I woke up early again, still on Eastern time, for our second full day in La Jolla. While Kathy slept, I made train and hotel arrangements for a weekend in Chicago end of February our friends Deb and Jeff from St. Louis had just proposed. Come 6:30, La Clochette du Coin had opened its doors so I could go get Kathy her cappuccino, disguised as a foamy tall latte so she could get the large size. Over her cappuccino and my tea, we discussed arrangements for Sam’s June 14 (his birthday) memorial service in Nathrop CO, which we surely wanted to attend. The old Palace Hotel in Salida where Sam had put us up during our visit last August, was booked for the 13th but not the 14th, so we now have two places to stay on successive nights. That was enough to work up an appetite, so off we went a whole 3 blocks to see our Russian friends at Vahik, splitting a sumptuous breakfast burrito soaking up 5 different hot sauces washed down by more foamy coffee. That left us charged to take on another walk along the beach up the coast to the Cove then inland. The previous night’s into morning rain had left the rocks too wet and slick to try any new ways up the beach. At the Cove, the seals were conducting a retirement seminar, and up the way around the corner with the restaurants featuring great views but mediocre food, the bird poop covered rocks still were, the scent probably accentuated by the moistening of the rains. Turning into the village, we went about our errands, but not with enough direction to spoil the pleasure of wandering about streets we had not trod before. The local well stocked Ace hardware had a tea ball adequate to replace the one I had just broken, and a different shape than any other in my collection. The affable gray cashier who checked me out managed to find my Ace rewards membership, but I stopped him before the program could tell me what I wanted to buy next. On to Von’s, the big supermarket, we couldn’t find laundry detergent in less than industrial amounts, so it was on to CVS, where we did. Note to us to pack a few pods in a zip-loc on future trips. CVS is conveniently near BevMo, where I had to wander among the shelves of wine to pick out another red even though we had one that would suffice for today’s sunset watching. BevMo has a great big clock that told us it was late enough to venture over to Karl’s for our first beers of the day. We were first through the door at Karl Strauss’ today. I don’t know if opening up a bar has the same connotation as closing one down, but color us guilty. Karl’s had only 4 IPAs on its board, but we made do. I’d collected so many shots on our walk up I had to text, Kathy felt neglected. But the last text I sent read “I am the luckiest man in the world. I have a wife who loves beer, wine, sports, Jesus, Donald Trump, and me. And long walks on the beach.” I showed it to her before sending. She approved and forgave me.
All that beer left us hungry. I got Kathy to resist Karl’s menu and we walked back south to find El Pescatore, a combined restaurant and fresh fish market. Kathy had enjoyed many a lunch here while I was up “working” at the UCSD campus during my sabbatical, and we had brought back to our Gravilla bungalow some choice pieces of fish flesh to grill in our little courtyard. I learned at the Bendcare summit that one of the founders of the place was brother-in-law to Dave Klashman, Ken’s first fellow who was assigned to sit next to me at the meeting. How about that. We both got the cioppino, Kathy the seafood mountain salad and me the no-doubts grilled octopus, with 2 glasses of California white wine each of course about which I’ve already forgotten the specifics.
I sit now back at the shack for an afternoon of rest, punctuated by dealing with Amazon deliveries of a blue tooth cell phone speaker and watch band compasses to keep me from getting too lost on future treks and with laundry. The clouds have begun to clear a little bit, so seeing an actual sunset as we sit on the rocks of Windnsea beach in a half hour might just be possible. During my sabbatical, I enjoyed sending pictures of the sunset to the folks back home, and will do so again if the chance arises. Regardless, we’ll still have the wine, bread, cheese, dancing waves upon the rocks and surfers bobbing like seals in the water to entertain us. Tomorrow comes early, but there should still be time for La Clochette du Coin and Vahik before we board the Uber for SAN and our flight to Detroit, where we’ll stay overnight in the Westin and get up early again to go to Tampa. We’ll be back here in June, and it can’t come too soon.