First flight brings tortilla delight
Where do I begin? Last week Jan, Lydia and I flew to San Diego. Jan had a business conference there so Lydia and I decided to tag along. This was our first major travel experience as a family. Packing, excitement, and planning all preceded our arrival at the Minot International Airport at 3:30 a.m. Seeing Miss Lydia go through security and step on to her first airplane had all the excitement one would expect. Lydia’s eyes were wide with wonder as we took to the sky. “Daddy, how does this plane stay up in the air?” Thank goodness I had been listening in science class and proceeded to tell her that we are simply defying gravity! I assured her it is just a bit more complicated than making meringue.
Strand after strand of orange and yellow lights added to the patchwork of color of the Magic City beneath the airplane’s wing. The tonal beauty of the night had been coaxed by a painter’s hand to a quiet shimmer of copper. As we edged higher into the shadowy sheers of night, this exquisite prairie mosaic simply slipped from sight. Lydia closed her eyes and whispered “Daddy-getting up this early made it seem that we had no night!”
Intense color of aquamarine from the San Diego Bay spotted with white sails and terra cotta roofs, welcomed us. Warms temps and palm trees-longtime companions of this area-waltzed together and invited us to join them. We had arrived in San Diego!
It was my first time visiting this fine city. Everywhere I looked I could see tropical gardens and landscaping adding impressive embellishments. We had the delight of staying at the Seaport Village. This is an addition which was added to San Diego’s downtown in 1980. It encompasses 23 acres of prime waterfront on the site of the old Coronado Ferry Landing. The quaint village has been instrumental in rejuvenating downtown San Diego.
Seaport Village’s many restaurants offer splendid cuisine and stunning views of the bustling San Diego harbor. It was here that we enjoyed lunch with my high school classmate Helen Hoff-Damanhoury. How wonderful to have our personal tour guide! She and her family have lived in San Diego for 23 years and enjoy Seaport Village often. She shared with us the many restaurants in the area, as well as other rich historical attractions all within walking distance from our hotel.
For years I have thought Helen could be a twin to the late Bea Arthur. She is blessed with comic wit and striking features like Bea. Spending the day with her was certainly one of the highlights of this trip. She strolled into the lobby of the Marriott Marina Hotel laden with Cinderella items. Needless to say, Lydia was overwhelmed and certainly delighted. She said to me, “My daughter is in college, and she still loves Cinderella. Trust me, this is a good idea!”
Helen suggested that we take time to cross the impressive San Diego Coronado Bridge and spend time in Coronado, as well as at the landmark Hotel Del Coronado. We took her advice, and it was on this beach that Lydia dipped her toe into the Pacific Ocean. With much glee she ran and played in the sand and waves.
Connecting with classmates is always something I have enjoyed. As we strolled the Seaport Village, we shared many memories of the village that shaped us-Underwood, North Dakota. We had spent 12 years in school together, our parents knew each other, and I served as their paperboy. In a changing world, it is a great comfort to travel to a large city and spend time with a caring, lifelong friend. We did not have time to see all the attractions in San Diego and that was okay. We selected to see a couple of attractions and to reconnect with a friend-that made this trip one of pleasure. On the way home, Lydia leaned over and said “Daddy, that Helen is sure a nice lady, and she is really good at playing catch with my Cinderella ball.”
With Mexico being in sight from the San Diego Bay, we delighted in some authentic Mexican recipes. Here is one that is fast becoming a favorite in our home.
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