Friday, September 14, 2007

San Diego

Staying with Bruce and Julie. Lovely condo. Swam this morning and sat in the hot tub in the garden - what a life.

Dinner last night was focus of our visit over here. Wonderful time at Crab Catchers at La Jolla Cove. Christiane had crab I had the daily special. We had the best seats in the house and the pelicans put on a great show for us as the sun was setting. A glass of champagne to start, great conversation, a truly beautiful woman alongside me, all was right with the world!

Seven years ago I sat a couple of tables along and enjoyed the sunset but had no girl - now I have the girl - thank you God. And thank you to our kind friends who treated us to dinner last night on our honeymoon.

We have been going to ice rinks to see what is available here in San Diego.

The San Diego Ice Arena - I called spoke to the admin lady - went along, arrived 15 minutes later than I thought and she was in a meeting. To be fair she said she would be. But, she couldn't come out to say hello to visitors from England - 6,500 miles to visit and not a minute available to say hello? Same happened when I came and tried to reach the Skating Director seven years ago. She never returned my calls and then didn't turn up for a meeting - you kind of get the vibes of a place. Battered signs outside, torn insulation in the roof, lack of kindness and flexibility of at least saying hello. Good to see though. I always feel that an ice rink has a personality and it can be gleaned from the welcome and the overall feel of a place. I may be right but it's always worked like that for me in the past in any place in the world. My summation of San Diego Ice Arena is that it's every man for himself and the management is not welcomming or open to entrepreneurial developments. Of course I could be wrong but the facility is a million miles away from the look and feel of Chris's in Chicago. Anyway, don't want to be based there at any time thanks. Good to see Eric Millot's face on the coaching board - he's a guy I new from commentary. No doubt they have some good skaters at the rink if he's on the staff. Don't know the other names on the board...

Rink in the mall near La Jolla - simple single pad, nice welcome - no one there at lunchtime except girl in shop. Nice welcome though. Good lunch. Some new jeans for me - the one's I have have got past being ripped and trendy - they are wrecked so half price clothing (as it is here) was a bargain. Simon Hewitt just joined them - good luck Simon. You and Matt and loads of girls, looks like an opportunity for you.

Ray Kroc Community Centre - met with a smile by Brian on the desk of the ice rink, had a chat with the rink manager Mark - lovely guy, open to opportunities and met Woody too. A fantastic facility integrating ice, theatre, social and community action and a pool and a Christian ethos. I was excited when I discovered it on the web and in the openness of people including Lisa - Captain John Van Cleef's wife (he's the boss man) who was lovely. They are building another 40 such centres around the US. Brilliant - what a difference a smile and a warm hello makes. Inspiring to see the community action part of the work and a church on site too. Well it's a Salvation Army facility! I never new such a thing existed! On the way into the ice rink the arch over the entrance had the slogan THE DOOR TO OPPORTUNITY strong sentiments for the kids that enter - and I liked it too...

I'll be knocking on their door to see if I can link in my BAVIP and ice and dance and performance in some way? Who knows? It would be excellent to help kids develop and achieve their goals in life.

Driving here is like being on a race track - Christiane calling directions - me just going - you can't slow down or you're lost. Seventy, wizzing across lanes and making good time everywhere... Then dead stop at rush hour! On lady was going slow across some lanes last night and it needed Christiane to shout for me to miss her. I didn't expect anyone going slow. Exciting. Compact car is a contradiction in terms of size. Goes like a rocket and is big by UK standards.

Learning about life in America. Housing tax 1.2% of property value per annum - what is that about! Seeing Chicago suburbs and centre and now here is a great perspective enhancer.

To LA tomorrow seeing friends and going to a murder Mystery party tomorrow night. Will be great fun. Church on Sunday at Jill's (my US Pastor's) church. Prophecy time scheduled for that day at the church - now that would be good to hear what God has planned for us. We shall see.

Off to find a Harley to Hire. Then to the stadium seating for a movie tonight. Busy, busy! Loving the sun and American air. Pacific Beach here we come...



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