California dreaming

The kids awoke at some ungodly hour (east coast time) but happily agreed to play Minion Rush until T and I had a decent amount of additional slumber. They also made breakfast for themselves and drew some fabulous works- awesome, boys! I love how artistic they are. Have I ever told you that I took art for many years when I was younger? Drawing, painting, charcoal, photography...I loved it all as long as I didn't have to draw faces. Egads am I terrible at faces; the noses I attempt always look like a terrifying combination of pig snout and butt. Alas.

Once we were up and at 'em, we drove into La Jolla village for coffee and goodies at Pannikin, a favorably Yelped joint on Girard. Jack was overjoyed to discover an enormous chess set in the back corner. We immediately set up camp there and played a few rounds while sucking down excellent coffee. If you're in the area, I definitely recommend this place. It's got a great vibe -very hippie SoCal in the best way- and is obviously very popular with locals. I have to say that we were underwhelmed with all of the baked goods we tried, but the egg dishes looked great and we plan to try a few of those next time.

One of the best perks of this trip is that Amy, one of my very best college friends, lives just 45 minutes north of where we're based. Since graduation, it's been hard to see each other frequently because she returned to CA and I've flitted along the East Coast. This week we'll have four lengthy visits, the first of which was five hours today. Bliss! We always settle back in as if the past years were a mere blip. Friendships like this are rare and inordinately special.

She brought her youngest, a delicious twenty month old, over today, and we all spent time on the beach (glorious), at a taco stand (fabulous), a playground and an ice cream truck. As we sat on a park bench watching our kids play together - age difference largely immaterial- the sun bathing our bare arms and legs with a constant stream of warmth, talking about everything in our lives from the most challenging to the very happiest, I dare say we felt an utter contentment and peace that, as with the sort of friendship ours is, isn't so common either. I only wish we'd gotten a photo of us today.

The Pacific is spectacular, more beautiful than I remembered. I love the moonscape shores, the stone cliffs, the succulents clinging and thriving in every nook and crag; their lushly hued green foliage and outrageously colored flowers enliven the gray bases off which they grow.