Finally! Back in southern California!
It's been about four years, believe it or not. Basically since right before the wedding. I couldn't wait to go 'home' again. Even if the concept of where home is is complicated.
I had hoped to go in March of 2014 but we got sidetracked with a surprise trip to San Francisco, which delayed us by a year. The 'official' purpose of our trip was to clean out the small storage unit I've been paying for since December 2009. Back when I first left on my world voyage, I put my MINI and enough stuff away for my return in "six months or so" (which kinda' ended up being Gilligan's Island time - three-hour tour!). The idea was that I could pick up where I left off quickly and easily. I guess life got in the way...fortunately.
We flew from Barcelona to London and then onto Los Angeles and made an immediate beeline down to San Diego to stay with my good friend Dave. We were pretty beat our first evening so he cooked us up a nice dinner and we all hung out, played with his dog Miles, and caught up on a few years of life.
The next morning it was off to breakfast (if you know me, a verrrry important thing) at a local hot spot then we took a nice long walk along the beach. It was so nice to be back in sunny, warm, and very not humid California!
On Monday morning, it was off to meet up with an old workmate Bruce. Of course I had to give him a box of maple-glazed doughnuts for old-times' sake. I also met some randoms to sell off a bunch of the items I had in the storage unit. Actually, meeting people in parking lots to sell them stuff was a recurring theme during the trip. The parking-lot thing is like selling on eBay except with none of the convenience.
After our work for the day was done, Diana and I went over to nearby La Jolla, which is arguably one of the most beautiful places on earth. The view near La Jolla cove:
And no trip to La Jolla would be complete without a big-ole-Mexi lunch (with margaritas!!!) at Jose's Court Room. Paradise!
Dinner that night was with Ruma and her daughter Nicole who had visited us a year or so ago in Barcelona. Actually, visiting, eating, and catching up with friends was maybe tied for first with parking-lot rendezvous. Dinner with Jim and Maria was another night but I can't remember which. Can I say how much I missed all my friends!
Another reason for the trip was to renew my driver's license. We rented a car at LAX but could only keep it for part of the time as my old license had an expiration date in the middle of the trip. Because of this, we had to go back up to LAX and trade the car for another. This ten-minute transaction required almost 200 miles of driving!
Because of the work-like nature of lot of the trip, I made sure we did something fun and/or touristy every day. The day we had to change cars, we went to Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles. This short street, which looks like something out of Mexico, is where L.A. supposedly started.
And, the fun didn't end here. The next morning we woke up and headed down to Ensenada, Mexico, where I lived for about 18 months back in the late 90s, to visit my good friend Eduardo and his family. To be continued...