Sunny San Diego

In desperate need of laundry, good sleep, and family time, we made it to sunny San Diego. The weather alone seemed like a refuge after the oppressive heat in Vegas and surrounds – with temps about 20-30 degrees cooler during the day, we were in heaven. On top of that, a beautiful sunset of oranges, yellows, and purples greeted us, and we let our guards down to have another vacation from our vacation.

Our timing brought us to the Thomson house in Rancho Bernardo in the final few days of summer vacation for our nieces and nephew. After sleeping in, we all packed into the van to head to Oceanside Harbor for some brief beach time (also doubling as a birthday party for a friend of the two eldest girls). It was great to sample a part of the Pacific Coast that isn’t quite as numbing as some spots up north (ahem, Oregon).

Despite the chilly water, we made our way into the waves... but didn’t completely submerge! We warmed up on the beach while watching our talented nieces, all gymnasts who can easily do back walkovers and handsprings at the water’s edge. Also entertaining was our nephew’s insisting on building a sandcastle, then promptly destroying it, with uncle Loren.

The next day, we made it to Point Loma, which is a peninsula to the west of San Diego. With views of the cityscape and Coronado Island to the east, and to the west, views of the Pacific which are probably prime during whale watching season (Feb). A stop at the lighthouse and some tidepool exploration capped off our visit.

This rock looks like a camera.

From there, we broke with the group and went for lunch at a bar/restaurant near the park called Sessions Public, where we enjoyed happy hour specials on food and drink. A bit of indulgence (read: duck summer rolls) and overindulgence (read: calamari) put us over the edge, forcing us to nap before heading out on the town again for dinner.

After our breather, we headed back downtown to Little Italy, where we happened upon a tasty restaurant, Buon Appetito, and later met up with friends at the most hipster bar we’d ever seen, Craft and Commerce. Taxidermy animals hung from the walls and ceilings, the bartenders wore suspenders, and they have a strict no-vodka and no-ketchup rule throughout the establishment. We ate it right up, even if it was a little overkill here and there.

Despite staying out late, we kept to our plan of visiting the nieces’ gymnastics practice before heading next door for some gym time of our own, to climb. Our youngest niece accompanied us and eventually became the focus of most of the gym, because she was both small and fearless! To say we were proud is an understatement. Once the older girls finished their gym session, they also joined in on the action, again with an audience exclaiming their natural ability and fearlessness. If they ever decide to stop with gymnastics, they could definitely pick up climbing!

Morgan showing off her chalking-up skills

That evening we grilled burgs and drank margs with a mishmash crowd, which included Loren’s high school geometry teacher (the short story is that the teacher’s daughter is Loren’s sister’s best friend from high school, who was also visiting).

We wrapped up our stay with a lazy morning, including watching the most recent episode of Project Runway and painting nails. It was such a relaxed visit, and so good to see the Thomsons, that leaving seemed unthinkable. But we turned North to head up the coast, taking solace in the fact that we'll soon return.