This has been a busy week for me. Today was a holiday, so we spent the day returning from our weekend getaway, baking, cleaning, doing laundry, talking with my sister, getting the oil changed and the car washed, eating homemade crusted mushrooms and slices of a cinnamon fruit bread, and me wearing a coat on our evening walk while Caleb wore shorts in 50 degree weather.

I get the day off to take care of my contacts appointment, that wasn’t until 11am, so I will spend the day blogging before the rain comes down and Caleb gets home early. I’m glad that I’m not only excited to hug him but still need cuddle time with him as he unwinds from another workday. We’re a week and a half away from our 14-year anniversary and I still love spending time with this man.

This morning will start rough and early (yay being a woman) but I’m able to go back to sleep and wake up next to Caleb, which is rare on a weekday, but we both told work that we’d be coming in late today. I make us breakfast and Caleb showers while I do the dishes, even though that lessens the water pressure. He’ll leave his car at work and I’ll pick him up at 830am.

I drive us to the Del Mar Fairgrounds, pay our $10 parking fee, and wait in the car after some exploration to escape the harsh winds while we wait for our timed ticket entrance to Beyond Van Gogh — an immersive experience. They let in about 20 people every 15 minutes and then you can take your time reading the panels of his life, many are surprised to learn that he had a brother.

The neat thing about being in a large space is the ability to walk amongst Vincent’s broad brush strokes and imagine his inspiration, to walk at different angles and see his paintings from a different view, even if they are out of proportion and larger than life. Some sit, others stand, and quite a few can’t put their phones down, but we focus on the transitions and the details and fall in love with his view.

I’ll get to work and clock in at 1120am. It will be 4pm before I’m walking to my car, feeling weak from forgetting to eat lunch or bring a snack. Caleb will tell me I sounded drunk on the phone. I’ll pick up more CO2 on the way home, getting a bottle half price for returning an empty, and doing our part to reduce trash and diabetes in the world by making our drinks in bulk without added sugar.

This must be my week as after helping install a 40-gallon water heater that weighs 120 pounds empty, and over 450 pounds full, because it was leaking in the clients garage, I’m given the rest of the day off before noon. I’ll take this time to visit Lisa, my hairdresser, and ask her to perm my hair — a first for me even though I looked adorable at a middle school dance with my hair in curls.

I walk to the beach to let my hair air-dry and love the volume and bounce of my new look. Caleb walks up and seems hesitant of my new do, but this isn’t the first time I’ve surprised him with something drastic and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Caleb reads The Brindle Dragon, a ten book series, while I read Cyber War: The next threat to national security and what to do about it; seems fitting.

I enjoy an early morning walk to the beach, benefits of living so close, so I want to take advantage while I can. The rest of my morning will be spent in Home Depot and a fancy Ace Hardware getting the required equipment to finish some turnover repairs — loose kitchen faucet, new flappers in the toilets, new CO2 alarm, towel rack installation, etc.

The afternoon is more above my pay grade as paperwork and finances are figured out. I get home and while Fallon works on her math homework, I’ll take her girls, who love my hair, to the Dollar Tree to get out of the house for an hour; the conversations are more interesting as they get older. The girls invite me to dinner but Caleb is already busy at the stove upon my return at sunset.

A slow start as the places we’re planning on seeing today don’t open until later. I’ll add putting in contacts to my routine, but I probably should’ve done so before putting on sunscreen. The museum at the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá is closed for renovations, but the church and gardens are nice. This is the first of 21 missions that the Spanish built in the 18th century to convert local Indians to Roman Catholicism.

The next place is much more educational and enjoyable to me, the Olaf Wieghorst Museum in El Cajon where the painter, one of his many talents, spent his last 44 years becoming the highest-paid living artist of his time, in 1988, by selling the Navajo Madonna for $450k. He was friends with John Wayne and acted in two films, had three presidents purchase his paintings, and only one piece doesn’t portray a horse.

An afternoon za’atar flatbread and other snacks will be had from Alforon Mediterranean Lebanese restaurant to curb our Middle Eastern cravings and our appetite until we get home in the late afternoon. The authenticity of this place has earned it awards in San Diego, on Yelp, a spot on Diners Drive-ins and Dives, and handwritten accolades in at least four languages.

Today’s adventure starts at the San Diego Firehouse Museum that opens at 10am for self-guiding and questions answered as wanted. It’s neat to see a hand drawn fire engine that was La Jolla’s only protection from flames for eight years in the early 1900’s. It’s also interesting to get a look at the felt parade hats, fire hydrant molds, ceremonial trumpets, and their fancy collection of salt water grenades.

We sat behind the wheel for a moment in the truck on display in the street, old enough to have no top but not too old for guests, and imagined we were in a parade a hundred years ago before wondering in to the Museum of Contemporary Art SD. Some of the artists on exhibit are Joan Jonas, Math Bass, Ilana Savdie, and Yolanda López.

It’s López’s Three Generations: Tres Mujeres that captures my eye the most. She took three renderings of each woman and sketched them on butcher paper with charcoal — like what I imagined my outline looked when I did a full-body self portrait in kindergarten and had a classmate trace my little body. I’ve only got one picture of me with the three women who came before.

We move from downtown to Old Town to visit The Whaley House built in 1856 that served as San Diego’s cultural center for less than a century before it became a museum. It is known for being the oldest brick structure in Southern California, that’s also haunted. We begin our tour in the court room before seeing the store room and multi-curtained theatre stage room in addition to the rest of the house.

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