Also while I was there, my Dad indulged me in what was termed The List. I made a list of all the things I wanted to do while we were out there. Things that we did every summer we visited. Things that reminded me of my awesome family and my childhood. Why was this a big deal? I'm the youngest of five children. While most people are rolling their eyes and thinking that I was probably spoiled...they'd be right. HOWEVER! Very rarely did I get to choose the where, the when and the what. So rare, in fact, it never actually happened.
So, my parents, eldest sister and myself rented a hotel room and car. I figured since I was paying a lot of money for that hotel room (which I didn't pick out), I ought to have some say in what happens while we are out there. Don't think that I went crazy, I didn't. Like I mentioned before, all the things I wanted to do reminded me of family. We were out there for Grandma first and foremost.
The List went as follows:
-Shopping at Seaport Villiage
-Go to San Diego LDS Temple
-Eat rolled tacos at El Puerto
-Go to the beach at sunset
-Take a picture of Coronado Bridge
See? A simple list. We stayed downtown, and a lot of the family happenings were further inland. My family seemed pretty on board with the whole deal, which made me extremely happy.
After we got things settled with the funeral home for the service, my family went to the San Diego LDS Temple. Now, those of you who have never been or don't know what the temple is, you can go here ---> LDS Temples for some more information.
|Photo I took outside on the grounds.|
|That's me. Hi!|
Ever since is was built, I have been in love with this place. It's so beautiful. When you are inside, you can truly feel God's love and peace. It's amazing. And I got to share that with my family! Score for me. What made it even more wonderful, is the sense that my Grandma was with us. It truly was beautiful and awe inspiring. It's a really neat experience to have, going to the Temple. One I've had on numerous occasions. But, going with my family was super special for me. It was perfect.
After we went back to the hotel and changed our clothes (you go to the Temple in your Sunday best), we went to the next place on my list...El Puerto!
What can I say about El Puerto? It's small. It's dirty. It's a little sketchy. It's AMAZEBALLS! They have the best rolled tacos in the entire world. Well, I can't honestly say the entire world, but they have the best rolled tacos in my world. They are seriously roll-your-eyes-in-the-back-of-your-head good.
Oh. My. Yum.
I might have bought two orders.
After rolled taco overload, I needed to walk, so we ventured back downtown. Drove around a bit looking for an ice cream place. (Yeah, I know) There were several in the Gas Lamp District, but all the parking was miles away. So, off to Seaport Village!
As fate would have it, they have a lovely ice cream shop right there in the Village. Seaport is really touristy, with loads of tchotchkes to buy (if that's your wish). I like walking around and looking in the stores. It's right on the bay, so you have the boats coming and going. You have every nationality visiting the area, so it feels like Disneyland, but more subtle. There are parks and sitting areas, street performers and musicians, tourist, homebodies and business people. It's fun to go relax and enjoy the atmosphere by just taking it all in. People watching galore! We also saw some Navy Seals boating through the bay. It was neat. Also, Coronado Bridge happens to be right there. Holler!
|My parents and me. We're cute|
|Street Performer. He was pretty cool|
|My sister, Rachel with my Dad and me|
|My cute parents. They are so adorable!|
If you guys know my Dad at all, you know how hard it was to convince him to take this many pictures. He doesn't like the camera pointed at him. I kept telling him I was documenting for the sake of The List, and he calmed down and indulged me.
The following day, we had my Grandma's funeral. Like I said, it was beautifully perfect. Our family stayed with each other most of the day. It was so good catching up with each other. Going back to my Dad's old house he grew up in, which is now owned by one of my cousins, reminded me of all the fun times we had when we were kids. It was also way awesome to be reminded of how friggin' hilarious my family is. Man, my cousins will make you wet your pants from laughter.
It was getting time to mark the last thing off my list. I still needed my sunset pic. So, we went to Coronado Island. *insert heavenly angels singing* I love Coronado. I'd live there. For real. Anyone want to buy me a house there? Or La Jolla? No? Ok, then.
We went shopping, took some pictures, wasted some time until sunset.
|Rachel and me|
Then, oh boy, did San Diego give me a sunset. It was gorgeous. The weather was beautiful the entire time we were out there. I'm not sure I could have asked for more perfect weather. Cool, slightly breezy and sunny! We went further south of Coronado to Silver Strand Beach...then this happened:
|Can you believe my phone took this?!|
|I mean, come on! Postcard anyone?|
Now, I love a good Texas sunset, but I haven't seen anything that can rival a California one. Now, granted, I haven't been all over the world. I know there are other beautiful places...I'm just talking about my small little piece of the world. There is something truly spiritual about a sunset. Especially when it's on a quiet beach, with your peeps. Man, oh man.
|That's me again. I had to document...again.|
I learned a lot on this trip. Just let me tell you, family is what it's all about. Whatever kind of family you have (friends, co-workers, blood relatives or any combo of the aforementioned). I realized after this particular night, how right everything felt. How "at home" I felt. I realized that is was the people I was with, the setting was a bonus, that made it home. It was awesome. For the first time in a really long time, my heart was full and stress free. I found I needed to bond with my family in this way. I found that, though I have known it my whole life, my parents really are some of the most wonderful people ever made. I learned a lot about my Grandma and what an amazing person she was. I also got the opportunity to really bond with my sister. All of us kids are best friends, but it was nice for it to be just our parents and us. I found that though my Grandma's death was sad, it was in no way the end. Through her, her family got to come together again and be a family just they way she liked it...happy, laughing, and everyone together...and eating! This trip to San Diego settled my soul and helped me realize all the things that matter: Family, togetherness, being close to Heavenly Father, seeing beauty everywhere, and remembering where you come from so you can know where you've been and where you're going. For a small time everything was a little perfect. Well, perfect for me.
On the flight home, I was looking out the window of the plane and saw this very fitting goodbye:
|Where the clouds are is the ocean. It was so incredible!|