13-18 August 2018
In August of 2018, Jacob and I were contemplating where we wanted to go for our annual summer trip. We eventually narrowed it down to two places: Montréal and San Diego. Jacob had been wanting to see Montréal for a long time and although we eventually decided on San Diego for that year, we did make our way to Montréal the following summer.
San Diego ended up being the perfect decision for us that year. Jacob’s Aunt Emily, Uncle Pat and three cousins lived in San Marcos at the time and we hadn’t yet been to visit them. They have since moved to South Dakota, so we are extremely grateful for the opportunity to see them in California before they left.
They lived on a beautiful hillside ranch with horses, chickens, goats and rabbits. We were able to ride the horses many times, which initially made us first-timers a bit nervous, but we quickly got the hang of it, thanks to our amazing teachers. We rode through some open fields and even on a paved walking path along a nearby park. This was one of our favorite activities.
Another wonderful aspect of this trip was the unbelievable food. Jacob’s Aunt and cousins are all fantastic cooks. They also had many different fruit trees around, so we got to taste fresh picked oranges, figs and the best guacamole I’ve ever had from avocados picked right in their back yard. I was incredibly jealous of the unlimited and FREE avocados.
Another great part of visiting family is having an expert tour guide who you actually don’t mind spending time with. Jacob’s aunt and cousins took us paddle boarding for our first time. We mostly stuck around the harbor and watched dozens of seals swim around and lay on the docks. I was also surprised by how easy it was to paddle board. I definitely pictured myself losing by balance and falling in the water, but I stayed dry!
Later that night, Jacob and I went into San Diego to see a Padres game. This was our first time at Petco Park and I can honestly say that it is one of my favorite baseball stadiums. There are so many different things to see and activities you can do at the stadium. They even have a little beach area with lounge chairs and everything. So cool!
The next day, we headed off to Temecula, a wine town less than an hour away, to spend a night. Of course, we went on a wine tour at Miramonte Winery and took in some spectacular views and even more spectacular wine. By the end of the tour, we felt pretty good and decided to sit down at the winery’s restaurant for some lunch. We ordered the six cheese mac-n-cheese. That’s right, SIX cheeses. Basically the definition of heaven on a plate. We also had some stuffed mushrooms and we bought two bottles of wine to take home with us. Overall, a very successful day.
The rest of our time in SoCal was spent playing cards, eating more fresh picked fruit, and celebrating a 16th birthday by riding a mechanical bull. It really was a memorable week spent with some wonderful people. We even got to take some avocados home (and by some, I mean as many as we could physically fit in our suitcases).