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A Fantastic Family Weekend

At the end of May we took a wonderful trip to San Diego for the wedding of my cousin’s daughter. It was my first ever trip to California so I looked forward to it for months and I was not disappointed. We did quite a bit of sight-seeing and had lots of great time with family.

My cousin, Bruce, arranged great accommodations for us at a VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) in Escondido - a house where Bruce, Tom and I, my mother, and my cousin, Jim, could all stay when we arrived on Wednesday. There was also a guest house on the property where Sara and Anson stayed when they flew in on Friday. There was a pool, hot tub, and lawn bowling, as well as gorgeous landscaping with an orange tree and birds of paradise and large hibiscus plants. Bruce also rented a van for us - thus he was dubbed our “Bruber” driver.

Our first day of sight-seeing on Thursday was a busy one. We headed south towards San Diego and the ocean. That first glimpse of all of that water was just breathtaking! We stopped and wandered around on the beach and just enjoyed watching those huge waves roll in. Next we drove through the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, a gorgeous area with lots of hiking trails. Our next stop was the Salk Institute to see the three courtyards. My cousin, Jim, is an architect so had this on his list of must-sees. The buildings were very stark and made of cement - I could just imagine all of the brain-power working inside. The third courtyard was the most impressive as it contains no greenery but only a water feature that extends through the length and ends with a view of the ocean. Quite impressive! We ended our tour with a drive across the bridge to Coronado Island. We then spent the afternoon seeing the Hotel del Coronado - built in 1888 and still in use today - and the beach.

Friday was another day of sight-seeing that featured a tour of the USS Midway aircraft carrier. We saw planes and helicopters in the area where they were repaired and on the flight deck. We toured the bridge to see where the navigation of the ship happened and the flights were controlled. Like most museums there was so much to see and not enough time to see it all. We enjoyed lunch at an outdoor restaurant at Seaport Village and finished the afternoon around the pool at the VRBO.

Saturday found us welcoming more family and preparing for the wedding of Tim and Megan at the Bernardo Winery in Poway. The venue was gorgeous and the rain that threatened to ruin the day stayed away. The mother of the bride, my cousin Leslie, brought our grandmother’s mink stole to wear during the reception and we all had fun reminiscing about seeing pictures of Grandma wearing it.

On Sunday Jim, Tom, and I ventured to downtown San Diego in an Uber to tour the Maritime Museum - an amazing array of historic sailing vessels. We were able to go through two submarines, the HMS Surprise which was used in the movie, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, a tall ship, and the Star of India which is the world’s oldest active sailing ship. Once again there was so much information that it was a bit overwhelming but well worth the time we spent.

Scattered amidst all of our sight-seeing adventures were several get-togethers with the family. Although my cousins grew up in Portland, Oregon and Rockford, Illinois, and I grew up in Nebraska, we are a close-knit bunch and always have a great time when we get together. My cousin has three more children who will be planning weddings soon - we hope - and we can’t wait for our return trip to Southern California.

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