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Hotel California

Summary:
Bella and Charlie go down to San Diego, California for a summer vacation.
Father-daughter bonding ensues =]


Notes:
Gah, I haven't posted anything in forever. Hahaa. Anyways, here's the story =]


1. Chapter 1

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1812   Review this Chapter

My legs wobbly from an hour of disuse, I walked unsteadily off of the plane and headed towards baggage claim.

That’s where Mom told me Dad would meet me, since he had to go there anyways after his flight from Washington.

I looked around the San Diego International Airport and sighed happily. Already, the heat was filtering in through the windows, and I was reminded again of how wonderful it was that Dad and I were going to California instead of me coming to Forks.

“Bella!”

I looked around wildly at the sound of my dad’s voice. Of course, this resulted in me tripping as I spun around, therefore landing on my face.

“What am I going to do with you, Bells?” Charlie laughed, and I felt two arms pull me back up to my feet.

“Hey Dad,” I mumbled, embarrassed from the stares I was receiving.

We walked in comfortable silence to the baggage area, where my blue duffle bag was beginning to revolve around on the conveyor belt.

I moved to get it, but Charlie stopped me. “No, let me get it,” He insisted.

Of course, it was about a million pounds, so we ended up working together to wrestle the bag away from everything else.

I sat on a bench with my things as Charlie began the search for his suitcase, which was small and weighed half as much as mine did.

“Ready to go to the hotel?” He asked.

I nodded, and we gathered our stuff and went out the glass doors into the bright sunlight. The heat crept through my clothes and seemed to sink into my skin.

I fanned myself with a hand. “Dad, it’s so hot,” I couldn’t help but complain.

Charlie grunted. I glanced at him and saw a fine sheen of sweat already forming on his forehead. “Suck it up, Bells,”

I rolled my eyes. I followed my dad to the shuttle area, where we would catch a shuttle to our hotel, which was right on the bay.

Our limited talk was mostly about the sun, which was an unusual thing for Charlie. Phoenix sun was one thing, but San Diego in August was like hell on earth. Even in the shade, the sun still seemed to burn me.

When we arrived at the hotel and made it up into our room, I already had a slight red burn on my arms.

I took the bed closest to the window, which had a gorgeous view, and Charlie took the one in front of the TV.

Once I had set my duffle bag on the floor and applied a thick layer of sunscreen on my arms and legs, Charlie cleared his throat.

“Alright, Bells, what do you want to do first? There’s the beach, of course, and then there’s the World Famous San Diego Zoo, or there are a million museums in Balboa Park, and we could always go walk around downtown and get ice cream-”

“Wow,” I stopped him. Charlie had obviously done a lot of research in preparation for our vacation. “Uh, that’s a lot of stuff, Dad,”

He blushed slightly, proving that I was indeed his daughter. “I just wanted to have some fun things to do,”

I grinned, but looked out the window. “Thanks, Dad. I appreciate it.”

“So, where to?” He asked me.

I thought about it for awhile. “How about we relax at the beach?” I suggested.

Charlie nodded. “Sounds good,”

I took my stuff with me to change in the teeny bathroom, and I slipped into my only bathing suit. It was white with bright orange stripes, and my mom had obviously picked it out – it was a bikini. I put on a white tank top over it too, and put on some black soccer shorts too.

Charlie told me that we’d be taking a cab to ‘Mission Beach’, where there was a small amusement park.

While in the cab, I kept glancing out the window and absorbed all the sights. If I had ever thought Phoenix was crowded, it was nothing compared to the throng of people out on the streets here. There were tons of tourists that looked exactly like my dad and I, out of place and eager, but there were also businessmen in suits, teenagers in swimsuits and sneakers, and parent’s trying desperately to corral their children.

Finally, the driver pulled over next to a busy pizza parlor. “This is as close as I can get, sir,” He told my dad.

Charlie looked rather confused. “Okay,” He said.

He paid the man, and then we hopped out. There were half-naked people everywhere, and sand was stuffed into the cracks on the sidewalk. You could actually see the heat quivering above the ground. The air smelt strongly of salt water.

Charlie looked around. “Up there!” I sighed with relief. I glanced towards where he was pointing, and saw a rollercoaster rising above everyone’s heads.

We started the three block trudge. At last, we turned a corner and I could see it – the ocean. Charlie grinned.

“This is a lot different than First Beach, huh?”

I laughed. “Very,”

We crossed one more street and walked right in front of a large, fading sign that said ‘Belmont Park’ in big red letters. An ancient and very, very unsafe looking rollercoaster was the main attraction. There were also a few small, spinning rides, plus tons of carnival games. Shops full of skimpy-looking clothing and beach gear lined the walkway, and food vendors advertised their prices by shouting out to everyone.

It was loud, and incredibly intimidating.

We walked on the outskirts of Belmont Park to get to the long boardwalk in front of the sand. I slipped off my sandals and walked barefoot as we stepped onto the sand. I yelped and put them back on immediately.

“What?” Charlie asked anxiously.

“The sand is hot!” I exclaimed. My feet still burned from the heat coming from the sand.

This was tourist season, and that was easy to see by the lack of space to be. After looking around for nearly ten minutes, we saw a family packing up their stuff. We rushed down the beach to their spot, narrowly beating another group.

We lay our towels side by side close to the water. I sat down on mine and looked before me.

The ocean was sparkling in the distance, but up close it was a deep blue with a lot of white foam nearest to the beach. Shrieking kids ran in and out of the water, and older kids were farther out, lying on boogie boards.

“Go in the water,” Charlie encouraged me. I noticed that he was still in a regular shirt and shorts.

“I will if you will,” I suggested slyly.

He shook his head quickly. “Not going to happen, Bells. Get out there,”

I sighed. “Alright,”

I’d never admit it, but I was scared. The water was an intimidating thing…sharks could eat me, jellyfish could sting me, or I could be pulled under by a rip current.

I gulped and slipped off my flip-flops. I ignored my scorching feet and walked slowly towards the edge of the dry sand. Cautiously, I stepped into the wet sand, and felt cool water soothe my feet. I sighed in relief. I was still alive.

Then came the hard part – actually getting in. I took a few more steps, and then froze as the water came rushing towards me. I closed my eyes, and was shocked to find out that the huge wave racing towards me only barely grazed my toes.

I cracked an eye open and took another few steps. Another wave was heading towards me, but I bravely stepped on. This time my feet were covered, and they stayed under the water as I walked out farther.

One thing they don’t tell you about California – the water is not warm and fun. It is cold and numbing.

I could hardly feel my legs by the time the water came up to my hips.

Later, once I couldn’t stand the icy water anymore and my shoulders began to peel, Charlie and I got some ice cream at one of the shops at Belmont Park. In a huge waffle cone they put two large scoops of rainbow sherbet, which began melting right after they handed it to me.

As we sat together on a bench, Charlie and I tried to eat our ice cream without making a mess.

We failed.

By the time we had finished our ice cream and found a cab to take us home, it was getting dark.

We arrived in front of the hotel and attempted to brush off the sand that was stuck to our legs, but it was stubborn. Charlie looked as if he was going to arrest the sand.

“Darn beach!” He grumbled. I giggled slightly.

We headed inside, trying to ignore the immovable sand.

The lady behind the front desk coughed. “Excuse me, may I help you?” She asked in a polite voice.

Charlie raised his eyebrows. “Uhh…no thank you?”

I took over for him. “We already know where our room is, thanks.”

She looked us up and down, skepticism all over her face.

Frowning, Charlie and I examined each other – and quickly saw what was so strange about us.

Charlie had a bit of chocolate ice cream on his forehead, and his tank top was splattered with random dots of water.

Charlie scrutinized my crazily windswept hair; the rainbow splatters across my face, and the sandy feet.

“Excuse me, ma’am, but what gives you the impression we are lost, confused, or in the complete wrong place? I am the Chief of Police in Forks, Washington, and I will not accept disrespect from anyone,” He asked the lady in a teasingly indignant tone.

She stammered, “Uh, no, I was merely, sorry, sir, I-”

“That’s quite alright,” Charlie said kindly. “See you later,” He waved goodbye and led me to the elevator.

Once the golden doors closed behind us, we looked at each other and erupted with laughter.

“Dad…you…are…AWESOME…” I exclaimed between fits of laughter.

He couldn’t reply, he was laughing to hard.

But really, there wasn’t anything funny. Yet somehow, everything was.

When the elevator reached our floor and opened its doors, we tried to calm down.

Of course, it took us until we walk down the hall and around the corner for us to really stop laughing.

Charlie chose that moment to let out his emotions, a random event that I had only seen a few times. “I’m glad we came here together, Bells,”

It was quiet in the hallway. I smiled at him. “Me too, Dad,”

He gave me an awkward, one armed hug. “Love ya, kiddo,”

I blushed, mirroring my father. “Yeah, right back at you,”

I wish this vacation hadn’t ended.