Lauren, who was at school with Lily in Perth and is still one of her closest friends, arrived from Sydney on Saturday. Lauren is studying international relations at Sydney uni, and is going to the University of Washington, in Seattle, to study Chinese politics for three months. She chose 'U-Dub' as much for its academic prestige as for the chance to be close to Lily, who is thrilled to bits!
It's been great fun having the two of them here. We've been showing Lauren as much of San Diego as we can, at the same time running around helping Lily get organised for another year at college. Today we went to breakfast at the Bondi, and then to the beautiful Coronado Hotel ...
... it's the world's biggest wooden structure and was built in 1888, right on the broadest, whitest beach in this part of the world. Coronado beach is regularly voted the best in Southern California, and it's not hard to see why.
:: After the Coronado we took the scenic coastal route back to our neck of the woods. It was such a perfect day - warm and windy, with clear blue skies. The girls are loving this summer interval after so recently being in Australia's winter, and before they head north to Washington state, where it rains a great deal (lucky them!)
:: Yesterday, we went to the vast outlet shopping centre at San Ysidro, right on the Mexican border. The shopping is unbelievably cheap, and we rounded off the day by swanning into the shoe department at the Neiman Marcus outlet, where there is the most extraordinary array of discounted designer shoes.
We had a laugh and a half trying on Manolo Blahniks (below, $700 down to $300, with further reductions), Prada, Taryn Ross, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors and a heap of others.
There was everything from strappy bejewelled sandals to winter boots, including one pair of genuine Scottish wellies reduced from $450 to $125. But Lily was particularly taken with these sparkly blue Armani heels ...
Many of the shoes were actually hideous, which I guess is why they've ended up here, like these weird Pradas (below) that looked like orthopaedic granny shoes - with an incredibly high heel - and had very strange flesh-coloured knee-high stockings attached. Their original price had been $1300.
:: Lily, Lauren and I begin our drive up the coast tomorrow. It'll take us a couple of days to get to Seattle, where we'll leave Lauren at her orientation day for international students. Then Lily and I will head for Olympia, where she and two of her college mates have rented a house - I think Lily's year in the freshman dorm was enough. She's well and truly over her earlier expressed desire to experience the full US college phenomenon and is looking forward to having a house with a kitchen and laundry. So we'll be hunting down some furniture on craigslist and getting all her stuff out of storage.
If there's time, we're going to visit our relatives on Vancouver Island.
:: No more blogging until I get back to San Diego and the boys, in about 10 days. Bye-ee!