Saturday afternoon, Kris came over and helped me move some stuff into the kitchen and bathroom. We went wine tasting and then went back to her house for dinner. After dinner, I headed off on the drive to Camp Pendleton.
Five and a half hours later (at almost four in the morning), I got to the main gate. First, I pulled up to the side visitor's office to grab a pass, and the guards at the open gate station told me that not only did I not need one, but they don't issue passes, so I turned around and drove down to chat with them. I said I was there to pick up a friend from the barracks, which got me a few funny looks at 4AM on a Marine base. I was even asked if he was a "friend" or a *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* "friend, friend." I told them that he was a "friend, friend," but that I had already been denied since we've known each other 18 years and nothing is going to happen. So then I was told how foolish I was for being the one to come see him. Mildly entertaining 4AM conversation. I'm quite confident the gate guards didn't believe me and thought I was a booty call.
I called Ryan and got directions to his barracks. He came down and got me, carried my purse upstairs, stayed up while I showered, and then we chatted a bit in bed. Woke up the next morning and headed up to Hollywood!
We walked along Sunset Blvd and Hollywood Blvd. Stopped in some bar with all-day happy hour for a 4PM beer. (ShockTop raspberry wheat. Subtle raspberry flavor. Pretty good.) Saw the Scientology Museum (L. Ron Hubbard's works and life), and the trio - Ripley's Believe it or not, the Guinness Book museum, and the Hollywood Wax Museum. The Scientology museum was interesting, but the other three were mostly disappointing. I did however get a photo with Capt. Jack himself, as did Ryan.
We left Hollywood fairly late in the day and headed down south. We had The Conversation in the car, and it went pretty well! I informed him that we should probably stop for some dinner before I turn into a raging bitch, so we ended up at BJ's in Carlsbad with Sam. Delicious, as always! I tried their berry burst cider mixed with the irish red they have. It was pretty good! Ryan got something dark and delicious. It tasted like coffee. Very rich. Yum.
Headed back to his room again. Retired a little early. Got up Monday and went to breakfast with David - a friend of his from Louisiana. Then we went to the archery range. After what was probably a 10-minute explanation of the intricacies of the compound bow (I've shot before, but not compound), Ryan handed his over. I got my wristband all set up, finger release in place, lined up everything... and the string pressure was set to 60 lbs. I'm a wimpy girl. I tried a few times and couldn't pull it back all the way, so I gave up. Sad! Ryan and Dave shot a bit, and then we headed back to the room again to change for the beach! Ryan grabbed his sunscreen for me (SPF30) and we walked down to Del Mar Beach.
Mistake. First, I brought a Lonely Planet guide and a can of sunscreen. I was laying on my tummy for the majority of the time. I had Ryan spray my back, and then when he noticed my shoulders were burning, he sprayed them again. I sprayed my calves once. That's it.
This was the result of nearly two hours at the beach with no sunscreen on my chest.
Made some pasta salad at Grandma's and took it up to the 4th of July party at the Watsons' house. Met some cool people. Sat on bags of frozen hot wings to try and numb my legs. Stayed the night there.
Tuesday, hung out with Sam. We went to lunch, went to the beach and wrote my name in the sand (another goal to cross off!), then went back to her house and made red velvet cake balls. They turned out okay. Definitely better after a day or two. SUPER sweet.
Wednesday, I went out to Breakwater Brewery again with Mike and Ryan. Too bad we didn't get a second photo to compare with the first one. Then we headed down to the Beach Bar (or something like that), across from the CrossFit place, for some more libations. More beer. Jello shots. Watermelon Kamakaze shots. Beer pong. Good night. I danced. Probably inappropriately, because I have a tendency to do that. Thankfully I restrained myself and I was not all up on anyone. The boys laughed at me when I had difficulties getting in and out of the car... and in general, really. My sunburn was pretty entertaining. Ryan drove us back to the barracks, where I promptly turned into a drunken hooker. I wanted him to rub lotion on my sunburnt back, and it turned into a drunken female mating call of sorts. My apologies. Not that I did anything inappropriate, but I definitely was not being subtle either.
Next morning. He woke up and headed out to the range. I slept in and then went to spend time with Grandma & Grandpa, and went hiking through Cuyamaca with Jessy and Sam. Made dinner (chicken piccata!!) for everyone. Then went out to the bar with Jessy and one of the bouncers ended up driving us home since our cab never showed.
Friday morning, went out to breakfast at the Armenian Cafe in Carlsbad. ZOMG. Best breakfast ever. I was texting Alex and he had breakfast there, so we were going to meet him, but got around too late. So we did a late breakfast there ourselves, and Sam joined after she got out of class. That place has been voted best breakfast and best lamb in all of San Diego county. I believe it! Holy cow, it was tasty. Super expensive (no thanks to my $7 mimosa), but delicious and worth every penny. Spent all day Friday with the grandparents before I left. Grandma made corn chowder (yum!) and then I headed home!
I'm updating from Kris's netbook right now. I'm staying here watching the dogs since she and Dave headed west around 3 or 4 this morning. I'm about to head out and see what the status of the house is. It should be finished by now, so hopefully I'll be able to do some dishes and start putting things away this weekend!
I'll update with more photos as soon as I get around to uploading them. There's an update on Europe, too, but I'll wait for that one since it's super long.