I can’t close the books on San Diego without adding an official I’m-a-freak-and-list-everything list. It’s just not possible. So, as promised, here’s the top 5 things I loved about San Diego:

1. The Food.

What’s that? You’re not surprised? Me neither. While it’s true that my love of all things edible adds to my enjoyment of any location, the food in San Diego raised the bar for all future culinary experiences. The food wasn’t just good in the sense of being delicious – which is was…oh, so delicious – but it was all good for you, a trait commonly lacking in most American cuisine, especially of the fast variety. Case in point: Jamba Juice. I watched the employees at Jamba Juice make my breakfast every morning and could see (and read on the menu) exactly which organic ingredients were being used. I knew how many calories I was consuming because the nutritional information wasn’t locked in a vault, it was proudly displayed on the menu. I didn’t have to feel guilty about eating out because I knew I was getting a great meal. And that theme was consistent everywhere we went – from the local and organic products at Trader Joe’s to the actual frozen yogurt, not frozen chemical mixture, at Pinkberry to the straight-from-that-ocean-you’re-looking-at fish at George’s and Miguel’s. It was so refreshing to be able to eat food without first researching whether or not it was a) actually food or b) a day’s worth of calories. If there was anything I loved about San Diego, it was the honest, local, feels-good-tastes-even-better food.

2. The Green Factor.

When I couldn’t find a to-go cup in Point Loma’s cafeteria, I was frustrated. I needed coffee and I needed it to travel with me. Turns out that Point Loma does not provide to-go materials in an effort to limit paper products used on campus, so I was relegated drinking my coffee in a mug on a patio overlooking the ocean…

What would have been a rushed caffeine boost without regard to waste created turned into a peaceful start to the morning with a full cup, still soul, and clear conscience.

San Diego, and Point Loma in particular, is very aware of the environment. The showers had controls so you could use less water, recycle bins were literally everywhere, and the commitment to local and organic products was better than anywhere else I’ve ever visited.

3. The West Coast State of Mind.

I don’t know if it’s the Vitamin D or the healthy food or the ocean breeze or a combination of all three…but people in San Diego are relaxed and happy. They wait for pedestrians. They stop to have a conversation. They smile and wave and say hello. They aren’t impatient or cranky or rude. We hardly saw any police cars or security vehicles, let alone speed limit signs! The atmosphere in San Diego is so peaceful and so contrary to the constant push of the east coast.

4. The Beauty.

Oh, the beauty. My camera rarely left my face the whole week (sorry, Morgan!). The perfect temperatures, endless beaches, indescribable sunsets, tropical trees…I could wax poetic about the beauty for AGES.

5. The Cold Feet Cure.

San Diego cured me of any apprehension I’ve had about my trip. Whenever I’m facing a major change I tend to get caught up in all of the things I’m going to miss. Recently I’ve been mulling over missing things like the majority of the football season and being able to brew coffee every morning and access to my Google Reader email account, and, you know, my bed and roof and earthly possessions. But being able to go on this trip to San Diego reminded me that there is growth in change and possibilities in the unknown. And that the unfamiliar can become familiar. And that if I’m unwilling to let go of anything in order to do something I know I’m supposed to do then I’m holding onto it too tightly. And that I’ll be home in time for the playoffs.

Sorry. It’s true!

It also reminded me that God knows what he’s doing. I know I should know that, but most of the time I don’t. God’s sovereignty takes me by surprise all the time. A verse from Psalm 139 was repeating in my head all week – “all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” To know that God knew I would need this trip to close one chapter of my life in order to open another before I even knew either chapter existed? Oh, my. It’s more comforting than I can say.

And now, after a wonderful week, it’s time to wrap up the San Diego posts! But being home has it’s perks too, so so I’ll see you all tomorrow for a fun new (San Diego inspired!) dinner I whipped up over the weekend!