Sunday, July 19, 2015

Back In Southern California! - Part 2

After going to the Grand Canyon and Vegas, Diana and I were happy to be leaving the California-Arizona-Nevada desert and going "home" to Oceanside again.

You really can't beat San Diego, and Oceanside in particular, for the scenery and weather! The view north from the Oceanside Pier:

We stayed with my long-time friends Chuck and Gail for the last four or five nights in California. I've know these guys for over 20 years and it was so comforting to hang out again. Even though I haven't seen them for like four years, it took seconds to connect.

Mandatory Beach Break Cafe breakfast with Chuck and Gail (so nice to be back):

Our last few days were a whirlwind of activity. I sold off, donated, or threw out what was left in storage and was happy to leave the unlocked and empty unit behind. As I mentioned in part one of Back In Southern California, cleaning out made me realize yet again that I don't really want to accumulate things ever again. The bitter sweetness of no longer having as much stuff and the realization of what all that stuff originally cost is a complicated feeling for me to this day.

Anyway, it wasn't all heavy. I was happy to play tourist with Diana in my old, long-time hometown. This even included, believe it or not, attending Sunday-morning mass at Oceanside's San Luis Rey Mission with Chuck and Gail.

We have lots of luck when it comes to seeing the pope. The coolest part of going to the mission that day was running into Frank and taking selfies! Of course we invited him to come visit us in Barcelona.

On our last night in California, a bunch of friends met us for dinner in a local Carlsbad place where we caught up over margaritas. So many friends who absolutely need to come visit us in Barcelona before the wind one day carries us somewhere else!!!

The day we left, Dave came over to say goodbye and took Diana for a quick motorcycle ride through the local hills. Diana was all smiles as I think she was a Harley rider in a past life. Actually, I think that if we lived in California, you'd find her with her own ride!

Sadly, but full with happy memories, we packed the rental car and made the drive to LAX for our flight to Barcelona.

Spontaneously on the way, I called another long-time friend, John, who lives and works right near the airport, to see if he could meet us. John was the other gringo in the team when I moved down to southern Mexico almost twenty years ago. He said yes and about 30 minutes later, we were catching up at Starbucks in the departures area. We haven't seen each other for maybe ten years. It was a nice bonus to the end our California visit.

Thanks to Dave, Chuck, and Gail for opening your houses for Diana and me. Thanks to all the friends we were able to meet up with during our brief stay. Sorry to those with whom our schedules didn't mesh. Next time for sure.

And finally, if you haven't visited us, it's time. Get your butt in plane and do it.

Thanks again California (and Mexico) and see you soon.

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