July 21, 2013

City Slickers

For those of you keeping score, here’s a recap of what our life has looked like over the past 20 months:

January 2012 – put 90% of our belongings into a storage unit in San Diego. Stuffed the other 10% into our cars and sent them to Colorado with our parents. Spent the year traveling around the world with nothing but two 35-pound backpacks.

January 2013 – moved to Colorado and reunited with 10% of our stuff. Spent the next 4 months living with our parents…although somehow I only slept 50% of the nights in their house. Constantly on the go.

May 2013 – unexpectedly moved to San Diego with no plan and 10% of our stuff in tow. Spent 1 week living out of suitcases at our friends’ house. Offered to pay off the tenants living in our condo so they would early terminate their lease, which runs through the end of September. They wouldn’t even entertain our offer. Moved into a studio apartment for 2 weeks while we looked for a place to live. 

Moved to a condo downtown and signed a whopping 4-month lease through the end of September.

June 2013 – The Day of Reckoning. After 16 months of being nearly possession-free, we were scheduled to go into the storage unit to pull out the remaining 90% of our stuff…

I would describe our emotions the night before the big move as: fear and dread. Oh dear God, what am I going to do with all of this stuff? Where will it go? Will it make me depressed? There was palpable apprehension in the air…until about 11:00pm. That’s when we realized that the key to our storage unit was safely tucked inside Steve’s car…in Las Vegas…with Rashid.

We turned into full-on panic mode as we mentally tallied up how much money we’d lose to our movers and HOA if we couldn’t even get into our own storage unit. Luckily we were able to secure a shady locksmith who was willing to drill into the corrugated metal door at 8:00am the next morning. In a furry of relief, I forgot to clean up his metal shavings laying on the floor. The storage company totally called me out on it during our final inspection, but whatever. There were bigger worries…like how we were going to fit 30 pieces of furniture and 100 boxes worth of stuff into a 1,300 square foot condo. In the end it nearly all fit, which brought a much needed sense of success and relief. 

There was even some fun mixed in as we rediscovered a lot of basic belongings. I finally hung up my trusty travel washcloth and switched backed to a loofah…which I couldn’t even remember how to use. And the first time I plugged in a regular hairdryer after storing away my travel hairdryer, I thought I was going to blast off to the moon.

But when we combine a week of unpacking boxes, a long summer vacation, and then another week to pack it all back up, we realized that we’d only be living in this condo for 2.5 months!

Back in 2011 when we decided to go on our RTW trip, we were signing ourselves up for 11 months of nomadic living. Not 20!! When we returned home, life was supposed to be about settling down. It just hasn’t worked out like that. And so we’re taking it in stride and dealing with it the best way we know how…by having some fun.

We have loved living in downtown San Diego. Our condo is right in the heart of the Gaslamp District. There’s a farmers market on our block every Sunday, the Padres’ baseball stadium is 3 blocks away, and we’re within steps of countless restaurants. We figured that if we restrict ourselves to 3 new restaurants per week, we could try as many as 50 new places by the time we leave downtown. What a fun goal! At the time of publication, we’re up to 29 and counting.

It feels natural to live in a bustling downtown after coming back from our trip. There’s plenty of stimulus to keep us happy. We brush off restaurant hawkers like pros. At dinner we turn down offers for roses or mariachi serenades without the slightest hint of a guilty conscience. We’re expert walkers. We’re also good at taking sly photos of weirdos. Like the guy who walks the streets every single day sporting only black pants, a Mexican wrestling mask, and his Shake Weight.

Or the sign spinner who hawks massages at the corner of 5th & Market. His go-to sales pitch: “I don’t give ‘em, I just sell ‘em”.

But perhaps the best is watching this little puppy cruise his way down 5th Avenue in a motorized convertible every few days. He has a consistent posse of amateur paparazzi that trail behind.

The annual culmination of downtown San Diego’s social scene is undoubtedly Comic Con. Officially, Comic Con is a “celebration of the popular arts”…whatever that means. In reality, it’s a huge convention for huge geeks who are really into science fiction, comics, gaming, fantasy, music and film. It’s basically like Halloween in July…except that dressing up like Indiana Jones or Captain Kirk isn’t good enough for these people. They have to be Indiana Jones’ father or a Star Trek zombie. Their standards are way high. 

It’s been a busy summer of park concerts, tri club events, baseball games, and happy hours. Our social calendar has never been so full! We’re very much enjoying the carefree time we’re getting to spend together and with our friends. 

We have loved living downtown so much that in an ironic turn of events we have just recently worked out a lease extension with our tenants. This will allow us to stay put a few extra months and, dare I say, get to 75 new restaurants? I promise we’ll settle down…
next year.


  1. You guys are my heros, I love it!!! Good for you and enjoy all the new reservations...Next blog post: restaurant reviews.

  2. People tired to find a relevant place where they can know real facts and myths about the topic mentioned by author of this blog. I want to help a lot of needy people through this blog to come up at my blog to know the real facts and myths regarding this topic.
    ยา เห็ด หลิน จื อ