If someone would have told me – “When you’re twenty four, you will be spending a lovely Sunday afternoon, eating an authentic and fresh burrito at a Farmers Market in a small Southern California beach town with the most genuine and handsome of men” I would have probably laughed in your face.
It is no surprise that sometimes life doesn’t go as planned. We’ve been told that from day one, or at least I have. I’m reminded day after day that life, the universe, God, whoever- has a plan that is so much better than the one we have for ourselves. Yet still I, like most lost-twenty something’s, get caught up in the dream of what we want our lives to be. We get lost in the ideas of what things could be and set expectations for this beautiful, magical life that we want. Then, when the real world comes and crushes those dreams we are a left a little unsure where to turn next. Somehow, we manage to always pick ourselves up and keep on rolling through this maze. It helps to have good people by your side that makes the adventures worthwhile.
Sunday, Dave and I decided to venture up the I-5 and check out some hikes and new beaches. Feeling confidant with his GPS skills, he opted out of using a GPS and instead relied on memory. With the car radio off, we spend our rides in conversation and taking in the scenery around us. Focused on the road we missed the exit we were initially intending to take and instead found ourselves in the little beach town of Solana Beach.
Finding a neighborhood spot by the beach, we parked, grabbed the camera and set off to stroll the towering cliffs and crashing waves neither of us had explored before. The sand melted between our toes while the cool ocean breeze blew my already notorious messy hair all over my face. The sun beat down and I couldn’t help but feel like everything was in it’s right place. No life is ever perfect, but goodness in this moment, mine sure felt like it was.
It seemed that most of the beach was a continuation of private property. Towering over the sea, on the cliffs above were million dollar mansions and condos, all with the most amazing views. Every couple yards or so another staircase from above came peeking down through the rocks. Because of this, the beaches weren’t super crowded other than the occasional dog walker and couple on a Sunday stroll. It was peaceful and perfect for our goofy selves.
When the early afternoon rolled round and the hunger inside had waited long enough, we ventured back down the beach and up to the adorable rows of shops, cafes, restaurants and bars. Dave had been here once before so he briefly knew his way around the quaint downtown area. Strolling along, I loved the bold and bright flowers that bud against the lush green trees and plants. In great contrast with the cloudless blue sky, they stand out and are really something else for the eye. I could stop and take photos all day of them.
We made our way to the café but decided that the farmers market we saw along the way seemed more fitting for us. It was definitely the right idea. Open only on Sundays, the Solana Beach Farmers Market was uniquely delicious to many senses. An aroma of fresh strawberries filled the air. Arts and crafts, homemade knick-knacks, clothes, fruits, veggies and eggs were just a few things for sale. A young girl, playing her acoustic guitar and singing her own rendition of classic Beatles and Fleetwood Mac songs, entertained the three-block market. The food stands were unlike any I had seen at a Farmers Market before. Pizzas, tacos, burritos, fruit smoothies, lasagna; the options were incredible. You could get any genre you were craving. Best of all, it was fresh food and reasonably priced. We decided on burritos – which were very generous in size.
The entire time we were eating those delicious steak and fish burritos, I couldn’t help but again, feel so blessed. Dave recently had a conversation with a man who was seemingly living the dream. He was paid to travel all over the world to film and do extreme activities and sports. The man made a comment that he wasn’t ‘lucky’ it was just the life he chose to live. As Dave was telling me this story, it made me think. Perhaps, he is right. Maybe he isn’t and we aren’t necessarily lucky. Sure there is definitely good luck and bad luck but, ultimately you decide the life you want to live. I decided that instead of questioning how or why I felt so lucky, to just embrace it. Your life is meant to be lived exactly the way you want it.
After lunch, we took a slow cruise down the 101 towards home. It was a picture perfect day outside- seventy degrees, bright blue skies and not a cloud in sight. Cruising with the windows down, hearing the ocean waves crash into the sand, I closed my eyes for a moment and just let it all sink in. I love the way you can take the 101 from one beach town to another and just get lost in a dream. The sight of the ocean doesn’t seem to get old however, the traffic I’m sure will.
We had absolutely no agenda for the day other than soaking up the sunshine. Dave kept following the road, turning whenever he pleased with no real destination in mind. We found ourselves at Torrey Pines Gliderport. Overlooking San Diego and the beaches below, it’s amazing how places can quickly remind you just how small you are. How large this earth is and how much there is for us to see and discover. While we were looking out, there were paragliders taking off, floating around and landing. I loved the way their parachutes providing a striking contrast against the blues of the sky and ocean and natural hues of the rocks, sand and land.
Making our way back to Pacific Beach, the day wouldn’t be complete without catching the sun set on the beach. One of our favorite activities together, we decided to head to a different spot, rather than our usual for the sunset. Pacific Beach was still very active and full of life- you can tell summer is right around the corner. The surfers were still catching waves, kids were still playing in the sand, dogs prancing through the seaweed and couples were cuddled up to watch the sun set on another perfect SoCal day.
Time escapes no one. Money can’t buy it, you can’t pause it and it’s something no human can ever control. When the sun sets on another day and the moon greets you with a smile, all that’s left are the memories and moments you keep in your heart. While planning life, sometimes time gets the best of us and life wakes us up with a completely different idea than we ever thought or imagined for ourselves. Usually though, the plan that life has for us is better than we could have imagined. It’ll all work out in the end, for now enjoy those moments before they pass.