07/09/2012 to 07/23/2012  Southern California and Tijuana
Big sigh of relief.  Finally done traveling.  Back in our own home.  Monday we took it easy.  Ran errands and got groceries, then walked down to the
pier.  The beach and pier in Oceanside were great.  Lots of folks fishing off the pier, and no fishing permit required.  We watched fishermen and
surfers for at least an hour.  We even saw sting rays and one guy even caught one!  We asked about bait and what to fish with and what to fish for,
then planned to come back early in the morning to do some free fishing.  
No surprise, Tuesday morning we didn't get up early and go fishing.  We slept in, then I went to get a run in.  I
wanted to test out a new running method that everyone said made them faster.  I had signed up for a marathon
in Tijuana, but it had a 5 hour cut-off.  When I signed up for it months ago, I had high hopes that I would have
broken the 5 hour barrier by now, but things hadn't quite worked out that way.  In fact, my marathons had gotten
slower and slower since signing up for Tijuana.  So, I was pretty sure it was silly to head to Mexico, just to be
disqualified for not finishing within the time limit, but I was willing to give this new running plan a try.  I did 5 miles
at my fastest time yet, so instead of fishing in the afternoon, I spent time planning our trip into Mexico.  
Wednesday we had to get out.  The Elks lodge in Oceanside is booked way in advance, and we were lucky to get even three nights.  We planned to
get up early and go fishing, but surprise, we didn't.  We rolled out just minutes before chekc-out and headed down to the Elk's Lodge in Chula Vista.
 More laziness and one successful run later, it was Saturday and we were on our way to the border.  We parked on the US side and walked in.  All
the terror stories about kidnappings and murders in Tijuana didn't have me concerned at all.  We picked up a taxi at the border and headed to pick
up race packets.  I was getting packets for several Marathon Maniacs who were going to be driving in from San Diego Sunday morning, and I had no
idea how long it would take, so we had allowed lots of time.  The race organizers had done a great job and we breezed through packet pickup.  We
were checked into the hotel by 11, with nothing to do but stress about my marathon the next day.  We walked around a bit, found the start line, ate
Dominoe's for dinner, and sat on our hotel balcony watching the wedding parties come in and out of the hotel while we discussed the lovely weather
and wondered if we could live in Tijuana.  
Sunday morning I ran the marathon.  If you want to know how it turned out, you can read about it
here.  After a quick shower, we headed to a fancy
restaurant for a huge buffet brunch with the Maniacs, then to the border where we stood in line for an hour to get back into the US.  Back in Chula
Vista, we called Oceanside to see if we could get in, but we couldn't so we planned some adventures in the San Diego Area.  Monday we headed to
Point Loma for a view of San Diego.  On the way we stopped at an awesome beach/bluff/tide pool, where Richard found some critters to play with.
Tuesday, on the recommendation of one of the Maniacs I ran with in Tijuana, we headed to a mountain to join a group for their weekly "exertion"
hike.  This was my first bit of training for Pike's Peak.  It was sea level and we didn't climb that high, but I was panting and sweating.  Maybe Pike's
Peak won't be as easy as I thought.  From the top of the mountain we had a great view of the area.  
Wednesday we went to Balboa Park.  Richard was impressed with the architecture and the
street performers playing guitar.  I was impressed with the fish in the ponds outside of the
botanical gardens.  We considered going to the zoo or SeaWorld, but they were so
expensive.  Balboa Park was free.

Thursday we pulled the RV up to LA (talk about traffic!) to stay at the Elks Lodge in
Burbank so we could have one last dinner with my brother and my new sister-in-law.  We
grilled them about their future plans, had ice cream, and headed out.  

Friday morning we left early for our long drive to Colorado Springs.  We put in about 9
hours and made it to Winslow Arizona.  The Elks Lodge RV parking was right on the
corner, so I had that song stuck in my head for days, "Parkin' on the corner in Winslow
Arizona, such a fine site to see..."
Saturday morning after getting in some quick miles
("runnin' round the corner in Winslow Arizona...") we
jumped in the truck to continue on to Colorado Springs.  
We had planned enough days that we didn't have to drive
it all in two, but we had covered a lot of miles on Friday,
and we weren't sure how close to Colorado Springs we
would get.  A tire blow-out about a hour before
Albuquerque slowed us down a bit.  Not only did the tire
blow, but it ripped up the RV in the process.  Dang it!!  
We didn't even know, someone flagged us down to tell us.
 Why does this always happen when we are on our way to
Albuquerque?
After a quick change on the side of the road (thank
goodness both on-the-way-to-Albuquerque blow-outs
have been on the shoulder-side of the rig) we were back
on the road, into Albuquerque for 5 new tires, and out of
town again, poorer but with a vow to never haul an RV
towards Albuquerque ever again.
We finally ended our long day at the Elk's Lodge in Las
Vegas, NM.  Sunday we cleaned, did laundry, and packed
for our flight to Knoxville TN on Tuesday for the Jamison
reunion.  
Monday, after putting "for sale" signs all over the rig, we
drove on to the Elk's Lodge in Colorado Springs, and
parked in their lot.  We somehow convinced the camp
hosts to babysit for Fishie and Fishie's fish, so we handed
off the fish bowl and went to bed, ready for our early
flight.