Saturday, January 4

San Diego, Day 9

After a quiet morning of the usual, plus Pattie’s starting to look and plan ahead for a dive trip she’s wanted to make for a while—this for next December already!—we left at noon to head up to the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla. 

It’s not an enormous aquarium, but its highlights are super; namely seadragons, which are new to me.  Sea horses, more familiar, were also great to see, but the sea dragons, as you can see, are otherworldly.

A leafy sea dragon
…and in motion
sea dragons being sea dragons

Their central tank had a nice variety of animals, from California Morays to a 300-lb 30-year old sea bass, leopard sharks, and more.  We enjoyed seeing the divers enter, clean, feed, etc., while hearing a talk about the impressive and enormous sea kelp. 

big ol’ sea bass among the kelp
sea bass grabbing a quick suction-bite

The kelp forests are, we understand, a major draw for divers around here.  As kelp thrives in temps ranging from 43-57, and we don’t dive with dry suits, I don’t think that’s something we’ll see firsthand any time soon.

Every afternoon will lead to a sunset, right?  So like everyone else here, it’s nice to find a good place to enjoy the changing colors.  So when we headed out of the aquarium, we drove south to Mission Beach.  The broad boardwalk made for comfortable walking and eye-popping people watching.  From walkers and runners to riders of bikes, scooters, skateboards, to roller bladers and roller skates, tons of dogs being walked, run, and carried; from people walking with large families to people who work very hard to be seen; on the beach itself people playing games of all sorts, surfers, cheerleading teams working on acrobatics… lots and lots of life to see.  Pattie and I found a good spot to grab a beverage and watch the setting sun and take in the sights on the boardwalk and the beach. 

After sunset a walk to Marcy’s, for best taco stand meal (perhaps the best meal!) we’ve had these past weeks. Then a stroll through Belmont Park, the adjacent amusement park, a drive back to North Park and a gelato at Figaro’s to cap off the evening. A sweet, sweet day in all respects.

So relaxing.  Alternatively focusing on something to see here, the changing sky there, losing visual focus and following a train of thought about current writing, having attention re-grabbed by some person or dog.  Just being.  Not worrying about job-work, but just al momento and fading in/out of writing while letting senses lead the ride.  This feels new.

It feels like falling in love with living life; feels like an affair, cheating on working life.  I feel like I’m pushing 60 and only now learning something important about life and living.  I’ve had others in life model this living for me—but I’m ‘getting’ it today.  Mornings writing, afternoons exploring with Pattie.  This is to be life for the next months, and this just cannot get any better.