If you follow me on Twitter (@fortydeucetwits, if you're uninitiated) you know that a couple of weeks ago a few FDers met up in San Diego for a little R&R. I cannot recommend a winter vacation to San Diego enough. Despite my constant whining that it was too hot (seriously, it was only in the 70s and 80s and my San Francisco self isn't used to walking around in a single layer, let alone a t-shirt) it was a fantastic break from the damp and foggy San Francisco winters and, for one FDer, a rather remarkable change from the Keyser Snowze conditions of Washington D.C.
But more importantly, it was good quality time with Dinara. As we all know, Dina's not feeling great lately. Obviously the media glare of failing to break through and grab her first Slam, along with some very serious and delibitating injuries, has left Dinara in a bit of a state. Tracey, Dinara's liberator, sensed her general ennui and thus the decision was made to get Dina out of smoggy LA and into the San Diego sun.
And boy, she took to it like a duck to water. A very very awkwardly tall duck to water.
Follow her adventures after the jump.
After a couple of days relaxing, singing karaoke, and watching us get shitcanned and do running drunken Olympics commentary (she was a big curling fan), it was off to the beaches of La Jolla to get Dina some much needed sun. Were we a little embarrassed about marching around a 10 foot tall cardboard cut-out around the fancy beaches of La Jolla? Well, duh, we're not idiots. But this was for Dinara. Think about all the joy that she's brought into your life.
Ok. Actually, don't do that. That's...futile.
But after we all took a deep breath in the car and realized "yes, we're doing this," it was off to the races. Quite literally, actually.
The minute we got out of the car, Dinara took off running and demanded to see the seals. After a 45 minute tearful negotiation (my tears, not hers), we finally relented. She kept trying to climb over the fence (really, not hard -- she's 10 feet tall) to get a closer look but we were able to wrestle her back.
"Dinara, haven't ever seen seals before?"
"In Mother Russia, seals club you."
All the excitement got to her fairly quickly. Dina demanded to lie down.
Who are we not to oblige.
Not that it wasn't weird.
A lot of people throughout the day asked us who she was. I of course was shocked. Doesn't *everyone* know who Dinara Safina is? But instead of engaging in a rather extensive dialogue with these tennis-ignorati, I simply stuck to my story: "Oh, this is Dinara Safina, the current #2 ranked women's tennis player. We work for the WTA. We're doing some promotional work for the San Diego tournament, which will be taking place in August. You guys should come out. It'll be a really great time."
Of course, I might have gotten away with it if Tracey and Christina weren't laughing hysterically behind me. Poker faces, ladies!
Next up, a bit of hike. We tried to stop her but Dina insisted on photobombing the awkward family photo session going on the rocks. The girl has a sense of humor, I'll give her that.
Kid loves hot coals, apparently. She's all about their proper disposal. Safety first!
Brave Men Run In Her Family, apparently. Not sure if you knew that. Davai!
Next we waited for the bus to get to the bar. Please excuse my weird pant/sock situation. I got a little wet in the water and I had no idea I looked like such a retard when I rolled up my pants. Dinara was a big fan of my hipster fashion choice though. Apparently she's a big Kill Rock Stars fan.
Finally we made it to the bar. Shockingly, the hostess didn't really do a double take when Dina came in, despite the fact that she almost knocked a hole into the ceiling and knocked over drinks left and right. There's a very fine line between 10 foot tall Dina and Naomi Campbell, I guess.
Once we settled in we came to find that Dina is a lot more popular than we gave her credit for. Within 10 minutes of sitting down and ordering our beers, Tracey noticed a rather significant papparazi presence in the beer. Random dudes were attempting to surreptitiously take pictures of Dina. We of course obliged.
The bartender was particularly jonesing for a piece of Dina. After she rather boldly hopped behind the bar to mix what can only be described as a White Russian Fuzzy Navel Car Bomb On The Beach, Mr. Bartender proceeded to TOTALLY GRAB HER ASS. I'm not sure he really understood the shock in my voice as I rather loudly exclaimed, "Did you just *goose* Dinara Safina???"
And with that it was time to go home to rest. We were wiped out and Dina had read that Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain would be appearing on her favorite show, Martha Stewart. Again, you don't argue with a 10 foot tall Russian. You just...don't.
Anyway, it was a great time. I'm surprised that, between the food and the laughs, I didn't bust a gut from the week. Thanks to Victoria and Katie for their amazing hospitality and patience (Tracey, Christina, and I may have crushed a 24 pack of Tecate and a bottle of wine while they were sleeping one night), Tracey for liberating Dina in the first place to allow for this hilarious adventure, and Christina for flying cross-country to give us a reason to get together in San Diego. It was a blast and further validation that Forty Deucers are fucking awesome. For all the FDers that I've now met across two continents, I have yet to meet a freak. I'm sure my luck will run out soon.
And I would be remiss if I didn't give a shout out to Maria over at The Double Bagel, who braved the PCH traffic to meet up with us in Venice for drinks. I don't know how you pounded those two doubles and drove home safely. Impressive stuff, my young friend.