We had only been married a couple of years when we decided to take a trip across the country to visit Tom’s parents. I was a Florida girl, born and raised, and had heard about California my whole life, but had never been. I had watched all the Gidget movies growing up and knew all about the great waves drawing surfers from all parts of the world. I also knew all the Beach Boys hits by heart and would swoon over lifeguards and the whole beach vibe as a teenaged girl.
But I was now married and all of 22 years old. What would California be like for me at this time in my life? I was soon to find out.
- Sailed on Tom’s uncle’s boat under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
- Spent a day in Yosemite National Park – just enough to realize how big God is.
- Experienced our first earthquake (although I slept through it!)
- Toured Universal Studios Hollywood and walked the sidewalk in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.
- Went to Del Coronado where I realized how cold the Pacific Ocean really is. There would be no bikinis worn in that cold water–wet suits would be necessary if you were to avoid hyperthermia.
- Visited the San Diego Zoo and Tijuana, Mexico.
We were only there two weeks, but we literally saw it all. I realized what a blessing it was to have married a man who loved to travel and visit new places as much as I did. That was almost 40 years ago, but the the memories are as fresh today as they were then.
The best part of this trip? It was planned three months after losing our first baby to miscarriage. We needed time away to help us think about other things, and California Dreaming fit the bill. What we didn’t know was that we would conceive our first-born son while there. It’s ironic that he has loved California his whole life as well–including being an avid fan of the San Diego Chargers, that is until they moved to LA. A sad day in our family.
Today we played a game introduced to us while on our trip in 1981–Rummikub. Not only is this the game we played, it is also the exact game pieces we learned to play on this trip decades ago. Tom’s dad recently moved in with us from San Diego and while helping him clean out his home of 45 years, I found this gem! I hadn’t thought of it in years, but today it all came back.
What things did you do in your early years of marriage that you haven’t thought of in years? Spend time reminiscing and realize how much history you share together. It is our memories that make our marriage unique. No one else shares your stories. You don’t even have to talk about the details. Often it’s a knowing look that brings much of what you experienced together back to life.
For us California dreaming on this winter’s day brought an afternoon challenge of Rummikub. Who won? Well–I’m not saying. I was always told it isn’t nice to brag.