As we had anticipated, we have done very little sightseeing, lots of good lunching, wonderful times with Elsa's sister, and visiting an ailing aunt. This is, however, not the stuff of which stimulating Trip Reports are made. Sign on motel room door
We are nothing if not diligent, so we provide you an account of our Interesting Motel Experiences.
In San Diego we had the kind of motel we like -- with a huge room, extra chairs, a refrigerator and stove. We hauled in two folding tables and a folding chair and soon had two computers, extra disk drives, and a printer-scanner all hooked up and networked. We have to admit that we spent a lot of time converting our old Reunion data files to The Master Genealogist -- we now have some 2500 files of source data neatly catalogued on our computers and backed up on our external drives. At that we're still only a little more than halfway through! If we ever get caught up we're going to concentrate on collecting more data!!
But back to the motel. It was affordable -- less than $100 a night is considered inexpensive in this part of the world, with its spiralling real estate values. It was an older Best Western, close to the beach, and terraced on multiple levels going down the hillside. But it was older. The heavy rains uncovered all the old leaks in the roof, and at one point we had two wastepaper baskets busily catching the drips from the ceiling. We reported these to the front office, and Moribund bug after a while the maintenance man came around for a discussion. As soon as he understood that we only wanted to do our duty to report the leaks, and didn't care when (or if) he fixed them, he felt better. He explained that he would have to tear down the balconies above to repair the leaks. We doubt that will ever happen. Probably in another ten years the whole motel will be torn down and in its place will be erected something that we couldn't possibly afford to stay in!
Another day the San Diego Electric Power and Gas Company's transformer went kaput across the street, and the linemen were out working through the night in yellow slickers and bright lights (it was still raining). Finally they restored power just after midnight, and we managed to charm the front office into comping us for one night, which made the place still more affordable!
The coffee maker in the room worked all right, except that after you turned it on, after a little bit it would turn itself off, so you had to jump up and turn it back on again. Usually the second time it would stay on until the pot was brewed.
We found a moribund bug on the carpet one morning, one of those inch-and-a-half jobs with a pale yellow body. We scooped it up with a paper cup and a sheet of paper and deposited it in the flower bed, but it would not survive.
While we were staying at that hotel, the Buick Open happened, and for a couple of days we had to go out for breakfast because the tiny hotel breakfast room Emergency vehicles was filled to capacity and had waiting lines. We did find a "New York Deli" called "Elijah's" which served a fair amount of Jewish food like lox and pastrami and chopped liver and borscht and matzoh. It also had a very credible breakfast, although a bit too much. Elijah's was run by two recent Russian immigrants, a middle-aged lady and her good-looking blonde daughter. They were lucky to have gotten out of Russia, and even luckier to have landed in beautiful San Diego.
Southern California doesn't have any of the mom-and-pop-country-kitchen restaurants that we find in mid-America, but there are lots of ethnic restaurants and quite a few upscale places. We can recommend Ming's and the Poseidon in Del Mar, the Beach House in Laguna Beach (used to be Hollywood actor Slim Summerville's beachfront home), Todai, a Japanese seafood buffet, in San Diego, and P J's Abbey in Orange. We also hope to get down to the Korean and Vietnamese neighborhoods on Garden Grove Boulevard, where we're now staying.
On our second night in the Candlewood Suites in Garden Grove we were treated to a rip-roaring show. We counted six fire engines and four police cars, all responding to the deafening fire alarm which got us out of our room and outside around six p.m. There was a fire, actually, something in the electrical circuitry around one of the air conditioners. The firemen were very nice, several guests whined about having to leave their rooms (some refused to evacuate), but the whole emergency was over in less than an hour. It was the first day on the job for the new manager, so he had a real baptism of fire! Our favorite motel office
Oh by the way we think the Candlewood Suites have the best room layout of any "suite-type" hotel we've found. There is a separate bedroom with a door, so one of us can be sleeping while the other is up and about, and the best part is the enormous table. From one wall it stretches out about eight feet, turning into a circular table at the far end. It's perfect for two people to work at one end and eat breakfast at the other. There are three closets, a recliner, a sofa bed, and a tiny vanity table in the bed room. Very efficient use of space.
It seems people always complain about rainy weather. One part of the brain knows that California and the West is in a perpetual water crisis due to too many people and not enough water, while another part wants it to be sunny all the time so they can enjoy the out-of-doors. But of course we humans are defined by our inconsistencies!