California Girl

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, and catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  ~Mark Twain

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We recently took a little weekend trip to San Diego for my very dear friend’s wedding. There is nothing like a complete change of scenery to light up your soul. We were only gone for two and a half days, but each moment refreshed our perspectives. And, we brought summer heat back here to the midwest. You’re welcome.

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First of all, the MSP airport is SO. TECHY. There are iPads at all the gates, for travelers like us to use while we wait. Armed with coffees and liters of fiji water (fancy, I know), we embarked on the first airplane trip since our honeymoon two years ago!

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Immediately after we picked up our va-va-voomy supercharged Dodge Charger, we headed up the coast and stopped for lunch at my aunt’s restaurant near the Del Mar race track, Red Tracton’s. She treated us to the most glorious lunch of lobster bisque, shrimp, steak sandwiches, and coffee chocolate ice cream. I mean, I was liking this California business.

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Then, beach time. I think maybe my spirit animal is a conch shell or sea turtle or maybe a starfish washed ashore. The air feels salty, fresh, and slightly sticky, but not like midwestern humidity. It’s softer, like the waves have washed the breeze for hours in the sunshine before it gets to me.

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We forgot beach towels, but remembered swim suits. I waded into the ocean up to my waist. I let the waves crash into my back as I watched the surfers ride their boards into the concavity of 10 footers and coast (I imagine they were hanging ten…) toward the sands of South Carlsbad beach, with the firelight-sunset illuminating their silhouettes.

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That night there was Carne Asada, tortillas, fish tacos, and great company.

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The wedding was at a {surprise} mountain location. All the guests were shuttled to the loveliest ranch atop the mountains outside of Pala. I’m not from a mountain-laden landscape, so I don’t want you to picture the Alps or anything. These were graceful, rolling, and brown. Slightly craggy and rugged, the hill-mountainsides were dotted with orange and lemon groves.

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So much love was shared that day. I feel blessed to have been part and witness to Michelle and Tom’s vows and celebration.

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And, we made new friends. Believe it or not, other midwesterners found their way to California. Amid all the newness and salty coasty air and sea foam and different road names and dry desert, it feels so good to connect to home. We met new friends who know what it means to eatsleepandbreathe Packer season, where Waupaca is, and how every Wisconsin family gathering ends with a pan of your mom’s famous dessert bars, passed around the table.

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Just prior to heading home on Sunday, we had a little extra time and consequently found a cool brewery in the old Mission Brewery building, called Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment. Naturally, we had to check it out. We tried and loved some award winners!

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Our flight home was just long enough to start two different movies and read a book (The Fault in our Stars. Side bar – If you have yet to read this poignant tale, stop reading this post and pick up a copy. Laugh/cry/love, repeat.). We flew over the Grand Canyon in all its grandeur, the Rockies in their rockstar glory, and the plains, which are, well, plain.

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Even if just for a weekend away, make time to travel with your loved ones. We never regret spending money to travel. We were refreshed and happy after exploring this new-to-us So-Cal situation, and definitely appreciated the time away from the regularity of our daily work/school lives.  There is much beauty, waiting to be seen, in our world!

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“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

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