Yesterday I arrived in San Diego for my second annual Get-Work-Done-At-The-Beach retreat. I’ll be here 2-1/2 months, and plan to get a book drafted as well as update the blog and brainstorm new business ideas.
I grew up here, and now I stay in a rental in Ocean Beach (OB for the locals). It’s funky and artsy, with delis, sushi, and vegan fast food in walking distance. My favorite breakfast joint is a short drive away, and I have friends – family, really – I’ve known since I was girl all still living here. It’s heaven.
I stuffed all I’d need into the Pilot Monday morning – camera gear, Sam gear, guitar gear, the Nutribullet for daily smoothies, plus enough socks and underwear so I can put off using the coin laundry as long as possible.
We stayed at a Motel 6 in Flagstaff Monday night, the halfway point, then skirted Phoenix and headed west on I-8 toward Yuma and the California border.
You’re getting close when you pass the turnoff that takes you to Mexico, with its seemingly endless billboards for dental work there. One ad said “Heal, Rest, Shop & Dine” and I don’t know about you, but that didn’t really sell me on it.
My father drove for Greyhound when I was a kid, and signs line the freeway for the towns he used to pass through on his way somewhere else: Indio, El Centro, Jacumba, Campo, Descanso.
Coming over the Laguna Mountains from Arizona, with the slow wheeling of the wind power turbines like sentinels overhead, I smell the salt air and it feels like home.
Descending into San Diego proper I’m shocked, always, by the sheer density of the place. Houses and apartment buildings and stores and warehouses tucked into every possible space.
We get to the rental and quickly unload the Pilot, dig out flip flops, and head to the beach so Sam can make some new friends.
This is the morning ritual: make a cup of coffee to go, then hit the beach for a slow walk with Sam. My hair is fuzzy, my skin plumped with sea air, and there’s no way not to be happy with dogs running and playing, and the sound of the waves crashing and receding. Sam even has a look of doggy ecstasy on his face.
Back to the rental around 8 a.m. I hear a repeated cracking sound, and see a man on the field across from the house practicing his whip technique. I have a dark thought about why he might be doing this, then let it go – but I’m also happy to have a gate between us. OB might be artsy and funky and feel like home, but crazy is an element here, too.
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