Today make a week that I have been back in San Clemente at the Sieger’s home. It has been a great week! The weather in Sedona has been in the 100’s and unbearable. It seems to keep getting hotter each summer now. Here I have overcast mornings and then mild to hot afternoons but always with a nice ocean breeze to cool things off. Oh, it does make me start “California dream’n” about returning back to my native state. Mike and I had even purchased a second home with that prospect in mind but recently we put our place on the market and it sold within the first week. Looks like there are others with the same idea. We are now truly Arizonans, if not in spirit, in fact, much to my mother’s chagrin as she looked forward to our return. At my age, one thing I have learned is to NEVER say NEVER.
Today as I took my morning walk on the beach trail at North Beach I reflected on some of the reasons I love Southern California so much. Here on this typical morning of my retirement was the whole spectrum of reasons why this is a great place to live. (Keep in mind that I am in vacation mode!)
As I shared before the weather is mild and predictable with mostly sunny days. My first decision was where to have breakfast and I choose to go out and get my ‘cup of Joe’ at Ellie’s Table at North Beach,(click on their name for a fun video) a newer cafe, where I am becoming a regular. Then, on to the beach trail where I join up with a multitude of people of all shapes, ages, and personalities. The one common purpose seemed to be health and fitness. Whether a group of school kids walking with their teacher, the young mom pushing along a stroller, the buff ‘dude’ jogging with headphones, the elderly grandma strolling with a friend, the rotund middle-aged man walking his dog, they were all enjoying the outdoors! There were people playing volleyball, surfers catching waves, people running or biking which all inspired me to get outdoors and breath the ocean air!
So who was it that said, “Variety is the spice of life.” Well it is here in spades! I could mentioned the number of options for shopping and restaurants… Actually I will save that for a future post as today my focus was on how much I enjoyed feeling my body move, but more than that is the awareness that there were so many others sharing the experience with me!
Holy. Cow. I never thought, nor imagined I would be celebrating this birthday and yet here I am!! 65, and what a birthday. Thanks to my loving husband who always takes care of me and has made this a special Hawaiian vacation with all the bells and whistles! We always manage to have an amazing time in the islands and this is no exception.
The first couple of days I was actually on my own because he had job-site visits (this was originally a work trip) but then the weekend was ours. I had no objection to finding things to occupy Thursday and Friday. We rented a lovely house with views and in a quite neighborhood. I walked to the beach, found the local coffee shop, discovered the best places for dinner and I even managed to get lost on the second day with no water on me and I had to return back to the house before getting too dehydrated. I did put in my 3 to 4 miles of walking daily. Walking the sandy beach is one of my favorite things to do! I took naps to the ocean breezes, listened to my favorite audio books and had a manicure and pedicure! Even enjoyed some shopping at the local mall (Sephora, MAC, I am addicted). Not bad.
We had a memorable meal at the Food Company. We loved it so much we returned for a second night. We had BBQ on the deck one night and listened to the birds and then the rain, as a tropical storm came in that night. Glorious! Saturday we took a drive along the coast and languished on the beach at Wiamea with a picnic lunch of salmon, octopus salad and sandwiches from the local Foodland. We also went shopping at the local Farmers Market for fruits and coconut. Nowhere to be… and no time tables… just going with the flow…
On Sunday we took a catamaran for sailing and snorkeling at KoOlina Resort/Marina. They normally take up to 40 people. We got very lucky and had a very new and beautiful vessel with only 11 of us! We swam with the dolphins, turtles and tropical fish! It was just right weather, a little overcast, so we did not get too sunburnt and it was not too hot, a PERFECT day! Then we came home and took a nap. Another BBQ and walking on the moonlit beach.
Today is our last day. It’s my actual birthday. Not sure what the day will bring but… BRING IT ON…It doesn’t feel so bad being 65 !!
Really, can you believe it? This Tuesday June 3rd. we will have been married for 42 years! I know, we are in shock…
We went out to California and celebrated with our good friends, Jim and Tove Sieger from San Clemente. We had a fabulous lobster dinner in Newport Beach at 21 Oceanfront.
I will be returning there for a month to tend to the garden and dogsit with Charlie. So looking forward to it!
Sieger Garden (corn)
The yard is fabulous as usual!!
This weekend we had the opportunity to make a visit to Portland, Oregon. Mike had business there and I, never having been there, decided to tag along. We were extremely fortunate to have great, warm, clear weather!
It was also a chance to visit with my beloved cousin Martin Velez (Champ) and his wife Eileen, both which I had not seen for many years. They have lived in Portland for a very long time and we’ve always have the intention of a visit, we finally made it happen!
While Mike took care of business, I immediately found my stride walking up and down the avenues, stopping at coffee houses, shopping, and of course taking advantage of “HAPPY HOUR” in the evenings with my husband!! Friday night We went to Jimmy Mak’s for jazz/salsa and dinner. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! Also had dinner out at Casa Del Matador with my nephew Oly and his wife Jarani.
Like us, Champ and Eileen love the outdoors, so on the weekend we took a trek out to do some hiking near the Columbia Gorge River. Amazing great trails! Great company! Spectacular views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams! (Sorry I forgot to take photos, too awestruck! )
Also a pleasure meeting their beautiful brown-eyed daughter Lydia! I am certain I want to return! As I said, it was too short but a sweet visit! THANKS for your great hospitality!!
Springtime at Silverwood Lake
This morning my cousin Susie and I met up for a hike around Silverwood Lake. It was a beautiful, clear morning with just a hint of coolness to the air. It has been several months since we’ve seen each other and we have not hiked together since returning from the Camino de Santiago. It was great to be together again on the trail!
I am in California to attend the services of my uncle Mark and this afforded us some time to reminisce and share our thoughts on him, as well as share what has been going on in our lives, along with our goals and plans for the coming year. Susie is planning a BIG hike with friends Bobbie, Angelica and Mark to climb Mt. Whitney! She has tackled maybe 7 peaks so far in preparation for this climb and is continuing to challenge herself further as the August ascent draws near.
I am just beginning to return to the trails and am debating just where my next challenge will lead me. I have no desire to ‘do’ Mt. Whitney but I will keep you posted as to my next adventure. In the meantime you can read Susie’s Blog and follow her progress…I plan on blogging more often as the weather is perfect for hiking and Spring is perfect for picture taking!
Life is full of surprises both good and bad, happy and sad, unspeakable joys and heartbreaking sorrows, such has been the past couple of days for me.
As I shared before my best friend’s son Tyler and his wife Janet had a beautiful baby boy, Gavin! It was with much joy I spent the day with them yesterday. We held and cuddled him and shared our mutual love and adoration for him, as we welcomed him into our world. It was a wonderful time and will be a cherished memory.
Sadly upon my return home I received a call from my mom that my uncle Mark Lima had passed away after just a few days of illness with what appeared to be just ‘the flu’. It was a great shock to us and we are trying to make sense of it all. Such is life…hold my aunt Iris in your thoughts and prayers, these will be difficult days ahead for her. We will miss Mark and remember him with love and affection. While he may no longer be present with us in this life, his spirit will never leave us…
R.I.P. UNCLE MARK