Relaxed vacation day

On my second day here in San Diego I wake up around 3am. That’s already half an hour later than yesterday, so I think I’ll slowly get adjusted here. I don’t mind waking up that early actually, because it allows me to finish quite some work before the sun gets up. I help some clients, answer e-mails and call with one of my designer friends about a work project. I am really thankful to have a profession that I like and can do everywhere in the world where there is internet.
After working a few hours I go for a swim again and head outside to try a different breakfast place. The one of yesterday was okay, really friendly people but the food wasn’t too impressive. Besides, I think it’s nice to try various places. The restaurant I go to today is called The Broken Yolk Cafe and is nicely decorated for Christmas. As soon as I walk in, it feels very “gezellig”, the Dutch word that is not really translatable into English, but means something in the line of comfy, friendly, warm. A very friendly waiter brings me some coffee and takes my order. We start talking and as soon as he hears that I’m from The Netherlands, he tells me he’s originally Dutch as well. He moved to America with his parents when he was 10 years old, but still speaks pretty good Dutch. It really is a small world, isn’t it? Most of the rest of our conversation is in Dutch and even though it’s only 7AM, meeting him has already made this day awesome. The food is great too, some of the most delicious pancakes I’ve had in a while and some eggs and bacon. And a lot of coffee, because my waiter is so friendly to keep the refills coming. Great start of the day!
The day keeps getting better, because my friend has planned for us to go hiking at an area north of San Diego called Torrey Pines. First we make a stop at a Barnes and Nobles store that’s on the route. I asked for that, because it’s my favorite book store in the US and I always enjoy spending some time there and discover new books. As usual I don’t leave the store empty handed and got myself a new book and a journal. I hope to do some writing and thinking in the coming time. Since it’s almost New Year’s I figure it’ll be a good time to make plans for 2022.
After the bookstore we drive to Torrey Pines and I’m really glad Brittany came up with this idea. It’s a beautiful coastal area. The sun is bright, it’s warm outside and the fresh ocean air smells very good. The hike is great, though I regret not wearing my shorts. I think I still have to make the mental shift from winter to kind of summer weather. It’s a bit too warm to be hiking in jeans, so next hike I’ll dress more appropriately for the Californian weather.
When we’re at a lookout point by the ocean, we start talking with an elderly couple and to my surprise are they from the Netherlands as well. That is the second time today I run into Dutch people, how big is the chance of that? We talk for a while and then continue the hike. It’s getting really warm now and I’m happy that our next destination is the beach. We pick up a nice healthy lunch which we eat at the beach. I start to get more in the vacation mode. As an entrepreneur it can sometimes be a bit challenging to find a balance between work and relaxing, especially if you love what you do. My dad had recommended me before this trip to not work too much and I’ll try to follow his advice. Today is a good vacation day in any case. When we’ve been at the beach for a while I ask my friend if we can drive a bit further north. When I was here the last time, about three years ago, I had found a really nice local coffee place along the coast, but I have forgotten the name and where exactly it was. We keep driving for quite some time until suddenly we see a big old yellow wooden building. That’s the coffee place I was looking for. It’s called Pannikin. I’m really happy that we found it back, because it’s a cozy place with great coffee and tea. Their cinnamon swirls are also delicious, so definitely try one if you’re in the area. We stay there for a while and I do some writing, like the last time I was here. Somehow this coffee place just invites to do some reflecting.
We head back home and I’m relaxing a bit in my hotel room, because tonight we’ve planned to hang out with friends so I want to have some energy left for that. I sleep for about an hour, but somehow that doesn’t seem like the right length for a powernap. I’m super tired when I wake up again, but I still want to grab dinner before I go to my friend’s place so I walk outside. I had already heard that San Diego is different in the weekend and it is indeed. The streets are crowded with party people and it’s busy everywhere. I don’t like it, so I head back to my hotel and eat some snacks that I had brought with my for the flight. Not having had dinner turns out to be a good thing, because Brittany got me a huge chocolate cake for my birthday which was last week. Her friends are super fun and they sing happy birthday to me and I blow out three and five candles. We have a great time and I actually feel like it’s a birthday party. We’re at the roof terrace above the hotel and as we look to the sky we suddenly see a lot of lights in the sky. It looks a bit like fireworks in slow motion. It’s amazing, in the coming minutes a lot of figures are made in the sky with all the lights. I’m amazed by what they can do these days like choreographing drones in the sky. We’re joking about how it’s a nice birthday gift, but it sure adds to the evening. Before I know it, it’s 10pm and time to go home. Slowly I’m adjusting the a day rhythm here. Today was a full-packed, but also relaxing vacation day. A beautiful day and I’m thankful for having a great friend in this city, makes it a lot better to be here than if I would have been here just by myself.

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