During my childhood, I grew up in the country. I wouldn’t call my parents’ home a farm either. Yes, we had plenty of animals. But, we didn’t raise them to butcher or sell them like most. Our home was somewhat the place for stray animals to come and go.
In fact, I remember we had a wild peacock live with us for about a year. He came and went during the day, but he always came back at night. My creative dad named him Mr. Peacock. Then, we had a Shetland pony horse, George, and a donkey, Jack, roaming down our road one day, so my parents kept them.
As much as I loved my one-of-a-kind country living home growing up, I don’t want to live in the country again. I like living in the city. I enjoy being in close proximity to people and places. Although I will say, I would not have known what I wanted unless I experienced both.
And yet, I am still not home. I want to live in San Diego one day. Not just California. I want to specifically live in San Diego, California. Everything about San Diego feels like home to me. I went there for my honeymoon and never wanted to leave.
This may sound cheesy and extremely Midwestern of me, but I absolutely loved the palm trees. I remember getting off the plane and being mesmerized by the palm trees alone. I loved being able to smell the beach shore the moment I walked outside. I could live there just for the palm trees and beach alone. Everything else I experience is simply an added bonus.
From our hotel room, we watched a huge Dole Foods banana boat unload and reload. We had limitless transportation options. It is filled with the hustle and bustle of tourists and locals. A number of people and cars always around was a slight downfall, but that is expected anywhere in California.
Thankfully, we got to experience the area with a couple locals. Truthfully, the locals helped me fall in love with the area. Knowing someone personally who lived in the area made the trip that much more exciting and enjoyable. The lovely couple treated us to a boat ride along the bay where we learned about the history and culture of San Diego. I thought surely my stomach wouldn’t be able to handle the waves. But, with a little ginger ale and cookies, I was good as new.
We didn’t really know where to eat before we got there, so we solely went off of reviews online for local restaurants. We eventually decided to eat at a breakfast shop in town. I can still smell the sweet, citrus freshly squeezed orange juice.
We further immersed ourselves in the culture by eating at Anthony’s Fish Grotto, where I had some of the best coconut shrimp. Nothing compares to the taste of fresh seafood. Truthfully, everything about San Diego’s food was fresh, not just the seafood.
Of course, though, our trip to any California location would not have been complete without a stop at In-n-Out Burger. We took a nearly thirty-minute Uber ride to reach the nearest location. Let me tell you. It was totally worth every chaotic minute on the highway.
San Diego felt like a place filled with never-ending possibility. It is also a place where two introverted Midwesterners may have initial trouble making friends. But, with time, we, too, may become locals. And even if I never live there, I am so grateful I experienced California with beach waves, cool breezes, and my best friend.