Where Adventures Begin

August 1, 2016

We got news from Palos Verdes at 4:00am that 9-1-1 was called and mom was being taken in to emergency for evaluation. It was a very good thing that Chris had decided to stay the night.

Under the circumstances, we decided to forgo our round at Torrey Pines… playing a round of golf didn’t feel right. We decided, however, that since we were there, we’d spend the day exploring campus and see a little more of La Jolla. Instead of staying another day, though, we planned to return to PV. We knew mom was stable and in safe hands. We expected that she’d be admitted and we would visit her this evening.

Started the day at Torrey Pines.. not playing golf, but having breakfast. We sat under the trellis behind the first hole, watching people tee off. That is the Pacific Ocean in the distance beyond. The 18th hole is just out of the photo to the left.

A lovely setting.


The Torrey Pines Lodge is quite handsome and elegant… and all about golf. Torrey Pines was the site of Tiger’s 2008 US Open victory…


We were looking at the 18th green while eating breakfast. The restaurant part of the Lodge is the brown building on the left side of the photo (a photo that hangs in the hallway on the way to the bathroom).


Peter was, still is, in a golf-obsessed haze. He hoping to play a lot of golf here.

After breakfast, we hit the campus. We were most interested in seeing Revelle…


Of note. Forty two years ago, I was accepted at UCSD (who wasn’t?), Revelle College. I chose Revelle, one of four colleges at the time, because it was the math/science college (now, we’d call it STEM). I entered UCSD as a math major (don’t laugh), but before classes even began, I had major-remorse and switched to Muir (what outdoorsy gal wouldn’t?). I held onto my math major for a little while, switching to econ when I aced my first ever economics class, then finally settled on undeclared in my third year. I know, funny time to lose one’s way.

Well, more to that story, but, point is, I, too, was a Revelle admit. How this tugged at all my nostalgia/poignant buttons while we lost ourselves in the concrete/eucalyptus vastness.

Peter was most interested in seeking out places like this…


We also checked out Revelle’s dorm community…


Taking this photo, high atop the Revelle campus, made me choke up.  In this, I see a kid who’s ready to go to college, really pleased that he’s going to UCSD, and yet a little guarded, a little tentative. All the time we were walking around, he seemed open and eager, at moments even bold, and then at times he seemed like he was careful not to be too eager, like he was protecting himself from any disappointment.  I could tell he wanted everything to be just right; he didn’t want to walk around any corners and be disappointed.  I’m sure his mind was going a million miles a minute, imagining himself there in a couple months. I know he’s excited and I know it was a big deal to be here.

It was all I could do to keep all my weepy emotions in check (I did) and not hug him every five minutes (I managed not to).

I also want him to love every little thing. I want him to have the time of his life.


Deep breath.

After walking all over the Revelle campus, we meandered down toward Warren, the library, some other new parts of campus that weren’t there when I was… some pics:

This is a large student center of some sort, with the library dead ahead. It’s a very attractive, expansive plaza, nestled among towering trees. A very cool feature is the tribute to each and every graduating class–those concrete benches on the left–dating back to … I’m not sure… the sixties, I think.


I didn’t graduate from UCSD, so I took a picture of the year I entered school there:


And, of course, the architecturally renowned Geisel Library. I did, in fact, spend due time sitting in a study carrel, jutting out over the forest:


I went in to find a bathroom and found this vending machine… new to me!


And here’s this engineering building with the house on top again (I must have shared a similar photo in about January 2015):

IMG_4506 (1)

After a few hours walking around campus, we decided to check out a little of downtown La Jolla (the Village)… the beaches were crowded, even on a Monday, though not in this particular spot.

This is along Coast Blvd, a place we could finally pull over:


We couldn’t find parking anywhere near the cove, so didn’t get out, but it, and everything else along the coastal route, was spectacular (and spectacularly crowded). On a Monday.

Then we headed back up toward campus, wanting to check out the Glider Port. Very worthwhile! Hundreds of cars parked in a huge dirt lot, and trails along the cliffs where you could watch these guys:


If you looked in the other direction, you’d see a few Torrey Pines golf course holes.  And the Salk Institute was down that road, too.

Stopped at a red light, I caught this view and thought it prophetic:


The sign on the bench reads, “Where Adventures Begin.”




August 1, 2016

We headed back up the coast, arriving at Torrance Memorial by about 5:30. Mom was checked into Room 3136 in ICU.

Turns out, she’d contracted a bug (we later learned staph), which lead to pneumonia, which lead to respiratory failure, which lead to lung collapse…. and in order to sustain breathing needed a ventilator.

All serious stuff. She was in very able hands, however. Very grateful for Chris, very grateful for Torrance Memorial.

She was heavily sedated, due to being intubated, and seemed completely asleep. In fact, she was aware, able to communicate in a limited way, and glad we were there. She listened to stories about the day, and responded by squeezing her hand or moving her eyebrows. 

Matt had come up with the idea of putting a pen in her hand and having her communicate by spelling out words. He shared some of her written comments. They revealed a knowing about her situation, including questions about what was going to happen. It was profound.

I liked the idea of communicating in this manner, as it gave her a part in the conversation. The dialogue shifted to lighter topics, and even social commentary. She filled sheets and sheets. Fascinating where the mind goes. 


Matt tried using his iPad, which didn’t work as well because we couldn’t move the writing surface quickly enough to capture individual letters… but it was a good effort!

I liked when she accused a nurse of being dismissive, and when she determined the whole experience to be obtuse.


She won’t remember any of this, due to the verced, but it was worthwhile conversation nonetheless.