I recently returned from a month-long trip to California. Before we left, I had just completed a new book ( A Lady’s Deception ), and I had time, before receiving the edits, for some R&R. We spent two weeks in San Diego and ten days in Carlsbad, a charming beach town north of the city. During our time in San Diego we headed to Mission Beach nearly every day, walking and taking advantage of the many eateries along the boardwalk. And never let it be said that a day would go by without exploring: Balboa Park (walks and museums), the Embarcadero, the USS Midway Museum, the symphony. Our Air B&B home was in the Mission Hills area, and one day we walked from there to the Hillcrest part of the city. Let me just say, it’s called “Hillcrest” for a reason. It was straight up!
In Carlsbad, we stayed in a beach bungalow one block from the ocean. Our daughter, who lives in Oakland, joined us there. It was an easy walk into town on the boardwalk or strolling through the sand, the waves chasing us, the sand coating our feet. We made daily trips to Elysa’s Café for their freshly baked pastries. Off the beaten path of the main drag through town, we explored bookshops, clothing stores, a chocolatier, and many other tempting shops. And the outlets. Can’t forget those! When the fog rolled in and stubbornly refused to leave, we drove inland and took a hike. Another day we visited Mission San Luis Rey, both the grounds and the museum. Lovely.
Although I had to buckle down and do some work, I had a great deal of time for my favorite activity—reading! I read The Boys in the Boat for book club, and loved learning how a ragtag bunch of young men morphed into a gold medal winning team in the 1936 Olympics. News of the World, by Paulette Jiles, was touching and unforgettable. And I read several romances, To Covet a Lady’s Heart, I’ve Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm, Nobody’s Fool, and enjoyed them all. I discovered a new mystery writer a few months ago, Adrian McKinty, and I read the second book in his Detective Sean Duffy series, I Hear the Sirens in the Street. I came across #5 (Rain Dogs) first and it got me hooked—I was determined to go back and read them all. His books are set in Belfast, and they’ve given me possibly the deepest understanding I’ve ever had about “The Troubles.” The stories are riveting, and Sean Duffy is a great, self-deprecating character.
Best part of the trip: walks on the beach, the gorgeous sunsets, great restaurants, and of course, having our daughter there for the last several days.