(Part One of Two)

It was 9:30 p.m. by the time my son Dan and I landed at San Diego airport –eleven hours later than our anticipated arrival. We were stuck in the Gainesville airport for eight hours when our scheduled flight to Charlotte was canceled due to fog at their airport. We were rebooked through Atlanta where we waited

another four hours before boarding a flight to California.

Thankfully, getting the rental car went smoothly and we were soon on the Golden State Freeway heading north. Less than half an hour later, we arrived at our destination of Encinitas. Travel weary by then, we stopped at the local 7-11 to buy bananas and apples for the morning. I wanted to avoid the

fare offered by most hotels. While described as a “continental” breakfast, I have discovered it usually means plastic wrapped pastries, weak coffee and orange-colored sugar water. I wonder on which continent this ghastly concoction originated. (Perhaps Vinylandia where citizens all wear fake

leather shoes?)

Since our bodies were still operating on East Coast time, we woke early the next morning and headed to Whole Foods. When I stayed in Encinitas last summer, I often enjoyed a meal from their organic salad bar. Dan was amazed by the bounty of this grocery store and professed that it was the best one he had ever been in. We bought spring water, blueberries and raspberries, then

headed for the expanse of the Pacific Ocean beach.

Because of the high bluffs in this area, most beaches are accessed by lengthy stairways. We went to Moonlight Beach, the only one that can be reached by walking a gentle descent from street level. The morning tide was coming in as we splashed our way along the wet sand toward the long steps that rise from Swami’s Beach.

This beach and the adjacent surf break are named for their proximity to the meditation gardens of the Self Realization Fellowship (SRF) established by

Paramhansa Yogananda. (He was the first yoga master of India whose mission it was to live and teach in the West.)

As we walked along this beautiful strand with the surf breaking to our right and flower strewn cliffs to our left, I

thanked my Higher Power for bringing me back to Encinitas.

Decades ago, my then-husband and I lived in St. Thomas. There, in Charlotte Amalie, is a long flight of steps which leads up the mountainside. They are known as the Ninety- Nine Steps. The stairway at Swami’s Beach is easily twice as long and seems much steeper (maybe because I am that much older) than those Ninety-Nine.


            LIZ/Moascar (May ’12) adds, “In retrospect, I see this journey as being a time of wonder and discovery for my younger son.” Editor’s Note: Liz’s adventure concludes next issue.

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