BLOG: One unforgettable Summer Getaway under the Hot California Sun

This  summer  gave me  chance to fly  to neighboring  California state  with my daughter and mother.

We   spent most of  our two-week  trip   under the scorching sun enjoying sceneries of   beach,  lake,  mountain, bridge,  church,  garden, museum   and theme parks.  We also got the chance to use the train and public transport.

Trip was highlighted by many reconnections.   First of which was  meeting up with cousins I haven’t seen for two decades.

We gathered at the beautiful home of  Cherry and Melvin  in  the mountaneous  Moreno Valley.

We  also had  our version of  American Idol  in  karaoke challenge and  celebrated   cousin Marice’s  birthday.

After feasting on  sumptuous  Filipino dishes,  we took a side trip to magestic   Lake Perris which was ten minutes away.


Cousins:  Connected by  strong roots and a deep connection that no distance or time can set apart.

The following day,  a road trip to  Palm Springs at the  Sonoran Desert  led us to  a  scenic view of wind mills,  palm trees,  mountains and cliffs.
Coming at a really hot summer morning, temperature in Palm Springs  hit  to  almost 42 degrees Celcius.
We rode the Aerial Tram Way —  world’s largest rotating tram car  traveling  over two-and-one-half miles along the cliffs of Chino Canyon.
My daughter and I   had to conquer our fear of heights. It was not bad at all.    San Jacinto mountain was breath taking with an   elevation  of  8,516 feet.


My daughter’s  ultimate wish in this trip was to visit the Harry Potter attrraction at  the Universal Studios in Los Angeles.

Baxa family  was so kind  to  spoil her.   For that, we had to leave early in the morning to avoid traffic jam going to the big city.

We lined up for  almost two hours under the sun to enter the Hogwart’s castle.

Deona took the Flight to Hippogriff  with Anthony. He was also  our  guard  from the  Walking Dead Zombies.






Our remaining days were spent in San Diego.

Called “the birthplace of California”, San Diego is   rich in  historical  significance.

What best way to welcome us in this  Mexico adjacent city but  a treat  to  a  delicious Tijuana style  burritos and  tacos and lobster dishes.  My friend Agnes took us  to Rockin Baja Lobster followed by a stroll around Old Town.



While in San diego,  Tita Helen and son Patrick  opened  their  lovely home  (with a wide garden  full of  cactus and succulents)   for us to stay.

We also got the chance to meet with some relatives from the Arenas clan.

Driving around  San Diego, we  stopped by   the  USS  Mid Way  Naval  aircraft Museum and   enjoyed sightseeing at nearby  Sea Port  and  Coronado Beach.

We strolled around enjoying   lavish gardens and rich  architectural designs in   Balboa Park and met some Pinoys   at the Filipino heritage celebration,

It was relaxing  communing with nature as  we followed and  fed the ducks at the beautiful Santee Lake.


This ship is also a museum that houses extensive collection of aircraft with historical significance; In 1945, this USS Midway was commissioned, as the largest ship in the world, and the first too large to fit through the Panama Canal


The kissing sailor statue is famous background photos on the Embarcadero. It was modeled after renowned photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt taken at the end of World War II replacing a similar version that was moved out of San Diego, Standing 25-foot, it is also known as “Unconditional Surrender” — recreating the famous embrace between a sailor and a nurse celebrating the end of World War II in New York’s Times Square in 1945.


Walking along the white, clean sand of Coronado Beach was really hot but fun.


Many flock to Coronado for its quiet, laid-back simplicity and for its beautiful views of the downtown San Diego skyline.

The San Diego–Coronado Bridge is a prestressed concrete/steel girder bridge, crossing over San Diego Bay linking San Diego with Coronado, California.


Families  flock  to visit  San Diego because of   the popular theme park  Sea World.

Nanay’s  old  time  friend  Tita Norma and husband Tito Cris  were generous to take  us there.

Deona  fell in love with dolphins, sea lions  and penguins and found  a  new friend in  sweet Janine.

My mother   has always wanted to come to  San Diego to see Tita Norma.   Through Facebook,  they  were able to cross path.

The  whole Susana family  gave us  very warm welcome and  VIP  accommodations.  They also prepared the best food !




Mother  tries to visit a   church everytime she  goes  to a new place.  We went to the  Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala, a Franciscan  church  built in  1700.

Tito Cris  was also kind to take us  to  Las Americas Premium Outlet   on the Mexico–United States border and  Naval Exchange shopping Centre.




In our last stop before we head home,   Tito Boy  and   Tita Nada  generously  let us stay  in their lovely  mansion and  became our friendly tourist guide.

We drove  around   Mount Cabrillo, Point Loma and  Mount Soledad and  watched whales  in  La Jolla  with Mommy Winnie and Winnipeg  friends Mayeth and Cel.

In the evening  prior to our  flight going home,  we went with them and their  children at the Naval Base  Bowling Lane (where only  US Naval officers like  Tito Boy  can avail of).   

La Jolla is a smart seaside area, known for its rugged coastline. La Jolla Cove has sweeping ocean views, and the Shell Beach tide pools are home to anemones and crabs. It is also a known place for whale and dolphin watching.

Cabrillo monument and park offer a view of San Diego’s harbor and skyline, as well as Coronado and Naval Air Station North Island


Mount Soledad has large concrete Christian cross, first built in 1913. Place is subject of a 25-year controversy over the involvement of religion in government which concluded in 2016.


I came home five shades darker and five pounds heavier after the trip. Salamat po sa mga naging bahagi ng magagandang ala-ala sa trip na ito.

As they always say, the tan will go away but the memories will stay a lifetime.

Posted in All Stories, Annoucer Blogs

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