End of August 2014:
My dad has had a wide variety of visits to California in his time: Bootcamp at Camp Pendleton, a family vacation to Disneyland with two young daughters, his convertible rode trip across the country, helping me settle in after my move from San Francisco to Orange County, and possibly most importantly, Andy and my wedding. And although I had the pleasure of seeing my dad more times than usual this summer, his trip to California in August was one my heart will cherish forever.
My dad arrived to LAX on the Friday morning that Andy happened to be leaving for Austria. It was sad to say goodbye to Andy but I felt comfort knowing I'd get to hang with my original main man for the next week.
We took our time heading back to Orange County, first stopping in Long Beach to tour the USS Iowa and admire the breathtaking scenery in Rancho Palos Verdes.
We spent the next week together enjoying all that Orange County has to offer. We camped at San Onofre and explored dad's old Marine stomping grounds, ate beignets for breakfast at Beachcomber (which dad deemed better than Cafe du Monde in Nola!), body surfed and boogie boarded some crazy waves thanks to the hurricane in Mexico, paddle boarded around the island, stuffed our faces with Bear Flag fish tacos, frozen bananas, Laguna Rooftop, and Ruby's Shake Shack, the list goes on...
Before I knew it, we were saying goodbye. Dad was off to LAX and I was heading to Matt and Jo's rehearsal dinner (more on that coming!).
It was such a blessing to spend a whole week one-on-one with my dad. It's easily been more than 10 years since we've hung out for an extended time just the two of us (yeah, I went there…). We shared stories, had meaningful conversations, and stuffed our faces with amazing food, thereby collectively gaining somewhere around 15 pounds.
So, Dad, on your special day I wanted to be sure to share pictures from your AWESOME trip to California and tell you just how very grateful I am for you. You are smart, courageous, strong, adventurous, loving, and beyond generous. I love you, daddy. Happy Birthday!