18 July 2006

California Trip

To explain why I went to California: My friends Ryan and Maggie wanted to take me along to watch their daughter Grace while they attended a wedding in Temecula, California. We spent the entire weekend driving around the San Diego area. I met Maggie's childhood friends, conversed freely with strangers, stayed in the home of a friend's friend's grandmother, walked a California beach, ate lots of fish, and much more in the space of three days.

Thursday night I drove to Maggie and Ryan's house after women's Bible study and spent the night. Friday morning, we drove to the airport before dawn with their two sleepy (or sleeping) children -- Grace (three years) and Caroline (three months). I was pulled aside in the airport and thoroughly searched -- yeah, because I look so suspicious -- and no sooner did I get on the plane then one of the flight stewards was flirting with me. Like a good Christian woman, I smiled politely and thanked him for the "extra attention" instead of punching his lights out. The flight was uneventful, but I looked out the window for the longest time, drawing in poetic inspiration. (I'll publish the poem in a separate post.)

We arrived in San Diego late that morning and Ryan picked up a rental car. Before heading to Temecula, Ryan and Maggie took me to San Clemente where they used to live when Ryan was stationed at Camp Pendleton. We ate lunch at Antione's Cafe, where Maggie had worked as a waitress, and went to the beach to take some pictures. Ryan and Maggie had a couple of hours to get ready for the wedding once we arrived at our hotel. Maggie took baby Caroline with her while Grace stayed with me in the hotel. We ate California pizza, read four books, and then I tucked her in bed. I nodded off not long after.

The next morning, Grace was up chattering to three very drowsy adults. We spent the morning in the breakfast room of the hotel conversing with the people from the wedding party. I didn't talk much, but particularly enjoyed listening to the bride's sister, Kimee, and her new husband, Dustin, talk about their travels to Thailand and an upcoming trip to Burma to film a documentary about the genocide taking place there. Another young couple joined us, who had just returned from a trip to Italy. My kind of people.

For lunch the group headed for In-and-Out, a burger joint found only in California, before going to Mission Beach (just north of San Diego Int'l Airport and south of La Jolla). We stayed out there for several hours, watching Dustin teach Ryan how to surf. Thankfully, Ryan didn't drown himself. A Californian beach is an interesting place to watch people -- I don't think I've ever seen that much bare skin is so little square mileage. It took me a while to feel comfortable in a pair of shorts and tank top, but I can't even imagine... ugh. I had fun taking pictures of sea gulls, collecting sea shells, and watching aged hippies.

That night, we stayed at the bride's grandmother's house in San Diego. Kimee and Dustin lived in the house behind her, so we all hung out in the backyard, grilling fresh-caught sand bass for dinner. One of the bridesmaids had brought her 12-year-old sister with her. She seemed a little bored in the company of adults, so I struck up a conversation with her. By the end of the night we were laughing over a large piece of watermelon, telling stories, and hugging each other goodbye.

Ryan, Maggie, the girls, and I left early Friday morning for the airport and arrived home around 5 PM. My dad picked me up at their house and I crashed in bed when I got home.

So that's my California trip: I found myself having fun in the company of total strangers -- in no comfort zone whatsoever -- and loving it. I fell in love with California and wish I could move there.

SAN CLEMENTE



MISSION BEACH -- SAN DIEGO







10 Comments:

At 18 July, 2006 16:23, Blogger ~*Joyzey*~ said...

Sounds like a lot of fun. That story almost makes me want to go someday,... almost. ;)

 
At 18 July, 2006 16:42, Blogger Carey said...

Almost? Bummer, I need to work on my persuasion skills.

 
At 18 July, 2006 18:15, Blogger Barbara said...

OOOOOOHHH! I want to go back - wait - hear the Beach Boys in the distance!

 
At 18 July, 2006 18:19, Blogger Carey said...

Oh no... she's having flashbacks again...

 
At 18 July, 2006 18:24, Blogger Redeemed said...

Sounds like you had quite the eventful trip in just three days! California is a beautiful place, I knew you'd have a blast.

Oh, Sarah is now thinking about the post you will putting on your blog concerning your Montreal trip :) yay!

 
At 18 July, 2006 20:01, Blogger The IBEX Scribe said...

Please don't try to make me homesick! In-N-Out is the best fast food in the world. I love it and really wish they had it out here. And if you want to see bare skin concentrated even more than any California beach, go to Waikiki during the summer. There's as much bare skin as there is sand there, if not more.

 
At 19 July, 2006 12:44, Blogger Carey said...

Umm... I think I'll pass on Waikki Beach...

 
At 19 July, 2006 16:25, Blogger Carey said...

*Waikiki

 
At 23 July, 2006 14:56, Blogger Palm boy said...

Weddings...

I love the sun on the water picture.

And allow me to say thank you for not including the pictures of the ageing hippies.

 
At 24 July, 2006 17:19, Blogger Carey said...

*laughs* That would be a waste of space on my memory card.

 

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