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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

San Francisco and Monterey

Back to life and reality for us. We had a great trip to CA. Wed we flew into Monterey and rented a car. Drove about 2 hours north to San Francisco and checked into the Parc 55 Hotel. I had read mixed reviews about it after we had gotten a room on Priceline for $85.00/night and was a little concerned but it turned out to be clean and quiet. We explored Union Square that afternoon and right across the street (literally) from our hotel was a great little Italian place my friend Julie recommended to us called Puccini and Pinetti. We enjoyed dinner immensely.

About an hour after dinner, though, I wasn't enjoying my spaghetti and meatballs so much. I had a terrible bout with diarrhea and vomiting followed closely with a major allergic reaction. We're talking my skin was tomato red in color! My heart rate was 155 (what's new about that? haha) and I was itching like a mad woman. I imagined my ears blowing off the sides of my head, they felt so itchy and swollen. Images from the movie Hitch with Will Smith raced through my head. A friend asked if I drank Benedryl from a straw. hahaha Not quite. I preferred mine pushed through an IV. STAT. Needless to say we took a tour of a local ER. Thankfully, it was just a few blocks away from the hotel. Dustin jokes that from now on we just better go ahead and plan to stay near medical facilities wherever we travel. (I have to laugh to keep myself from crying at the thought!) I was in and out quickly and back in vacation mode in no time. I'll be following up with an allergist to do testing to see what in the world caused my first ever reaction like that. I am calling the health insurance company today to see what the damage will be. I don't think they'll cover our little jaunt because it's out of network.

Dining on seafood at Pier 39 in San Fran

Pier 39

Inside the USS Pampanito. I loved the submarine tour. It fascinated me. A modern marvel to be sure, that men could live in there packed so tightly so far under the sea!

Outside the USS Pampanito. We met some of the ships crew members from when it was in service below the ships decks. It was a real treat!

The following day we explored Chinatown, Pier 39, and the Embarcadero before heading back down to Monterey and meeting up with some old friends of ours. Chaplain West and his dear wife and children are stationed in Monterey. Chaplain West used to be our pastor when we were part of a small Baptist General Conference church plant in AZ. We love them dearly and enjoyed catching up with them. Since that time Chaplain West had been ordained a Minister in the Anglican Church. It's always funny to tease a good and manly ex Marine turned Army Chaplain about wearing a man robe. Good fun with friends who know how to take a good natured joke.

Our friend Christine and her daughters. Birdrock is in the background

The Wests took us on the famous 17 Mile Drive along Spanish Bay and Pebble Beach. We saw the Pebble Beach Golf course. Dustin lamented that the price a round of golf was too rich for his blood. We saw the Lone Cypress on the Rock and Birdrock there as well

Our accommodations in Monterey were at the Portola Hotel and Spa. We found a great deal which included breakfast each morning on Ours was a nicely decorated room on the corner of the hotel facing the Old Fisherman's Wharf. I will say that our room was noisy and we could hear every conversation people held below our second story windows. We enjoyed our stay but learned that we have morphed into resort snobs because we've had the pleasure of staying at the Wigwam Resort (when they have their super cheap summer promotions) so often that our standards have become pretty high. Since out hotel was just steps from the Wharf we enjoyed touring around there.
Our friends, the Wests had obligations at an Army marriage retreat so we tagged along and crashed the retreat as their guests. Before we arrived to the retreat we stopped at the boardwalk in Santa Cruz. We had a lot of fun there before heading to see the Redwoods which we were amazed to learn were in a little patch right near Santa Cruz. We hiked the trails and marveled at these wonders of creations before heading to Mount Hermon to sit in on a video session during the marriage retreat which was quite humorous. (I can't remember the name of the series or the presenter)

Sunday, the last day of our trip, we enjoyed the Liturgical Anglican service on base with Chaplain West officiating. (I don't know if that's the correct term) It was a joy to fellowship with them once again. We left for the airport that day filled with joy and the blessings of sharing communion with friends we love so much. And that, my friends, was the close to one fantastic ten year anniversary trip.


Audrey said...

What a great trip - aside from the trip to the ER of course! Wow, I hope that you are able to pin down that allergy. I would imagine that you've had spaghetti & meatballs hundreds of times. What on earth?? I'm so glad that it was temporary and you were able to enjoy your trip. I love that part of the country! Great pictures.