Californian Dream (Part 4 : Dinner at Tiffany’s)

“They’re not my boogers!” – A grown woman assures me that she hasn’t been wiping boogies on the hand-rail.

To make a long story short. The journey from Los Angeles to San Diego was bloody annoying and filled with unnecessary traffic and questionable tasting Starbust. To make matters worse, we didn’t have the address of the Marriott we were supposed to be staying in. All we knew was that it was near the airport. We searched for hotels on our bitchy Sat Nav and selected the one closest to the airport or so we thought. What we actually did was drive to Terminal 2 of San Diego International airport hoping to find a hotel. Eventually, we found a Marriott near the hotel that was stunning, it was classy, had a pool and was a prime location from the city. It wasn’t ours. We had a reservation at a different Marriott the other side of the airport. Typical. However, our prior bad luck from that day had begun to change. The hotel was equally as grand and had a pool just like the other. It even had restaurants a stone throw away. That evening, we went to Oggies, which was essentially a bar. I had my reservations to be honest, I thought we’d be served shit food and have to listen to arrogant yanks spout about their American superiority as the Olympics blared in the background. But no, the food was delicious (I’d had yet another Chicken Caesar Salad, my 3rd of the holiday), the customers were fine too and our waitress, Ashley was just as helpful and lovely as the others.

American dream… Tucking in to a very large Maccies

The next day, kicked off with a bit of drama. Holly had declared that her charger was missing and that she had left it in LA. Her and my Dad went early to search for the charger in the car and were unable to find it. My sister went off in a strop in classic Holly fashion. I was then unable to find my boxers seeing as we all had to share suitcases. My Dad had arranged anything and if he found a thing out of place, he would hit the roof. Debbie went storming after them both so he could find my boxers and we could find Holly. It turned out her charger was in her suitcase the entire time, what a ridiculous human being she is. Anyway, we went down to the pool; I watched Bradley Wiggins claim gold for Team GB and went for some swimming races against my Dad. I won every time.  By that point we’d decided to head to the beach. The sandy shores of SD were far less crowded than LA. This could be due to the fact it only has a quarter of the population of the Big Orange. Although, I’d contend it was the flea-infested clumps of seaweed that put visitors off. As me and my sister made our way across the beach, a young boy accidentally flicked sand in our faces. We shrugged it off and carried on walking. To our surprise, the child’s mother had chased us down the beach, holding her son by the wrist before exclaiming “APOLOGISE TO THEM!”. The boy did so and we thanked her, although an apology was hardly necessary. If that had happened in England we probably would have been attacked by a Scummy Mummy claiming that we walked in front of her child’s sand. The rest of our beaching was uneventful; I read the rest of Alan Carr’s autobiography and invented a new game called Bounce Ball® with my Dad. Before we left the beachfront, we headed out for a late lunch… at McDonalds. I was excited to gorge myself in true American style and their fast food delights and it was just as incredible as I imagined. A large and I mean large packet of chips, a quarter pounder with cheese and a Dr. Pepper! I had always wanted to have a Dr. Pepper with my Maccies and I finally had! I now knew what they were talking about when they’d been mentioning the American Dream all these years.

Monkeying around… Orangutans at San Diego zoo

Our routine of early morning drama was continuing in San Diego, with just one day to go before we left my Dad had decided to inform me that I must endure two connecting flights home. Seeing as I hate flying I was rightfully pissed off, it even took  my Dad over 10 hours just to apologise for his poor record of informing people. I eventually got over it, at least I can now say I’ve been to Houston, Texas too. Afterwards, we slung our suitcases in the boot and hit San Diego Zoo. The zoo was brilliant; laid out expertly with a real jungle vibe. The wide array of wildlife was spectacular and the SkyFari and open-top buses provided a great views of the site. If I had two complaints and true to myself, I do. They separated the car park in to letter categories then assigned an animal that didn’t begin with said letter. H for Orangutan? Really? And of course, typically given the fact our camera had hosted many once in a lifetime pictures, my Dad went and lost it. Okay, so that’s not really the zoo’s fault but they still couldn’t fucking find it, could they?!

Scenic… Partial view of SD from the 23rd Floor

After a tiring day at the zoo, we drove to San Diego’s famous gas lamp quarter. My Dad had booked two hotels in SD and this one was even more lavish and grand as the other, 23 floors of pomp. The view from the 23rd floor was incredible, you could see a beautiful section of San Diego’s varied cityscape complete with Petco Park. We decided to arm our stomachs with some delicious strawberry frozen yoghurt and tour the gas lamp quarter and to be fair to it it was pleasant but I don’t see why it’s particularly famous, it’s certainly nothing special. For our final meal we ventured down the street to the Old Spaghetti Factory, a quaint Mexican restaurant. I’m kidding, it’s obviously an Italian. The food and decor were more than adequate but the real highlight was our waitress, Tiffany. She was like the love-child of Queen Latifah and Whoppi Goldberg complete with her own catchphrase – “Absolutely!”, followed by a wink. It might seem silly to judge her on her appearance and phrasing but she was very attentive, she was there to refill my glass with Coke before I even had a chance to ask for a top-up. She had even brought us complimentary coffees at the end of the meal. I was so taken to her I decided to tip $5 of my own money instead of just letting my Dad cover it. That night, I feel asleep reminiscing a fantastic holiday as the chirpy voices of NBC’s sports commentators put me to sleep. My American dream was over.

Random observations about the United States and Americans

  1. Toilet water is obscenely high

    America… The land of the weird and the home of the strange

  2. Taxi drivers are mental
  3. For the most part, people are incredibly polite and friendly
  4. Burritos (excluding Taco Bell’s) are delicious
  5. There are a lot of medicine adverts
  6. One Direction and Sofia Vergara are EVERYWHERE
  7. British music as a whole is very popular
  8. ‘Jay-walking’ or ‘crossing the road’ as it’s known in England is frowned upon
  9. Chat or magazine shows have a much quicker pace than in the UK
  10. Andrex is called Cottonelle
  11. Harry Potter is slowed down so Americans can understand it. Really.
  12. Petrol or gas is a third of the price
  13. There is a really cool John Cleese advert for DirectTV – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5VDfizYnxY
  14. TK Maxx is known in the States as TJ Maxx.
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