Back from Vacation

We had a great time in San Diego. We stayed at a historic hotel (built in 1886) in the Gaslamp District (the room on the left with the balcony, the second floor from the top, was where we stayed) which was home to Wyatt Earp and his wife whenever they were in San Diego.
We were part of a reunion of the high school in Bangkok, Thailand, which my husband attended for two years while his Army father was stationed there. From that first dinner at a Thai restaurant (naturally), we bonded with the other attendees, many of whom my husband did not previously know (they'd graduated before or shortly after he got there). Rarely have I been fortunate to meet such a friendly group of people. And there were attendees who walked into the room and called out my husband's name, thrilled to see him (and he them) after 36 years. Everybody is now in their 50s, and what a kick I got out of seeing how they looked in their class pictures. There's nothing like walking into a hotel ballroom and seeing a bunch of laid-back middle-aged baby boomers dressed in California casual, boogie-ing down to songs like Jumpin' Jack Flash.

The majority of the group have settled in California - a few right there in San Diego - but one person came in from Australia, another from Portugal, and a few from the East Coast. Our group also included a set of identical twins who occasionally dressed alike just to throw the rest of us off track . . . successfully.

This was my first trip to California, and San Diego is truly a beautiful city, very tourist-friendly. Most of our activities involved the reunion, but they involved places I wanted to see, like Old Town and the Coronado Peninsula. We toured the elegant Hotel Del Coronado, and I got my feet and legs wet in the Pacific Ocean. One night our group took an evening dinner cruise in the bay with dancing and even a fireworks show. We were introduced to dim sum and have become devotees. I'll be looking to see where the closest such restaurant specialty is to us here in Kenosha (probably some distance away, since our town is also known as Ke-Nowhere). The majority of our group was Asian, specifically Chinese, so it was kind of neat to eat with so many people who could actually speak to the wait staff in their language!

We wrapped up the trip after the reunion ended by taking to the road in our rented convertible for a scenic 59-mile drive around the area, much of it along the coastline. Just a wonderful trip all around. We're going to try to make the big blowout reunion in 2010, to be held in Bangkok.
Something I was struck by was how tall those California palm trees grow. They make Florida palms look like runts! And how the temperature dips when the sun goes down, something you don't feel in Florida.

While on vacation I usually have a few hours in the morning and maybe an hour or two in the afternoon to work on my manuscript, but since I forgot my power cord, I wrote for a few hours on the plane and that was it. The rest of my spare time I read, and I made an excellent choice. If you haven't read Suite Embrace by Anita Bunkley, I highly recommend it. It was a good read, got me all wrapped up in the story, and it had two elements particularly pleasing to me: One, it was a perfectly realistic story with no fantasy elements that so often strike me as silly, and two, it didn't involve a family (y'all know I can't get into family series, probably because they all seem the same to me). Actually, it is a series, but I have no idea who will take center stage in the next book, only that it will not be siblings of the hero and heroine of this story (one is an only child and the only sibling of the other is already married). I think Ms. Bunkley plans to develop romances between guests or employees at the Colorado ski resort where the story takes place. Whatever she does, I do plan on going along for the read.

I have less than 10 days to go for my deadline date for my 2009 book. This is bad news, as you can see by my progress meter:
But as you can see by the cartoon, I'm not panicked. Nor am I living in a fool's paradise. All I need is a weekend or two to devote to this and I'll get it done.
Tune in tomorrow (or maybe the day after), when we will have wise words from author Deirdre Savoy.


Patricia W. said...

Welcome back! You take the most interesting vacations!

Pulling for you on the ms but have no doubt you'll make it. Love your attitude. 40k words? Not a problem. Just need a weekend...

bettye griffin said...

Thanks, Patricia! As for my deadline, I'm remarkably calm about it, but I do believe that part of my placid attitude stems from the fact that I still have a full week before I'm officially late. I should be able to get quite a bit done. I made verbal notes on my handheld about scenes that should be added to flesh out (not pad; there's a difference) the characters and story and am dictating them now, including where they should be placed within the story.

So if on August 1st I've managed to get it down to 30,000 words to go I'll be quite pleased with myself.

shelia said...

Welcome back Bettye. It sounds like you had a good time. I've been to a few cities in California, but never San Diego. I might have to check it out the next time I'm on the west coast.