Alone again…

Without question, the hardest thing about being out here on the road is being away from my daughter. I understood long ago though, that once she was off to college I’d get precious little time with her regardless of where I was. She’s very social and has lots of friends, so I knew that even her weekends home would be a filled with hugs as she blew through the house to change clothes, or a quick peck on the cheek between waking after a late night and heading out the door again. Now, what time I do get with her is far more focused on US than it would be back home. Yesterday was another difficult good bye for me, watching her walk through the security check point at the San Diego airport. We’d just spent 5 days together and I really wasn’t ready to let her go. Last night I was in a sad place, but today I’m focusing on the special time we had together. It wasn’t just me who was happy to see her last Friday, but our four legged girls as well. They were both doing the full body wag when we picked her up at the airport! 🙂

Saturday was a hike with our friends Karly and Matt. I shared what few pics I took in my last post. The light was very flat that day. One thing y’all may as well know about me… I rarely take pictures just for the sake of it. I’m always watching for the special moments, the beautiful light, anything that inspires me… moves me… draws me in.

Sunday we treated the dogs to a trip to ‘Dog Beach’, a well known “off leash” area along Ocean Beach in San Diego. It was crazy and hilarious and amusing watching 100s of dogs running around. I was really too busy keeping our dogs herded to get many shots of the chaos, but I did get a few. It was particularly interesting to watch the people WITH their dogs. Quiet an eclectic blend.

Sadie getting in on the action with the big boys of the beach

Our campsite neighbors Ed and Jan had an adorable dog I had to pull the camera out for. This is Missy!

Sunset from our little camp site on Mission Bay

Monday we took the dogs for a walk around Balboa Park. With the two of them in tow we couldn’t go into the buildings, but enjoyed meeting up with Karly and Matt again for some fresh air and exercise. We stopped off for yet another stroll and some ice cream in Old Town. Then we had a scrumptious seafood dinner right across from the Pier at Ocean Beach, which is where I spent Christmas day for no other reason than that’s where I ended up stopping.

Karly and Matt

Tuesday was the high for both of us I think. We spent the day at Sea World. It was mid-week and off season so no crowds, and the sun was shining brightly making it all the better. Elissa is much like me in her love for animals and has been considering the possibility of studying marine biology or some other avenue that would mean a career working closely with animals or sea life. We had an annual membership at Marine World in the SF Bay area when she was a little girl, and I have since brought her to Sea World here in San Diego (twice now) as well as in San Antonio. She’s had the opportunity to dive with dolphins during family vacations, and had the tremendous fortune to vacation with her Dad’s side of the family in the Galapagos Islands a year ago. While at Sea World she was able to visit at length with a few employees and trainers. Maybe a summer internship at Sea World in her future? Who knows. I’m glad she had fun and felt inspired. We especially enjoyed the Orcas (I kissed one at Seattle Aquarium when I was a little girl and have been enthralled with them ever since!), the Penguins (so fun to watch!) and the Beluga Whales.  Beautiful creatures that neither of us has had much opportunity to observe before that day. We both, of course, recalled the song I sang to her over and over again when she was a little girl. 🙂 We enjoyed these graceful creatures so much we went back to see them again. This time no one else was there. Just us. I stepped back with my camera as Elissa seemed to be developing a connection with one of them. This guy (or gal… we didn’t know) kept circling back to her… over and over again his path led him around and right back to where she stood at the glass. He was clearly as interested in her as she was in him. VERY cool. Like horses maybe… animals seem to sense the spirit.

We watched feeding time and most of the fish went into the water for the adults who were "feeding". Then the feeder did hand outs for the younger ones. This lazy old guy stood in line for the hand outs. He was gently picked up, taken to the edge and given a shove to what we assume was "go eat with the big boys".

Elissa having a delightfully close encounter with a Beluga Whale.

We topped off the day with an enjoyable evening with friends… Karly’s mom is one of my dearest friends from years ago. We see each other too seldom, and it was wonderful to spend time at their home for a few hours of fun and laughter and pizza!

Now my precious girl is back in Texas and starting her second semester at UNT on Tuesday. I’d love it if you all would throw up positive thoughts and prayers for her health and happiness and vision (focus) in the months to come.

I love you Elissa… past the stars!

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