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A Trip to California - Some Special Time with Family
Beautiful Laguna Beach in Southern California
Flying to California
A Trip to California, visiting my Dad.
I love going back to California, the place where I was born and grew up so much of my life. I don't live there anymore, but a lot of my family does, so its a joy to get to go back and see them whenever I can.
This trip, my focus is really to visit my father, who has been struggling with frontal lobe dementia for a time. It has been hard to watch him go through this and hard that there isn't more that can help him. However, he is very much at peace, and happy, and is very comfortable as much as seems to be possible. I just want to share what I did on this trip to California.
I flew out to John Wayne Airport, in Southern California in Santa Ana to be exact. On the way out, I took American Airlines, and had a layover in Dallas Texas. On the way home, I will be flying with Southwestern Airlines. I have a layover in Colorado that time.
The Initial Parts of the Trip and the Purpose
I got a rental car from Budget for a great deal, and I was thankful for that. On the way to my sisters house that first night, I was passing my Aunt and Uncle's house, and I thought that I would just stop in real quick to say hello. We had a great and short little visit! Then I went on to my sisters house.
Next day, we went to see my Dad, and then went by my aunt and uncle's house again, before heading on over to Claim Jumpers Restaurant. I have always liked that restaurant, mainly their huge mud pie, and their buffalo wings! My dad got fish and chips and we all had great food. There is something to be said for asking people last minute to go out to lunch or dinner, sometimes they can do it! We took our time, had great food and coffee. Mainly visiting was the purpose, with my dad and it was a great time for all. Low key really, and I was so happy to get to spend that time with my dad and family.
Orange County in Southern California - Map
Having fun and relaxing
We got my dad the next day, and took him to Barne's and Noble bookstore. We actually spent a long time there, and enjoyed getting coffee as well. We sat outside and just relaxed and visited together and laughed and had fun. My dad ended up picking out an Italian cookbook! So I got that for him and I got a special historical publication put out by Time Magazine. So far I really am enjoying it. My sister got a cookbook on comfort foods, and tried out the macaroni and cheese that very night. My niece also got a new book about fashion which looks really cool. Of course, there were a million other things we all wanted to get!
We drove around some older neighborhoods, that kind that are kind of dreamy with really cool architecture involved. These aren't the cookie cutter neighborhoods at all. It doesn't take much to enjoy some time together. It meant a lot to me to get to spend all this time with my dad.
Lily Pads in one of the gorgeous Ponds
The Newer Basilica in San Juan Capistrano
Day out to the Beach and San Juan Capistrano Mission
The next day was a kind of different day, and I took off for a place I have always wanted to go back to now that I am older. It is the San Juan Capistrano Mission, an amazing place! It is the oldest original church building and grounds in the whole state of California! That place and topic is worth its own dedication and time so I will cover it more later. It was very touching, and beautiful, and the gardens and birds there were just beyond lovely. The big fish in the ponds with water lilies were so neat to see. I love an old mission, and there aren't that many around anymore. I have been to a neat Mission in Texas as well. If you ever get the chance, go and see one. The history is fascinating and beautiful.
After that, I went along up highway 1, up the Pacific Coast Highway going North. Taking Crown Valley exit, I went to Laguna beach, and also Corona Del Mar, which is going up towards Balboa and Newport Beaches. If I had the time, I could just spend it going to all of these beautiful areas. The biggest treat that day?..well it was supposed to be stormy with lightning and thunder, but it was clear and beautiful though somewhat cloudy. The blue sky broke through the clouds, and it was a dry day. I am so thankful for that, because I really got to enjoy the beach and hear the waves and see birds and tide pools, etc.
This was leading towards evening, when I went to my uncle's house to pick him up and my Neice as well to then go get my Dad again. We were taking him to one of our favorite Mexican Restaurants! Don Jose's has been a long time family favorite. The chips and salsa are always so good, you can't go wrong there. We had a long visit together there, before we had to get my Dad back. After this, I went and visited with my Aunt and Uncle and their daughter, and we just had a good long time talking together. Wow, what a fun day!
I had a great time, and am so thankful to my sister and brother in law for having me at their place. I truly enjoyed all the time I had with them. If you ever get around to the Southern California area, perhaps I have given you a few ideas of some things to do. Last stop with my Dad was to Coco's Restaurant in Tustin. We all had the best cinnamon roll french toast combos!
My trip home on Southwestern Airlines was pretty good, though running a bit late. I liked that I was in the "A" category both times, so I could have a window seat. They also have snacks, crackers and peanuts and a complimentary drink as well. This is becoming a thing of the past almost, to even have a snack much less a meal on the airplane! I had a layover in Phoenix Arizona, and the airport was busy but fine. Back home now, and had a long day at work but I am happy and thankful for sure for all the things life offers that I can be a part of.