I've decided I like myself much better when I'm on vacation. It's sad, but true that I take time to think of others, especially of strangers when I'm not harried by everyday living. I'll slow down and talk to someone, anyone just to share in the beauty of the day or to say hello. This morning I've already spoken to 3 different people while I watched my children play on the beach. One was a Muslim lady who was rather enamored by my muddy girl who was digging and splashing sand and water every which direction. She asked if she could take a picture and I consented and she showed me a few of the other ones she'd captured while walking along the beach. She was from Dubai and her husband was here for a conference. Imagine that, I have now spoken to someone from the other side of the world. Through our pantomimed English, she said she was to be here for 2 more days and thought that America was rather fun an carefree. I smiled and said that a day on the beach would certainly give that impression.
Another lady was from Canada, Edmonton actually, just a few hours north of where I grew up. She was originally from Austin TX and we chatted about the differences between the 2 countries. I teased her about the cold northern city she'd ended up in and we joked about all the countless way snow had a way of wiping a city, let alone a day completely out. She was down researching for her next book that searched back into her family history and we chatted a bit about the LDS Family Search System. While she was not LDS herself, she was helping to compile and condense parts of it, particularly those related to her side. It was her way of giving back to such an extensive system made free to all those with such an interest. She'd been unemployed since 2009 and took to writing, a secret ambition of hers. I told her I harbored such a thought myself but my only outlet was my blog and she gave me some encouraging thoughts and ideas that might spur me on in the future along such a path.
Another family was from Pennsylvania. While they helped to rinse the sand off my children I teased them about staying here in the Golden State to wait out the winter season. Somehow that landed us on the subject of the joy found in changing seasons and how much I missed that part of Canada that AZ just doesn't have. There was the earthy green of spring, the sleepy slowing of fall, the clean and crisp winter air and the happy go-lucky feeling of summer.
It's so funny to me how different people from differing state, countries and languages who randomly happen upon a beach together can have so many connections. This is the part of humanity I forget often as I try to get my to-do list done. They were brief conversations, anywhere from 5-15 mins but I enjoyed that moment - truly enjoyed it. I shall have to try and live my life like I'm on vacation more often!
A few shots of the day before Kent's conference in San Diego. I love Keila's chubby legs as she goes exploring the beaches.
Balboa park where we picnicked, played, went 'hunting' and tried to dig a dinosaur up out of the sand. I didn't have the heart to tell Isaac that the thing was probably cemented down in .... hours of pleasant occupation.