For the past month or so, my older sister Bette has been staying with us. She's my last sibling, and I treasure our time together. She practically raised me while I was young, and I spent many a summers with her and her family. When we were older, we also had some great adventures together...the kind only sisters know how to get into! ha ha
Most of our years have been in San Diego CA, and she has a young son buried there. My brother's children still live there and we try to get together with them and their families as often as we can. This last week, before she needed to return to Tacoma, we decided to rent a car (our little truck only comfortably holds two) and take a short trip to San Diego and visit the family, check on the mortuary to discuss future details, etc. and to see all the changes in the city since she had last been (many, many years ago).
What a wonderful visit we had! After first checking into our hotel, Jack and I met up for drinks with my favorite work colleague who took over from me after I left. It's always fun to catch up with James to see whats going on with the Zoo and everyone and get the "inside skinny". No matter how long one is gone from work, you still miss it...
The following day, we took my sister to the Zoo, I bet she hadn't been in over 15 years! Well, it's "Spring Break", Saturday, and a sun-filled day...so, you can imagine the crowd! Just the kind of day my old boss loves to see!! ha ha The parking lot was full, full, full and it wasn't even 10am yet! That was OK, we weren't in any hurry, and didn't need to see every square inch. The Zoo was prepared and the lines weren't long. We took the bus tour first, then just took our time wandering around until she was tired.
From there we just started to drive around the city. What fun! She used to live in Pt. Loma, right across and up the hill from the Naval Training Center. You could look right into the Center itself and watch the sailors drill. (I used to wave at them while I washed my sister's car when I was 14). So, I couldn't wait to show her Liberty Station! To say she was amazed, is an understatement! So was I, the first time I saw what they had done to it!
Driving along the downtown area, along the Embarcadero, seeing the old Anthony's Fish Grotto gone always hurts my heart. If you have ever lived in San Diego, you know that it was an icon here...one that it was here forever, and now it's gone. Sad. We went to the "Unconditional Surrender" statue and stopped to see the National Salute to Bob Hope (which I hadn't seen before) - such a cool memorial.
The other big change, is Old Town. Another place she had lived was right above it, and she knew that area well. I explained to her how the Bazaar Del Mundo lost it's lease and that they decided to change it's look to what it might have looked between 1821-1872.
By then we were hungry and decided to call it a day and stop for an early dinner. Our favorite fish place is Kings Fish House in Mission Valley, and thank goodness, it is still there! ;-)
The next day we were meeting the family for lunch in the valley at the Wood Ranch BBQ. My niece surprised us and was able to get the whole gang there!! All 20! Wow. It sure was great to be able to see everyone. The only ones missing were a couple of great nieces and a great nephews who were either out of town/state working. Such a lovely family we have.
Afterward we made a run out to Carlsbad to see the Ranunculus Flower Fields. My sister had never seen them before, and I remembered that they should be in bloom this time of year. I thought she would enjoy the sight. Jack and I used to come up here often when we lived here. We were amazed though, how much the area had built up around the fields! "Progress", don't you just love it?
Monday morning we had an early breakfast at our most favorite breakfast spot, the Hob Nob Hill (another icon) then drove out to Cypress View Mausoleum. We were able to meet with a very nice lady and get everything settled quickly and then be on our way back to Arizona.
We flew my sister back home yesterday. I'll miss her sunny disposition, her wonderful cooking, her sweetness and most of all her loving company. As I've shared before, sisters are special people, and I've been blessed with two. I never forget to thank Spirit each day for that (and for the brother that I had).
Memories can be wonderful things when shared with loved ones...I'm glad I had the chance to do this with mine....thanks for coming along with us!
...kicking back in Arizona, Marie
If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my
Flickr account at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/74905158@N04/