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We knew before we set out back in January that this would be a long trip. Into our fifth week on the road we were looking forward to having the long trip to Malaysia behind us. These last few days in this whirlwind tour were not deliberately planned, as we had booked the long legs of the journey almost six months ago in order to get cheaper fares; well before we had the details of the US travels in place. When Pam was booking the hotel, she really couldn’t face the idea of a name brand, high rise hotel so looked for something a little different and stumbled across a very small, ten room heritage hotel that looked interesting and was reasonably priced and went out on a limb.

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As is often the case, it is the atypical that turns out to be most interesting. The Cosmopolitan Hotel was originally built as a private residence but was reconstructed and became the original stage coach hotel for the first settlement in California. It is located in Old Town San Diego State Park, a central plaza that is lined with buildings, some dating back to the 1820s, which have been restored and are now museums, shops and restaurants.

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The main floor of the hotel was the restored living area of the home, and the ten rooms are on the second floor with a wraparound balcony that overlooks a courtyard with a lovely restaurant, bar and sitting area. It was all very private and a real experience just to stay there even though we have seen no evidence of the fact that the rooms were thought to be haunted. The rooms were all decorated and furnished with period pieces and there were no TVs or other modern furnishings to destroy the atmosphere. Our room was known as the Pine Tub room as it had an original tub made out of pine. Yes, we did try it out before we left.

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The area was full of life, sights and sounds and we fully enjoyed the time to explore the area as well as other parts of the city. We also had a couple of days to get caught up on course assignments, prepare lessons for Steve to teach as soon as we arrive home, and get this weblog up to date. The Old Town Transit Center was only a few minutes walk away and gave access to not only the trolley systems of San Diego but also the Pacific Surfliner train which skirts the coast line up to Los Angeles and our jumping off point for our flight home. It was a magical journey, and a lovely way to end our trip.

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We will have to hit the ground running. Steve has classes and a huge backlog of projects to get caught up with on his CSR portfolio. Pam has a conference in Indonesia to plan for where she will be presenting to regional CHE leaders. Then of course there is the transition out of Malaysia and into the Caribbean to manage in just four months from now, with all of the packing and shipping and selling that this entails. We have interesting lives, and we would not trade them with anyone we know. It is never boring, but gosh it does take a lot of work to keep up this pace. I would say Lord help us, but then He always does anyway.

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