When I awoke at our friends’ house in Ramona, California, I walked into their kitchen/living room and took a deep, blissful breath. Debra, Eb, and their youngest daughter live on the top of a hill which overlooks the surrounding beauty- mountains, horses, gardens, you name it. All beautiful. I’m such a sucker for mountains, since I’ve lived in the plains my whole life. The shadows that the sun and clouds cast on them is always unique, and I love how the fog rolls in and around them. Not to mention the sunrises and sunsets… ahhh….
I made some coffee and sat in the cool morning breeze catching up with Debra until the sun rose enough to warm us, and the kids were rousing as well. We had decided that today would be a beach day, and I was so excited about that! The boys had only been to one beach before, Galveston. It was last year and though they had had fun, it was a cloudy day and there were dead fish, tons of seaweed, and… it was Galveston. Not much to write home about. Needless to say, they had no idea the gift we were about to give them.
We packed up and left around 11am and drove about an hour to La Jolla Beach, just north of San Diego. I had been to this beach before, a couple of years ago. It’s a great one! It was right at lunch time, and we were hungry, so we parked and walked down the street to a local restaurant. (Side note: I noticed right away they had an espresso bar attached to it. That may or may not have influenced my decision-making for lunch.)
We grabbed our stuff and headed to the beach. It was a PERFECT day. It was warm, but not hot. The water was cool, but not cold (as the Pacific can be). There weren’t many people out. We just had the best afternoon splashing, wading, boogie boarding, fighting waves, and playing in the sand. Philip got his “buried in the sand” badge as a father, and of course then all the boys had to get buried completely as well. So much fun!
We wore ourselves out, and Philip actually made the comment that that was THE BEST time he had ever had as a family. No phones (except mine to take pictures) to distract us from one another. Fully present. Fully alive.
We grabbed coffees (me, mocha; Philip, caramel latte, not too sweet) at our lunch place and drove back to Ramona. To my surprise, the boys wanted to jump in their freezing pool! So they did! And they swam for another 3 hours! We turned the spa on, and they boys played around in there because it just got too chilly once the sun went down, and the adults all joined, but us with a glass of wine. 🙂
Finally we sent the kids to bed and we went to bed ourselves, with smiles of gratitude on our faces and joy bursting in our hearts, knowing that they had a fantastic love-filled day, and we did too.
My morning started much the same: coffee, patio, cool morning conversation with my sweet friend who also homeschooled for many years her 3 daughters. She and her husband are both Danish, so she wanted to make Danish pancakes for the boys that morning. The boys LOVED them! They are a mix between large pancakes and crepes, and you fill them with jam or syrup or whatever, roll them up and sprinkle them with powdered sugar. YUM.
Philip planned this day for a work day, so as he got busy with that, I did a load of laundry, worked on the blog and relaxed a bit. The boys needed a day of rest as well, but they wanted to swim first. So they swam for another few hours!
Later that afternoon, Debra’s daughter (15 yrs) and I went to their local tennis club and played a match together. She’s been playing for a couple of years, and it was such a treat for me to get to play! And after 2 weeks of roadtripping, my body sure needed the exercise! (She beat me, by the way 6-3, 6-4). 🙂
When we got home, the boys wanted to swim again, so they swam until dinner, we drank some more wine and watched the full moon rise over the mountainside. Glorious beauty. We bathed the boys (finally), had a delicious dinner, and went to bed.
This day I got some good reading in in the morning, as Debra decided to sleep in, which was fine by me. These morning reading times are almost sacred as the boys are the ages they are, and we have a busy, full life.
We got everything packed up and prepared to make our drive into Tucson, AZ.
We left around lunch time, but wanted to get some miles in, so we stopped about 30 mins down the road in Winter Gardens, just south of Lakeside, had some lunch from our cooler, and found a local coffee shop, KaffeeMeister. It was decent.
Then we started on our LONG driving journey. I’ll be honest. It was boring. It was tiring. We found a place for dinner that was awesome though! Harvest in Oro Valley, north of Tucson. All fresh, all delicious! We found our hotel and crashed.