Monday morning was kind of sad, because it was time to leave. We checked out of the Fairmont, and they printed our boarding passes for us at the front desk (Thanks, Kevin!). We drove to San Francisco via the Golden Gate Bridge/Hwy 101 then got lost a little bit before getting back on track. It was a nice little detour, as Mo explained to us how her father worked in San Francisco when he first immigrated to the USA, at Fisherman's Wharf.
View of Golden Gate from our car
We arrived in Burlingame at our friend Charlie’s house, and said hi to wife Jackie and his kids, Ryan and Jessica. Their house has a cool atrium in the middle, and a nice kitchen with flat grill. Jessica was playing with a doll that another Apache alumnus gave her, Masa, who had just visited them last week. Masa lives in Japan, and arrived in San Francisco without an Asian doll, which is what Charlie & Jackie had been asking him to bring. APPARENTLY, dolls in Japan are mostly white, and the closest he could come to was a French/Japanese mixture. The Barbie clothes fit her, though, so at least she can change clothes, unlike the Disney dolls, which are bigger than Barbie and therefore do not fit into her clothes. If anyone out there finds an Asian doll that is NOT Mulan, let me know, OK?
Lo, Sher, Charlie, Ryan, Jessica & Mo
Jackie stayed behind to watch the kids, and Charlie brought us to lunch at Bay Watch Café, where I had to have breakfast, of course: a nice scramble of spinach and sausage and cheese with eggs. Yummy! Chao waxed philosophical, just like old times. You know how people don't change that much once they find themselves? I have a feeling that Charlie found himself in a past life or something. He just doesn't change, and we love him all the more for it. Of course, if he had never changed from being a jerk, we probably wouldn't be so appreciative of the not-changing, but, thankfully, Charlie is as great and funny a guy as always, and I'm really glad that we got to spend time with him. Of course, it's kind of weird now. Instead of talking about high school crushes or whatever class we were talking about, Charlie and Mo talked about being anesthesiologists and they talked with Lo about being parents. It's not weird that they talk about it as much as it's weird that it's THEM that are talking about stuff, and not some strangers that I don't know. I can't believe how much we've grown up (well, at least THEY all have), and that we can still be such good friends that we can open up about our lives even after not seeing each other for a very long time. Are these the same wacky people that I went to Magic Mountain with back in high school, running around like wacky teenagers? Are these actually the same people in that group prom picture senior year? Wow. We had no idea back then what it would be like a couple of decades later. So different, yet still the same. Like the way Charlie still drives cars the same way he did back then. ;)
After going back to Charlie's house and saying our goodbyes, we drove to downtown Burlingame to meet up with Mo’s cousin Ashok and his wife Ani at their cigar shop. I met a nice old man who didn’t want me to smoke. But the Moonterrace cigar that Ashok recommended, with bourbon & vanilla flavors, was perfect. I just can’t have one for a really long time.
We shopped in Burlingame and I bought clothes on sale at Ann Taylor Loft, and a wooden Hippo bead from Potpourri. After walking out of Potpourri, we almost got caught jaywalking as we took a couple of steps right in front of a police car. Luckily, though, we saw him before actually going into the actual street. The police were present everywhere, giving parking tickets and such, so if you're ever in Burlingame, don't forget to feed the meters!
We drove back to Sunnyvale to meet Krina at her place, where she stated that she discovered that her 9 bottles of wine were equal to all of the rest of us combined. Well, if she hadn't already had 3 waiting for her when she got to Chateau St. Jean, then she and I might have been pretty even. Geez, I don't know when I'm drinking all of this wine, but it will be fun and tasty!
We went back to SJC and said our goodbyes and thanks to Krina. I continued my streak of pulling an Eremita all day with the spilling of corn nuts in the airport. (I had spilled coffee in the room in the morning and water at lunch). KLUTZ! While we were up in the air, we looked in the SkyMall catalog for the crazy garden sculptures that we discussed with Morgan, and I showed the gals my pics from trip.
Lo and I said our goodbyes to Mo, and picked up some Quizno’s for our drive down to Wildomar to extend her vacay away a little bit. My parents were happy to see Lori and catch up with her, since it had been quite a long time since they were able to talk. After a good night's rest, we went to the casinos in Temecula on Tuesday morning.
Our first stop was at Pala, where they are doing a lot of construction, and had just opened a new buffet restaurant, which had a great selection (King crab legs! Big ones!), and we played there a little while, too. Afterward, we tried our luck at Pechanga, where I did have better luck, but didn't win all of the $ back that I had lost at Pala. Oh well.
Since I had a flight the next morning, I needed to get back home, so I brought Lo back to the reality at her house with all of those boys (William included), and finally got back to change out my luggage and sleep in my own bed. For one night. At least I was home!
Next up: Tempe, AZ