I'm in San Diego visiting my daughter, MaryBeth, who moved here with her husband Drew six months ago. MB and Drew love pretty much everything about this place, and after being here for four days I understand why. The near perfect weather is a given, which allows them to do what they love most: hike, camp, explore. They took Barbara and me to La Jolla, where we ate a picnic lunch on a cliff near the Salk Institute. From that spot we looked down at the beach hundreds of feet below, and out at the blue Pacific, feeling like we could see all the way to Hawaii. There is a glider park nearby, so people floated over and around us as we munched. Gliding on the air currents that are constants at these cliffs looked like great fun, a little dangerous, but very serene. After lunch, we hiked a short but spectacular trail near the famous golf course at Torrey Pines. I had forgotten my sun screen, and as you can see from the blue sky in the photo, the sun was quite intense. Drew produced an umbrella. My first thought was "no." All around us, healthy young hikers in little more than tee shirts and shorts walked the trail, and all I needed to prove that I was certifiably an east coast geek was to carry an umbrella, the equivalent of wearing a Speedo to a formal cocktail party. But the sun was intense, and to enjoy the hike meant I needed some protection from it, so after weighing the alternatives, I resigned myself to being a geek. The reason I'm laughing in the photograph is because the very first person we encountered on the trail, coming at us, also carried a black umbrella. You can see him in the background of the photo. Hey, this is California, and to feel weird is not so hard, but to actually be weird takes a lot more than carrying an umbrella on a sunny day.
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