First let me apologize to anyone following this blog. Unlike our faithful mail carriers, I have failed to deliver your weekly posts for two weeks. My intentions were admirable as I wedged my laptop into our over stuffed mini cooper and we started out on our family vacation. What I didn’t understand was no internet service was not only for the cabin we were staying at but most of the sleepy little town of Julian California.
Well we are back now, and with the London games “closing ceremonies” today, I thought it appropriate to share my summer “closing testimonies” with you.
I hope your summer went well, and had time to get out and enjoy the green grass, jump in some watering holes, and lay out and watch a shooting star. Unfortunately summer must end and school approaches like an over protective mother closing the door on our pleading friends outside. One more month of summer is all I ask for, but then the door is closed just before a gust of autumn wind can enter.
Well, please allow me to reminisce a little on the glories of our family vacation. All three of our kids made the cut, unfortunately the dogs could not handle the grueling days a head, so they stayed behind with grandpa. The first hurdle was how to pack five and all of our “stuff” into our mini cooper 4 door, and yes we did look like a circus act whenever we poured out onto the pavement. Our destination was like I stated earlier Julian, which was eight hours away. I recommend audio books and navigators, they where awesome! As far as books go I was blown away by the poetic similes in “The Book Thief” by Marcus Zusak.
Julian is only an hour away from San Diego, making it a great hide out from crowds but still able to enjoy day trips to the beach and of course Sea World. As soon as we walked the historical street of downtown we knew we had struck it rich. Julian was originally a mining town and is still a thriving apple orchard. In fact their apples won first prize at the Chicago worlds fair. If you go in October you will be able to participate in their lively apple festival. In almost every shop they sell their famous apple pies, but truly the best was just about a mile down the road. We had packed a picnic lunch that day and saw a beautiful sunflower garden outlining a picnic table just outside of “Mom’s Bakery” They had the best homemade fudge and fresh apple pie with cinnamon ice cream. We also got a jug of fresh pressed cider for our lunch and sat out in the garden to eat.
If your looking for a unique bed and breakfast, there is “The observers Inn” It is owned by an astronomer and his wife. They built a room for some of the most advanced telescopes with a collapsible roof to stargaze and be taught some fascinating facts about our world beyond.
The highlights at our stay in Julian was the deadly hike with our one brave daughter down to the devil’s punch bowl for a swim (she won the gold medal for participation and endurance). The evening times without any TV or internet service (and very limited phone service). My 16 yr. old looked up easy healthy recipes on pintrest for us to make before we went( she received the gold in best information, and photography skills). We ended up cooking dinner most nights together and came up with some winners. (The next posts I will be sharing these recipes). After dinner we would make popcorn and play games or all read in the living room. The peace and quiet was a big highlight on this trip. The waking up (I also recommend getting a metal french press to have amazing coffee wherever you go) with coffee and meditation time while gazing at the wide assortment of birds fluttering from tree to tree was pretty energizing as well.
Highlights from San Diego were more exciting and less restful. I also want to add some advice here. If you are participating in any long distance events; I suggest every other day a travel/big event day and every other day a kicking around closer to home base day. It made our adventures like sea world, for example, more enjoyable. Speaking of Sea world, that was definitely my highlight. I am embarrassed to say as we watched the opening show sing about “One Ocean” I began to tear up. I felt like Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality declaring, “I do want world peace!” I made up for it by laughing at the closing sea lion show that mocked it in the SNL spoof they did.
Another recommendation was their new all inclusive food pass for $35. You can eat at their restaurants (meal, dessert, side, and drink) all day with no limits. This allowed us to stay from opening until the closing of the park at 10:00 at night with fireworks. Our 15 yr old has always wanted to be a sea lion trainer so she stopped every trainer she could find and asked them all kinds of great questions. They had a great side show over the water called “Circus del Mar” That was a must.
We also went to La Jolla for a snorkeling and Kayaking tour. Sea Kayaking was so much funner than I expected, and while snorkeling a large guitar-fish shark wiggled past me. After we ate the best smoked fish tacos and ceviche at “Oscar’s fish shack.” With two teenaged girls and one artistic 21 year old son, we frequented many vintage thrift stores and of course went to the crowded Mission beach. Our son made friends with some local surfers and rented a surf board and wet suit (He received a gold for most adventurous and an honorable mention for best vintage treasures). The rest of us soaked up the sun, until the high tide soaked our towels and it was time to call it a day.
When we crossed the finish line back at home, our dogs were our biggest fans. They greeted us with high fives, and twirls, and lots of jumps of mayhem.
It is good to be home.