A San Diego Thanksgiving, 2013.

Thursday, November 28 was:  Thanksgiving, the first day of Chanukah, the anniversary of the Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, another day in the dissolution of the comet that was challenging the Sun’s atmosphere.  It was also my 63rd birthday.  As such, all made for a perfect opportunity to spend a couple of days with my son, Aram, at and near his naval base, in San Diego.  We shared things of which we are mutually passionate:  Julian, CA and a couple of hiking trails, the latest installments of “The Hunger Games” and “Thor”,  dinner at Applebee’s and DVD’s of the first season of “Game of Thrones”.  He also introduced me to Zorba’s, a Greek-buffet.  I sat out his Black Friday excursion, merely helping to transport the loot from my room at Navy Lodge, which is near the Navy Exchange, to his room, across base.  He didn’t go to excess, for which I feel validated as a father.

Here is a photo-based chronology of November 27-28.

I left Prescott around 10 AM, on 11/27.  Lunch consisted of superb shrimp tacos, at Nichols West, in Congress, AZ.


The owner said there is a Nichols East, somewhere in Long Island, NY.  That’s as good a reason as any to explore Long Island.  If the restaurant is closed, there are always Amagansett, Sag Harbor and Montauk, on which to fall back.

I continued on, after lunch, through Arizona’s Outback- only to read what I’ve often thought:


My inner Grammar Nazi got me through this one, just fine.  It’s their Beyond Hope, not mine- LOL.

I arrived in San Diego around 6, courtesy of a couple of serious high-speed-induced crashes that led to traffic tie-ups for the rest of us. We got MOI settled into a cozy room at the Navy Lodge, and drove to Applebee’s in Plaza Bonita, near Chula Vista, on the south end of Metro.  Afterwards, I joyously crashed and Aram went back to his barracks.

Thursday, Thanksgiving et al, was spent on the trail.  The venue was Cuyamaca Park, a section of Anza-Borrego State Park, in the foothills of the Laguna Mountains, east of San Diego.  There was a serious forest fire here, about three years ago.  We were  just happy to get out and enjoy the modest trails, even in the charred surroundings.







We continued back towards Julian, after an hour or so of hiking.  It’s good to give a nod or two to Lake Cuyamaca.




Julian offered a few options for Thanksgiving Dinner.  We chose Julian Cafe, where we had dined last year, on a different occasion. The traditional meal was fabulous, from apple-pumpkin soup and hot cider, through the full dinner plate centered on roast turkey and cornbread stuffing with chicken sausage.  There was no dessert included, but I had hot pumpkin bread, as part of the meal and Aram got his caramel apple.  So this Thanksgiving/birthday dinner was worth it.

The day was topped off with Jen.  Ms. Lawrence and Company did a smashing job with “The Hunger Games:  Catching Fire”.  Even Donald Sutherland did a much better job this time, as the villain.  There are some plot twists, especially at the end- no spoiler here.

So, the convergence of special days was a fine one.  San Diego, Julian, and so many points in between, will always register dearly with me, because of over 30 years of family connections to the area.

Friday was lower key, being rather overcast.  After tending to Aram’s stuff, and my trying on his gift of new hiking boots (great fit!), we went to see “Thor:  The Dark World”.  Tom Hiddleston excels again, as Loki, and Asgard looks like the kind of multi-racial world where all is going so well- until stuff happens, courtesy of some dark forces.   The film is topsy-turvy, as is the universe during its plot unfoldment.  After this, we went to Zorba’s, taking along one of Aram’s barracks mates, and had fine Greek buffet fare.  The day ended with us watching several episodes from the first season of “Game of Thrones”- an HBO quasi-medieval-meets- Westerns series, that several of us have surely seen.  Unsettling, but entertaining, in a quirky way, the series is mostly faithful to the serial novels of  “A Song of Ice and Fire”, by George R.R. Martin.

The two days and three nights were among my fondest visits to SD.  Next:  Another fine day in the OC.

2 thoughts on “A San Diego Thanksgiving, 2013.

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