Travel Date: Saturday, Oct 11 2014
Got up, and said goodbye to these great people. What an enjoyable two days and nights with Ralph and Kristen.

I drove over to my friend Chris’s home. I met Chris working at Sigma Nu HQ in Lexington, Virginia. I actually picked him from the airport during his interview. We’ve worked together, hung out together and had fun stories during out mutual tenure at Sigma Nu.

Chris and I both share a passion for traveling and he has done what few people in the world do traveled across the world for an entire year after he left his job at Sigma Nu.

When I arrive at Chris’s home we give each other bro hugs and talk shop of travel and Sigma Nu. He makes me a Chris Healy smoothie.

Time to chow down on some delicious green smoothies.

He is also a die hard Giants fan so I decide to root for the Giants while I’m in San Diego. And also because I spent a lot of time in San Francisco for work.

We head out to pick up his Grandfather Lowell who is in town. Lowell’s lives in Mariposa, California (near Yosemite National Park). Wish I’d had known him earlier. I wouldn’t have camped out in Yosemite then.

We take a tour of Chris’ workplace.

He works in the Little Italy district.

Where the magic happens

Showing off his power tools.

We walk around and we buy some lemonade from a couple of young boys.

And then head to one of Chris’ favorite restaurants for lunch: Cook Book Tavola Calda

Meet the owner

And order some food.

Time to munch down.

After lunch we walk over to the USS Midway.

The ship/aircraft carrier is HUGE.

Lowell generously buys our tickets.

And we head in.

All aboard.

This quite exciting. Did I mention this ship is HUGE?

We get inside the hold where planes are stored. Now it is an exhibition area with many old planes.

And walk outside to the hangar deck.

Staring down through the glass to a lower levels and to the bottom of the ship where engines, machine parts, and supply crates were stored.

We decide to walk up to the upper level where the planes take off.

Lots of planes up here.

Desert Storm.

The plane in the middle of the runway looks great.

A closer look.

I’m really looking forward to being ‘blown away’.

The other aircrafts.

Inside one of the aircrafts.

Random statue on the middle of the runway.

I walk to the end of the runway and take a pano of the area.

A modern aircraft carrier.

Chris and I take a photo.

We walk back to the control tower.

Time to head into the control tower.

We see Lowell in the front and skip the people in line and join him. I know wrong of us to do so but Lowell becomes our excuse.

A mini-reunion on the USS Midway.

Sitting down getting our primer for the tour.

Walking up the small stairs.

And entering the various rooms on the control tower.

We walk outdoors again and get a another tour guide.

USA! USA! USA!

And another room.

The box where they keep manuals.

Someone stole the manual. Noooooooooooo!

People actually learn to write on glass backwards. WOW!

We walk to another room.

GPS works on the ship.

The view of the outside world from this room.

Group picture.

A model of the ship.

Walking out of the ship. Notice something wrong on the sign? ‘

Hint: Look at the salute.

Goodbye USS Midway. It has been a great experience!

Group photo. Look grandpa Lowell hasn’t lost his sense of humor.

As we walk back we enjoy the various ‘views’ of San Diego. Including the outdoor pool views.

Chris and I decide to go downtown and watch the Giants game. My first time in a Car 2 GO.

I get my San Francisco gear on too.

Downtown there you are.

We stop at a sports bar Whiskey Girl to watch the game and get some food. Great to see the Giants win with Chris.

Reflections:
Two days of San Diego experience with Ralph and Kristen was awesome. Reuniting with Chris and talking shop about our shared Sigma Nu experience on staff and our travels was fantastic. I am very grateful for the being able to share stories of adventure, differences in culture, couchsurfing, and acceptance of others with someone who is as well traveled if not more.

Meeting his Grandpa Lowell was definitely an enlightening experience. He is an eccentric spirit and very unique. I enjoyed our time together and conversation.  Thank you Chris for the generous lunch treat. Lowell definitely loved the USS Midway and I enjoyed listening to his stories about planes as we walked around many of them. Thank you Lowell for buying all our tickets to the museum. Traveling in a Car 2 GO, eating cookies, watching the Giants game with Chris, talking to bartenders, and meeting interesting people was definitely a unique experience.

It was a long day around San Diego but I can definitely see myself here.

Expenses: $73.98
Whiskey Girl: $30.00
Whiskey Girl: $43.98