Tuesday, July 03, 2012

San Diego June 2012 - Days 3 and 4

Sunday morning in beautiful San Diego. Daughter Lisa and I had the motel breakfast, and later headed downtown to meet Lisa's friends Bridget and Jeff from Lisa's former city of Bellingham, Washington.

Chuck Jones Gallery
Gaslamp District

Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

After parking near the Hard Rock Cafe Lisa and I had a bit of time before lunch, so we walked several blocks to the Chuck Jones Gallery on 5th Street. (Chuck drew Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, etc.) Also on display at the gallery were works of Dr. Seuss. There was a big drawing of Cat in the Hat, very tall. My granddaughter Reghan is a big fan of the TV cartoon show The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot about That. I tried to sneak a photo with my camera, got caught and had my hand slapped just a little. Oh, well.

Hard Rock Cafe

After a quick look through the gallery Lisa and I hurried back to the Hard Rock Cafe to meet her friends for lunch. We had a nice, albeit noisy, lunch together.

Next we headed south to Imperial Beach, to pick up the sweater I had left behind the night before with Lisa's friends Tawna and Jimbo. Tawna wasn't home but we spent some time visiting with Jimbo. I made sure I had my sweater with me as we left.

Imperial Beach has special meaning to Lisa and to me, for different reasons. Lisa has lived there several times, and my parents lived here when I was born - something I didn't know until less than two years ago. One of my goals for this trip was to try to find the house where they were living, according to the address on my birth certificate.

The first place I ever lived

After stopping at CVS for some snacks for the motel, we drove to the address and lo and behold, there it was! I believe it was the same building, now 55+ years old. I was blown away and had this strange feeling of familiarity. The building, which houses maybe four units, is just a block and a half away from the beach. I was four years old when we moved away from San Diego, but I remember a couple of places we lived. While I don't remember going to that beach, I recall family photos and/or home movies of myself, my brother Wayne, and cousins playing at a beach. Being so close, it stands to reason that my mom would just pack us up and walk the block and a half. She's no longer here, so I can't verify.

Imperial Beach
Pier in the the background
On many occasions I've sat near the pier and enjoyed the ocean.

Lisa chilling to the sound of the waves

Having relaxed at the beach for a while, we headed back to the motel, ordered a pizza, and watched TV. Lisa stayed with me again.

Monday. Lisa's last day of work as a temp. She woke up with an aching back, saying the mattress was hurting her. She went off to work on her motorcycle, with a plan to get breakfast at the cafeteria there.

Rosie's Calico Cupboard in El Cajon

With most of the day to myself, I got a plate of motel breakfast and ate it in the room. I had use of the rental car so with the help of the talking GPS on my smartphone, I drove to my first destination: Rosie's Calico Cupboard in El Cajon, pronounced el ca-HOHN, unless you're the GPS lady, who amusingly pronounces it El Cajun. You're not from around here, are you lady? 

I've been to Rosie's several times, including once on a very long trolley ride from Chula Vista. Rosie's is a big quilt store, and a must-visit place when you're in the area. I bought a music-themed fat quarter, with no specific project in mind. I was tempted by a few other fabrics, but maintained discipline with the limited funds that were available for a couple more days.
Next I found Joann's in Lemon Grove, where I picked up a little set of jewelry tools, specifically for working with chain that I was going to use on the motorcycle quilt.

Cotija's Mexican Food
Across the parking lot from Joann's
Had lunch here

I love to hang out at bookstores and I could have gone to a Barnes and Noble for a while, but I decided to go back to the motel to work on the motorcycle quilt. I got a text from Lisa that her back was really hurting her and that she was leaving work. She'd be at the motel in a while. Knowing that she's been laid up with a bad back before, I was quite concerned. Tomorrow would be her first day of school, and she didn't need to miss the class.

While I waited for Lisa to arrive, I finished up the quilt, attaching two double strands of chain, as well as a few more snaps and buttons. Below is the finished quilt.

Let's Ride Mixed Media Quilt

Close-up of chain

Close-up of map, which contains the words "Clarksburg" and "Washington". Both words are significant to Lisa and I made sure they were easily seen.

Back of the quilt
Love the print - in my stash for at least 9 years!

Lisa and her little birthday quilt
Read more on how I made the quilt here.

Mama Jamaica's Kitchen

Colorful decor, spicy food

I am a big fan of Food Network, and whenever possible I eat at restaurants that I see on TV. I like spicy food, and one of the restaurants featured on the San Diego episode of Heat Seekers was Mama Jamaica's Kitchen. So Lisa and I went there for dinner. As we were pulling up, I got this flash of a Jamaican restaurant in my own town, where I would eat now and then, but which has been closed for some time. I said to Lisa, "Wouldn't it be funny if this was the same place?" 

While we were looking at the menu, we struck up a conversation with the owner. I mentioned where I was from, and he said he and his wife used to have a couple of restaurants there. I laughed. He showed us newspaper clippings from the two locations, one which I'd forgotten about until that moment. His wife would be back in a while. Maybe she'd remember me.

We ordered the spicy pepper shrimp, the same dish that Chef hosts Aaron Sanchez and Roger Mooking had on Heat Seekers. Rather than the extra spicy version the chefs had, the owner could make the regular spice level for us, which is what we ordered. For an appetizer we ordered and split a meat pie, also featured on the Heat Seekers episode. I ate all of my spicy shrimp, as well as about half of Lisa's. It was good food.

After dinner we went back to the motel, then Lisa rode on her motorcycle to the apartment where she stays with a friend, and would be sleeping there for the rest of my trip to prevent further hurting her back. I followed with the car. The apartment building is in a nice neighborhood and looks to me like maybe an old hotel, with the double door entry and the pool in the center of the beautiful courtyard. Each apartment has a patio or balcony looking out to the pool. The place seems to have a 1940s vibe. The two-bedroom apartment is small but Lisa has her own room and pays low rent. I was really happy to see that Lisa was living in a nice place.

We parted ways for the night and I found my way back to the motel with my phone's GPS. I decided I'd might as well begin the quilt project I had selected for the trip. The quilt is called Every Seven Minutes. See the inspiration and design ideas for the quilt here.

Fabrics that may be used in the quilt

Red for the background refers to the red trolleys.
Blue is for the intersections and corners.
Light fabric is a gray pinstripe that somehow reminds me of engineer's overalls.

Cutting and sewing station
Sewing machine is the size of a toaster, weighs nothing. 18" x 24" cutting mat folds in half and fits nicely in my suitcase.

Ironing station
Iron and ironing board on loan from motel, which was nice.

Fabrics for first strip set

First four strip sets

First eight strip sets - halfway done!

After finishing the first eight strip sets I called it an evening as far as sewing, then watched TV before I went to sleep.


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