church planting, vacation

San Diego

You know those vacations that are so tiring you feel like you need a vacation from vacation? That was so NOT how our getaway to San Diego felt.San Diego is just one of those incredible cities to visit. So many different descriptions are needed to sum up its diversity {port city, mountainous, beach, year-round 70 degree weather, historical, modern, cultural center, bustling, relaxed, green, military installation}.Not wanting to waste any time, we pulled out of our driveway at 6:15am on Saturday morning. Besides the usual fuel/restroom breaks, our only stop along the way was Dateland where we both tried a date shake for the first time. It was fruity, sweet and understated. Definitely a do-over, although next time I think I’d like to taste a cactus shake.

Our trek led us over constantly changing terrain. We drove through flat desert, sand dunes, agricultural fields, historical and lonely Yuma, and mountains covered in boulders and scrub brush. Along one stretch of highway we could see the fence on the Mexican border. Several times we had to stop at checkpoints monitored by the Border Patrol and State Police.I love road trips. The long road stretching out to the horizon is exciting with the adventure of it all. We arrived at our condo around lunch time, and found a cozy little haven for our trio. It was a one bedroom, one bath condo in the basement of someone’s home. It had a kitchenette, laundry room, living room, and an outdoor patio with a swing hanging under the grape arbor. There was a grassy yard for Silas to enjoy and an upper deck where we could view the city. A happy Craigslist find.Balboa Park was our first destination. I had so looked forward to the Japanese Friendship Garden. In my mind, I had imagined acres and acres of winding garden paths, lily pad ponds, exotic flowers, and GREEN! To my dismay, the garden was about as twice the size of our house and it had construction all around. It was the one major disappointment of the trip for me. {In their defense, the garden has just only begun, so it will be expanding in area soon.} The outdoor amphitheater for the large pipe organ was incredible. Most of the architecture was the old Spanish stonework that takes your breath away. We meandered through the botanical garden, walked past the carillion, and took in the vibe of southern California. The day was warm, but refreshing to us desert rats. After crab cakes and fish tacos at Mitch’s Seafood, we shopped at Coronado Island’s Ferry Landing and drank in the sunset and cool breeze coming off the harbor.{By all means, please keep your knees off the grass!}Sunday we visited Metro Baptist Church, a church planted by Tim and Eileen Sneeden on Point Loma in 2010. We had visited the Sneedens in 2009 when we took our survey trip to see which ministry we should be a part of. Metro Baptist is now meeting in the cafeteria of an elementary school, and we enjoyed worshiping with them and seeing Pastor Tim and Eileen again.

That afternoon we were both giddy with excitement as we headed out to tour the aircraft carrier USS Midway. Yes, we’re both a little quirky when it comes to history. I think my favorite part was learning about the chiefs, the highest ranking enlisted men, and how they were/are treated so well out of honor for their hard-earned position and experience. Here are a few of the many snapshots we took.Unfortunately, by the time we reached the flight deck, it was too late in the day to tour the conning tower and bridge. But, we had seen so much and were both very footsore, so it wasn’t too much of a disappointment. After recharging and feeding a very hungry baby boy, we decided to tour the Maritime Museum as well. The admission fee granted us entrance to six vessels, the HMS Surprise {a replica 18th C. sailing ship used in the movie Master and Commander–starring Russell Crowe, whom I have recently discovered is my favorite actor},the Star of India {the real-deal 19th C. sailing vessel that carried emigrants to New Zealand},a Cold War era Russian submarine, the USS Dolphin {an American research sub}, the Californian, and the Berkeley. We had hoped that the below-decks area of the HMS Surprise would have been more authentic to the 18th C. times, but it housed more modern exhibits about movies featuring the Pacific Ocean. The Russian B-39 sub was cool but the most primitive sub I’ve ever toured. Of course it’s hard to imagine the cramped lifestyle of sailors on any sub, but the Russians didn’t even attempt to make it liveable. {Here’s the head, for example.} There were four small circular hatches that divided the sub into compartments. It was tough to squeeze through with Silas strapped to me!

The Star of India was ornate and beautiful at sunset.

Monday morning was beach time! We opted for the beach in Torrey Pines State Reserve. The water was chilly, and the sky foggy, but the fog eventually burned off throughout the morning. Silas didn’t like the waves, but he fell in love with the sand! At first, he crawled on his hands and feet because he didn’t want his knees to touch the sand. He was like a little crab making tracks in the sand.I built a sand castle, we watched the surfers, strolled along the beach, and stood in the surf. Neither Stephen nor I felt like getting down in the cold water, but we did come back with matching sunburns!

The rest of the day was spent touring Old Town San Diego and shopping in Seaport Village. We chose the San Diego Pier Cafe for supper and concluded our night with some coffee and cheesecake in a quaint book shop and a walk along the harbor.Not wanting our vacation to end, we tried to squeeze as much into Tuesday as we could. The day began with a walk along Mission Beach. This beach was a popular spot for surfers who were entertaining to watch. It also had a lot more seaweed than where we had been before. We returned to Old Town for lunch, then drove through Little Italy and the Gas Lamp Quarter {we’ll have to save those for future San Diego explorations}, and finally wound up at Venissimo Cheese. We have this thing for cheese and have wanted to visit a specialty cheese shop for a while. After taste-testing several cheeses, we decided on Humboldt Fog, Fromager D’affinois, and Quebec Vintage Extra Aged. In no way are we cheese connoisseurs, but we do like a good cheese.

Silas Clark is a real trooper when it comes to traveling. This mini vacation is just what our little trio needed. Can’t wait to go back!

2 thoughts on “San Diego

  1. It looks like a wonderful vacation ! I never thought that craigslist could be a source for a vacation place. Though, it is a source for everything else, so why not!

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