We are very fortunate indeed. We have a few good friends, a close and loving family, and the freedom to live our dream. Amidst all our good fortune, our most cherished treasures are our young-adult daughters Claire and Cassie.
Claire is 21 years old, and will be graduating this May with a double major in English and French. She studied in France and has traveled independently throughout Europe, having already visited 24 different countries. She is articulate and kind, with gentle and confident dark brown eyes, a bright and friendly smile, long brunette hair, tight curls, and a couple of tasteful tattoos. She is keen on Harry Potter, having read the entire series on multiple occasions. She is also crazy about Disneyland, having visited so often that she could guide you to any place in the park, with her eyes closed.
At 19, Cassie is a first-year microbiology major, and works in a research lab on campus. She is a two-time northern Nevada science fair champion! Her methodical and patient personality compliments her scientific aptitude and artistic abilities. She has thoughtful green eyes, light brown straight hair, a fair complexion, and a happy affectionate smile. She loves her apartment and her car, and the freedom they afford her. To relax, she likes to work with ceramics and watch television.
For their spring break, the girls drove 10 hours to visit us in San Diego. On their way, they stopped-over at Disneyland for a day together. This being Claire’s last spring break as an undergraduate, and Cassie’s first, we are so flattered and pleased that they wanted to spend their precious and well-earned time off with us.
Our excitement reached a crescendo when the girl’s car rounded the corner, and we saw their big beautiful smiles. After a lunch of Cassie’s favorite pesto pasta, the four of us drove Lizzie to the Coronado dog beach. There, we all walked out at low tide on the firm wet sand, and dipped our toes into the cold ocean water. Unleashed, Lizzie disregarded the other dogs, and concentrated on running around the four of us, as if she was a dedicated sheep dog herding her flock.
Lizzie wasn’t the only one who was happy to have the whole family back together again. On the condo balcony, we relaxed in the brilliant San Diego sunshine, and caught up with each-other’s plans and challenges. In between, we took short walks through Balboa Park and the San Diego waterfront area. At a sidewalk table in the downtown Gaslamp District, we casually dined on pizzas, hamburgers, and fries.
On the third and final day of the girl’s visit, we took a trip across the border into Tijuana, Mexico. There, we enjoyed the food, sights, and sounds of international travel, a mere 30 minutes from San Diego. We ate tacos overflowing with various tasty meats and smothered with homemade salsas and guacamole. Since the drinking age in Tijuana is only 18, we could all drink Mexican beers and sangrias together. After a final stop for ice cream along touristy Revolution Avenue, we took a short taxi ride out to Tijuana beach.
At this remarkable place, the southwest corner of the United States confronts the northwest corner of Mexico. This unique geographical location is unmistakably denoted by an imposing iron border fence plunging into the Pacific Ocean. On the busy Mexican side, families relaxed on beach blankets while children with plastic beach toys playfully dug next to the fence. On the uninhabited U.S. side, the only activity we could see was the slow pan of closed-circuit cameras and calculated movement of border patrol vehicles.
No matter how you feel about the politics of the border fence, it is obviously a barrier to freedom. When we were ready to return back across the border, we simply presented our priceless American passports, and were waved through without incident. On the short drive back to San Diego, the girls chatted in the back seat, and the city’s grand skyline glistened with wealth and prosperity. We are very fortunate indeed.