I awoke in my Aunt’s house in La Jolla, San Diego.
My Aunt was at work. She left me a list of suggestions of fun and interesting things to do.
I drank a cup of Peet’s coffee at her kitchen table as I planned my day.
I walked out of the house at 9:50am.
And got into my 2015 Nissan Altima rental car.
Guided by the Google Maps GPS on my iPhone 6, I headed to the Encinitas Self-Realization Fellowship Gardens.
I drove a half hour along the coast.
Instead of taking me to the Self-Realization Gardens, the GPS took me to the Self-Realization Temple. I didn’t know the difference between the Gardens and the Temple because I had never been to either before in my life. I thought they were one in the same.
A sign said the temple was closed.
“Oh well,” I thought, “I drove a half hour, to a closed attraction. But Encinitas is a cute town. I will walk around.”
On the corner, I noticed a yoga studio with its door open.
A 65-year-old woman, dressed in tidied (pronounced: tye-died) blue and white stretch pants stood looking out the window. Another 65-year-old woman was laying flat on her back on the floor. On top of a yoga mat.
I walked into the studio. I stepped into the doorway just as the woman standing up started talking to the woman on the floor. They didn’t notice I had walked in. I stood for twenty seconds.
“Excuse me, is there a class going on?” I asked.
“If people show up,” the tidied pants woman said to me smiling. She was the instructor.
“What kind of class is it?” I asked. Trying to sound confident.
“It’s a donation based practice class,” she said.
“What time does it start?”
I looked at my phone. It was 10:25am.
I walked into the studio. Took off my sneakers and socks.
“I don’t have a mat,” I said apologetically.
“I might have an extra,” she said. She walked behind the counter and handed me a pink mat with flowers on it.
“Oh, great. Thanks,” I responded.
I placed my mat in the center of the yoga studio and sat cross legged on the mat.
By 10:35am, 7 other 65-year-old women joined the class. And one man who walked in at 10:40am.
The class was an hour and fifteen minutes comprised of gentle yoga moves. The moves stretched my neck, back, hips, legs, stomach, knees, toes, eyes, etc.
The women in the class knew the upcoming yoga move before the instructor said the next one. It was apparent these people were regulars.
When I didn’t know a position, I used the short white/grey haired woman wearing astrological stretch pants in front of me to my right as my guide. Her stretch pants were dark blue with suns, moons, and stars. She was a tiny woman in great shape. She had perfect yoga moves and no fat on her body.
Attending the class was such a random experience. I didn’t know anyone. In a random Californian beach town. I liked it.
The class ended.
“Thank you so much,” I said to the instructor as I was leaving.
“Where are you from?” she asked me. Like a pink sock among yellow socks, I stood out.
“Staten Island, New York,” I said.
“I am from Rochester, New York,” She told me.
“I don’t really care,” I said.
Just kidding. I didn’t say that.
I left the class, leaving a $20 donation. I wanted to leave an $8 dollar donation but the yoga teacher was staring at me as I was counting my one dollar bills. Which made me feel nervous and cheap. So I left a $20 bill instead.
“You have to go check out the Self-Realization Gardens,” she said to me. She pointed up the block away from the temple.
“Ok. I will. Thanks!” I said happily.
I walked up the block in a great mood. The day was sunny. My body was filled with endolphins from the wonderful yoga class.
I reached the Meditation Garden’s sign.
I followed the arrow.
I walked onto the grounds.
The grounds were beautiful. Filled with manicured plants, grass, and trees.
I sat on a bench. Starring into the distance with good posture.
I walked through a tree path
to the top of the hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
I knew it is the Pacific Ocean because when I tagged a location on Instagram it located itself at the Pacific Ocean.
I tried to meditate but I don’t know how to meditate. Also I have a short attention span. I enjoyed the garden’s beauty.
I left the meditation grounds and headed to Swami’s Cafe on US 101 Highway.
I ordered a whole wheat protein wrap.
I ordered a peanut butter smoothie for the road. Made of peanut butter and vanilla ice cream.
I drove towards Mission Bay.
On my way I passed Sea World.
I felt intrigued. I went to Sea World in Florida as a child and loved it. My sister, Emily, was obsessed with dolphins and whales. She had a killer whale snow globe and many dolphin figurines in her bedroom. One dolphin figurine swung back and forth like a pendulum. During the SeaWorld show we attended circa 1997, Emily got called up to the whale tank, in front of the entire crowd, to sing a fish inspired rendition of the ABCs. If my memory serves me correctly.
My positive feelings towards Sea World turned negative after watching Blackfish. The documentary that revealed the harsh conditions for the caged Sea World animals. And the dangers the caged whales pose for the trainers.
To be honest, I would be entertained if I saw a trained whale show today. But I’d rather see whales swimming happily in the wild. I don’t think I would ever pay to see a whale show again.
I stopped at Mission Bay.
There were people biking and swimming and three women riding along the water on horseback.
I then drove to Point Loma.
A beautiful place to walk along cliffs and look at the ocean.
I pretended I was in the Reese Witherspoon movie, WILD.
Specifically where she hurts her toe. And falls to the ground.
I drove through the funky town of Hillcrest.
Then met my Aunt for a delicious sushi meal near her house.
We shared a vegetable spring roll, a veggie sushi roll, and a tofu/rice prepared as if it were salmon but it was tofu meal. It was delicious.