For my fall break this year I was able to make a pilgrimage of sorts to the sunny shores of California. Sharry and I always loved going on vacations to California. Our very first “trip” together when were dating was a trip to the Pacific ocean and back within 24 hours. Our parents weren’t the biggest fans of us staying the night together and we were good kids. So we left right after 3 AM drove way too fast and made it to Malibu beach before 8 AM California time, it was a fun and exhausting day. Sharry would tease me that I may be her one true love but the beach and pacific ocean were her first love.
|Sleeping in the car in one of our many Cali trips|
|Bumming it up at the beach|
Over our years together we typically would visit some part of California annually. These visits covered a wide range of fun activities which included but are not limited to: lots of beaches, beach camping, honeymoon, driving up and down the 101, snorkeling, boogie boarding, beach campfires, kissing while driving, amusement parks, national parks, lots of concerts, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez (who we hung out with afterward thanks to Shar’s persistence), Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Coachella Festival 2x, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival 2x, family visits, family trips, tons of good food, visiting University campuses and dreaming of amazing grad schools, many museums, attending synagogue, meditating at buddhist temples, Tijuana, intense sunburns, super sunsets, great road trip tunes, vacation fights & vacation makeups, Chargers’ preseason game, Padres’ game, sleeping in the car, sleeping in ghetto motels, getting lost and loving it and so much more that I’m sure Shar could add to my foggy memory.
|Museum of contemporary art|
I wanted to revisit what has become hallowed ground enshrined within Shar’s journals and my memories. So thanks to an amazing Mom (JJ’s grandma) I was able to make my first ever solo road trip. I loaded up Shar’s California playlist, some audiobooks on near death experiences and hit the road. (here’s a spotify version of Shar’s Cali tunes). It was a tough trip with many tears shed but I’m very glad I had the opportunity to do it.
For the majority of my trip I felt like a ghost. I did not seek out human interactions and as a weird looking single dude not too many people looked my way either. In fact I spoke far more to Sharry than any other living human. The only human I spoke more than a sentence to for the first part of my pilgrimage was a psychic which probably still fits within the realm of “ghostly behavior” haha.
|Snorkeling in La Jolla|
|Hardly Strictly Bluegrass|
After the long drive there (far less enjoyable than road trips in the past btw) I headed to La Jolla near San Diego. My first visit was the San Diego LDS temple where I walked around the beautiful sunny grounds and reminisced about doing the same thing with Sharry a couple of times. Next I headed to La Jolla Cove one of our go to spots. I was both to sad and cold for snorkeling but loved walking up and down the coast people and seal watching. I also finished my very last Sharry journal there which is such a difficult and sad thing for me. In an upcoming post I’ll share more wisdom from that account. Then following our footsteps from a few years past I walked to the Museum of Contemporary Art where I soaked in photography for political action, modern installations, sculptures and a beautiful garden grounds. I would close my eyes look back in time and imagine Sharry there with me. In fact I would do this throughout the trip even reaching out my hand to hold her imaginary fingers.
|Finishing Shar's journal|
Next I decided to check something off of Sharry’s bucket list, “consult a clairvoyant gypsy.” I googled psychics in San Diego and found one with the best sounding written reviews. I went in thinking this would be an interesting and unique form of entertainment and it ended up being a comforting and spiritual experience. At some point maybe I’ll write a post about this interesting experience.
At the end of the day I returned to our beach campfire spot on Coronado island with its soft sands to watch the sunset and walk along the lapping waves. There was a beautiful little wedding happening on the beach as well that was beautiful to watch.
Friday morning after sleeping in I went to visit Balboa Park and to visit the beautiful ground and many of the beautiful museums. Then I revisited the first Thai restaurant that Sharry and I ever went to years ago in San Diego that began a life long love affair with this delicious food.
Then I drove up the 101 to Irvine California to visit with Sharry's awesome brother his wife, and their cute kiddos. It's always great to get some Buhanan time in any day and in such a beautiful location this is of course magnified. We ate good food, went to a few beaches, saw beautiful sights and reminisced. I love me some Buhanans.
After Irvine I headed up to one of Sharry's favorite museums ever, "The Getty." Beautiful gardens and inspirational art made me emotional in my third visit (first without Sharry) to the gigantic museum.
|Our 2005 visit to the Getty|
|2016 solo visit|
|Eve. I feel like Adam without an Eve.|
|Over 11 years later, found the whale tale bench|
Overall it was a very difficult trip with many tears and intimate conversations with God and Sharry but it was a very positive experience and on the last day I could not wait to get home and see our baby boy. When I made it home I ran downstairs with him to cry, hold and love on him.