So much to write. This morning l woke up hearing the chickens all over the neighborhood crowing, the birds variety of sounds in the palm trees. As l sit here with my cup of java writing under my palapa patio l am giving thought of where to begin. So, l will begin as close to when the adventure of the move South began. Moving to Southern California is now just about becoming ol hat. Reuniting with a dear daughter, grand-children and their routine of navigating three different freeways to drive Sofia and Matt to school, early morning football games for Matt, cheerleading for Sofia......well l am so thankful for a son-in-law who loves early morning Starbuck coffee as much as l do. The view of the new San Diego Library in its final stages of completion from the Coronado Bridge is a sight to behold...........the view from the bridge was a constant reminder of how far across the state of california l was all ready. Southern California, San Diego area closer to the border has such strong links to a more tri-cultural, tri-lingual energy that l enjoy observing and being a part of my adventure.
Joining family and friends l attended the Change of Command event for my son-in-law on board the USS Halsey on San Diego Bay. Earlier in the morning it had rained, but by the time we arrived for the ceremony, huge white clouds, blue sky and a magnificent view background greeted us for the ceremony. Utley flew from San Francisco, Freda flew from New York, other friends of my daughter and son-in-law flew in from other parts of the country. We, the close family members were escorted aboard the ship to a small private reception before the ceremony. Thankfully, l wore sensible shoes climbing small stairs, elevators, etc., to arrive at the top deck where the reception was being held. The change of command ceremony was moving. For years now l to have traveled following these adult children and grandchildren as they have moved and my son-in-laws career in the Navy brought him to this point as Captain/ Commander, Destroyer Squadron One. After, the early morning reception, we attended the actual event. The ceremony began with the arrival of the official party, the parade of colors, the national anthem, guest speakers, awards, and very moving remarks my son-in-law gave regarding his career. Now the huge transition for him and the family as he settles into a very different phase in his career on land. After the ceremony another reception, a huge event for about three hundred that included a cake with the names of all the ships under his command, USS Benfold, USS Higgins, USS Halsey, USS Gridley, USS Stockdale, USS McClusky, USS Rentz, USS Gary.After this reception Utley, Sofia, Matt and l escaped back to the Navy Lodge before the next reception to play Monopoly. We attended the smaller reception, less formal and more fun at the house for another hundred. A week later l drove over to Tempe to meet another amigo, Fred who planned to drive South with me. l had decided earlier this will be my last driving trip across Mexico so l brought a car l will leave here and begin flying back and forth.
The drive South was quick and easy. We made a short visit/detour to Alamos. The furthur South we drove the warmer it was becoming and by Mazatlan, l was feeling the humidity........Arriving in San Pancho after celebrating Halloween a week earlier in Tempe (those college kids know how to throw a good street party) and Mazatlan..........Fred and l joined Utley, Julia, and others in celebrating Day of the Dead celebrations.......and the parties have not stopped........hard to find beach time when l am out every evening eating street tacos, attending a wedding of one of my favorite amigos , listening to wonderful music, or enjoying the James Bond movie, or attending a gallery opening and soaking up the very, very different lifestyle l live while l am here. Ahhhhhhhhh la vida loca.