Karyssa and I spent the day looking at wedding venues with my sister-in-law, Marianne, her fiance' Andrew and Marianne's friend Anna. We had a great time and joined the hikers for dinner that evening.
The following day, we departed Flagstaff for a long but very scenic drive to San Diego. Along the way, we all somehow neglected to think about filling up the gas tank! As the needle plummeted to "E" and after I freaked out way more than necessary, miraculously a gas station appeared literally out of nowhere. What a relief!
San Diego holds a lot of great memories for our family as we took the kids there many times over the years. We were feeling nostalgic and thought it would be great to vacation this year somewhere familiar since Karyssa will be getting married soon and this was to be our last summer vacation before the big day.
We opted to forego the typical things we've done in the past like the Zoo, Sea World and Wild Animal Park (now called San Diego Zoo Safari) because we wanted to do some new things this time now that the kids are grown. So, we ventured into the Pacific in kayaks! Unfortunately, Karyssa got seasick and didn't have much fun. Jim and I had a great time but no one enjoyed it more than A.J. He was the kayak king! On another day, he and Jim went deep sea fishing while Karyssa and I got massages. We did keep some traditions like eating at the Old Town Mexican Cafe and going to Coronado Island and also going to Seal Beach in La Jolla.
Whenever we go to San Diego, we try to meet up with my friend of over 30 years, Holly, her husband Anatole and their boys Ethan and Joshua. They invited us to their home in Carlsbad for a BBQ and then brought their fire pit to the beach near their house so we could have a bon fire, something I had told her I've always wanted to do! Holly invited several of their friends and their kids to join us. It was an evening of great conversation, s'mores, kids playing in the sand and the calming effect of the ocean waves crashing on the beach. What more could we have asked for? As we talked about the trip on the way home, we all agreed that this night was one of the highlights for sure.
The thing that struck me the most about this vacation was the perspectives on life that my children have now that they are young adults. Karyssa is planning a future and A.J.is becoming a man. These shifts in responsibilty and maturity came through loud and clear as they saw a familiar city through new eyes. I love going on trips like this with them because although we are close already, there's nothing like a long drive and undivided attention to strengthen a relationship. I'm so blessed.
|Jim and A.J. on the Humphries hike|
|A.J. lovin' life!|
|A.J. deep sea fishing|
|Jim on the beach in front of the Hotel del Coronado|
|Seal Beach in La Jolla Cove|
|Karyssa and I shopping at Horton Plaza before our massages|
|Me and my friend Holly - it was early June so I was cold, thus the big warm sweatshirt!|
|All four of us chillin' at the beach by the bon fire|