So, I had a baby. I also have a brother who lives near a beach and three months of maternity leave burning a hole in my pocket. About two months after said baby was born, I thought it would be a great idea to visit said brother. So I packed up my infant, his rock n’ play, his kick mat, my pump, a thousand outfits and a million diapers and headed west for a three day trip. And guess what? It WAS a great idea. We spent 72 hours lounging in a gorgeous beachfront condo that walked out onto the pacific beach boardwalk, the ocean a few hundred feet from the Adirondack chairs perched on the porch. That Tuesday through Thursday was filled with amazing food, leisurely strolls and long naps. The baby got to meet the ocean for the first time and hang out with his Uncle in his new home.
Besides an unfortunate event involving a large amount of projectile poop on the plane, a rushed run to the bathroom and pushing the almost naked baby to the baggage claim, the trip logistics were a breeze. Don’t get me wrong – it was still traveling with a baby, he still woke up at 4 am, I still growled at him when he crankily cried for seemingly no reason and I still wish I had a baby sitter so we could stay out past 7. But all in all, it was good. Plus, it makes you feel like a real badass, lugging this kid across the country by yourself, strangers complementing you on your seemingly calm demeanor (little did they know, if I could have reached my purse under the seat I would have ordered a double scotch).
The first morning we went to a breakfast place my brother loved – Hash House A Go Go. There were a few interesting things about this place: 1) everybody was drinking; 2) it was 8 am; 3) the plates were the size of the upper half of my body; and 4) it was goooooood.
After the marathon that was breakfast, we headed back to the house and packed for the beach. I wasn’t sure how the baby would feel about the bright mid-october sun, but after a few pictures, we put him back in his carseat and he slept and slept, the methodic tumble of the waves lulling his little baby brain to sleep.
We spent each afternoon on the deck, watching the sun slowly slide beyond the horizon, the golden light bathing everything in a hazy glow. My brother held the baby, the two of them making faces at each other as I watched and drank wine. It was one of those moments you tell yourself to try really hard to remember, because you know you’ll look back in months or years and the whole thing will seem far away.
One night we drove to a night market and walked around, then headed to another favorite place of my brother’s – an unassuming thai restaurant that served a spicy curry that made me warm and fuzzy. The beers didn’t hurt either.
The high point of the trip was lunch at Oscar’s Seafood, one of a thousand tacos joints in San Diego. I’m not sure what made the tacos so good – the fish, the shrimp, the beef, the cabbage, the avocado – you can find that anywhere in San Diego. But somehow, once you layer on the three sauces at each table, they are transformed into a magical mixture of mexican goodness.
The last day we spent walking down to the pier, watching the surfers catch waves in the chilly water. We stopped by the Shore Club for a last drink – redbull vodka slushie for my brother, who unlike his drink suggests, is not a 20 year old frat boy – and a jalapeno mango margarita for me – who, unlike my drink suggests, is not a 60 year old mom on a cruise.
After a stop off at In N’ Out burger, we made our way to the airport, hugging each other and promising to visit soon. When we were little, we used to slap each other all the time in the car (okay, it was mostly me doing the slapping), our dad screaming at us from the front of the van to knock it off or else. Who would’ve thought that two decades later, those kids would be hanging out in San Diego, one with a baby, the other with a view of the ocean, actually sad to see each other go? Until next time, Uncle David, we’ll be missing you and dreaming about shrimp tacos.