Friday, August 7, 2015
San Diego is nearly eight hours south of San Jose, and making the drive down to that corner of California was not on our summer to-see list. Not that SD isn't magical, it's just far far away. I remember thinking that driving to Disneyland was a stretch (and it really felt like that - six hours!) but driving all the way down to SD stole the cake as our most adventurous California adventure.

We left SJ at 8:00 AM instead of our planned departure time of 5:00 AM, but we made it to SoCal seamlessly. Nothing about the drive was hard, nothing went wrong (not the story coming home)! We went straight to Cardiff Beach and met our dear Beach Burklings and their angel mother, Melanie (see Mel here and here and here), whom we stayed with for the weekend. Ryan surfed, Melanie and I talked away, the girls played. Repeat that scenario a few times, and you have our dreamy San Diego trip -- plus some.

Sunday was all about going to church, making and devouring Sunday dinner together, and then walking Torrey Pines as the sunset. A day from heaven. 
Monday saw Melanie and I working together on a fun project, taking care of the five (!!) girls between us, seeing more of SD, and finishing the day back at Torrey Pines - this time playing in the sand and in that warm, SoCal water. Ryan was interviewing on Monday, but he met us at the beach as soon as he could. That man wouldn't miss a last chance to dip into the Pacific. He's a happy man in salty water, my Ryan. 

A few pics of Olivia, Adele, and Maggie being cute little crazies...
I love those girls. All of them. Including Sammy and Claire not pictured. Melanie has been a dear friend for a couple years now, so to get to be with her and her sweet, sweet little girls was a dream for us. There were only two hard things about this summer, and one of them was seeing Olivia get a little lonely for friends. We bonded, she and I, over her moments of needing a friend to pretend with, play chase with, and dress up with, but my heart filled right up as I watched her play with little girls her age for a few days. Darling, imaginative, playful little girls, to say the least. We love you, Burks!! So so so so much. 
Now for the low-down on our crazy drive home...

We left SD at 10:00 PM. We planned to get passed LA, sleep in a cheap hotel, and then wake up early again to trek the rest of the six hours back to SJ. But right in the heart of LA, on the busy busy 1-5, we ran out of gas (face palm)! Who runs out of gas on a road trip?! Ryan and I couldn't believe it - that we didn't think to fill up and that we didn't notice we were on empty. Anyway, miracles happened. After calling 911, we said a little prayer for safety (slash, a big prayer) and hung tight to that 3-foot-wide, left shoulder of the road for the next half-hour.

Cars zoomed by, shaking our car like a leaf. Finally a patrolwoman arrived, and not unlike a movie scene (so fitting for LA!), the cop sped ahead and drove perpendicular to the traffic flow, causing the cars to stop. She blared from her loud speaker to wait there in that line till we were off the road, and then she pushed our car off the freeway with the front grill of her car. Watching all of LA's traffic stop for us while we slowly slid off the freeway to a gas station was just a little amazing. Made us so grateful for attentive drivers (I felt sick while waiting, thinking about the distracted and/or drunk drivers that could've pummeled us. We would've been TOAST), organized governement (go go highway patrol!), and that our freeway exit was just a few hundred yards away.
We made it to that cheap hotel by 3:00 AM, woke up by 8:00 and then drove on home. The girls were happy like that the whole drive (they slept through the empty-gas-tank-in-LA fiasco). All turned out so well.

Dear dear friends, a magical new place, adventures for a couple days, and a road trip home packed with drrrrrama -- our summer's California adventures were topped off. Boom baby.


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