Reading is like thinking, like praying, like talking to a friend, like expressing your ideas, like listening to other people’s ideas, like listening to music, like looking at the view, like taking a walk on the beach. ~Roberto Bolaño
Recently, I trekked across the United States from Latrobe, Pennsylvania to San Diego, California. Why? Thrill of the Hunt was hosting a scavenger hunt. What an adventure!
On Saturday, September 10, 2016, Thrill of the Hunt hosted our very first public scavenger hunt in San Diego. It was a dog scavenger hunt. Yes, Thrill of the Hunt is going to new distances with our events and we’re really expanding, bringing our adventures to others.
How did the trip go? Honestly, it was very stress free and actually relaxing. Is this unusual? Sure. I mean keep in mind, planning an event and getting all the logistics in order prior to leaving is a challenge all it’s own. Then, tack on making sure everything gets packed, arriving on location in good time, and getting acclimated to the area, plus dealing with any changes or roadblocks along the way, and making the event happen as best as possible is a huge task. One I relish in.
Usually, the first issue begins with me catching my plane on time. Yes, believe it or not, that’s always an issue. Is it because I’m naturally a late person? No. In fact, I’m notorious for being early. Unfortunately, when flying, I always underestimate my departure time, or I run into unforeseen problems or literal roadblocks.
This time was different, I left with more than enough time and guess what happened? Nothing! No traffic, no getting lost, which does happen to me a lot, even though I know where I’m going, no plane delay, no suitcase lost, nothing. I thought of everything, although I did forget the dog bowls to refresh the dogs, but the Bark Park had an actual water fountain for dogs. Really? Yes!
We’re did I go? I flew into San Diego. The dog scavenger hunt was held at Westfield UTC shopping plaza. I met the participants at the Bark Park and they maneuvered their way throughout the dog friendly shopping area. It’s a lovely place with the store entrances in close proximity to one another and isolated from traffic. Perfect for dogs on the move.
What else did I do while in sunny San Diego? I didn’t have much time, but I did explore a little. I went to Mission Beach, which was breathtakingly beautiful. I loved the boardwalk (cement). It stretched along the coast, with sandy beaches and crashing waves on one side, and houses, restaurants and retails stores on the other. People on skateboards, bikes and some with dogs traveled up and down enjoying God’s handiwork.
Did I swim, go surfing, or jog while there? No. In fact, I didn’t realize I never packed my swimsuit and I forgot sunscreen. I was so focused on the event, it never occurred to me that I’d have extracurricular time. So I walked and walked up and down the coast until dark, watching the sun set Friday night.
After the dog scavenger hunt on Saturday, I was given a recommendation to visit Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá. It’s the first Franciscan mission in The Californias, a province of New Spain. Let me tell you, VERY COOL! I even arrived in good time to tour around, hit the confessional, sit and pray, and then I attended mass, which incidentally they played a bunch of my favorite songs. It was a very spiritually enhancing and refreshing experience. I’ll admit, while I was praying for Kyle’s well-being, I wished he was there, knowing he’d be intrigued by the history and structure of the buildings and gardens.
After church, I headed back to Mission Beach. One could say, I was hooked, even though I’m not much of a beach person. I stopped at a taco stand and ate my dinner sitting in the sand watching the waves roll in while the sun set. I continued where I left off the night before, walking around, stretching my legs and enjoying the atmosphere until darkness fell. I was going to stop in a pub for a drink, to relax and soak up more of the energy, but I didn’t want to push my luck. After hours and packed bars on a Saturday night, plus an out-of-towner, seemed like a recipe for trouble.
By the time Sunday rolled around, it was time to pack and head home.
What books did I read? One part about traveling that I absolutely love, beside the adventure of it all, is the time I get to read. Usually, on any trip, especially one that involves an airplane, I read a book leaving and one coming home. This trip was no exception. I read The Girls by Emma Cline heading to San Diego. I knew the book took place in California so I thought it appropriate. Coming back, I read the Young Elites by Marie Lu. This is a series, which I need to get the next book, and the third will soon be released.
Next year when I head out to San Diego, I’m going to be prepared and bring my swimsuit, sunscreen and maybe I’ll try a few surf lessons. I’ve always wanted to learn. Actually so did Kyle, when he was little.
I missed my little man. Where was he? He had a football game Friday night, and a band competition and practice all day Saturday, on their home field. I wished I was there to cheer him on, but alas I was almost 2,500 miles away expanding Thrill of the Hunt into new territory. I texted him on Saturday wishing him good luck, with no response. I also texted and called him on Sunday before leaving, and again no answer. I just wanted to hear how his weekend went and to tell him how much I love him before flying home. Maybe one day Kyle will rejoin Thrill of the Hunt and we can travel together.
Kyle’s a great traveler, even at the age of fifteen. We’ve trained him well, he’s been traveling since he was a little tyke, to either my sister’s in Virginia, New York for mom’s work, West Virginia to visit Casey, plus the trips Nicole and Kyle took. Yep, he’s already a world traveler.
Now for the funny story. After everything is an adventure with me. It’s actually only a funny for me, but I’ll share. Being a Latrobe native, we don’t have many skateboarders around, it’s not a lifestyle like it is in San Diego. While walking around the boardwalk, I’d hear the wheels and the clapping of decks from skateboard after skateboard. Sure there were some roller blades and a lot of bikes, but equally as many skateboards. Eventually, I paid attention to the people riding the skateboards. More than not, I made a mental note that they were older people, with the exception of a few youngsters. Then it dawned on me, Wait, I’m their age! I do have this thing about me. I seriously forget how old I really am. That made me chuckle. The noise was very soothing to me, taking me back to my childhood.
I had a great adventure and I look forward to the next.