A Little Jaunt to San Diego

Action-packed weekend. 1) I worked for Fox.com at Comic-Con (freaks), shooting 24 Inside (and no, even though we taped Kiefer Sutherland talking on a panel, I still didn’t get to interview him and tell him I had a vaguely erotic dream about him). Fox kindly footed the bill for the hotel all weekend so 2) I had our babysitter, Dolly, take the train down with Vivien Friday afternoon so we could have a fun weekend. (No dad; he was working.)

Vivien on the train to San Diego

After making it clear to the concierge that I was a food snob, she set us up at dinner at Laurel. Pretty good, a little too fusion for me, but fresh ingredients.

Then the San Diego Zoo Saturday morning. It’s vast but nice, and we took the sky tram and saw the pandas. Check, please. Put Dolly back on the train to LA, and then Vivien and were in need of a nap meltdown. After a mediocre club at the Sheraton (the Marriott’s was much better), we napped hard.

Vivien in a butterfly

We also went to Balboa Park, which rocks!! It’s like Golden Gate Park, but not freezing. We went on the big carousel and the kiddie one and the train ride. Who knew SD was so fun? I didn’t, and I used to visit relatives there, but they were in Chula Vista, which is not an entertainment hot-spot (I remember something about a double murder there).

We had dinner in La Jolla with my cousin Margo and her husband John, at George’s. Great view of the water and Vivien was sweet and spent half the dinner under the table, so it was a breeze.

Sunday we hit Legoland. It’s kind of spendy. Take the kids before they are 3 and they can get in free; after that, it’s 50 bucks! Sixty for adults! (Bring the AAA card for a $10 discount.) At first, I was overwhelmed and thought, “Why am I doing this on my own?” But if I wait for for Mark’s schedule to clear up in order to do things, I would complete my shut-in status.

Vivien at Legoland

Legoland is great. Not too crowded, and unlike Disneyland – and far worse, Knott’s (gross) – they have decent food. Espresso, and fruit and yogurt parfaits. I think ’cause it’s owned by Swedes. I naively thought we would spend 2 hours there. Ha ha. Vivien and I said “one more ride” five times before I got her out, way past nap time for both of us. And only because we started to find rides that she was too short to ride. I am not an amusement park fan, as I get tired, but this place I can do. Well, the cool breeze and double espresso helped.

On the way home, I called Mark and asked if he could please figure out dinner, since Vivien and I were not our most pleasant selves in the car.  And he did, happy ending!

Weekend in New Orleans

Well, the boogie weekend wound up being pretty fun. I reconnected with the man who claims to be my husband. We actually went out with adult friends both nights and DIDN’T TALK ABOUT KIDS. It was good that some of them don’t have children. I could feel my brain opening up. We bagged out of the Tales of the Cocktail for the weekend. I went to one seminar on Friday and yes, a seminar about booze can be really boring. Even when it’s about hooch, people, you need to involve the audience. They all sound like Ben Stein.

Mark Peel and Daphne Brogdon in New Orleans

Since Mark works most nights, it was a treat to be out with him. I also enjoyed the heat because I could wear my new maxi dress. This is a trend I am partaking in. (I am a firm believer in picking and choosing your trends; Uggs and Crocs went on without me.) It’s also remarkably similar to the dress I wore when I was 6 (in the ’70s), the first time I went to New Orleans.

Rue de la Course mug

I had the best mocha ever at the cafe Rue de la Course on Magazine Street, hence the photo to record the moment. And I made Mr. Fancy-Pants Chef chow on the fried wonders of a beignet. Yum.

Mark Peel enjoys a beignet

Honestly, the New Orleans I saw, French Quarter and Uptown, looked better than when I visited 10 years ago to eat nutria for the Dr. Dean Edell Show. Seemed like there were fewer drunks bugging this time, but back then I was usually walking alone. Our friends who live there had many Katrina horror stories, but they were glad to see tourism was up.

New Orleans is great but I did, however, take issue with the excessive air conditioning. It was hot out, but why the deep freeze indoors? Really uncomfortable. I met one lady who liked it. She said, “It’s an antidote to hot flashes!” My friend Beth came in from Nashville and she said you always need a cardigan in the South. And I was worried about humidity! Silly me.

Vivien was fine with my sister while I was gone, but definitely paid for it the day we came back (at the crack a– of dawn, ’cause I missed her). She was very clingy and needy and wanted to know where I was at all times. Poor baby. By night time she was better.

It was still worth it to go, which I have to remember the next time I resist a similar trip.