San Diego, California

by - 7/31/2016

Hello Friend!

I'm already in San Diego before my Hope Youth Corps trip in Mexico, and I'm staying at my friend Rachel Reyes' house. It's really funny because we had never met in real life before when I asked if I could stay at her house! We met over a prayer phone call that my friend Gwen set up. Then I met her at Reach - the conference I was just at with 18,000 disciples, and now I'm staying at her house with her wonderful family! 

The first day that I arrived in SD (*note I survived my first plane ride by myself), Rachel and I started catching Pokemon and then made fresh squeezed lemonade.
 It tasted so good and refreshing on that hot day! After dinner, Hannah, Rachel's older sister, drove Rachel and I to the beach and we all painted the sunset.
We climbed down between some brown crumbly rocks past the "Stay Back" sign and there was a fantastic view of the sunset when we reached the bottom. Then we drove home and their sweet dog Cali slept at the end of my bed. She is so cute.
On Friday, Rachel and I woke up and had a quiet time together and a fruit bowl for breakfast! I played guitar for a little bit. Rachel knows how to play the banjo! How cool is that?! We then got ready for a day at the beach which included more painting! 
We went hiking at the beach and walked at least two miles. Then we went into the water and splashed in the sea green waves. When Rachel and I came out of the water we decided to paint! Above are our paintings. Rachel's is the one with the beautiful sea foam color, mine is the one with the imaginary clouds(note* not often are there distinct clouds in California, only wispy things and overcast). We spent almost seven hours at the beach!
Hannah picked us up and then we came home and talked about surfing the next morning. For dinner we had this awesome meal that Rachel prepared, it was vegan pesto with spaghetti noodles and black beans. I added a little bit of Parmesan to it, but the pesto itself was really good. I had never had vegan pesto! 
Rachel suggested that after dinner we visit Mount Soledad, a high place in San Diego that has a giant cross up on it and lots of war memorial plaques to people who served. It was really beautiful to see, especially at sunset. There were a lot of pretty lights and Pokestops.
This morning, Rachel, Hannah, April and I woke up early and went surfing! Well Hannah and I went surfing, Rachel and April, a friend from Texas, painted on the beach. It was my first time surfing and I was able to stand up like four times! It was sort of like being on a never ending penny board until the wave stopped. Crossed that one off my bucket list. 
There's me on the surfboard! I'm farther back to the right. Great Photo Creds to Rachel! 
When we got back from surfing Rachel made vegan waffle mix and I put them into the waffle maker. They tasted delicious, they were light and fluffy and I added blueberries to some of them, which tasted really sweet. 
Then it was nap time after brunch! After Rachel and I woke up, Rachel's mom drove us to UCSD(University of California San Diego). They have amazing sculptures there and the library building is really pretty. There was even a Dr. Seuss room dedicated to him since he gave a lot of money to the library. Rachel and I walked past a giant rock bear and took some pictures in front of it! It was so cute. 
Later that evening we went to Old Town, which is this really cute touristy place with lots of good Mexican restaraunts! There was an extremely gifted guitar player/singer at the restaraunt we were eating at, and he played the song, "Piano Man" by Billy Joel on the guitar, but I think he changed a few words because he was playing on a guitar. It sounded so good on the guitar! 
It was a great way to end the night. I am so grateful that I got to visit San Diego before my HYC! 
See you in two weeks,
Joy :)

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