It’s 8 a.m. Monday morning, July 24, and I am back in the saddle and back at my desk after nearly three weeks on the road between teaching in Italy and vacationing with my family in La Jolla, California, where I grew up. Here are some scenes from our vacation (images and notes from my last Italian sojourn forthcoming).
There were so many highlights from our summer vacation this year. But I’ll never forget that magical moment of finally being strapped in aboard a plane bound for California. The folks at Southwest were super nice and everyone was super cool about our car seats on the plane (I can’t say that every airline is like that!).
Here’s the view that awaited us on the other side. That’s the La Jolla Children’s Pool (beach), where I used to swim as a kid.
The Children’s pool has been taken over by the seals in recent years. So I took the girls nearly every morning to search for shells at the nearby La Jolla Cove, where the seals also hang out but still leave enough room for humans.
On Friday, July 14, we celebrated my 50th birthday (!!!) with an all-star hometown show at La Jolla’s sole rock club, Beaumont’s.
I may be 50 but, man, I still know how to rock it out… It was so great to connect, play, and share a drink with so many friends from high school (I graduated La Jolla High, class of ’85). Especially fun to play “Polk Salad Annie,” about a girl from southeast Texas. ;)
On Saturday, July 15, a big group of us sat down over dinner at Jaynes Gastropub and opened some of the best bottles from my cellar. Bruno Giacosa gave Tracie P and me that magnum of 04 red label Barolo Rocche del Falletto when we visited the winery on our honeymoon in 2010. That wine was stunning but the bottle that showed best and the most evolved that night (imho) was the 04 Barbaresco Moccagatta by Produttori del Barbaresco. What a flight of wines! Thank you, Jayne and Jon, for hosting at the restaurant and thanks to everyone who came out. I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate my 50 years on this planet.
The girls loved playing at Grandma’s. That’s a photo Tracie took in her living room, which looks out on to the Pacific Ocean. Even “June gloom” is beautiful in La Jolla.
The real original anchorman, Paul Bloom of “39 Alive” in a photo from my childhood scrapbook. That one’s for you, Michele!
A lot of people on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean asked me about my social media post from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. Being self-employed, you’re really never on vacation: I took a day out to do staff training in Los Angeles at Rossoblu where I co-author the wine list. I took the Surfliner commuter train from SD to LA.
Dulcis in fundo, we came back to Houston to celebrate Lila Jane’s fourth birthday on Saturday. I wish I could share the videos of her singing “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson and “For the First Time in Forever” from the “Frozen” soundtrack, a couple of her favorite songs (copyright media and so not shareable). She really belted them out like a pro! It was a wonderful coda to our vacation.
Thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes and for following along. All in all, it’s not so bad to be 50, especially when I’m standing next to Tracie and our beautiful little girls. Life’s been good to me so far…