Staycation Extraordinaire

Whew, after the last week, I need a vacation! And I have just a couple of days to recover before I make the trek to South Africa.

It all started when Betsy and June decided we needed to celebrate my big move - so Sulebration was created. Three days of activities around our respective areas - so a day each in San Diego, Dana Point and Newport Beach. We each planned our “day” and spent the night at each local house.

We started out strong on Monday. Betsy arrived at Georgia’s house at 9 and Georgia took June’s spot (she had an unexpected rendezvous so wasn’t able to join us). And as Georgia was an Uber virgin, we coached her to order our driver and we headed down to America!

Georgia swung it so we could go out on the most gorgeous boat again. And we were treated to a dolphin spectacular, with hundreds of them swarming around and under the boat. They raced and jumped and circled and formed bait balls of fish until it looked like the ocean was boiling.

And we really didn’t care if we didn’t see a whale - the dolphin definitely stole the show.

Georgia, me and Betsy at Mitch’s Seafood

Georgia, me and Betsy at Mitch’s Seafood

Lunch was at Mitch’s, a very local, popular on-the-water eatery the Georgia loves. Best calamari taco! And of course, we had to have a beer along with it.

And so it went…

Monday night was a rooftop movie on the roof of the Hyatt Hotel, overlooking San Diego Bay and the city lights. Deck chairs were set up, warm blankets provided to protect from the evening chill which was mostly ameliorated by the hefty craft gins we enjoyed! I was very glad we had Ubered.

Tuesday was Betsy’s day and we started out in San Juan Capistrano’s Los Rios district. This is the oldest neighborhood in California and has several little art studios and fun stores plus the Los Rios Tea House where we met up with June for a delightful lunch, which naturally, started off with Champagne.

We browsed the stores after lunch and headed back to Betsy’s for a swim (at least she swam, June and I sunbathed) and to prepare for the next part of the big adventure!

And although the Goat Yoga event (something I had heard of and apparently is a “thing”) unfortunately didn’t happen due to the instructor’s family problem, we did get to play with the goats. Betsy has always loved these little critters, and they certainly are cute but I don’t have a clue how you could actually do yoga with them prancing around and on you.

By the time we got home, after picking up Thai food, it was time to open more wine and gin - holy moly, it was non-stop!

Betsy and June

Betsy and June

Next day was north to Newport Beach, where we had a delightful morning at Roger’s Gardens, the spectacular nursery which is a blaze of autumn colors. From marigolds to Monarch butterfly gardens, Roger’s has it all. It’s a huge place and a great place to get ideas for landscaping, not that I’m likely to be doing any of that in the near future.

We stopped in at Bristol Farms for a trip around the salad bar before heading to Sur La Table for a cooking class. This was a first for me and it was such fun. The class was small, just four people, and our young chef Zack led us through the menu - butternut squash ravioli, chicken under a brick and a sinfully rich, flourless chocolate cake.

After eating everything we cooked, we needed to walk it off and went down to Balboa Island, where I have lived on and off over the years. So there were lots of memory flashes as we walked both the big and little islands before heading home to June’s.

The Grande Finale of our staycation was a visit to a whiskey bar! I’m not a real whiskey/bourbon fan, but it was fun tasting several of the local (West Coast) ones. It’s a lovely setting but very crowded and noisy as it’s just across the street from the University of California Irvine. But definitely worth going to and I even liked a couple of the tastes. Although I will most likely stay with gin and rum!

It was a tremendous send off. I am really going to miss “the girls” as we have spent a lot of time together the last few months. I think leaving my friends and Ryan are the hardest things to handle. But I am not saying goodbye to anyone, just “See you later.” It doesn’t feel so final.


Thursday was a huge milestone for me when I finally got rid of the millstone that has been dragging me down for so many years. It’s such a relief to know that I never, ever have to deal with him again.

Free at last… great way to moving on to the next chapter.