Friday, June 21, 2013

There's No Place Like Home



"I've lived so many places in my life and times..."

Yes, I share that with Leon Russell.  My husband and I have lived in LA, San Diego, Utah high desert, Lexington KY, Richmond VA, now the White Mountains of N.H.

My favorite place is and always has been San Diego.  It's where I finished college,  lived in my twenties after a divorce and moved back again in my late thirties with a husband and two toddlers.  It is the most perfect place I've ever lived.  Why?  The weather is gorgeous, mean annual temps hover at 68 degrees.  It's dry, it's beachy, it's home.

I was always grateful to be there.  Every day was a gift.  I would awaken, more often than not, to a sunshiny, temperate day of blue skies, soft ocean breezes and unlimited outdoor recreational opportunities.  I learned to play racquetball and tennis and badminton.  I body surfed.  I  rode bikes, swam, soaked up the sun.  I played softball.  It was almost effortless.  Being young can be effortless.   As I've aged, I realize how important that warm, temperate weather is.

What sticks with me?  The friends I made and still retain; some date back to college.  Most, however, were during my first "corporate" job in advertising.  It was a fertile time for twenty-somethings, working in the same fun-filled atmosphere of a cutting edge marketing department where we were encouraged to think outside the box and to always have a great time.  We traveled together in a pack, all of us unmarried, in our prime (so we thought) and not too serious.  Weekly movie excursions to large theaters with large screens allowed us to analyze and argue each and every frame.  Concerts, another go-to as most of us could get tickets for free from the local radio and tv stations with whom we advertised.  We spent big bucks.  It was an unspoken quid pro quo.  So were  Padres baseball, Charger football, San Diego State football, all three played in the accomodating centrally located Jack Murphy Stadium.  The Volvo Tennis Tour played in Balboa Park for years; the Virginia Slims played La Costa.   Outdoor concerts with fabulous entertainers on Shelter Island or at the Marina made summer evenings fly.  Happy hours on the beach in iconic restaurants where we'd stop after work and relax, watch the sun settle over the ocean, and embrace what the weekend might offer.

San Diego was once a sleepy town comprised of  fabulous beaches, the world class San Diego Zoo,  in  the world class Balboa Park, iconic restaurants, outstanding Mexican food at every price point, beautifully preserved architecture from the turn of the century (a rarity in SoCal), an excellent Amtrak system, an excellent freeway system and an easy-going attitude.  People were friendly and unpretentious (unlike LA).  I've been gone 15 years and no longer know if this holds true.  Once San Diego developed thriving biotech and internet-related industries, LA folk started moving south, developers began paving paradise and we left..  That said, it held true for the 25 years between college and raising my sons when I moved in and out of there three times.

I haven't been home in 5 years.  Physical liabilities, timing, other have prevented my taking that once a year trip.  I am homesick, no doubt about it.  This is going to be the year I go home, see my friends, walk on my favorite beaches, eat real Mexican food, soak in the sun and the salt air.  My heart won't let me stay away any longer.  






This is in response to a writing prompt on "imaginary garden with real toads"

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29 comments:

Brian Miller said...

i hear you on being homesick...never been to san diego...spend my time in cali up north...san jose, oakland, pleasant hill....its a different world out there...and you have lived in several different worlds havent you....

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

"My heart won't let me stay away any longer."

Hi! C.G...
What a very [visual] post [I can almost smell the sea]and San Diego sound the closes to heaven on this place called planet earth.
I must say, that you can say that you have traveled.
deedee :)

L. Edgar Otto said...

I have never been west of Cimmeron... but I've always wanted to see California...

There is a great divide somewhere in my heart that longs to go back to places I have been - or to explore new worlds again.

"Don't you wish they all could be California girls?"

Fireblossom said...

California Girl--yes, I see this post, but had to go through your profile to find it. Your links at Real Toads didn't lead here, they went to an ad page about Christian singles and such like.

That is a beautiful song, by Leon Russell. I've always liked it.

DJan said...

I hope you enjoy your return home. I was just saying the other day that if the weather was always like it is here in July, I couldn't afford to live here. You gotta like rain, but when it stops and the sun comes out... it's like San Diego. :-)

The Silver Fox said...

Ah, yes. Real Mexican food! *sigh* Too many people here in New England think that means Taco Bell.

Janie Junebug said...

I've lived so many places that I don't know where I'm from. I'd love to live in San Francisco.

Love,
Janie

ed pilolla said...

hey there! i used to live in tilton, not to far south of the white mountains. my dog and i would love to go hiking. smart's creek was our favorite:)
very nice to meecha.

Susie Clevenger said...

Homesick, I know the feeling. This is a beautiful story of friendship, connection, memories. Have fun when you take your trip!!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

The first time Evan went to San Diego on business, he called home and said we were moving. He loved it. Needless to say, we are firmly anchored in East Texas, but we vacationed there shortly after his visit and I fell in love, too. I see why it calls you... not to mention the friends and the memories. blessings ~ tanna

Betsy Brock said...

I've been to California once and was in love. I hope you get back soon!

And I love how you've lived all over the country....a nice variety of places!

Herotomost said...

I wanted to stop by because it appeared you got a bit of needling when you tried to post at the toads site. I am in San Diego's now for the weekend and I do think it is a fabulous City with a lot of culture and plenty to do. I thank you for coming and trying to post, and I just wanted you to know I appreciate it.....great writing.

Bill Stankus said...

Went from college to a job by the sea in La Jolla. Miss it every day.

California Girl said...

Me too.

California Girl said...

Make the trip one day. It's a great family vacation place w/ the public beaches, Balboa Park, Sea World, LegoLand, historic downtown, Belmont Park (1925 amusement park)...

California Girl said...

There are days in New England, when the light is just so and the air is clear and warm, and I'm reminded of S.D.

California Girl said...

California Girls of a certain age love that song. :)

California Girl said...

I still haven't any idea what might be wrong. I'm unable to find a problem.

California Girl said...

The photos you post are quite compelling. Does it rain that much in Bellingham?

California Girl said...

Boy, that's the truth.

California Girl said...

Me too but it's so expensive. Median home price is in the $800k region.

California Girl said...

We're in the White Mtns. Love the Tilton Diner.

California Girl said...

Thank you!

California Girl said...

Most people who visit say that.

California Girl said...

Hope to head out in Sep after school is back in.

California Girl said...

That is nice of you. I visited your blog (1 of them). Were/are you a DJ or jusr a lover of music?

Pat Tillett said...

I live a little ways up the coast from San Diego. It's a great place. I've lived and traveled all over the place. The southern California coastline has the best year round weather in the country. Mild, always mild.

California Girl said...

I know. Laguna Bch, my favorite beach town.

barbara and nancy said...

A perfect song to go with this post. I saw Leon Russell at the Dem Mar Fair several years ago. I miss him.
Nancy and I will be waiting to meet you at your next visit to paradise. I know it's not the same but it's still pretty good here.
Barbara