John had business in California early in the month that required my attendance. I always love my time alone with John. I packed more for the 4 days in California than I did for the two weeks in the UK, clearly more than I needed. John still only took is backpack. He has some impressive packing skills. We got through security very quickly on both flights and had some waiting time. As typical for us John worked on his computer and I had my notebook and pen. I appreciate how the differences strengthen our relationship.
We stayed at a beautiful inn where is conference was being held. The light is always so lovely at lower elevations. This wonderful old tree was filled with lanterns and lights. It was little touches or elements like this that were really endearing for me. While John was in meetings I enjoyed some quiet time with very few expectations or plans. One morning I spent the entire time in bed reading. It's been a very long time since that has happened. It was quite decedent.
John's favorite place is the beach. We walked and walked along the shore enjoying the sound of the crashing waves and the overcast morning. One thing we did not realize until we got home is that this particular area of the California coast is known to have tar not only in the water but in the sand. It was interesting learning about the tar seeps and how to remove tar from skin. This photo of John's feet was about the 1/2 way point of the cleaning. It was quite challenging, but despite the messy feet the morning was relaxing and filled with quiet reflection.
I love this about John. Sometimes words are just not necessary.
Upon the recommendation of our housekeeping helper, we ate at a delicious Italian restaurant. The ingredients were fresh and their natural flavors were showcased. The pasta was homemade and I enjoyed a wonderful browned butter sage ravioli.
We happened to be close to one of John's friends from his mission. He and Rob were in the MTC together and have been friends ever since. It was fun to hear stories of their time together in Italy and catch up on what our families are doing today. Rob taught John how to make liquid nitrogen ice cream, which was very yummy.
1987: the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
One of the group excursions was a bus ride to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. A couple of interesting things for me: 1. it's not really a library. I have often wondered what kind of book selection is available at a presidential library. I even googled why it is called a library. 2. although I remember Reagan being the president of my childhood, I was so small that I didn't pay attention or know what was happening in our country or around the world. It was an interesting tour. I particularly enjoyed hearing John talk about his memories of this time. The little elephant decorations and staying up to watch the 1980 presidential election as a family.
I will openly admit that I cried in the video presentation prepared to honor Nancy Reagan who recently died. It was so touching.
As we were leaving to come of this trip, Rock asked if we were going to make a habit of traveling more now that they were all older. He was trying to be supportive, but also expressing his displeasure that we would be leaving again. It's nice to know that we are loved and appreciated. As much as I loved being with John again, I missed the children and routine of our lives more on this trip. I do look forward to more time and experiences across the world if possible in the future, but nothing can compare to our little home and family. It is where my heart belongs.