May: West Coasting

I had to go to Vegas last month for a work conference. (Tough assignment, I know.) When I realized that the conference would start on a Tuesday, I looked squarely at the weekend prior and thought, "Now it would be downright silly to fly almost all the way across the U.S. and even jump a couple time zones without getting to the very edge of the country!" So I set my sights on California.

We don't venture west too often (it's been nearly two years since the Oregon trip!), so I considered my options and realized that we have friends in San Diego - friends who formerly lived in Cayman that might just want to see a slice of their island home!

Visiting friends is one of my favorite excuses to travel (note our trips to England, Cincinnati, Oregon,  Poland, and D.C.), and when friends have new babies that want to show me their hometown, I'm all thumbs up.

photo by Ryne
Kids in sunglasses. There is just nothing cuter.

This kid's hometown is beautiful.

via iPhone

 San Diego has it all, from rolling hills to city life to sprawling suburbs to a stunning coastline.

The classic West Coast vibe is almost tangible - in Sea Port Village, there was some huge yogathon on the lawn, where people doing partner handstands were surrounded by stalls with vendors selling wheatgrass shots and energy drinks. Near the airport one day, I got my first taste of True Food Kitchen, and I was about to drop everything and permanently move in.

via iPhone

They also have loads (loads!) of Mexican restaurants. In Old City, we found one that suited.

via iPhone

Aside from the fajita (Whole Life Challenge approved, I might add!), I enjoyed the vibe in Old Town and the commitment to what used to be the Wild West.

Given its proximity to our nation's southern border, the Mexican influence carried over from the food into the local decor.

I could not get enough of the gorgeous succulents that sprawled throughout nearly every flower bed. I'd love to bring them to Cayman, but I think our humidity is just a titch higher here than in SoCal.

During the day, I got to see a lot of this little guy, who had his first pseudo-stringray kiss.

In the evenings, Jenn's mom took over on kid patrol, giving us the chance to get out for adult time. One evening, all I wanted to do was see a West Coast sunset. Jenn made it happen.

It wasn't until I moved to Cayman that I had the chance to see the sun set over an ocean or sea. And I still maintain that sunsets trump sunrises: You don't have to wake up early to see them.

In Vegas, on the other hand, the best view from my hotel room at the Red Rock Casino was sunrise behind the strip.

Every time I get to the West Coast, I am reminded of how beautiful and varied the geography and topography of the United States is, and how much of it there is left for me to see. I guess I need a few more friends in a few more states so I can take advantage of these VIP tours! And on that note, thank you to Jenn, Ryne, and both of your families for making me feel so welcome on the SD leg of my journey. If you can't call Cayman home, I can understand why you chose San Diego. Here's to seeing you all again sooner rather than later. xoxo


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