We accepted an Airbnb booking that started on a Thursday, which meant we had to stay local in order to get the kids to school Friday morning. It is also meant that Amber gave me the side-eye when I suggested we keep the kids out of school for a day and start our trip a bit early.
Our mini-vacation began with a trip downtown to Sushi Deli. It’s one of our favorite restaurants: The sake and beer are cheap, the sushi is good, and they don’t mind if our kids ruin everyone else’s dining experience. The boys shared a veggie and chicken plate, while Amber and I had poke and rolls. The highlight of the meal was when my youngest boy, Larke, reached for my beer and quickly pulled his hand back. It was proof that he finally internalized the meaning of the forbidden “dada juice.”
From there, we grabbed frozen yogurt and checked into the 2.5 star Best Western near San Diego State University. We wanted a cheap hotel with free parking and breakfast to ease the getting-ready-for-school process. It definitely met the cheap requirement. A night’s stay was $62.
The room was in pretty good shape, having appeared to have been updated sometime around the Harlem Shake era. However, the floors were thin and rickety, which led to a noise complaint by the people below us. Even worse, I had reserved two beds and we got stuck with one. The desk agent, who had Bob Dylan hair and fancy spectacles that overstated his actual intelligence, insisted that I did not reserve two beds. I didn’t push the issue any further since we typically end up sleeping in the same bed anyway.
The five of us were knocked out by 10 p.m.
After school and work, we took the 75 minute drive to Julian, a tourist town in the mountains known for its apple pie and chipper white folks.
We went to an orchard and picked apples at $12.50 per small bag, which is like four times the grocery store price. I guess it’s the experience you’re paying for. It was nice to be at one with nature for a change, but less so when this particular part of nature includes thousands of gangsta ass flies willing to die to protect their turf.
Still, Amber and the kids enjoyed picking apples, and the trip gave me the opportunity to provide the kids with a brief overview of the legend of Johnny Appleseed, whom I referred to as Django Appleseed. Hey, just trying to keep things culturally interesting and relevant for the little biracials. By the way, interesting tidbit about Mr. Appleseed: In addition to spreading apple seeds, he also spread his own seed—fathering at least 10 children while stating marriage was ungodly. True story.
Once we had a bag full of apples, we drove 30 minutes to Ramona, a pretty lil’ small town that’s just a wee bit methy. We ate subpar Mexican food at some joint that’s really popular among locals. Actually, Amber missed out on most of her meal. She stayed in the restroom with Ca$$ius, who needed emotional support while taking a 20-minute boo-boo.
After leaving the restaurant, we made our way to the resort. The kids had been looking forward to a swim all day, but they were completely out of control. This is usually the case when we disrupt their routine for longer than a day. The getting ready for the pool process took 30-45 minutes, two smacks on the ass, and a snatching up or two. By the way, the ass smacks were completely ineffective, especially on Ca$$ius, who laughed and danced after Amber swatted him, which just egged on Nile and Larke. Anyhow, my open left hand may have showed otherwise, but I still believe corporal punishment is really just a way for the parents to release anger and not at all an effective form of long-term discipline, but we were having a moment and the temporary satisfaction was well worth it.
From the pool, we went back to the room and everybody dozed off pretty quickly. Except for me. The resort had a pretty happening bar that I almost went to. I even got dressed and threw some water in my hair to curl my shit back up. But I ended staying in the room, where I downed a bottle of wine and got emotional while watching Amber and kids sleep together.
I tried to wake up Amber for company and possible marital relations, but she was knocked out, so I rubbed her legs as she slept, before distracting myself with a novel.
Amber and the kids went to breakfast in the hotel restaurant. I stayed in the room to watch CNN dramatize a presidential election that, considering the electoral map, is not really that close. Then they detailed how a cop put in for paid vacation via a bullet to the body of an(other) unarmed black man with his hands up.
I joined the family in the restaurant and ate enough to get me by until lunch–half a strip of bacon and a little bit of water. The kids were wild. Standing up on the table, throwing stuff, but having a damn good time. I took our two youngest boys outside to give Amber a break, but the behavior didn’t change.
I let ‘em go and laughed until Larke ran in the parking lot, on purpose and with a big smile on his face. I caught him and smacked the back of his calves. He looked at me like, “What the f**k, BRO!” before breaking down in tears. I got down on one knee and explained that although he was not planned, he is still loved and we want him to be safe when playing near the street.
We dropped the boys off off at Grandma and Grandpa’s. The rest of our day was spent at a brewery, a margarita joint, and lastly, a revolving sushi bar serving Japanese dishes on a grab-as-you-please conveyor belt.
Our night ended in a surprisingly luxurious Holiday Inn. We talked of going out, but ended up nodding off during a reality show about Gypsies in West Virginia, who also appeared to have a lot of behavior problems while on the road.
Cleaning service: $80.00
Sushi for the fam: $45.57
Frozen yogurt: $9.20
Expensive ass apples: $12.50
Cider and apple pie: $18.00
Swaggerless Mexican food: $36.76
World Market Wine: $10.79
Beer and Margaritas: $29.15
Revolving sushi: $40.86
Total Expenses: $600.55
Airbnb Payment: $865
Airbnb Profit: $264.45