Touristy Tuesday: San Diego & Santa Clarita, CA

It’s a double whammy Touristy Tuesday Saturday this week as I’m trying to catch up on our road-tripping adventures across the Southwest. It’s been awhile, but the blogging absence has been because we’ve been having so much fun!

After the trip to Madison, Abe and I flew back to California and made our way down the coast to San Diego. Hungover, jet-lagged, and exhausted from too much Midwestern fun, the sight of the Pacific coming into San Diego was more than enough to get us pumped up for the week.

Incredible sand castle from Coronado Beach

It was a pretty busy week, with only one day off, but as I posted about in my previous blog, I still got plenty of running in. In addition to being a great week for scenic workouts, it was also a great week for meeting up with people.

The Hotdogger reunion continued with a trip to Hotdogger Monica’s, from Class VII, Pollo Grill restaurant in Lemon Grove.

Talk about some hardcore delicious authentic Mexican food. We visited her in the afternoon after my 23 mile run so the grub hit the spot!

I also stopped by the Hotel del Coronado to visit my old coworkers in the marketing department there. It was great to catch up with them and hear about all the exciting new things going on since I left. It could have only been better if we were able to meet up over Sunday brunch in the Crown Room!

From San Diego we headed to Santa Clarita, CA in the San Fernando Valley. We had two days off right away there and here’s all the exciting things I accomplished:
– Assembled a 1,000 piece puzzle
– Finished the book “When Everything Changed”
– Started 50/50 by Dean Karnazes about his 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days
– Ate a ton of fro-yo

It was two days of total vegging out. Literally the least two exciting days on the road yet… but not the least fun! Doing that puzzle was actually a total blast. I had been telling Abe that I wanted to do one (semi-joking, semi-serious) for weeks. I started the first evening and watched chick flicks all night (Mean Girls, Runaway Bride, and Sliding Doors – yeah, clearly Abe wasn’t around) and then finished the puzzle in the morning while streaming This American Life and The Truth podcasts. It was the perfect way to relax.

I also got some quality reading time in. It seems that I’ve got a growing library collection in my bags right now. I finished the book “When Everything Changed” that chronicles the women’s movement since the 1960’s, which was both inspiring and informative. After starting it I also ordered “The Feminine Mystique” and “Sex and the Single Girl.” While I haven’t opened “The Feminine Mystique” yet, I did start and give up on “Sex and the Single Girl,” which was far too dated for me to really get into.

Instead, I nursed my sore legs in the hot tub next to the fire-pit (the reason I love Residence Inns) while digging into Dean Karnaze’s book “50/50 – ” Talk about absolutely incredible! My two friends Josh and Barrett got to meet Dean when they did their Northface Endurance Challenge ultra-marathon in Wisconsin. Very jealous now, although at the time they posted the picture I didn’t even know who the guy was!

I did leave the hotel eventually, to meet up with Cleveland Dave (from Monterey and Fresno) for dinner. He’s on orders with the military, moving from Monterey to Virginia and stopped through LA on the drive.

We had some great pizza, but more importantly some phenomenal beer. I tried my first Lambic – where has that been all my of-age life? That stuff is delicious!

Work this last week has easily been the best week on the road yet. We’ve had fun event after fun event.

While in Santa Clarita we did have two days of grocery stores, which are usually the least glamorous part of the job. They were a total blast though because they were really busy from all the media attention we scored this week.

Abe and I did two radio interviews in Lancaster. During the first one the rock station DJ Fathead made a joke that Ron Jeremy should drive the Wienermobile, which we greeted with awkward silence. I thought he was might have been confused and trying to talk about Paul Ryan or that this guy was some rock musician and that I was the confused one.

Well, I later learned just who Ron Jeremy was and was absolutely mortified! Google it if you don’t know who he is, but make sure you’re not on the work computer for that one!

Friday we drove down to University of Southern California for an event on campus. It was a total blast being back at a college and USC was a lot of fun!

When Abe and I showed up we initially thought everyone seemed to cool for the Wienermobile and I was definitely jaded when they told us we couldn’t play the jingle horn. But the day turned out to be one of the best events yet! I tried to sell just about every student on postponing life in a cubicle to drive the Wienermobile for a year and we also got to network with some Kraft bigwigs.

The most fun part of the day was when this comedy troupe showed up across the sidewalk from us. Commedus Interruptus does improv comedy and they were absolutely hilarious! Their show was about an hour long and had students stopping the entire time. Afterward Abe and I tried to recruit the whole cast to apply to be Hotdoggers.

We thought one of the guys looked familiar and when Abe googled him later we realized it was because it was this famous actor who has been on Glee! What a sweetheart for not stopping us and saying, “listen guys – I’m famous and a big deal – there is no way I’m driving a hot dog!”

After the awesome day at USC our next day at work consisted of a parade in Agoura Hills, CA.

If you ever see the Wienermobile in a parade and the Hotdogger is singing the jingle, will you please send some love and join in? Those solos from the bunroof were rough – it’s way more fun when the whole parade route joins in!

We finished our tour of the region with an event called Bark in the Park in Lancaster.

THOUSANDS of dogs, from 4 lbs to 180 lbs! They had costume contests, best “human barker”, and lots of obstacle courses for the dogs. Talk about an easy and fun day!

I can spend a Sunday hanging out with a bunch of fur children any day!

Abe and I also had the incredible opportunity to give rides to two Make a Wish siblings. Riding in the Wienermobile wasn’t their wish (they both took trips to Disney) but it was nice to bring the whole family a sense of joy. They definitely relished that experience.

On Sunday, our last night in Cali, Abe and I went separate ways. He headed off to Universal Studios with one of the Hotdoggers from Class XXIV for a Fright Fest. Since being scared isn’t really my thing, heavens knows Abe does it far too often and I get my fill of fear that way, I decided to do something a little different.

That night I went and saw The Giver at the Canyon Theatre Guild, a local playhouse. It was unbelievable! Not only was it really cheap, but the performers were phenomenal! The Giver was one of my favorite books as a child and I was really excited to see how it would turn out as a play. It was so well done. The lead was this 17 year old who blew me away with how well he played the part. The rest of the cast ranged from a 3rd grader to a retired senior. I told the five young performers how floored I was with their talent and how proud they should be of being able to get up there like that!

That was about it for San Diego and Santa Clarita. While we took it fairly easy I still had a great time! I’ve told people before how much fun this job is each week, but having fun can be hard and tiring. It was nice to have some nice and easy fun for a change!

That was perfect timing too because this week we’re in VEGAS!!! Yeah, no nice and easy here. I can’t wait for next week’s blog – it’s going to be a good one… you can bet on that!


One thought on “Touristy Tuesday: San Diego & Santa Clarita, CA

  1. I love how you made doing nothing into AN EVENT! Well done. Did you know that “The Giver” is actually a quartet of books? I’ve only read “The Giver,” but like you, it was one of my favorites.

    That Mexican food looks amazing.

    I need to read that Gail Collins book because it sounds shocking and inspiring. Lots of love to you!

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