I have only been to California once before (to San Francisco, just after I took Step 1 of the boards in medical school), and I fell in love with it then. I traveled the city alone for the most part, as the friend I was planning to visit ended up moving back to Pennsylvania just before my visit (darn you, Bruce!) But it was still a relaxing, gorgeous couple of days with the weather being unseasonably warm — in the 80s the entire time I was there. My husband had not been to California before, so our recent trip to San Diego was a lovely treat for the both of us!
We visited my friend from residency who lives there now, and three other residency friends flew there this weekend as well. One of them surprised us by showing up at the bar we were at! All of us had not been in one place together since we graduated and left NOLA a year and a half ago. Part of our tiny group had gotten together at various times since then (for example during Jazz Fest and for 4th of July Weekend), but we were beside ourselves to all be together again. It is still amazing to me just how close three years of residency has made us, and we have kept our bond strong since then. Our continual group chat is one of the highlights of my life!
During the weekend, we enjoyed so much delicious, fresh, healthy food that was sourced locally. I had the most amazing salmon steak of my life as a side to my main course one night! We took long walks at the Sunset Cliffs, briefly visited Ocean Beach to dip our fingers in the Pacific (not toes because the water was too cold!), ate and drank the freshest food and juices at the local Sunday farmer’s market, and visited the enormous Balboa Park with its beautiful Japanese Friendship Garden. I still remember the serene Japanese Tea Garden I visited in San Franscisco and was thrilled to experience something similar again.
We spent one evening playing board games (and learning just how little knowledge I have about things non-medicine related =/). And oh! I also figured out what Uber is, finally. So amazing!
All in all, it was a peaceful, joyful weekend soaking in the sunshine of SoCal. I definitely hope to return again soon! Returning to the 30-something degree weather here solidified that urge even more.