Monday, September 7, 2015. Labor Day.
Another new couple at the breakfast table this morning. The husband is a preacher, a school teacher, and a Benjamin Franklin impersonator. Luckily for us, he chose not to preach, teach, or Ben Franklin us. His wife showed up a few minutes later and said very little as hubby did most of the talking. They ate fast and bailed out before we had finished. They live someplace north of San Diego, and he wanted to get out of town before the traffic got bad.
After they left, we talked to Ben for quite a while. He said that the ghost of old man Keating seemed to be present while he and Doug were working on the house after its purchase. Then he talked about some of the old photographs and other objects they found when they took over the house. The Keating house was built in the late 1800s, and some of the objects in the house seemed to be as old as the house. A photograph of a very stern woman hangs in the dining room. She leers at the breakfast guests as if dissatisfied with our presence in her house. Check out the link. We’d love to return to the Keating House someday. Maybe we can fly out during the winter to get some relief from the bad weather back home.
After saying goodbye to Ben for the last time (until our next visit), we loaded the car and left it where it was parked on the street. We then walked to Balboa Park and entered the San Diego Natural History Museum.
We were asked by the ticket lady if we’d like to see the special exhibit of Mayan culture in addition to the regular exhibits. We decided what the hell, we can do Mayan as well as the next guy. So we paid a few extra bucks and went in. The Mayan exhibit was well worth the visit. In fact, the rest of the place sort of paled in comparison after seeing such a magnificent collection of artifacts and educational displays. The Mayan exhibit will be at the “Nat” till January 3, 2016. Check it out.
We learned much about the Maya during our visit, including things like their penchants for squeezing baby’s heads so that the forehead was slanted, jaded teeth, blood-letting, crossed eyes, and genital piercing.
After our hours-long visit to the Museum of Natural History, we walked down the street and visited the Museum of Man. They had a special exhibit called The Instruments of Torture. I thought they might have been referring to my shoes, but they actually had an extensive exhibit of real instruments of torture. We decided that it too late in the day for the observation of things gruesome and scary, so we just purchased general admission tickets for $10.
Guess what they have for a standard exhibit – MAYAN CULTURE. Yes, another Mayan exhibit. We streaked through that one and spent some quality time in their Egyptian section. Lots of mummies and pretty amazing artifacts. There was also a very informative exhibit about beer. Turns out that beer used to have medicinal qualities until people started killing all the good bacteria through pasteurization.
Another excellent section of this museum covers hominids and the evolutionary process that took place resulting in us. Many skeletons and bone fragments are exhibited. Very awesome.
Extremely fatigued by the time we finished the Museum of Man, we walked slowly back to the car parked near the Keating House, said goodbye to that neighborhood, and found our way to the historic Horton Grand Hotel. We checked in, gave our cars keys to the valet, and found our room. The valet helped us with our bags and gave us a few tips about where to find food. We left the hotel and ambled up and down 5th Avenue. There are tons of taverns and restaurants and, according to their employees strategically positioned on the street, each is a very fine place to dine. After much walking, talking, and consideration, we settled on Osteria Panevino, an Italian place. They have lots of dishes and it took us a while to decide what to order. Barb had pasta with lots of shrimp, prawns, and crab. I had pasta with wild boar sausage. The portions were huge and we should have split one entree instead of ordering two. We took a lot with us back to the hotel, and ended up giving our leftovers to the lady at the desk and the valet. Hopefully they finished it off. We didn’t wait to find out because we went to our room, #318, and in short order went to bed. We had noticed a strange smell in the place when we first checked in, and it was back again when we returned to the room. We turned the air conditioner on and it seemed to get rid of the odor. More about that in my next post.