We arrived at La Camisa, a well-worn souvenir shop on Coronado Island, at 9:54am and waited for its doors to open. We experienced an after dinner urge to shop the night before, but missed closing time by 15 minutes. We went to bed dejected – me, because I had to figure out a way to fit another walk to the shopping center into our already packed morning of packing, tidying our hotel room, and eating breakfast and the kids because their hearts were SET on acquiring one final trinket from paradise.
We were due at the airport in less than an hour. This was it. Our last opportunity.
9:56am the door opens from the inside out and a man brings twin sunglass towers out to the sidewalk. He is surprised to see the crowd that has gathered to greet him during his morning routine.
“It’s OPEN!!!!!!”, the kids cheer. “YOU GUYS, IT’S OPEN!!!!!”
Matt, who had wandered around the corner, broke into a light jog, his hands raised victoriously. The rest of the family was cheering with ear to ear smiles on our faces. Passersby were confused: Did an Apple Store recently pop up on the island? Perhaps they too, should have been camped out in front of La Camisa. No iPhones to be had. These kids waited all night and stampeded past the store’s threshold to purchase a “fling” shot, air force jet, and puppy in a donut purse. It was clear from the kids’ priceless reactions upon acquisition: La Camisa delivered!!
After a family vacation, each family member recalls his or her favorite part of the trip for discussion. I started this tradition to reinforce the fun that was had and validate that all the time and money it takes to mobilize my family is well spent. Noah liked the zoo and the tiger that hungrily paced back and forth in front of us for a solid 5 minutes. Zac loved the zoo as well, but thought it was even more-super fun when the five of us ran across four lanes of traffic (TWICE) because we thought we missed the bus home from the beach all while carrying boogie boards and beach chairs. Eliza liked swimming with her Daddy in the hotel pool best.
We’ve already misplaced the puppy from the purse and I’m quite sure the “fling” shot will break upon its first use. Our Southern California adventure was picturesque and delightful, but our last walk to La Camisa and the collective joy we experienced – – THAT was my favorite part.