scenes from a memorial day picnic

I'm taking it as a good sign that over a week has flown by since Memorial Day weekend drew to a close, and I am only now managing to sort out photos. I'm working full-time on writing my dissertation and applying to jobs now, so since the initial thrill of our cross-country move has worn off, the days sometimes feel long and...a bit dull.

But hour by hour they pass, my dissertation grows a little longer, and I am pages closer to calling myself a doctor!

In the meantime, the weekends are still sacred, and Balboa Park has become one of the places where I feel that most keenly. To celebrate our long weekend, we started Sunday morning at the Museum of Man, and then found a secluded spot to enjoy picnic goodies. We took turns reading and napping before calling it an afternoon. But when we got back to the car, we heard the sounds of a Scottish band coming from the organ pavilion in the park. We meandered through a grove of majestic trees with the music in the background (feeling an awful lot like we were on an adventure in Middle Earth). And then we watched the concert for awhile before finally braving the homebound traffic.

I'm already dreaming about what might be in store for our next weekend's adventures...


la jolla wildlife

There is a magical place near San Diego, where celebrities go to buy second houses and tourists go to soak up the sun...

It is a place of designer labels, juice cleanses, and lots and lots of wildlife...

La Jolla is this amazing little beach town full of gorgeous mansions and amazing sea views. On Sunday, Joe and I landed there for brunch (pork platter for him, French toast and a latte for her). After we were sated, we headed down to the La Jolla Children's Pool.

The sea wall around the pool was originally constructed in 1931 to protect children from the waves and provide a place to play and swim. By the 90s though, the sea lions had started to make the protected beach their home, and no one has yet had the heart to kick them out.

Because, I mean, look at that face...

We got as close to the sea lions and their pups as was permitted, and started to feel a little sleepy ourselves as we watched them sun bathing and snuggling into the warm sand. Every once in a while, one would wiggle over to the water and glide in for a dip. It was really amazing to see them so close and calm in their natural environment...a totally different experience from seeing them in captivity. I watched one guy let the tide wash him ashore, and I realized I had never seen a sea animal use the water like that before.

There were other wonderful animals there too...like nesting sea gulls, pelicans, and cute little chipmunks.

Every time we tried to leave, something would stop us. Joe spotted a pregnant chipmunk, and then one sea gull jumped onto another one. A pelican stretched out its long neck a few times. Then two chipmunks got into a wrestling match and went tumbling and spinning down the side of the cliff together.

It was all amazingly special, and we left with happy hearts.


point loma landscapes

Ever since Joe started working full-time, we've had a new appreciation for our weekends. All week long he comes home, we eat, and then it seems like it's suddenly bedtime! So when Friday rolls around, I can feel both of us collectively relax a little bit.

We both have homebody tendencies though, so we've worked hard to fill our weekends with fun adventures in addition to all the loads of laundry and dishes and tv that we catch up on.

This weekend we spent some time at Pacific Beach and Mission Beach, walking the boardwalk and trying to get a sense of the California surf culture. As per usual though, I forgot my camera, so instead I'll share some of last weekend's adventure...a stroll around Point Loma and a view of its historic lighthouse.

When we first arrived, we were barely able to make out a view of downtown San Diego through the fog...

We took a peek at the lighthouse, and Joe posed by the Cabrillo National Monument before we hiked around a bit. There isn't much to do, but we were struck by how quiet it was compared to our downtown apartment, and we felt meditative and peaceful. If you time it right (we didn't), you can also visit the tide pools, where the exiting tide leaves little pools full of sea creatures at the water's edge. It's definitely on our San Diego bucket list.

And it was all just a little bit of magic.


farmers market rainbow

One of my absolute greatest pleasures since we've moved has been our Saturday farmers market. Almost every weekend we have some coffee and get dressed, pack a hat and a grocery sack, and spend the morning meandering through stalls of fruits, vegetables, flowers, and food stuffs. It's not lost on me what a wonderful gift this is...every time a car alarm goes off or a noisy motorcycle speeds by under our window, I just remind myself of Saturday morning. Sometimes it takes one or two reminders, but I eventually remember how lucky we are to be in the heart of such a thriving neighborhood.

Cheers to happy Saturdays!


hazy coronado beach

This week has brought us a taste of the "May Gray" and "June Gloom" weather that the seasoned (ha!) San Diegans have told us about. And I have to say, I love it. Lately, we've been waking up to cool and overcast mornings that warm up to bright and sunny afternoons.

Amazingly, we hadn't managed to make a trip to the beach in the first month that we've been here, so we decided that yesterday's cool temperatures and gray skies might be the perfect opportunity to explore one of the country's best beaches with fewer crowds.

To get to Coronado beach, we had to pass over the Coronado bridge, which is an adventure in itself. (Read: terrifying.) But it was worth it for what we found on the other side...

One of my favorite parts was looking at all the beautiful houses...little beach cottages, mansions with expansive yards, and beautifully maintained Victorians.

There were also tons of little stores with so much to explore. It was pretty tempting to buy all of the soda at the candy store (pumpkin pie! butterscotch root beer! cherry limeade!), but rain seemed imminent, and we wanted to make it back to the mainland before the skies opened.

I half-expected to see a dragon coming over the top of that Gringotts-like bank. And in the distance in that last picture is the famous Hotel del Coronado, filming site of Some Like it Hot and the preferred lodgings of many celebrities on their beach vacations.

It was all sublime. We didn't really want to say goodbye, but knowing it's only a hop, skip, and terrifying ride over a bridge away, we know we'll be back soon.


san diego through instagram

I'm still getting back into the habit of this whole blogging thing, which means my real camera usually doesn't make it around my neck before we leave the house.

But oh! We are seeing so many wonderful and amazing things here in San Diego! I've even failed to capture some of the best moments with my iPhone...like the bins of citrus fruit at the farmers market every Saturday, or the twinkly lights around our neighborhood, or the seal that we saw on one of our first walks down to the water. Then there are those moments that just can't be captured on camera. Like how our apartment currently smells like the most amazing roasting garlic, because that's just how our neighborhood smells.

This weekend was a little quieter for us than last. I am officially job hunting while I finish up my dissertation (that phrasing makes it sound so much easier than it actually is). We spent much of this weekend shopping for interview clothes and prepping for a busy week of Grown Up Work.

So this garlicky-smelling, sunny Sunday afternoon is perfect for sharing some of the instagrammable moments that have made our first month here feel a little bit like heaven.



Anybody out there?

Remember over a year ago when I decided to take a break from blogging? Me too. And it was pretty nice. I stopped taking a lot of pictures and stopped spending my evenings planning posts. I started relaxing a little more and painting my nails.

Lots has happened since then.

Joe and I got married. I passed my comps exams. My niece was born. I got mono and didn't know I had mono and then was very tired for a very long time. Joe finished his PhD and got a job. And then we moved to the west coast.

It's sort of hard to do justice to all of those things in one post. Sometime I'll probably share some wedding pictures. And maybe I'll tell you about the awful journey that was undiagnosed mono.

But in the meantime, I just wanted to share some pictures today. We've been living in San Diego for nearly three weeks now, and we're loving it. Today we spent the morning in Balboa Park, traipsing from garden to garden, and estimating how many years it would take us to see the whole place.

That fig tree is about 100 years old! Isn't that amazing? We stood in front of it for a long time, and I couldn't help but feel like I was in the presence of a very wise creature. Or maybe in FernGully.

Aside from the gorgeous architecture and stunning gardens, we were particularly pleased by the friendly ducks and the little lizards running all around.

We then spent a sleepy Sunday afternoon eating chicken noodle soup to celebrate Easter while the SoCal breeze drifted through our apartment.

Wishing you and yours happy Easter wishes and lots of jelly beans.