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Monday marked the first anniversary of courting My Suitor. He wanted to whisk me away to San Diego, California. As I am the foil to spontaneity, he allowed for some organizational planning; a day trip, beach-side; for him, some antiquated location; for me, and hours of time in the coach together. Given the flurry of the events leading up to our departure, I did not get the chance to complete my gift to him. I was finishing filling in my early voting ballot! He was understanding about the situation.

At the dawn of Monday we mbarked on our adventure. Five hours of driving and discussing nothing in particular; commenting on the changing landscape and reminiscing about the past, and are wishes for the future. He serenaded me with songs from Phantom of the Opera, some Italian operetta, Disney and Weird Al Yankovich’s Soon I’m Gonna Be a Jedi. He has a wonderful voice and we vowed then and there, we shall be The Phantom and Christine for Halloween one year.

We drove straight to the Ocean Beach. We expected colder weather, but had to shed some garments to accommodate the beautiful weather. We walked on the shore, me looking very out-of-place and he having the knack of blending in. As a hearing impaired person the sounds of the waves and wind hold no joy. As a person made from alabaster, the sun is unwelcome. Sun, wind, and water?! What a horrible combination! Beach-side Gibson girl, I am not.

We dined at a little small restaurant called Hodad’s which is supposedly famous for its hamburgers. The fare was rather good. The other diners, however, gave off a lingering odor of cannabis that was a bit nauseating.

Soon after lunch ,My Suitor took me to Old Town San Diego. The previous night I had seen a televised show spotlighting The Cosmopolitan Hotel. We fist stopped by the Stable Museum where we were impressed with the artifacts; wagons, saddles (beautiful saddles!), even a slot machine from the 1800s was on display. I was secretly hoping to enter Toby’s Candle and Soap Shop, but it was under construction during the time we visited. We did make it to The Cosmopolitan which is purportedly haunted by spirits from the 19th century. Juan Bandini, the original proprietor of the establishment, used to host festivities that began on Friday night and ended on Monday morning. It is no wonder the spirits of the party goers never wish to depart from the hotel. After leaving The Cosmo, I spied something sparkling out of the corner of my eye. A beautiful violet frock outside of the Johnson House which is actually a shop. I drug My Suitor to the store. I was carefully eyeing every inch of the display cases. I have never seen so many elaborate hair combs. My Suitor was trying on all the gentlemen’s hats for a short while. I remained engrossed in the jewelry and lady’s hats. Needless to say My Suitor had to drag me out of the store! Ambling on, My Suitor shyly gestured to a gentleman’s smoke shop. I concurred out of curiosity. The store had original display cases from the 1800s with beautiful elaborately hand carved pipes, much different pipes than the ones by the beach. There were cigars, tobacco, guns and knives. It was really intriguing. The last store we went into was Captain Fitch’s Mercantile, I believe we spent over an hour perusing the book section. I was looking at Victorian fashion books, and he was laughing over a gentlemanly etiquette treatise. My Suitor purchased one of the books as my anniversary gift. A book? A Victorian book? A Victorian fashion book? Surely a man after my own heart!

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