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San Diego, Baby!

I’m here!  I’m here!  I’m here!  I’ve wanted to see San Diego for years now, and I’m finally here!

I’ve accompanied Ted out here for a week-long conference and we arrived yesterday.  In the late 90s, I visited much of the California coast but I didn’t go this far south.  This is unfortunate because I’ve been told by many that it’s my kind of place.  The whole organic/locally grown movement, the wide variety of outdoor rec opportunities, and for so many other reasons, I would totally fit in here.

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Truth be told, it’s the idea of surfing here that has most allured me.  This is where Ted learned and he’s been tempting me with stories of morning surf sessions in the Pacific, followed by breakfast burritos out of a food truck.

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Within our first hour in the state, we made our way down to Ocean Beach to watch the surfers by the pier, then stopped into South Beach Bar and Grill.  We ordered our tacos with wahoo and baja fish, which is much different than the mahi or snapper fish tacos we’re used to in Florida.

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We sat at the window looking down Newport Avenue and as we were immensely enjoying our snack, we got to experience my favorite moment of the trip so far.

1983 Saab 900 TurboA man in what looked to be his late 60s came walking by in a shorty wetsuit that had more miles on it than Ted’s ’82 Saab 900 (that had a real hang up with going into reverse) and he was carrying a bag with his name on it.

Geff (with a G) appeared to have stepped right out of Woodstock, N.Y., cir. 1969.  He looked a little wobbly in his step, if you get my drift, but maybe he was hitting the wall after a long surf session…or something.

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About 20 minutes later, Geff-with-a-G came walking back from what was evidently the public showers.  Ted bet me that he was walking back to the 30-year-old VW camper van that looked like it hadn’t been moved in a decade.  Seriously, you should have seen how low those tires were!

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I didn’t take him up on the bet; Geff and the Vanagon were clearly destined for each other.  Sure enough, this rail of a man slid open the 50-lb. door with one great heave and climbed into his (truly) mobile home.  Before closing it behind him, a menagerie of “house” wares that he’d obviously been collecting since the Nixon administration was visible from our perch across the parking lot.

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Before we could process this bizarre scene that had just unfolded, a guy on a bike with more modifications than I’ve ever seen, rode by.  It had kid’s bike-sized tires, yet the frame was long enough to fit an adult.  The seat – a banana seat, no less – hovered further back over the rear wheel than normal, and the handle bars…oh the handle bars… they were the ape-hanger type I’m used to seeing in my unfortunate hometown when Bike Week is full blast and muffin tops squeezing out of leather chaps are on the back of every third or so Harley.  //sigh//

But I wasn’t in my home town – where this type of tacky is commonplace – so I had to take a picture.

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Wow, not even a full afternoon in the region and I’m already brimming with stories.  I LOVE this place!!

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