Once upon a time, I almost moved to San Diego.
I'd just finished grad school and was looking for a change... a fresh start. I was drawn to the year round perfect weather in San Diego and had a friend and an aunt that lived there. But, in the end, I chickened out. I can't imagine living far from my dad, plus there are some awesome things about Minnesota that I worry I won't find elsewhere. The weather isn't one of them, but trust me... lots of great things about Minnesota.
I've come to accept that I will be in Minnesota for the foreseeable future. And, I'm glad I didn't move since it was in Minnesota that I met my husband... and then had my daughter. I can't imagine an alternative life without them. So you could say that it all worked out in the end.
Jesse and I talk about moving to Oregon, and I hope one day we have the guts to do so, but San Diego still speaks to me sometimes. I once had a massage therapist that didn't really know me, and yet seemed to know me so well (if that makes sense). She told me that she sensed that I need to be by the water. She was right - I've always felt that pull. Perhaps that is why both Oregon, and California appeal to me. I find so much peace and comfort in the warmth of the sun, the sand under my feet, and the sound of the waves washing upon the shore.
In the meantime, since I won't be moving anytime soon, I visit these places and take a gazillion pictures as if they could help bring me back there, reliving a brief moment in time.
I'd been trying to plan a family vacation with my husband and daughter to San Diego, but it didn't work for this past year. Instead, an opportunity arose recently to go with my dad to see my aunt and cousins. My 89 year old dad wanted to see his little sister and isn't one to travel such distances on his own. As soon as he mentioned it, I offered up my traveling companion services and off we went.
We stayed near my aunt's nursing home which meant we were a good 20 minutes from the beach, but we drove to the coast (or nearby) each morning to get in a walk and take in the scenery. I couldn't go to San Diego and not see the ocean. My dad loved it. I loved it. After four days of this schedule, I have to admit that I miss my morning walk with my dad, ocean or not.
After our daily walk, we'd visit with my aunt all day, head back to our hotel and walk to a local restaurant for dinner. The evenings were often capped off by sitting on the balcony, or in my dad's case, walking it from one end of the hotel to the other. We went out to eat with my cousins and I got to connect with a friend I hadn't seen in 15 years... since my last visit to California. I thought five days for this trip might feel too long, but I was wrong - I could have stayed much longer.
We came home refreshed and comforted. We got to see our family and experience what a nice place my aunt is living in. The weather was perfect (while it was 90 and stormy back in Minnesota). The people of San Diego were so friendly everywhere we went. Seriously, everyone was so nice. And I got to spend quality time with my dad. I feel so grateful that we can take trips like this together still - I hope we have more adventures in our future.
Before I left on this trip, my husband reminded me that our plan is to move to Oregon one day and that I am not to fall in love with San Diego again. He knows I have a fondness for this place. If I can just get him to visit with me next time...