Last Thursday we left for our second “vacation” of the summer, this time to Southern California, first to see our son and his fiancee in San Diego then to all drive up to Long Beach to visit with my 88 year old stepmother.
Prior to leaving there were all manner of distractions and diversions, which impacted our ability to plan. One of those was that while in Utah we had all gotten spider bites. Mine was first to appear on the Sunday we left Moab, a three-inch diameter, very sharply edged swelling on my thigh, with a dime-sized red spot at the center. I put Vitamin E on it for a couple of days and it subsided.
Stu’s appeared two days later, same presentation except that his was on his calf and did not go away but got all red and began spreading up the side of his leg. He had to go to the dermatologist to get some steroid cream to put on it, which cleared it right up.
Meanwhile Quigley had all sorts of bumps, some of them about the diameter of quarters. One on the front of his left shoulder particularly stood out and on the Monday before we were to leave, I was examining it and realized it was matted hair which fell out as I touched it leaving a swelling that, while much smaller than mine, looked very much like it, complete with the red spot at the center. Fearing it might do as Stu’s had done, we called the vet on Wednesday and got Q in. No problem, and we could use the same steroid on him that Stu used. But it took up a lot of time.
Anyway, work responsibilities did not allow us to leave for San Diego until about 4:45pm Thursday. Then after about an hour on the road, Quigley acted like he HAD to get out of the car and go to the bathroom, but once we stopped he just walked around and smelled things. We encountered two border patrol stops, one of which took about half an hour to get through. We also drove through a massive cloud of flying insects (termites?) that nearly occluded our windshield and coated our grill with smashed insect bodies. And, being unfamiliar with the route, we almost ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere some time after midnight.
But we made it, checked in to the hotel which took pets and crashed. The next day my son and his fiancee took us to breakfast, then to Coronado Island for a walk and finally to the dog beach there which is situated right at the beginning of the Naval base’s air field. Two Navy jets (I think they’re F-18’s) came in to land just as we were arriving, coming over us super close. I was going bananas (I love military aircraft) and my son caught a couple of photos with his phone for me. (since we forgot the camera)
As for the dog beach, Quigley found a friend, ran and played in the surf and was even caught from behind by a wave that dropped completely over him. I was alarmed, but he emerged unphased, intent on catching up to his new (female) friend who had not been caught by the wave and was still running up the beach.
It was a fun day. Here’s another picture of the jet, complete with vapor trails from its wingtips: