Sunday, September 25, 2005

San Diego, Friday.

Fatigue is catching up on us. We were so tired last night, but still awoke just after seven - in time for me to ride up the valley with Steve to take his daughter, Danielle, to school. She is seven-and-a-half, and tells me earnestly that she has lost six teeth since I last saw her. She shows me the gaps, and the latest tooth to come out. It has split in two, and is going under the pillow tonight for the tooth fairy.

Usually it is a dollar for a tooth, but somehow I get the feeling that the tooth fairy might just be fooled into leaving a little more, believing that there are two gnashers in the little tooth-shaped wooden box that will rest beneath the pillow.

Steve doesn't have high speed internet, so I have to go to a Starbucks to connect and upload yesterday's blog. But for some reason, I can't get the pics to upload, so I'll have to wait till I get to Washington.

The sky is a pale, burned out blue, and temperatures soar to a dry twenty-eight degrees, as we drive down into the valley and find a table at Casa de Pico. Competition for tables is fierce here at this upscale Mexican restaurant, and we are lucky to get a table within a few minutes.

La Patronne and I order medium Margaritas over ice, with salt rims, and our eyes stand out on stalks when these veritable soup bowls of vivid yellow alcohol arrive, crusted with salt, ice glistening in the sun.

Everything is so colourful and vibrant here. A man is beating out a tattoo on a marimba. The food is fine, and baby Jacob stays good tempered in a high chair while we fill our faces with chimichanga and taco loco and slurp down copious quanitities of our Margaritas. The combination of food and alcohol is making our eyeslids grow heavy, and we head back to the Campman home up in the hills to take a long and much-needed siesta which lasts for nearly three hours.

On TV we watch the approach of Hurricane Rita towards the Gulf coast of Texas, before leaving for the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard where we are met by proprietor Elizabeth, and a small group of interested readers.

Steve and I do a double-act discussion of "The Firemaker" and forensic pathology, and autopsies of burned bodies, and I sign more than forty books, some of which are pre-sold. The others, from stock, will be hand-sold by the store.

It is our last night in California. Steve makes us dinner and puts good red wine on the table, and we have an early night.

Early tomorrow we head for the airport and our flight to Washington DC.

And we will embark on the final leg of the tour.

Slurping a Margarita

Steve and Trenda

At the Mysterious Galaxy

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