The holidays are upon me. l ignored, l believe since Halloween the first sighting of Christmas decorations. Back then l was just to busy wrapping up my wonderful visit for the month to Arizona. November was one of the busiest months, a very special Thanksgiving with family, two days later an early Christmas celebration due to my son-in-laws deployment, getting settled in a new place, meeting strangers that a month later really turned out to be some new friends. And now l find myself in December, my third month of traveling and another location. l realize the more l visit Southern California, the more l enjoy discovering the hidden gems of where l am at. l believe you just cannot have the quality of finding those hidden gems if you only do short visits and since l have visited this area over the last ten years, l still love the ol gypsy spirit of adventure that sometime surprises me and are priceless.
Take today, l drove two grandchildren to their school, ran a few errands, crossed the Coronado Bridge to my favorite coffee distributor. l was greeted by one of the Ryan Brothers, l explained to Tom that for the last four years l have always managed to get to their store to purchase their special holiday Christmas coffee blend......and then he took the time to blend personally several more flavored coffees for me before l left with my coffee beans and two egg-nog lattes.......from Ryan Brothers my daughter started driving and talking about a very, very special Mexican restaurant in Barrio Logan......l was excited to sample the food.......She drove us several blocks from Ryans (past mural artist on scaffolds painting underneath the Coroando Bridge, where the murals are changing the look for the neighborhood from just huge cement structures providing the foundation for the Coronado Bridge) and parked the car in a strange neighborhood. All around me l saw homeless men, (l have to admit l assumed they were homeless) and then she announced, " we are here"......good sport that l am, l decided to join her and we started to walk toward the group of men. l saw a half open door in a no nonsense industrial type building with big tables, benches and more men standing in a line, but my assumption about homeless men began because one man was sitting on the sidewalk......My daughter said, "this is it". l asked if she was joking? She assured me she was not.....Honestly l thought we were at a Mission for the homeless and all the men were lined up for lunch. Turns out the savvy, smart ones in construction and the Navy yards come early to beat the crowds........and the food........omg.......it was the best, the best, the best. There is absolutely no way l would ever have found my way to the restaurant, on the other hand, when all my friends come to visit me in this area, l am taking them for coffee at Ryan Brothers and lunch at the "Mission".
All of the communities around San Diego are celebrating the holiday season......Christmas parades, Christmas caroling, greetings of Merry Christmas, houses covered in lights, the communities, the city looks lovely. One of my favorite for decorations is Balboa Park.......and later this week will enjoy a live ballet performance of the Nutcracker. lt is cold at night, lovely during the day. l hope to get over to Julian, a bit more inland and see their decorations if and that is a big if........l have time..........the holidays are truly upon me and l am enjoying the gypsy spirit it brings.