My San Diego Christmas Trip

Wednesday, the 21st

Norm and I were able to get an early start on our six-hour road trip to San Diego. We made our usual pitstop for gas and that all-important bathroom break in Yuma. The gas station had one of those single stall ladies rooms so Norm was able to help me without our having to clear the bathroom first of other women. (If you aren’t a wheelchair user you have no idea what I’m talking about.) I looked around to see if there were other women who were going to be needing the room before we went in there, but I saw no one else around. After we got in and locked the door someone started knocking on the door after we had been in there about a minute. Every time they knocked on the door I hollered “just a minute it, occupied,” but it seemed that they could not hear me. I came out of the restroom and saw four women standing outside the door. As soon as they saw me they apologized for knocking so many times. LOL

We ate lunch at Cracker Barrel. I was hoping they would have chili, but alas they did not so I had my fill of Pinto beans with ham hocks and cornbread muffins. Not the kind of thing you can find on most restaurant menus. Norm had a hamburger but said it had no flavor. We amused ourselves playing with one of those silly games the leave on the table — the kind that make you feel like an idiot because you can’t figure it out.

The rest of our drive was rather uneventful but fun because we were together and listening to Christmas music on the satellite radio. We arrived at my parents home around 4 in the afternoon. Mom’s dog, Mitzi, was very excited to see me and spent the evening in my lap. I don’t know why she did that because she has never done it before, but I enjoyed it because I love to hold animals. Mom made us a wonderful spaghetti dinner, but I don’t remember much else after that, so I guess we went to bed early since we were so tired from our drive.

Thursday, the 22nd

My sister-in-law, Ashley, and the three darling girls — Hannah, Mackenzie, and Zoe, came over to my mother’s house in the afternoon and we played games and had a good time visiting. Norm brought our two-way hand-held radios for the girls to play with. Hannah went down to the other end of the house and Mackenzie stayed in front room with us while Norm showed them how the radios worked. Hannah would call Mackenzie on the radio and she would answer back by yelling into the radio. I instructed Mackenzie that it was not necessary to yell since the radio would carry her voice all the way to the back of the house. From then on Mackenzie would whisper into the radio as she played with her older sister. It was rather funny!

The girls went home and my dad came home later and we had dinner and sat around and talked the rest of the evening. I recall it was rather secret stuff so I won’t divulge it here.

Friday, the 23rd

Mom had an outing with one of her best friends at the Hotel Del Coronado, so Dad took Norm and I to lunch at Mr. Bon’s in the Claremont Mesa area of San Diego. Mr. Bon’s Restaurant and Grill is located at 5487 Claremont Mesa Blvd. San Diego, 92117. It’s a quaint little American Grill serving breakfast, lunch and dinner that’s been open for about a year. Sang Bonsynat and his wife Waraporn are the proprietors. They are a friendly couple from Thailand who Dad met through the Thai congregation that is part of Dad’s church. We had a wonderful lunch and received excellent service. I highly recommend their restaurant if you’re looking for good, wholesome American food. Their menu has a wide variety of options of typical American-style food. Great portions and decent prices.

After lunch, Norm and I went to my brother’s house to visit with my nieces. When our little yearling Zoe saw Norm and I walk up to the door she started saying hi and waving at us. It was so cute — and she is such a bright and advanced one-year-old. She is always trying to keep up with her older sisters. I played games with Hannah and Mackenzie and watched their cat Sasha and she was loving all over the fish tank. Fortunately for the fish she doesn’t know how to open it up.

Later that evening my parents and Norm and I had “breakfast” at IHOP where we ran into an old neighbor from about six years ago. It was good to see Louise, who is such a dear lady, and one of the best neighbors we’ve ever had. She looks great for someone who will soon be 80 years old. Louise adopted our dog Vanessa when my parents moved to another area where they could not have an outdoor pet. Louise’s husband Ed passed away a few years ago so Vanessa is a wonderful companion for her.

Saturday, the 24th

We were lazy and slept in. Norm woke up with a hankering for Mexican food so we decided to have lunch at El Indio. I couldn’t remember exactly how to get there so I asked Dad for driving directions. All our talk of El Indio got Dad thinking so he suggested we meet him later at the church so he could take us to El Indio. Dad has been going to that restaurant since the 1950s and he never passes up an opportunity to dine there. It overlooks the San Diego Bay but the fog had rolled in so we never saw the water. It was very crowded because everybody in San Diego decided they were hungry for good Mexican food as well. I grabbed a table and Dad and Norm got in line to put in our order. It took 30 minutes just to put in the order and another 10 minutes to get our food. It was definitely worth the wait.

I think we went over to my brother’s house again and played with the darling girls. It’s one of my favorite things to do when I’m in San Diego. In case you can’t tell, I love being Aunt KK!

Later that evening Norm and I played a rare game of Scrabble in which I beat him badly. I like playing Scrabble and I like to win.

Sunday, the 25th

Christmas Day began by attending church. It was really cool that morning and I got chilled to the bone. I didn’t warm up all day so I went around with a blanket over my legs and a wrap around my shoulders. Everyone else was hot.

My parents invited a couple of sailor guys to spend Christmas Day with us. I can’t remember their names, but one was from Texas and the other from Iowa. They were really nice young men and will be serving aboard the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis. My brother and his family came over and we had a wonderful lunch and then opened presents. It’s fun to watch the kids open their gifts and get excited over the things they got.

Mom served sparkling pear juice instead of Martinelli’s cider this year. I must say that it was very tasty. I think it’s made by R.W. Knudsen. We had pie and cake and cookies and delicious dark chocolate brownies. We ate all day — but then again that’s what we do at Christmas time. Norm watched the Law and Order marathon on TNT. He was a happy camper!

Monday, the 26th

We saw the Chronicles of Narnia movie with my dad. It was a well done movie and fairly close to the book, although they did make a few changes. Overall I was impressed and look forward to the next movie. We got to the theater early so we could get good seats. We waited 45 minutes and sat through 15 minutes of commercials and then they started the movie but there was no sound. After awhile the management came in and announced that they would restart the movie from the beginning but it would take a few minutes. It was a packed house but everyone was cooperative.

Jack and his family came over for a delicious enchilada and beans dinner that Mom prepared. Afterwards we had a rousing game of spades. Dad and I against Jack and Ashley — guess who won? Mom, Mackenzie and Hannah watched the Velveteen Rabbit video and Norm was happy in the other room with more Law and Order reruns. Poor baby Zoe was rather cranky, which we discovered later was from cutting a new tooth.

Tuesday, the 27th

Mom and I worked on computer stuff that she was saving up for my visit. Dad and his brother Paul took Norm to lunch at Hometown Buffet. Uncle Paul and Dad go there every week. Mom and I feasted on leftovers — I think we had the better meal.

Later that afternoon we made one last trip to my brother’s home to play games with the girls. We played Candyland, Where in the House, and Kadoo. We had a great time and I wish we could stay longer. My brother had to continue his school bus driver training so we did not see a lot of him. You can read about his adventures on his blog — 4 Girls 4 Me.

Norm decided he needed a seafood meal before we left town so we ate at Anthony’s Fish Grotto in La Mesa with my parents for dinner that evening. Norm had half a lobster and my parents and I had Baquetta which is a nice mild whitefish. Normally it comes from the Baja area but they listed this one as being flash frozen from New Zealand. Not quite as good as the local variety. I recommend Anthony’s as a great place for seafood when visiting San Diego. Also, they have the best bread which they serve with a sun-dried tomato butter. Delicious!

Wednesday, the 28th

We got up early and packed the car and off we went back home. Somehow the drive home is never as fast as the drive over there. It seemed that we made about three or four stops, but we had a good time because we were together.


  1. NormB
    Dec 30, 2005

    I love for Karen to win!!! I love to watch Law and Order!!! Is there a connection?

  2. Vanda
    Dec 30, 2005

    Glad you had such a good time Karen. I like to win too, LOL I’m a poor loser.

    Oh my, Hometown Buffet, that was my grandsons most favourite place to eat when he was little.

    Now I’m drooling for Mexican food! Not one Mexican place to eat in my part of England.

    I hated that six hour drive from Phoenix to the High Desert, but the rewards of grandchildren hugs made it all worth while.

    I hope you both have a happy and healthy New Year.