Monday, August 1, 2016
A lil preface: I wrote this post while driving from SD to STG on Saturday evening. I thought I'd be able to upload the photos + add the links that night, but oh you know, just some happy playing with cousins got in the way. ;) Here it is anyway for y'all on this lovely Monday!

I’m typing this out as we cross the Virgin River through the Gorge. Our San Diego summer is officially over. We are only a little ways off from home.

How surreal. Didn’t we just make this drive going southbound and to stay a while?? Guess time flies when you’re having fun. Except I only half believe that on my old age; I had a lottttt of fun as a child, and Summer didn’t fly in and fly out like she does so now. At least we have so much to look forward to back East (there is always something to look forward to in life!), and at least we have so many stories behind us so that we can relish our memories...oh it was a beautiful summer!

These photos are from my family’s last night during their stay with us. Ryan and my brother, Nick, wanted to surf, so we braved bumper-to-bumper I-5 and went North to San Elijo Beach; there were boards there for the boys to rent till the sun set. I’m so grateful my family was there for our last leg of being in San Diego. They helped us go out with a bang. First, we stuffed them into our La Jolla apartment, making the most of some city living there. From couches, to air mattresses, to foam pads, every sleep-able inch of that place was occupied. It's a crazy, awesome memory for me already, one I’ll never forget. And then all the playing we did! We didn’t stop as we enjoyed our favorite SD spots day by day for one last time. Like going to the beach with snacks for dinner and that delicious, sunset sky…
The girls were not hating this moment (makes me laugh, this one! Kids put up with the darndest things). 
And they were way into this moment, too. :)
The girls were enamored with Ryan and Nick being out there in the water with such biiiiiiig boards (hence the LOVE that Elise and I tried taking photos with them). Claire was freaked out a lot, actually. She's in that sweet stage of wanting to die when she thinks someone else is hurting - like when her Dad and her Nicky fall into big waves. :)
That's Nick out there!
And my Ry Guy...
Plop. :) Can't wait for my lil Barney to keep trying next year. He'll go dawn patrol and have some far out rides, I can feel it. And maybe I'll join him and be his Gurfer? Maybe. ;)
(read the wiktionary of surf slang one day in your life. It's another gnarly language, brah!) ;)
The response of the crowd at the above plop.
The crew!
Kimbee stole my camera and shot a few fun silhouettes...
And we dragged Ry out of the water for one final, San Diego family photo. Again, non-interested babies, but it just goes to show how they were wanting their beach and how can I complain about that? We fell head-over-heels for the beach this summer. Oh we are going to miss it! I grew up in the mountains, and truly, beaches have never been my thing. But the escape and sunshine and friendships and fun it provided us all this summer converted me. Don't get me wrong, I'll be my running my UT mountains this week, but the beach --- bless the beach.
And bless you, Summer. My heart’s just full about the whole experience - from our first day here to our last. Thank you, family, for coming to see us + helping us so. Thank you, sunny San Diego, for being the backdrop of some absolutely real joy for our souls. And thank you, friends, for reading along here and riding these summertime waves us, too. All is swell.


PS. MY LIST OF THINGS TO DO IN SD FOR FREE! You probably didn't notice this, but we didn't spend a dime on any "expensive" SD thing this summer - we didn't do the Zoo, Safari Park, Lego Land, Sea World - for the sake of saving as much money as we could for the future. I'm anxious to do all of that fun stuff with the girls one day, but I love that we learned how to enjoy this city without dropping hardly any $$$. I linked up our favorite free spots below in that list, in case anyone else out there also wants/needs to do Free SD. :)

Balboa Park. This spot is as free as a bird or $$, depending on if you want to go into the museums (or rent a buggy for you and your babies? :) ) We didn't ever go to a museum, though, and still loved doing Balboa!

Seaport Village. Darling, darling spot! Although, I forgot, you need to spend $3 here to ride the vintage carousel. :) We also recommend getting the pizza from the little shop closest to the Harbor and splitting it with friends.

Walk Embarcadero along the Harbor. One day we'll spend the $$ to tour the Maritime Museum, too. So so so cool!

USS Midway. Go on the Saturday before Flag Day in June - wearing red, white, and blue!! - and it will be free!

Fountains + Playground at Waterfront Park. I sung this one's praises just a few days ago. Read the full post here!

Walk Coronado Island. And go right past Hotel Del or else. ;) If you're feeling a tiny bit spendy, we highly recommend renting bikes for an hour and seeing it that way, too.

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. It's beautiful and peaceful. And if you're in the mood for crying and you think about each of the stories behind those grave markers, it's a tearjerker.

La Jolla Tide Pools. There's no good website for this spot, so yes, you just got the result of my Google search. :) Check the tides and go when it's low! Such a stellar adventure. See my blog post about it here.

Walk La Jolla Village. And just a couple dollars and get gelato at Bobboi, okay? It's unreal.

La Jolla Coastal Walk. We need to do this full thing next year. We only did sections this summer, but even those that we did were just lovely. I recommend going in the evening for sunset!

Del Mar 17th Street Beach. We hit this beach every Wednesday this summer with friends. It is super kid friendly. We love it!

Moonlight Beach. This spot has a super fun playground, which my girls loved. Moonlight is a perfect beach!

Torrey Pines State Beach. Some areas of the beach are covered in smooth, beautiful rocks, so that makes the sand semi different, and it's still super fun.

Torrey Pines State Park. My favorite spot of all!!!

Torrey Pines Gliderport. Go with dinner in hand and stay till the sun sets. You'll be glad you did.

San Diego Parks & Rec "Movies in the Park". We never made it one of these because I found out about it too late in the game, but we'll go next year!

...I feel like I'm missing a few things, so don't be surprised if I later update this list when my memory's on point, but there's a good start! All of that would take up a good week to do, if you jumped down to SD for a summer vacay. Or a fall break or spring break or a winter getaway. That city's arms are always sunny and wide open. :)



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