San Diego (roses from my parents' garden)

Usually when I go to San Diego, I end up writing about peripheral issues – about anything other than the actual trip. So this time I am doing to try something different, and actually write about the trip. Day by day. What we did and how I liked it.

The trip started when Mitya and the kids picked me up from work to take Vierra and me directly to the airport. For those of you who don’t know, our car doesn’t have air conditioning, and we live in Houston, a full hour (at best) from the airport, and I forgot these factors when I bought the 5pm departure tickets. So off we went, 3pm, 100+ degrees in our car, windows partially down, trying to listen to music and talk and manage disgruntled children all at the same time. There is a special type of euphoria that kicks in about ten minutes into such a driving experience. The sun sizzles merrily on your driving arm, sweat trickles down your back, it is windy, it is bright, and it is loud. Such road-tripping is not recommended for those with a heart condition or pregnant or nursing mothers. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend it to my worst enemy. But here we were, and then we were at the airport. Lyovchik had fallen asleep – I felt both relieved and sorry that I wouldn’t get to say goodbye to him (I imagined how he’d be sad when he would wake up and find us gone), Mitya and I said our goodbyes like in the movies –passionate embraces and all, and off we went.

The flight was mercifully uneventful. Vierra slept, I stared at the ceiling and regretted not taking out my book from the suitcase before getting packed in between a sleeping munchkin and a very kind older lady who gave us her earphones and pretzels. Since my day consisted of sitting at the office, then…sitting in the car, then…sitting at the terminal and finally, sitting in the airplane, by the time we arrived in San Diego I was ready to burst.

The best part about the San Diego airport is that you usually arrive on the second floor, and everyone arriving funnels into two large escalators (and stairs in between) that lead down to where the baggage and excited (bored, antsy) folks greeting the arrivals congregate. As you ride down you feel like a celebrity descending down onto your adoring fans. At least, that is always the feeling I get because down there is usually Mama, beaming and gleaming, searching for her daughter and granddaughter, impatient to set eyes on two of her most beloved people.

I don’t even mind that the first (and second, and third) hug goes to Vierra. As long as I get one in there at some point, I am good.

Mom and Dad picked us up, and since I was bursting and it was still light out, I proposed that we go stroll on the boardwalk lining San Diego Bay and framing downtown in its sunset glow. And so Vierra and the parents strolled while I proceeded to bounce down the boardwalk, up sidewalks and down various cement protrusions, snapping photos with my SuperCamera, feeling happy and giddy. I am sometimes concerned that this mood may come off as playful/mocking, like I am poking fun and vaunting my own great mood and dissing everyone else’s somberness. In this case though I knew all was perfectly understood.

At home there was lots of good food, and then long and restful sleep.

The boarwalk has an ever-changing, 3D sculpture park..and in the water there is the Star of India

In all her glory

Dad showing something to Verusha as Mama watches on...

Two of my favorite ladies