Day 114, September 9th 2008, beginning in San Diego, California

I got up at a decent hour to make it out to Balboa Park, a large park a little northeast of downtown San Diego that is home to 15 museums, a bunch of cool gardens, and the San Diego Zoo. We had the time, so I figured I would check it out. Paul wasn't interested in going, so he stayed at Luke's and I biked down to the park.

When I got there , I was told that I would need at least a couple days to see everything that the Balboa passport would get me into. I would have to come back the next day to finish up. It dawned on me that I forgot the bike lock that Paul had, so I spent most of the day asking to park the bike in the lobby, or praying for the best leaving it out front of the museums unlocked. It ended up fine of course.

My first stop was the Museum of Man . I was pretty engaged in this one show about breaking ancient Mayan code. It's amazing how many different things really smart people in this world dedicate their lives to. Quite entertaining.

I spent the rest of the day hopping around from museum to museum taking in as much as I could as fast as I could. After the Museum of Man, I visited the sports , automotive , model railroad , art , photography (irony?), Air and Space , San Diego history, and Mingei International museums. It was a bit tiring, but I saw a lot of pretty neat stuff (a good amount of lame stuff too) ….come on.

Around 5:00, when most of the museums were closing, I headed back to Luke's place to see what Paul was up to. On my way back, I stopped at the crest of a large hill exiting the park. The hill was probably within half a mile from the airport's runway, and was good for some up close views of planes flying overhead.

When I grew bored of that, I headed back. When I got back Paul and Cody were there. They had gone to the beach for most of the day while I was gone. I received a text from a friend Laura who used to work with me in Westport, CT. She had packed up, knowing no one, and moved to San Diego just after New Years. She invited us to come meet her out at the bar she worked at in Pacific Beach, just a bit north of where we were. We had also arranged to stay with someone else for the next few nights, as we were spending 5 days in San Diego, and didn't want to occupy one person's couch for all of that time. We said goodbye to Luke and friends , thanks for everything guys, and headed a mile down the street to our new friend Saul's place.

When we got there we chatted with Saul for a while. We invited him to come to the bar with us, but he was meeting some friends for dinner, so after we got settled in, we went our separate ways. Since we were going to be doing some night riding to the bar, I spent a while trying to mount a light I had onto the back of my seat. It was a pretty ridiculous setup, but it would be legal for the time being.

We took off en route the bar on the bicycles. We stopped at a point about halfway to grab some pizza. It was a bit sub par, but would do the trick for the night. We rolled another few miles to her place, which was called Tavern on the Beach. There was definitely a stark difference in the feel of PB and OB. It was a much younger, wild, party atmosphere. The bar was filled with college kids on a Tuesday night. I didn't bring my camera, so I unfortunately didn't get any pictures with Laura who was certainly working the scene. She was zipping around the room, getting drink orders by the score. She kept bringing us rounds of stuff nearly every time she came back. She showed us a good time, and I was even happier when she came back with a bill that was about 1/3 of what it should have been. We made sure to take care of her on the tip end. We ended up staying past close, sobering up a bit before our ride back home. As it was a Tuesday night, the streets were virtually empty, but we talked to some of her coworkers for a while about the amazing thing we had just accomplished.

Afterwards, we made our way back to Saul's house. It was pretty late and I had intended on getting up to finish of Balboa Park, which would still take me most of the day since I hadn't even gone to the Zoo yet. It was nice to catch up with Laura, and something tells me she won't be moving back to the east coast any time soon. Thanks again Laura. Beddy bye.

Life was good.