When I found out I was going to be leaving the area for a very long time there was something I insisted on doing first.
It involved making sure that a very good friend get a badly needed and well deserved vacation. And the only way I figured I could make sure this would happen was if I joined her.
(Truth be told...I needed a mental break as well. Anticipating this big change coming up and doing all that needs to be done to get there has taken its toll. So I needed a break too. Not as badly as she did...but still...it was a dirty job and someone had to do it. I nominated myself.)
So we went to San Diego for a long weekend. We did not stay at the Hotel del Coronado. But we enjoyed hanging out there.
The grounds were amazing. As was the lobby. The people watching. And the mojitos. Oh those mojitos. I will dream of those mojitos when I am in the dry dessert.
This gal remembered how to relax and enjoy herself.
We also enjoyed the grounds of Balboa Park.
The plants in the Botanical Museum posed for us.
The pitcher plant didn't look as deadly as it is.
The buildings were stunning. We went to the zoo at the park as well. I didn't take any pictures at the zoo. Maybe the zoo was a little much after all the other wonderful sights. Honestly, watching the people at the zoo was as interesting as the animals. Except the pandas, which were cool though we only peeked at them because we didn't want to stand in line so we sort of cheated and looked in the exit.
The free views in Balboa park were just as incredible as the zoo. What a lovely public facility. While at the park we saw tons of wedding parties. The coolest was the gangster wedding with grooms in zoot suits and hot cruising cars. And they were serious...not theme dressing.
We went to Hotel Del Coronado two evenings actually. For the mojitos. And the people watching. We also went to Little Italy one evening for a delicious dinner and then some live music. I don't have pictures. Trust me. It was a happening place.
I got warm sand between my toes. Felt like vacation.
We wandered into a cool courtyard on the Island.
We took a road trip to a military cemetary.
Jill found her great grandfather's headstone.
I was rendered speachless by the number of headstones. I touched each one I walked by sending a silent "thank you" into the ground.
No other words were needed. At least these (mostly) men have a beautiful place to rest.
We continued our road trip to Mission San Luis Rei.
I did not get pictures of the beautiful grounds, the very old church where inside I sat quietly and considered the stations of the cross, the art, the relics. Thank you Jesus. And Mary while I'm at it. There was a beautiful cemetary on the grounds as well. Again, I sent silent messages into the ground. I read many of the headstones and considered so many lives. The babies were difficult. Their special section was dedicated to the "Holy Inoocents."
We also squeezed in some time at little shops along the waterfront (we did really good on not actually buying much. For once that was easy for me since I am getting rid of my home (for a while) and so many things I have collected...the last thing I wanted to do was get anything more to deal with.
Then there were the hours just laying out by the pool. There was the brave moment (for me) when we accepted the invitation from some men staying at the hotel long term to join them by the pool for drinks and conversation before we headed out for the evening. I think I was propositioned ("are you and your friend sharing the same room tonight?") and I was also insulted. Something about thinking I would appreciate the Cougar winery, and he wasn't referring to WSU. Anyway, I survived this encounter with men, which for me is alien territory. Helped to have confident and charming Jill at the table.
So many memories to remember.
Mostly now I'm thinking how much I wish I were still on vacation. And even more, how fortunate I am to have had this time.