Sorry for the long absence but I’m back now.
Wow! December and January were crazy but wonderful months. My fantastic writing partner, Casey, arrived on December 4th and was with us until this past Monday. Sadly, for us, she went back to New Zealand but I’m sure she’s glad to be home.
The good news is, we’ll meet up with her in London in two short months for more adventures.
This was her second trip to San Diego. She was here in June for two weeks and this time for seven weeks. While I’m not done showing her our fantastic city, she’s seen a good portion of it and eaten in most of our favorite places. All of our friends absolutely adore her, and everywhere we went she made new friends with the bookstores staff, restaurant owners and wait staff, zoo and Safari Park keepers, and everyone else who met her. Even Sheryl’s Navy Marine Corp Relief Society co-workers want to know when she’s coming back for Taco Tuesday!
I guess the above kind of gave away a few spoilers so, I’d best get on with what we did.
While a lot of touristy stuff was included, it was also a working trip and we got tons of writing related stuff done too. So, in no particular order, let me see if I can remember most of what we did and where we went.
Since Sheryl and I volunteer at the San Diego Zoo, we got her a membership, which will still be good when she returns in October and we attend the La Jolla Writers Conference. Her membership, after my personal guided tour in June, let her explore on her own during the four Saturdays we worked as Interpretative Volunteers.
Also included this time were two trips out to Safari Park. On the first trip we took a truck safari out onto the African and Asian Plains where we got to feed the Rhino’s and Giraffe’s. The second trip took in what we’d missed the first time and included a stop at Orfilia Winery afterward where a bottle of Chardonnay, cheese and crackers were sacrificed as we chatted, laughed and looked out over the vineyards from the patio.
Oh, that’s also when she started her list of things to do at Safari Park the next time. Including, the zip line, the balloon ride, taking in the new Walkabout Australia exhibit, another trip out onto the plains and, of course, a stop at the winery on the way home. (We’re quite sure she likes the zoo and absolutely certain she loves Safari Park. But then, so do we.)
Pre-Christmas included taking in the Donna Summer Play at La Jolla Playhouse and dinner with friends at Mr. A’s rooftop restaurant overlooking the city all lit up for Christmas. On Christmas Eve we did a dinner cruise on San Diego Bay where she, Sheryl’s sister Jini, and several women from the tables around us tore up the dance floor.
Christmas day was quiet as we tried to explain American football to Casey over a BBQ’ed turkey breast, cranberries, mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans. “Why are they wearing so much stuff?” she kept asking. “Our rugby players are real men,” she added. “They would never be caught in all that padding.” I’m certain she’ll never understand our football but who cares. Next up, we’ll be watching football (real football, as in soccer) while touring the pubs in England and Ireland.
Aside from my home cooked meals, she’s now been to dinner at 26 of San Diego’s best restaurants, which leaves two we didn’t get to: The Prado and Indigo Grill. Yup, they’re already added to the October list.
Her three favorites? Well, they all begin with “C”. In order: Coasterra, Coasta Brava and C-Level. I’m pretty sure she also liked The Melting Pot where she had her first ever fondue dinner and gooey, chocolate smores fondue for dessert.
She’s been all over the San Diego area and now knows her way around almost (I said almost) better than I do. If she’s not sure, she just looks for a plane landing at SD International and knows immediately where she’s at!
She’s been to the beach, stuck her toe in the water on the other side of the Pacific. She’s been up the coast on the train, been to the aquarium, two wineries, Balboa Park and several museums, four bookstores, the Hotel Del, Point Loma, the Cabrillo Monument and the lighthouse.
Every beach area we have she’s visited and eaten in: Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, Imperial Beach, Del Mar, Oceanside, San Juan Capistrano.
She’s covered the entire bay front on all sides, the Embarcadero, Harbor island, Shelter island, Coronado. She’s seen the Midway Museum, the Star of India, the Maritime Museum and on and on.
Believe it or not, we actually got a lot of writing stuff done too. We updated our outline and added several chapters to our coauthored romance novel, Light My Way. Updated our Marketing and Advertising Plan. Rewrote and added several chapters from our coauthored business book, How Not to Fail in Business Without Really Trying. Attended a Writers Guild presentation on creating an email list and Newsletter; which was already on our to do list.
We held a local book signing and did an author talk at the Bonita Library. We visited four book stores and I’ll be dropping our books off for consignment sale at two of them. We emailed a book store in Alnwick, England to see if we could do a signing there in April and get our books on the shelf. They don’t do signings but, I’ll be sending our books to a friend there so she can hand deliver them.
Most important, we got to know each other better. Because of such short notice and almost no advertising, hardly anyone showed up at our author talk and we sold no books at the signing but, that’s okay. Transitioning between each other during our talk was like we had been doing it forever. And, creating a poster for Casey’s books, setting up for the signing and creating an email list after the Guild presentation just emphasized how much we think alike and how well we work together.
I know I’m missing stuff, but I’m exhausted listing it all. I could also add a thousand more pictures but I’ll just stick with the more interesting ones.
Was it exhausting taking her to all those places? Not a bit. She is so appreciative and such a pleasure to be with. Everyone loves her and she is captivated by everything she sees. Simply put, I can’t wait to see her in England and Ireland.
As for a writing partner, I am the luckiest writer in the world. No one could ask for or have a better partner. She is smart, witty, creative and as much a pleasure to write with as to be with. I just hope that I, as the other side of this partnership, in some way return just some of that.
The best part? In addition to all that, I now have a best friend that truly defines the term BFF. And, if you read my autobiography, you’ll realize I’ve found yet another pretty girl with a cape to share my dreams, and writing life, with.
Casey and I love comments. Please let us know what you thought about my blog, or anything else related to our writing, travels or posts.