Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Another world for a week

San Diego. It's the opposite corner of the country from Maine. I lived there for almost a year as a 22-23 year old. It was my escape year. I was escaping real life. I had graduated from college and things were up in the air. I did something rather uncharacteristic for me and took off...I spontaneously changed my plans and drove away from home. I landed in southern California and lived a life so foreign to me. I played on the beach every day. I walked in sunshine every day. It's a whole different place out there.
Last week I was able to return. I travelled many hours with Mark and our 3 little guys to a world of sunshine and fun. It was strange for me to go back. When I was out west as a young girl, my life was scattered. I was just living day to day. I didn't know how it would end. Would I stay there? Would I return to my roots? The friends I had there are gone. I have lost touch with them. It was almost as if that year disappeared from my reality. But when I started driving the streets again, it all came back. That really was me out there. I found my old apartments. I found familar restaurants. The beach I ran on.
The difference was that I had my family. My kids. My husband. I no longer feel lost and disconnected. I guess things happen for a reason. That time in California was good for me. It made me realize where I belong. I am a northeasterner at heart. I love the seasons. The fresh spring air, the hot summers on the coast, the smell of dried up leaves in the fall, and yes, winter. I love that too.
However, last week was awesome. As tiring as vacations with young kids are, they are good for the soul too. We were all exhausted from a 3:30 wake up and 8 hr travel day on the way out and we're all jet lagged still. But we have fresh minds and new memories.
My training did continue while I was there. I had a recovery week which was perfect for the family schedule. My husband was attending seminars for 3 days and we had evening committments with that so time was an issue.
My favorite was this pool. (Click on the image for a nice big view...Alina, Mary, Jen, Steve..doesn't that look great!) It was 50meters of heaven. Open air, lots of sun, and uhh Fast 400s! (right Jen? :) I did work hard in there but somehow it seemed easier being outside with the ocean a few hundred yards away.

I was also able to enjoy a few long runs along the beach and harbor while I was there. I rented a bike too. I wasn't able to escape for hours at a time but I did love the feel of actually moving down the road again.... has it been 6 months??? Pretty much.

This is Tommy and Cameron in the pool at the hotel. They spent many many hours just jumping in and out of the water. This was also the First time that Nicholas hopped in the pool to play....alone! Yahooo..swimming lessons are paying off! Go Nick!

Of course we visited the Zoo....

King of the orangutans...This guy was HUGE!

Tommy looking at the Polar Bear from Mark's arms..

One of the highlights for the kids was our trip to Mirimar Marine Air Base. We were able to get on an F18 Hornet (cool military fighter plane....I'm sure I got this wrong) and we watched several take off with the afterburner on. Young pilots showed us the cockpits (Hello...HOT Marine Men! Woah. that was the highlight for me) and we were given a tour of many other planes. Think: Top Gun. We were at the base where that was filmed and on those planes. The boys got all dressed up for the big event.

This boy of mine is too much....gotta love that grin...

How cute is this...I even got an "awww" out of the boys. I spent an afternoon in La Jolla with the boys. What a beautiful coastline...I must say, it even rivals Maine's coast.

La Jolla-The Children's cove...we counted 178 seals...amazing.

A day of whale watching...I got laughed at for these pictures. You can see the splash though...a beautiful day on the Pacific.

This is the face on poor Tommy as we drove to the airport. Genuine saddness... I don't know what Nick was up to.


Swimming for ME said...

Oh boy am I jealous!! Nothing better than swimming in an outdoor pool with the hot sun beating down. And the vacation time doesn't hurt either. Hope you got some to relax with Mark..

Ulyana said...

So glad you got to enjoy it again!

I'd like to stay here, but we'll see how life turns out.

MaineSport said...

Looks like a great week! I'm going to Stanford for business at the end of the month, so I'm hoping for warm weather and a chance to swim in the school's 50m pools. Welcome back to the cold, damp, windy state of Maine!

IronMatron said...

That sounds like an awesome trip. I'm kinda stuck on the koala pic. That was super cute.
That pool looks so awesome... oh. Must have been great to be out in the sun like that.
I'm glad you had such a good trip. I'm glad you love Maine best.

Kona Shelley said...

Such beautiful pics, i'm jealous..:-)

Zach said...

Glad to hear you had a nice trip. I really like San Diego and enjoy it every time I am there.

Was that pool on Coronado Island? I'm going down there for a conference and am really looking forward to swimming in an outdoor pool again.