Here is an abbreviated story of our week in Carson, California, the Land of the Home Depot Center, Gateway to Compton, and home of the most expensive hotel breakfast in the worst part of town ever.
When Dean walks around like this, we know we are in for a disappointing day. His posture tells us everything we need to know. This was Dean on Wednesday: jet-lagged, tired, over-sangria'ed, and juiceless.
Since Dean was out of the competition for Friday, we took the day to drive north up the Pacific Coast Highway to watch this bird work the surf for his dinner.
At the Malibu pier, we encountered a group of ruffians guarding this armoire, who someone had taken great pains to carry out to the end of the pier and conceal the front with a table cloth of some kind. What was in it? Drugs? A dead body? Snacks? I wasn't going to ask.
Yes, I am quite serious when I tell you that this was the view from our eighth-floor luxury room at the Doubletree Hotel in Carson, California, home to the $14.95 weekday breakfast buffet, the Thursday night jazz stylings of Saddam Hussein's Phillipino cousin, and $8 glasses of cheap wine:
By Sunday, Dean's posture had improved, and his legs had that snap that we are used to seeing. He almost did not get to compete in the team sprint because of poor performance early in the week, but because Michael Blatchford was forced to bow out due to back spasms, Dean was given a chance to redeem himself and join the team. He did that, with the fastest anchor leg of the competition, helping his team to win gold.
We had so much fun hanging out with Dean for a week, even with the jet lag and mood swings (his jet lag, my mood swings). And we learned things, like how to enter a bank in a high crime area, and where to eat breakfast in Manhattan Beach (Eat at Joe's). But mostly, we learned not to stay at the Doubletree Hotel in Carson, California.
More later, as I think of stuff.