Along for the ride:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Some Like it Hot!"

We're Baaack! after a short break in San Diego. It's 86 degrees outside, which feels reasonably cool in comparison to the temps down south.
We stayed with a French couple, from whom Hubby was renting a house back before I happened along. Somehow they have ended up with a son and daughter both married to "foreigners" and both living in San Diego.

Freddy and Michelle are older; a little set in their judgemental ways; They love their family even more when not under the same roof as their feral grandchildren and daughter-in-law who does not cook to their tastes. Each year they exchange their well situated Parisian apartment for a villa in San Diego, for a month; Near, but not too near, family.
The night we arrived the table was set for eighteen; several couples with whom there have been past house exchanges and Michelle and Freddy's own offspring, spouses and kids.
The delicate antique chairs around the burnished wood dining table were put to a stress test, that they may not frequently be required to meet, as we all dug in to Beef Wellington and copious servings of wine; squeezed hip to hip, shoulder to shoulder; exchanging sweat with a fine array of Defense Contractors, former Ambassadors and retired Surgeons.
Next day our Host and Hostess were kicking themselves for forgetting to turn on the air conditioning. They were still casting blame back and forth as we headed out to drive two-plus hours to Los Angeles, to meet a collector of Hubby's paintings, who had invited us to see his newly remodeled, Palos Verdes home and suggest canvases to fill the new and empty walls. He took us to lunch at a local French restaurant, where I discovered that I can almost enjoy olives when they are steeped in ice cold gin martini.
Dessert was a brioche bread pudding, as light and frothy as ocean spume, but tastier and without seagull sound effects. Our excursion did include a late afternoon sampling of L.A. gridlock on the return leg; mais c'est la vie!
Saturday was a day for visiting a couple who would be our direct business competitors if 400 miles did not separate our clientele for French stone and antique construction materials. They have built a beautiful weekend get-away home, in the hills, away from the city. The infinity pool overlooks a deep valley, lined with orange-grove covered hillsides.

Sunday was my favorite day. We lunched by the Pacific Ocean at the Hotel Del Coronado; purportedly where King George VI first met Wallace Simpson. Un-beknownst to us it was the 50th anniversary celebration of the movie "Some Like it Hot"; Tony Curtis was signing books, autographs and prints of his paintings. There were displays all around the hotel with old photos of him cavorting on the white sands with Marilyn Monroe and original posters from the movie. I didn't want to see such a lithe and graceful man in his declining years, and left it to my enthusiastic cohorts to join the long line. All they did after meeting him was say how old he looked. (Have they looked in a mirror lately?).
I learned on the web today that Tony Curtis is a great supporter of Shiloh Horse Rescue. Part of the proceeds Sunday went to the Ranch's residents and Tony Curtis has links to their site and writes a blog. Who knew? Way to go, Tony!

Sunday afternoon was spent largely bobbing in the waves. The water was just right and the summer crowds have moved on. I stayed close to Freddy, who will turn 80 this week, but was determined to behave as if he is not unsteady on his feet. He insisted on diving through each breaking wave; coming up with his false teeth swimming wildly around his receding gums and his wispy over-comb plastered across his bulbous nose. Brown Pelicans were diving out of the sky quite close to us, catching themselves a fishy snack or two and there was a regatta of multi-colored sails in the background. The ocean breeze kept the heat under control and tried to deceive us into a sunburn. We didn't stay too late as we had indeed had enough sun and must shower and change for the evening.
We were invited to dinner in the home of the Daughter-in-law's parents. The meal was in celebration of Chilean Independence Day, (from Spain). We had sought out some Chilean wine to take with us as well as some flowers. The Parents and their adult children are naturalized Americans, as are we. They have a son in the U.S. Army who is currently in Afghanistan. You cannot visit San Diego without being aware of the young men and women who might not be old enough to be served a drink in a bar, but who have signed up to risk their lives for their country; taking their parents hearts and prayers
with them.

Monday was back to reality day; returning our car to the rental agency; hopping the shuttle to the airport; arriving home at 6pm. to two dogs, expecting their evening walk. My old girl, Diva, had been farmed out to sleep over at her boyfriend's house. Java is half collie and he and Diva have been exchanging play dates for ten years now. They both take anti-inflammatory pills to ease their creaky joints. There is no more romping and playing hide and seek around the bushes in the garden, which they both used to love. Java has a new kitten called Latte whom both dogs adore. Having the old girl as well as the Tornado Twins would have been asking too much of my lovely daughter and her husband, who pitched in and moved in whilst we were gone. We could not have made our trip without their help. I hope they know how much we appreciate them.


  1. .. it all sounds so glamourous!.... and hot!

  2. Holy shit, Batwoman, er... English Rider!

    That was a helluva weekend! Good thing we were in a land far, far away or I might have been envious or something equally unseemly. Hanging out with cool, judgmental, old, and, obviously, well-off French people sounds like it was, well... high caloric and hilarious. You actually made me burst out laughing on several occasions--dentures and comb-over, "look who's calling who old," choosing to preserve your lovely memories of the young man that was Tony Curtis (well done!).

    And hobnobbing with the French patricians. Priceless!!!

    Laughter has been in short supply so I thank you from the bottom of my miniature heart.


  3. What a wonderful trip. Quite luxurious from the sound of it with good friends, good food, and good fun.

    Beautiful descriptions, as always. I could "feel" the water/sunshine, and "taste" the food. Sounds like a super time. Glad you were able to get away.

  4. Sounds like a wonderful trip. Glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Back home for a rest, eh? Still the weekend sounds great if intense.

  6. watercats; I'd trade it all for a visit to the Tallow Horse Faire.
    La Fr'amie, If you were around, you would obviously have been on our 'must see" list. Sorry you have melancholy just now.
    @eloh; strange as it seems (and largely due to the lack of client crises whilst we were away) the whole experience was quite restorative. In addition, it made me count my blessings comparing a horrendously disfunctional family to mine.
    Jean, we always combine travel with visiting people rather than places.
    Di, thanks.
    Argent, I can't say I have been super-productive this week. Still too relaxed.

  7. And a good time was had by all!

  8. Hotel Del Coronado-- What a nice treat. It sounds like a great getaway.

  9. OK - slight cultural gap here: i take it you mean 86 degrees Farenheight? I tend to think in celsius (or even centigrade) so my first thought was it was a wonder you didn't fry.

    I'm not sure how tempted i would have been to meet Tony Curtis - he was excellent in Spartacus, but i'm not a big fan

    Sounds like you had a good time

  10. Joanna, it is a beautiful setting. The beach I mean. Who can afford that hotel?
    Hungry Pixie, I grew up with farenheit in England then got used to celsius in the rest of Europe. Back to good old farenheit in the U.S of A. Much as I can translate languages and go from Meters to feet and inches without much problem, I have no clue about temperatures, other than looking at a thermometer and seeing both side by side.