...and just like that, 5300 miles later...the journey from Hollywood, Florida to San Diego, California and back is done.
And I am tired, and I think I have some dark circles under my eyes still...and I have the beginnings of a sinus infection...but mentally, spiritually and artistically I am rejuvenated. It was an amazing trip and I can't wait to go back again.
John and I have been making the trip back faithfully every year since we left...well, except for 2013. We never made it in 2013...too much going on. We were moving... there were weddings and other trips...starting new jobs, John was in the throes of his dissertation...it just didn't happen. And I felt it. I felt a void. It may seem like going back to the west coast is just a vacation, but it is so much more. We only lived in California for that one year, but it really made such an impact on myself and John, not only as individuals but as a couple. We literally packed up all of our belongings and put them in storage, loaded up our two cars and drove across the country. We only knew two people in San Diego...didn't know where we were going to live, ended up switching jobs when we got there...but we did it. And we have so many memories of our time out there, it was just us, our time.
This pic shows our first day in San Diego, back in September of 2006. We had just driven through the mountains out in east county straight into rush hour traffic...which totally freaked me out. We were driving two separate cars loaded down and stacked high with our belongings...it was just us. And I was scared...and I remember thinking, 'Oh my God, what was I thinking?'
But we made it through the mountains, and through that insane traffic...we made it to Pacific Beach, parked our cars, walked and found the perfect bean and cheese burrito at Cotijas (still a favorite)...then we went to the beach.
And we remembered why we came in the first place.
And every year we are reminded of why we keep going back to San Diego, to the West Coast.
It is really weird when I go back to visit now, and art is so much more a part of my life. I carried my art supplies with me to CA when we moved out there in 2006 but honestly, I didn't create much. I was think I was taking one or two classes on-line...I remember making some jewelry outside one time...but really, I wasn't creating art.
And now, that is all I do. It is who I am.
I made my daily pieces every day without fail when I was on my trip, not beating myself up if I didn't complete the piece and had to finish it up the next day. (which is really a big deal for me, this is something that I stress myself out about) In addition, one thing that I was really excited about this year was that I left a trail of angels everywhere I went. I made fifty angels on the plane en route to California and started making my #angeldrops on Friday. I ventured out on the boardwalk and left angels from Pacific Beach to Mission Beach and then dropped some off in Seaport Village and North Park. Saturday I left angels in Ocean Beach with the help of my 'angel street team' consisting of John, Jake and Jen aka my traveling companions. Sunday I left a special angel for Paul, our old landlord and friend and then a couple of angels at LAX.
I love leaving angels. This might be the most I have ever left in one batch, but as a small goal I would like to try to leave at least one every Friday as part of #freeARTfriday and the whole pay it forward idea.
So...well...I am back on the east coast. Ready to make more art...but every once in a while if you see me looking off in the distance...you know what I am thinking about. California. Here are some pics I pulled from my IG posts that show snippets of the trip and all the ARTastic adventures over on the west coast...enjoy!
Artist and Art Teacher