We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...

We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...
1997's Climb

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Pacific Finale

             It always goes so quickly, doesn't it?  The first days seem long, almost leisurely...but the last couple fly by!  We had some fun, as my expert parenting skills led us to find some awesome dive bars late at night after Bella had gone for a final run and was off to sleep.  'The Duck Dive' was one, with many big screen t.v.'s, killer BLT's and Pacifico on tap. My favorite. The waitresses loved the bambini!  'Dirty Bird' was another, a tribute to the Baltimore Ravens (my Dad would have loved this place and the wings!!) and 'Bare Back' where the kids feasted on donut holes at 11:00 at night and our waitress inexplicably walked out of the window to chase some people that she knew who had walked by...great IPA's on tap there.  We watched a bunch of hockey (lots more NHL fans on the coast, especially with the L.A. Kings in the Stanley Cup chase!), some basketball (I still cannot believe Oklahoma has pro-sports.  Oklahoma.  Seriously.) a little baseball and some surfing.

              The weather was incredible the last two days - sunny, 70 degrees and the water was pretty nice...Autumn and Cody wore themselves out boogie boarding and Tonio got into the act this morning. 

Cody and Autumn head into the surf together.  It was heartwarming to see these two find common ground and enjoy each other.

Tonio barely left my side.  We built sand castles, dug holes and jumped waves together

The bambini captured some fiddler crabs and are holding them here.

They discovered a large cave in the cliffs...near the sign that says 'Danger!  Stay off cliffs!  Unstable!'  I know the feeling.

Then, they built sea side condos for their crabbies!

Look close!  Autumn has a little guy resting on her thumb (that's me wrapped around her little finger!)

After a full day on the beach, we decided to go downtown.  I showed the kids the hotels that Kim had once upon a time booked us in and told them tales about those trips...like the Hyatt on the bay, next to Sea Port Village and the Best Western Carillo, just up the street from the ballpark.

Cody poses with his dream car - a Ferrari!

Well, maybe coming downtown was my idea because there was a Padres game.  Maybe.

Autumn was fascinated with Petco Park.  It is a nice ballpark, not so glitzy like Chase Field - more of a traditional ballpark, but with family friendly features...like this sand box!

The Giants were in town and we got to see Tim Lincecum, at one time one of the best in MLB, pitch.  The Padres took a 4-1 lead - but they are in last place and they quickly showed why falling behind 5-4.  Carlos Quentin, who we used to watch regularly here in Tucson when we had minor league baseball, the Sidewinders (Oklahoma has a pro team.  Really.), tied the game with a monster home run.  Logan Forsythe, who neither you nor I have ever heard of, won the game in the 9th with a walk off home run.  It was a great game!

Bella and I ran the beach near midnight...

And were back running it around 6 this morning..

With two little shell hunters (yes, Cody is still asleep!)

We walked to Paradise Pier, where you can rent a cottage right on the pier.  Kim looked into this once, but I can't remember what happened...

Another great day at the beach and back to Little Italy...

Cody chose a place called Davinta's, because he remembered going there a lifetime ago, when it was called something else and was so beautifully decorated. He asked 'Dad, where was the place that you could sit out back and they had incredible statues and paintings?'....it was very different, but he and Aut enjoyed pizza with prosciutto and arugula, while Tonio feasted on rigatoni and sausage!

We spent some time with our old friend Jeanne, who owns Bella Stanza on the corner of Beech and India, the beginning of Little Italy. She had just been to Italy and is going to San Fran tomorrow and to Laguna Beach Sunday. We got a neat pitcher to add to our collection of things Kimmy picked out there for our home, and a St Francis ceramic wall hanging...Tonio got a Pinocchio to hang in his room!
All of these beach visits and I cannot decide which are more beautiful...sunrises over the Atlantic or sunsets over the Pacific...
The sunrises were a part of our early life together, so very special...Bar Harbor, Maine...Plymouth, Mass, Providence, R.I....and I've told you about all of the southern beaches..
And yet...the Pacific was where we spent our married life...cherishing the beach time...and where our sun set....

Monday, June 4, 2012

More Pacific

       It's in the 60's...and beautiful!  Bella and I hit the beach running this morning at dawn - this girl loves the beach so much, running into the waves - you would not believe how high she can jump!  And, although we see a lot of other dogs on the beach in the morning, she only wants to meet people, growling at all of the dogs - I guess she doesn't realize she is a dog.

        Autumn purchased her own boogie board today.  She's hooked.  Her and Cody rode waves for hours, leaving Cody with a red back (not enough sun screen) and Autumn worn out.
        Uh, well, first we had breakfast!  The Boardwalk Cafe on Mission Blvd and Santa Clara...this was Kim's favorite breakfast spot.  We came here each time we visited San Diego - sometimes more than once (as will be the case during our visit!).  Kim thought it was a great 'joint' - how she classified a casual, non-chain establishment that served great food, had great atmosphere and friendly people working there.  It's one of the few places she wanted to buy a t-shirt from - Autumn has claimed the shirt as her own...
          There's not a lot of parking here, and I felt lucky we found a spot about a half block up from the Boardwalk on the right side of the street.  We brought Bella, so the maid's could repair clean our room without getting the Tigger treatment - it's so cool, that we knew she'd be fine while we ate breakfast.  As we walked to the Boardwalk, a man yelled to me that I'd better move my car, that they were ticketing right now and he pointed to the sign next to our car.  I thought it read 'No Parking Thursday mornings' for street cleaning and told him so.  He told me it does say no parking Thursday, but also said no parking Monday, too.  "What day is it?" I asked honestly.  "Monday."  "Oh, thanks! I'd better move my car!"  He told us that he had just done the same...Just as I started the car, the meter maid (is it still politically correct to call them that?), the ticket giver outer, pulled up and shook her head at me.  I thought she was going to ticket us anyway, but turns out she told me that since the street cleaner had already passed, I should park there.  She also told me not to forget Bella, since The Boardwalk is dog friendly!  Lucky Bella!

The "Joint" had sprouted a leak in the ceiling...apparently, the tenants above had left the bathtub running a tad too long, causing a beautiful, waterfall effect in the establishment below.  We were not put out....well, I guess we were, as we decided to sit outside.  Our waitress hooked Bella up with a fresh bowl of water.

     The breakfast was fantastic and I felt compelled to purchase a t-shirt...then, it was off to the beach!

Cody and Autumn rode some killer waves...

Tonio bought himself a big shovel and got busy digging an ever bigger hole.

Soon, the bambini joined forces to combat the incoming surf and preserve Tonio's engineering feat!

Jumping backwards a bit...here's a photo of last night's dinner at Anthony's Grotto - again, a family tradition.  We managed to get a window seat, which thrilled the kids.

OK, back to the present...after the beach, the kids like to swim for awhile at the pool to de-sand themselves.

All of the surf, sun, swimming and digging has given the bambini a hellacious appetite...off to Little Italy and Filippi's!!

After dinner, we walked Old Town, where the kids enjoyed Mexican hot chocolate (I stuck to cappuccino) and looked for souvenirs...Kim really enjoyed Old Towne and I shared stories of times we ate at Cafe Coyote, or Rockin' Baja Lobster and the time Kim got us a little efficiency apartment right in Old Town and we could walk to get late night ice creams (and margaritas for us!).  Cody and Autumn remember finding many snails in the bushes during that trip...

Little Tonio, ever thoughtful, kept finding little reminders of Kim - hummingbirds feeding from flowers...a Kimberly license plate in one store...at Filippi's, he wanted me to drink a bottle of Chianti, so we could write on the bottle for his Mama and hang it from the rafters with the billion others up there (think Pinnacle Peaks steak house and their ties...but Chianti bottles instead)...and he's struggling with traumas that we hope to get resolved soon for the poor little guy, makes me wish we could just stay here and live on the beach, but, I know we've got to face things...Then, it was  back to the hotel for a late night walk with Bella on the beach...they actually had no problem hopping into bed when we got home around 10!!

As Autumn fell asleep, she said to Cody "Can't wait to do some more boogie boarding tomorrow!"...Hoping their dreams are as sweet as their day was...

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Pacific

  I don't know what it is about the ocean, the beach...maybe it is because Kimmy loved it so much....maybe, it is the fond memories I have of childhoods spent at Beach Haven, NJ...maybe it's the memories Kim and I made together at Beach Haven, Myrtle Beach, S.C., Daytona Beach, Laguna Beach, Mission Beach, etc, etc....Mostly, I think it's the way the Pacific reminds me of Kim's eyes...I cannot look away...

     Anyway, like she always told me 'Tomorrow's another day'....she's right. The beach has a way of washing away a lot of things.   The bambini were so pumped to get to the coast - we stopped in Gila Bend, like we always have, for breakfast at McD's...I paid for the guy behind me (thanks Ami!)...A Random Act of Kimness!!...Autumn snapped pics the whole way, eager to email them to her best buds Lexy and Breanna ("Can you turn on the hotspot on your phone Dad?")...

      The temperatures have been in the 60's, the water temperature is actually pretty pleasant.  Cody proudly has taught Autumn and Antonio how to boogie board - the waves are perfect for it!!  Talk about decompressing...I've run several miles with Bella up and down the beaches.  She absolutely loves the surf and I've been hard pressed to keep her from swimming out to sea.  The kids are actually passed out at this early hour, so satisfied from going to Dog Beach, just off of Sunset Cliffs, with Bella for the day, going to Anthony's Grotto (a family tradition) for dinner and over to Seaport Village afterwards...

      Antonio has been up and down during the trip...he remains the big focus...alternating from happy to sad to frustrated - you can almost see him attempting to process his feelings...He is trying so hard to find signs from his Mama...he found a sand dollar "Mama must have sent this to us." he told me excitedly...then fiddler crabs...soaring, diving pelicans...a brilliant sunset...all from his loving Mama.  I'm so proud of how he tries...it sometimes breaks my heart - we're hoping to overcome his latest hurdle, too!


Great food at Filippi's, in Little Italy (India St.), downtown San Diego!  This was always our favorite stop.

The bambini build a super slide down the side of a beach cliff...

Autumn caught some sweet waves and a new found love - boogie boarding!


Cody's 'King Seat'!  He carved this into the beach's hillside.

And Cody could not wait to get to the Belmont Amusement Pier at Mission Beach!!

Tonio and Cody went on this crazy ride that spun them, swung them way up into the air and spun them some more...

All three kids enjoyed the classic Tilt-o-Whirl.

Cody talked Autumn into going on the Big Dipper - a wooden roller coaster built in 1925.  Sadly, Tonio was just an inch too short....the ride operator agreed to watch him for us while we road.

So far, it has been a great vacation for the bambini!  Certainly we have more good days than bad - aside from the block on my frequent blogging and Antonio's troubles. It sometimes is hard to find that release...and I have good days/bad days, like anyone else - I'm not special and I absoluetly get that there are so many more people out there worse off than I am!!
 Definitely appreciate the positive vibes most of you are sending our way!!

More later...