Wizards of Oz

"Life is fraughtless ... when you're thoughtless."


OldSkool2010: Schoolin'

OldSkool2010: Part 1.1 (School)

Our three-part OldSkool2010 adventure began on Memorial Day (May 31st), when we set off for San Diego, California. San Diego is a special place for us: Renee and I both began our careers there (in 1990, about six miles apart) but didn't meet for another three years. Our wedding was downtown, at the U.S. Grant Hotel, and our eldest Shelby was born at Sharp-Mary Birch. My ultimate destination: the Defense Acquisition University Western Campus, located at the old Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Base between Shelter Island and Harbor Island:

Since my class was a full month in length, this trip included the whole family. En route to San Diego, we stopped for lunch in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where we were pleased to be joined by a very spontaneous Cheryl Rofer (a fellow milblogger whom I had never met in person, and who had all of 20 minutes' warning that we were passing through at lunchtime):

As we passed through the reservations of Arizona, Jarrett explored some cliffs:

Finally, after nearly two days on the road and over 1,200 miles, we arrived at our hotel: the Homewood Suites on the grounds of the old Naval Training Center-San Diego (and easy walking distance to England Hall, where my DAU class was held). This hotel was literally right next door to the USS RECRUIT:

The view from our top-floor corner suite:

Alas, it was not to last.... We did not have a house-sitter to tend to our six pets (two cats and four chinchillas), so we left the chinchillas with a friend and brought the two cats with us. Since our local Homewood Suites is pet-friendly, and since I indicated our traveling cats in the text portion of our online reservation (made in February), I figured there'd be no problem. We checked in, lugged a month's worth of luggage to the top floor, and I returned to the front desk to make housekeeping arrangements due to the cats. To quote Scooby Doo, "Ruh roh!"

It turns out that (1) this particular Homewood Suites is a "Zero Tolerance" facility with respect to pets, (2) that each Homewood Suites is free to make their own decisions on this seemingly important policy, (3) that text entries in online reservations are only provided to the hotel on the day of arrival, (4) and the online reservation system of Homewood Suites only holds text-entered comments for 90 days. To their credit, the Asst. General Manager had his staff make an identical reservation for us at the Marriott Residence Inn three miles away, allowed us to stay that first night, and let us have a late (5pm) checkout the next day.

The new room with a view (albeit not in easy walking distance of class):

Fortunately, we were able to decompress with some quick socializing. Our dear friends the Baldwins were hosting a birthday party for their son Isaac (aka IZ). Sophie does love cake....

And Sophie likes hanging with cool guys like Larry:

And then there are bubbles....

We also got to reunite with the hippest jazz vocalist in the southland, Allison, who was performing with her trio at the Marriott Coronado Island Resort prior to embarking on a Europe-to-Asia world tour:

A great start to the summer, with many wonderful reunions!

Next up, DAU visits the fleet's newest "Gator Freighter", USS MAKIN ISLAND (LHD-8).

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