international flights depart from. Oy!
But then I thought, "Hey, I'm first class and a United Premier member, so maybe the line to check in won't be that bad. They usually aren't. Again, I must have been dreaming!
|This is the Premier/First Class check-in line. It stretched|
the length of the terminal lobby then did a big U-turn
before reaching the check-n counters, which is where
I'm standing to take this photo
I was so thankful that I got there a couple hours early, because it took an hour to make my way up to the check-in kiosk to get my boarding pass and my suitcase checked.
The TSA Pre lines were long, wrapping through the cordoned lanes, but it moved fairly quickly and I found myself at the departure gate with about 1/2 hour to spare. The good news here was that I didn't have a very long wait before they started to board the plane.
When I got into San Diego, visions of easily walking across to the parking lots and getting my rental car and getting out of there in just a few minutes filled my mind. After all, this is how it was last year when I came to San Diego. I must have been dreaming! San Diego has built a brand new off-site combined rental car facility which required waiting in a long line for a shuttle bus to arrive. It took two shuttle buses to load and depart before I was close enough to the head of the line to get the next bus.
The giant bus creaked and groaned and swayed as it carried its full to over-capacity load of passengers and luggage to the rental car facility. I had no idea where I was and knew that my GPS would not find a signal for several minutes after I exited the garage in my rental car. But thankfully, they had the foresight to include some pull out "GPS" lanes right outside the garage. Oh, my! Someone was really thinking ahead in the design of this facility! It took a couple of minutes, but then my GPS finally found a signal and routed me to my son's house.
I was looking forward to seven full days of family, spending quality time with the grand-kids, having a few rare days with my son and daughter-in-law. When I got to their house, the first thing I noticed was that my grandson was fighting a head cold, evident by his runny nose and constant sniffing. Oh, great! Visit the family and not get sick? I must have been dreaming!
I took the grand-kids to breakfast at Einstein Bagel on Sunday morning, to let their mom and dad relax a bit. Then my son and I made a run to Home Depot to buy some gardening supplies and stopped at the grocery store, where we picked out some craft beers and I bought ingredients to make some split pea soup, some artichokes (I'd been craving them ever since my Italy trip) and picked up some bananas and a big bag of Rainier cherries to nibble on.
We broke out the game of Battleship several times during my visit.
On Monday my son and I took the grandson to IHOP for breakfast then took both of the grand-kids to a really nice playground and let them play until they were exhausted. It became apparent that now the granddaughter was also coming down with whatever her brother had. That evening son and I took grandson to his water polo lessons.
|Trevor in foreground, learning how to pass the ball. Note the depth of the pool|
I went back to the grocery store and bought ingredients to make a pot roast in the crock pot so that on Tuesday, when my daughter-in-law went to Master Garden classes all day, I could make the pot roast and have dinner ready for everyone.
So on Tuesday, while daughter-in-law was away, I stayed home with the two sick kids and got the pot roast browned and then into the crockpot. By early afternoon I was starting to feel sick myself. That evening I was feeling really crummy, sort of spaced out and groggy. Whenever I get that spaced out feeling, it's always because I have a fever. I took my temp with that really cool in-ear thermometer my son has, and my temperature was 101.8. I was definitely sick! It was inevitable. Whenever I visit my family, one of them is usually sick, which means I will get sick, too.
Daughter-in-law prepared the artichokes and we had pot roast, artichokes, crusty sour dough bread, and craft beer for dinner.
I struggled along for the rest of the week, mostly being sick. One day I made split pea soup, another day I made beef barley soup from the leftover pot roast. But most of the time I didn't feel like doing anything. I stayed home with the kids one evening so that my son and daughter-in-law could attend a formal Navy dinner.
My granddaughter was home sick pretty much all week. She does not "do" sick very well. Nothing was right in her world. She ate very little, refused to drink fluids, and was just generally miserable.
On Friday, my daughter-in-law took my granddaughter to the doctor's leaving me to pick up my grandson after school. I drove to the parking lot at the little yuppie grocery store and then walked the rest of the way to the school to wait for grandson to be let out. When he saw me he ran over to me and said he had something very important to tell me or his mother. I said, "Tell me." Tonight was supposed to be their open house, but I knew we wouldn't be able to go, since it was also supposed to be granddaughter's ballet recital. My grandson had asked his teacher if it was okay to bring a parent to open house immediately after school instead of in the evening. She said it was okay, so grandson and I went to his classroom where he gave a very well-prepared presentation, showed me some of his workbooks and projects, and his cute little diorama.
Afterward, we carried all of his artwork, workbooks, diorama-in-a-shoebox back down the hill to the little strip mall parking lot and stowed it all in the car. I treated him to an ice cream and then we stepped next door to the grocery store where I bought the ingredients for dinner. I knew my daughter-in-law had been dealing with the sick granddaughter and the doctor's office, so would probably appreciate dinner waiting for her when she got home. I bought a rotisserie chicken, fresh asparagus, and grandson helped me pick out some sushi for appetizers.
Earlier in the week I made the decision to cancel my hotel room in downtown, thinking I wouldn't feel well enough to run the half marathon on Sunday. But by Friday evening, I was re-thinking this decision. It wasn't so much that I was feeling better, because I really wasn't. No, it was more about finding a quiet, peaceful place where I could veg out in front of TV, watch my favorite shows, get room service and not have to do anything except relax, maybe take a nap. The whining, shrieking, arguing and temper tantrums being played out by a six year old and an eight year old, both of whom didn't feel well, were making my sick head pound and my stuffed up ears ring. Relaxing, restful visit with family? I must have been dreaming!
So just for the heck of it, I logged into my Marriott account and checked for rooms at that same hotel where I'd cancelled out just a few days earlier. Imagine my surprise when I found they had a vacancy and at a lower rate, too. I made a reservation for Sat-Mon, exactly the same as what I had cancelled earlier. Then broke the news to my son. He was disappointed, but it was, after all, my original plan to stay downtown the last two nights before flying home on Monday.
Saturday I had lunch at my son's house - some leftover beef barley soup - then packed my car and headed downtown to the hotel. My son and grandson were at a friend's house for a party so they weren't there when I left and I couldn't say goodbye. My only hope was that they would come out and meet me along the race route on Sunday. We'd discussed it but never made final plans when I wasn't sure I'd be doing the race.
I turned the car over to hotel valet and they had my room ready early, thankfully, so I put my bag in the room then returned down to the lobby and started the long walk to the convention center to get my race packet. I still wasn't 100% sure I'd be doing the race the next morning. The cold had moved into my chest a bit, which was making it a little harder to breathe.
I spent as little time as possible at the expo, grabbing my bib, my race packet, and then fighting my way through the throngs of runners in the exhibit hall to find the exit. There is a Starbucks in the convention center lobby so I bought myself a cappuccino then started the long walk back to the hotel. The TV, the bed, and the remote control were all calling my name!
A nice afternoon of TV, room service delivery of dinner, and I was feeling a little better about the outlook for the next day's race. I went ahead and set the alarm on smartphone and decided that if I could sleep through the night without waking up coughing - it had been a rough few nights previously - then I would at least attempt to do the race. I called my son to let him know my plan, and said I'd text in the morning if I was indeed going to do the race. We made tentative plans to have them meet me near mile 6, the same place my daughter-in-law met me last year.
I got the best night's sleep I'd had all week and when the alarm went off, I was certain that I'd at least attempt to do the race. I got ready, had some Cheerios and fresh strawberries in my room, then started out on the 1.3 mile walk to the race start line. I texted my son and daughter-in-law just moments before I crossed the start line, to let them know I'd started.
The first 6 miles were roughly the same as last year's race. When I got to about mile 4.5, I texted them again to give them my position and ETA to mile 6. And just before I got there, I saw them all standing on a corner about 1/4 mile in from the mile 6 marker. So wonderful seeing them and hearing them calling my name! We all walked together to the mile 6 turn, the grand-kids running circles around me and my son and generally reveling in the novelty of this meet-up. Clearly the kids were feeling a lot better!
I said my goodbyes, gave everyone a sweaty hug and then continued on to finish the race.
The route was changed up a little from last year, with a different finish line near waterfront park instead of Petco Park. I liked this route much better. It included more of Balboa Park and ran through the downtown gaslamp quarter. It was an easier walk back to the hotel, as well.
I toyed with the idea of driving to their house afterwards and getting a late lunch or dinner, but when I got to the hotel after the race, I was "spent" and the thought of doing anything more than relaxing and watching TV was pretty distasteful. I must have been dreaming! So I called my son and begged off, once again thanking them for their hospitality and saying my goodbyes.
Another dinner ordered in, some TV, and I was done for the day. Tomorrow I find a Starbucks, pack my things and check out, then find the rental car drop-off and make my way to the airport to fly home.
A couple of weeks at home, then next up: a quick trip to Seattle for another Rock n' Roll half marathon.