Thursday, April 13, 2017

Spring Break in San Diego (Part Three: Lessons Learned)

We always learn new things when we visit new places and in this third and final Spring Break post I'm sharing some tips and things I learned last week in San Diego:

1. Engage in conversations with people you meet. 
We made friends with a sweet gal in the gym, some of our waiters, the hotel staff, and a couple sitting next to us at Happy Hour. If we hadn't been aware of others and struck up conversations we would have missed out! It can be so interesting talking with new people and hearing their "stories." I even had a challenging faith discussion with one of my Uber drivers named Lance who is also a self-published author. My motto: "strangers" are just friends I haven't met yet...

2. Wear sunscreen and if you feel you're getting a tan, that's all that matters! 
I'm a fair-skinned girl who has battled skin cancer twice but I do love to lay out and get some color. I kept reapplying sunblock and I never really burned. I got a bit of color; I see swimsuit lines! I also "grew" some new freckles. You really should ALWAYS tell someone who goes to a sunny location that they look happy, healthy and tan. Please?!

3. Let your daughters go order beverages.
My oldest daughter somehow managed to get us free drinks from the pool bartender without even flirting! Cute girl, bikini, talking about basketball all equaled money saved. Thanks Allie! 

4. Explore new spots but try to revisit favorites. 
The fun part about returning to a city I've had the pleasure of visiting in the past, means I have favorite restaurants or hotels that I get to revisit. Last time I was in San Diego I was with my oldest son and his wife. This time it was fun to return with my daughters and watch them enjoy the spots. Besides the two places I picked, I let my girls decide where they wanted us to go. We also asked the concierge and our Uber drivers what they suggested, took notes, and were really happy with their recommendations!

5. Watch the 2016 Netflix documentary called "Minimalism: A documentary About the Important Things" before doing any shopping. 
You'll be reminded how material things aren't what life is all about, you'll save money and you won't drag home unneeded souvenirs or new clothes. I did buy one new top at the LOFT, but it was on sale and quite cute! Instead of stuff, spend your money on a massage!  I mentioned the Bangkok Spa in part one. SO good!

6. Location, location, location.
Just like finding the perfect neighborhood, try to find a hotel or VBRO in a centralized spot.
If you stay at the Kimpton Hotel Solamar, try to get a room on the same floor as the rooftop pool and fitness center on the 4th floor. We walked out our door and BOOM, we could walk out to the patio or to the gym. Kinda felt like it was our own swanky condo!

7. When flying home, if the plane ride is bumpy, open up your ECHO prayer app.                This takes your mind off your fear and instead you focus on praying for friends and family. 
(And that the pilot can land safely!) When we finally did land without incident, we discovered the PNW was having a major wind storm and power was out in some towns. I missed you immediately San Diego!

8. Take a trip with your adult kids! 
Mothers and  Daughters or Fathers and Sons. This was the first time I have had an intentional get-away with my two daughters. What fun it was to be together in such a beautiful place! Memories we make together help us through weeks that aren't so my sweet youngest daughter getting in a car accident yesterday. Thankfully she wasn't hurt too badly, (her car is history) but she is definitely wishing we were still on vacation!

"The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again." Deuteronomy 6:4-7

How do I love thee, San Diego? 
Let me count the ways:

Sunshine, walkable, the airport is close to downtown, lots of food and drink options, interesting people, nice Uber drivers, great atmosphere for having wonderful talks with my daughters, THE OCEAN!, pretty pools, cute boutiques, pretty ships and sailboats, seagulls, flowers, restaurants with outdoor patios, NO RAIN (at least not while we were there.) 

I LOVE to travel. One of my daydreams is to be a travel blogger or have a show like Rick Steves on PBS. Since Rick's covering Europe, I volunteer to cover America! After all, he's from Washington State, and I live in Washington State too! A girl can dream...

I am so grateful for the opportunity to escape with my beautiful daughters (and to have my husband join us at the end of our trip!) to one of my favorite cities in California. I hope you get a chance to visit too! Thank you for reading my three-part series on San Diego.

What have you learned on vacation lately?

Grateful for Grace and In His Grip,
xo Jane

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