Today was a leisurely day, a zero day, as backpackers call them, where there is nothing really on the radar, and the plan is to log zero miles.
We had a slow morning, sleeping in a bit since yesterday was such a full day. We finally got ourselves roused and dressed, and by mid morning, we were down at the harbor having a lovely breakfast on the patio.
Rob and his kids.
As we were waiting for our order, I heard a loud series of --bangs-- , two of them, followed by a short pause, then four more. I was the only one at the table that heard it, but it registered in my mind they sounded peculiar, unlike the usual backfire from a car. A minute later, I saw a police car moving fast toward the direction of the noises, with its full lights flashing and siren wailing. Moments later, more police cars, followed soon by fire trucks, paramedics, an ambulance, and even a helicopter. A few of us patrons on the patio that had heard it were convinced it was gunfire. For a full report, see the video below (apologize in advance for the 10-15 seconds of ad you will see when you run the clip).
Wow. We didn't know all that at the time. So after breakfast, we made our way down the length of the harbor to the beach. It just so happened that the Scholastic Surf Series was well underway. Seems it's a high school surf contest.
Sha-ka-laka! It was fun watching the surfers going after the 4 foot swells, coming in sets of four. The announcer (who did, by the way, use that term!) was pretty good, even telling surfer jokes. This one was my favorite: Why is a savings account better than a surfer? Because the savings account will make money and eventually mature.
We hung out on the jetty just south of the beach where the crowd was parked.
Penny and Harold on the jetty in Oceanside.
But the pool calls, and by 11AM, we were there, poolside. I was out first, staking a claim on a choice table, lounge chairs, etc. After all, we'd be there all day!
Today was the day that I'd be meeting a friend, Jeff, who lives local, then we'd head out to Stone Brewing Company's brewery and restaurant for lunch. He came by, right on time, and Rita came out to the pool to take over kid splash watching.
Jeff and I drove over the hill to Escondido, and found Stone in a semi-commercial/industrial area. There isn't even a sign out front I could photograph. Place was nice, good food, the Brussels sprouts, caramelized with bits of pancetta mixed throughout, is highly recommended. Jeff brews his own and is taking a master brewers class at the local university. Yes, he's taking it seriously.
The relief on the wall at Stone Brewing Company
After quite a long lunch, talking about nearly everything, we made our way over to Spin Records in Carlsbad. It's a cool, local used record shop that I like to hit whenever I'm in town. Picked up a CD/DVD combo from The Smashing Pumpkins and a disc of the late, great Doc Watson, then we were on our way back to the harbor, driving the in-town route, California style.
When we got back to our place, Vicky and Claire were already there, with Claire splishing and splashing in the pool. Jeff hung out with us at the pool for a little while, then had to split. I donned by swim trunks and played in the water with the kids some more.
Vicky and Claire hung around until we all got waterlogged, and we went back upstairs to clean up. Ted arrived a bit later in the evening, and we headed down to the Harbor again for dinner. There is a nice Italian place that serves Stone Brews, and we all filled up on pasta, pizza and pilsner. Luckily, it was a quiet evening and there was no gunfire or other violent acts. As we left the restaurant and strolled toward the ocean, we saw a blue heron on the dock, working on his dinner. He (assuming this bird was a male) was a good sized bird, and sure must have had eyes tuned for looking into the water. As we watched him hunt, we saw him extend his neck down toward the water, then lunge, quickly striking at a fish near the surface. He did all this without his feet ever leaving the dock. Those birds can stretch! The pictures I took of him didn't turn out great, but you get the gist of it below.
It was another good day, we were exhausted, so we bid farewell to the Oceanside Jaworski's and got ready for bed, the trains running well into the evening.