Southern California Charm Part One

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I had the wonderful opportunity to take a much needed long vacation to Southern California this summer. Let me tell you, I couldn’t have asked for a better timed trip. I was on the edge of complete burnout right before hand and didn’t really care about anything. I was done. I was finished with everything that comes with being a responsible adult. Nothing like ten days in the sun, sand, and sea to help get yourself back in line.

Not to mention, one of my good friends was getting married, so what a great excuse for a getaway! I’m a romance writer after all. Love is what I thrive on, and this love–one for the books to be sure.

But this trip had a lot of adventures and a lot of stages, so we are going to go one step at a time. Our trip wasn’t a rush, so I’m not going to rush the telling of it either. One of the greatest parts about being in Southern California was NOT being rushed, so I may as well tell it how it happened.

It was a 12 hour drive to get from San Diego, CA from where I live in Reno, NV. I have only made one other 12-hr drive in my life and that was when I was driving to Phoenix, AZ. This ride was just about as much fun–insert sarcasm here–and I love road trips, so that’s saying something. Traffic, hours of nothing but desert wasteland, a port-o-potty that hadn’t been cleaned since 2009…yeah, you get the point.

We didn’t even get into San Diego until about 8 at night, and by that time I was pretty sure my butt was permanently shaped like the car seat. But after freshening up and dropping off our things where we were staying, we headed back out into the night to meet up with some of my husband’s friends he hadn’t seen in a long time. I felt like a zombie, but it was nothing a few gin and tonics couldn’t cure.

Three in the morning found all of us on the beach hanging out, laughing, and generally letting loose. We had danced the night away, and all of us had become fast friends, even those of us who were strangers to one another. It was an inspiring way to start our vacation, and that first night, despite how tired I was, remains one of my favorite of the whole trip. Something about being on the beach with good people in the middle of the night, playing in the surf, and forgetting about any worries…it’s refreshing, and that’s putting it mildly.

The next day, hubs and I decided to troll downtown San Diego–the Gaslamp District, I think was where we ended up–where we spent a leisurely day wandering around. We ended up at a gastropub called the Knotty Barrel. We had intended on just having a beer or two and then heading to the beach for a bonfire with our friends, but my husband and I ended up spending most of the the afternoon there, sharing appetizers, craft beer, and great conversation. It’s one of my favorite things to do–waste a day talking with my husband. We never run out of things to talk about, and I never get tired of dating him even after marriage.

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When we had finally saturated ourselves with beer, we headed to the bonfire, which was on a beach on the bay. All of our friends kept saying how cold it was. My reaction to this was to jump right into the water and swim around for most of the evening, because cold to native Californians was about 72 degrees. Everyone there thought I was insane. I just swam until my arms couldn’t function anymore, because I love the water and rarely get a chance to swim. Hubs joined me for awhile, and we watched the sun go down and the supermoon come up. We snuggled in the water as they set off fireworks across the bay, and I thought to myself, “This is what complete peace feels like.”

It was only Day Two, and I was already relishing and soaking up the California vibe. I thought, “I could definitely get used to this.”

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