Sue Spitulnik

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts



Day 24 – Rt 66 trip

We’ll see how this works. I am sitting on a balcony at a Best Western Hotel in San Diego, CA. There are people in the pool five floors below to my left, there is still an occasional plane landing at the only airport in the US with just one runway, and I can hear other voices and vehicles but can’t tell where they are coming from. Traffic goes by, but the cars are few compared to noon time. There is a well lit fishing boat coming into the harbor. I hope the guys that paid to go fishing are coming home with a good catch. I could get used to living in this city because of its temperature, things to do, historical significance and abundance of US military and retirees. That being said, we probably couldn’t afford it, and I won’t leave my family on the east coast.

Last night we were serenaded by a couple of seals at 1:30 am. I was awakened, but smiling. It’s been a long time since I have heard their barking. Today when we asked, we were told they were probably begging fish trimmings from one of the boats. After supper as we walked the boardwalk we looked for the culprits, but didn’t see them.

Below is a picture out the back side of our hotel. This is a typical neighborhood in San Diego. The unique part is our hotel is one sided, meaning there are only rooms facing the bay. I’ve never seen a hotel that didn’t have rooms on both sides of the hall.


We aren’t crazy about hotel breakfasts, so when money or time isn’t an issue we go looking for locally owned places to eat. Today, in Old Town, we found the Livingroom Cafe. Our server was a lady in her 40’s. She was pleasant, anxious to make sure we were satisfied, and helpful with directions.



Above is the patio we shared with other guests. It was interesting because of the signs in the trees. At one point, without total awareness, I thought their huge coffee cups looked like rolls of toilet paper. They were about the same size. (Note: Bob says if we ever do this type of extended trip again, we are bringing our own toilet paper. The stuff we have been using, made for older systems that need coddling. tends to shred before it’s done its job.)

Below is my omelette. One can only eat so many huevos rancheros. I haven’t had much fruit lately, so finished that and left part of the omelette. Bob also had an omelette, but with a lot more spice to it. The homemade toast was delicious.


After we ate, we toured Old Town. Lots of history, gift shops, and the cactus I have longed to become acquainted with.


And another one. If you look at the bottom left corner of the plant you can see it is large enough to give one shelter. The lady was reading a book.

IMG_1694 (1)

Once done in Old Town we got on, paid handsomely to ride, the Hop on/Hop off trolley that tours around the city. I can’t tell you how many museums we could have visited, It was a lot. The historical neighborhoods were driven through, and there was a running commentary from the jovial, retiree age drivers. It was very interesting. To see part of Gaslight town we were advised to get off at one stop and walk to the next. Well, there aren’t too many public toilets waiting for people like me on a street corner so we had an unplanned lunch at Roma Mia. I had a cold, sweet glass of wine and Bob ordered iced tea.



We shared some tiramisu, which is the best I have ever had. Our bathroom stop cost us $30.00, but it was worth it.


Back on the trolley we went across the curved bridge to Coronado Island. Below is a picture of what the locals call a bouy town. Whomever, rents a bouy from the city for $160.00 a month, attaches their boat and lives on it. It is up to the individual to haul all necessary water, provisions, propane, etc, back and forth to the boat by dinghy. I don’t think I’m a candidate to live that way, but there is a four year waiting list to be able to do so. To each their own. The rent is so cheap you say, well yeah, if you don’t add in the cost of the boat, and the manpower necessary to make it all work.IMG_1704

Coronado has some beautiful beaches that beckon. Today neither Bob nor I thought walking a ways in soft sand was a good idea. The sun was hot and we are finally admitting traveling for almost four weeks has worn us down.


We stayed on the trolley and went back across the bridge getting to see part of the huge Navel Station that is located here.


More Navy vessels below. Bob’s granddaughter was stationed here when she was in the Navy.


We got off at the Balboa Park stop and visited the Veterans Museum. It was nothing compared to what we saw weeks ago in Illinois, but still reverent.


Neither Bob nor I knew that the Medal of Honor has a different design for the differing branches of service. I guess I’ve ever only been close to an Army one and thought there was only one style.


When we got back to the room, we were hot and tired. We rested a bit, cleaned up and walked across the street for some dinner. The pizza was not like any we have had any where so it was a good choice. The veggie pieces were cut larger, the sausage different than at home, and the crust much thinner. After, we walked the pier to see what interesting tidbit of fishing information we could glean, or critter we could see, with our destination Eppig Brewery where we chatted with Rob again. (He’s the guy we met last night, that is from Rochester.)


And now as I finish, still on the balcony. the seal is once again making his/her presence known. Wish I could see it.

Day 23 – Rt 66 trip

We started our day with breakfast at the Lulu California Bistro, right next door to the Broken Yolk, but with food about the same, much better service and awards. Yet, I heard our server, Daryl, get reprimanded for still waiting on his customers when he had been told to go on break. I used to work in food service, and was thankful I no longer have to when I overheard what Daryl had to put up with. It’s still all about the buck, not the employee. Sad.


I took a picture of Lulu’s interior because of how it differed from yesterdays dinner; from Pioneertown to modern.


Another Huevos Rancheros. It can literally be presented any way one feels like as long as the ingredients remain somewhat the same. The best I have ever had has not been on this trip, but in Bakersfield, CA, a couple years back.


I have been sending postcards to my grandchildren along the way. This morning we asked where we might find a mail box. We never would have found this. It isn’t blue, nor big, but does fulfill the need.


We decided to stay off of highways for the most part and took “back roads” on our way to San Diego. The below photo was taken in Mountain Center. In the car, I could see those mountains off in the distance as real things, not a haze in the yonder.


The next scene is from Aguanga, CA. So beautiful in person. Once again, Bob enjoyed driving the winding, well banked roads. I was able to look out to the horizon in some cases.


And another from Anguana, CA. We are now in greenery and noticeable habitation. It was a relief. The terrain was more like western New York state, though not the same flora. We have once again started seeing cows, horses, and some deer among the trees.


There is a special man in our lives that wants some boulders to put along the driveways of his rental properties in order to keep people from driving on the lawns. We found them. Alas, they are on the wrong side of the country.


We have arrived in San Diego. This is our view for tonight and two more nights. It is cool by the water and we enjoyed sitting on our balcony to unwind, read our email, marvel we could keep the drapes open and not have anyone see in our room, and be thankful we drove 3,922 miles with no car trouble.


We went across the street and had supper at Mitch’s. Bob’s swordfish was fresh and delicious, but only came with a baby serving of coleslaw. My poke bowl (poke meaning fresh fish) was just the tuna and some corn chips. We were still hungry.


We walked further away from the hotel and found the Eppig brewing company where Rob (in the blue) and Mike poured us some beer and served us some hummus to finish filling the hole. Here comes another small world story, Rob is from the same suburb that my daughter lives in and he will be back home in Rochester on Columbus Day weekend. We exchanged phone numbers and have intentions of meeting up at Iron Smoke Brewery in Fairport, NY, where the owner is a long time friend of his. My daughter and her special man, Gino, will be invited to join us as Rob and Gino went to high school in the same suburb. The best part of this whole trip has been the people we have met and connected with.


Walking back to the hotel we noticed the Great Blue Heron hanging out with the gulls along the marina waterfront. Since I attended a writing retreat in Vermont, in July, herons have a special place in my heart. (Hi Ann, Charli, Dede, and Jules.)


We also noticed many boats with lots of lights on, and lines of men, and a few women, along the walkway. We stopped and asked questions. Turns out the paid fishing excursions leave the night before in order for the boats to have time to motor out 15 to 20 miles before daybreak. Then they fish for tuna during the day light and get back in tomorrow around dark. I asked if the fisherman drink or sleep during the dark hours. You can guess the answer. My son would love to do one of these fishing trips.


A catch being unloaded. The fish have a numbered tag on them so they know which fish belong to which fisherman when they get back to shore. The trip costs about $350.00 per person. We didn’t stick around to see who cleans the fish, but I can just imagine the taste of that fresh catch.


We have only been in San Diego a few hours and already understand why people who move here, stay here.

Oh, our room to finish this trip is above par, except when I sit on the toilet the paper roll is literally in my arm pit. After all the hotels we have been in, in the last month, I feel like I could be an adviser to the designers. Maybe I should send some letters with my suggestions.

Website Powered by

Up ↑