By last Wednesday morning, G and I were no longer just in the same place geographically. We were both aching for an experience; one that was ours and ours alone - not wanting to retrace my past footsteps anymore, but to do something that was new for both of us. We were ready for an adventure.
We just weren’t ready for the one we got.
The day started as well as any day can - Breakfast Burritos from Saguaro’s. If you’ve ever been to Moe’s, you know they make huge burritos. The breakfast burritos from Saguaro’s are at least that size or bigger, and they’re one of my top 3 all time breakfasts. This is a massive compliment from someone who loves breakfast as much as I do.
Anyway, G’s a wimp and the burrito was too spicy for her, so I stopped and got a big bottle of water for her on the way to Lake Poway. One bottle of water. For both of us. Foreshadowing.
See, we were going to Potato Chip Rock, and I googled it and found that it was on Mt. Woodson Trail, which is right next to Lake Poway. When we got there it took about 10 minutes for me to even find a map that could tell us where we needed to go, and we finally started on the Poway trail at about 10:15.
Unless you like hiking I don’t know how you can get to Potato Chip Rock. It’s almost a mile just to get to Mt. Woodson trail, which is then 2.9 miles to Potato Chip Rock. 2.9 miles up steep climbs, sharp cutbacks, and magnificent views. You gain 2300 feet in those 3 miles to a final elevation of 2855 feet. And it took us an hour and a half of solid hiking just to get to the top.
I can only remember one time we stopped longer than the length of time it takes to take a picture, and it was because G dropped our water bottle off a cliff and I had to climb down to save it.
I was so tired, but I obviously couldn’t show it in front of G, so I decided to make jokes and try to play it off like it wasn’t that bad. If I’d had it my way, though, we’d have just stopped at the top and waited for a search helicopter to find us. Wouldn’t have taken too long, I don’t think.
I’m glad we didn’t stop though - thank God for my pride - because when we got home, we only had about an hour and 15 minutes to shower, get changed, and get to the pier in San Diego to catch the 4:00 ferry to Coronado. G’s a girl, so we got to the pier in an hour and 20 minutes - parking and getting out of our car just in time to watch the 4:00 ferry leave the dock, making us wait an extra hour.
When we finally did make it to the “island,” we walked all the way across it - slightly more than a mile, which isn’t fun when you’re dressed up and have already hiked 7.5-8 on the day - to get to dinner at a mexican place called Miguel’s, where we had a wonderful dinner with amazing margaritas and better conversation. Originally the plan was to get Cold Stone after, but we were so full and decided to walk on the beach next to the Hotel del Coronado instead.
Well. I decided. The margs hit Gia pretty hard, and I had to drag her, literally kicking and screaming, onto the beach. But I had a goal - I had to get her in the Pacific Ocean before she left! - and I accomplished that goal, even if it was just her feet. We also got some pretty beautiful pictures of the sunset before getting a sketchy cab ride back to the ferry so we could head back to reality and away from this town right out of the 50s. By then it was dark, and unfortunately the old woman taking our picture couldn’t keep the camera still, so we don’t have good proof how beautiful the San Diego skyline is lit up. But it’s hard to forget.
Coronado is one of the most romantic places I’ve ever been. I think that the town is beautiful and I’m so glad to have been able to walk through it, even though I was exhausted at the time.
Potato Chip Rock is one of the least rewarding hikes I can remember: you can’t see the actual rock until about 2 minutes before you arrive, so you have no idea how far away you are. And the view is fantastic from the very first step you take down at Lake Poway, but still: about halfway through, you start trying to remember a time when you turned a corner and a big hill wasn’t the first thing you saw. But it’s so worth it. It’s one of the coolest things that I’ve done in San Diego, and the picture of G and I is one of the best souvenirs you can get for free.
To spend a day being in both of those places, with a ferry ride in between, cost Gia and I the money we spend on dinner plus $17 total for our ferry tickets. We also took that cab on Coronado, but you really don’t have to, especially if you haven’t just done PCR.
The second most beautiful part of the day was how affordable it was. I wouldn’t trade anything for last Wednesday. Nothing at all. For the same cost as dinner and a movie in Tuscaloosa, we got an old man telling me that Gia is way too beautiful for me (true), a young man telling me I had very pretty eyes (also true), and an old woman telling Gia that - and I’m quoting directly - Kate Middleton had nothing on her (true and hilarious). Along with a million other memories that I won’t share - because some things you don’t want the whole internet to know.
And that was the lesson from Wednesday. There are some things that two people experience that they want to share with everyone they know and everyone they don’t know, too. There are some things that deserve to have photo evidence and their own blogs and tweets. There are things you want to brag about.
But the moments that mean the most are the ones that you want to keep to yourself.
And the most beautiful part of the day was how much of it was full of those moments.