This week signaled the end of summer for 2013 in San Diego. I can’t count the number of places I’ve lived in the world on both hands, so I know summer ended a bit earlier in some of those places (Iowa and Minnesota) and seems to never ends in at least one of them (Hawaii). Even though San Diego is blessed with wonderful weather it is not the same weather all year. This week we had a couple of cold rainy days… this doesn’t happen in the summer in San Diego! So the end of summer has arrived. We’ll be keeping the windows closed… or open less, putting the thicker blanket on, and maybe a thermal blanket too. It will be harder to get up and out from under the covers. Another summer has come and gone.

Eric Rial sailing September 27th 2013I love summer. I love doing the things that are best done in the summer like going to the beach, seeing a baseball game, going to an outdoor concert, sailing, early morning runs, and late evening runs. This was my 53th summer and it went by too fast! It almost slipped right by without doing a couple summer things like going to the beach, and sailing. However the week before last was one of the best weeks we’ve had in San Diego all year, we had friends in town so off we went to the beach and sailing. We will still have nice weather in San Diego on non-summer days, but it won’t be “the summer”.

Jenny and Eric hiking in Mission Trails Park North Fortuna Trail.jpg.08The winter in San Diego is different than most other places. There are much fewer people at the beach, but the weather can still be really nice. It’s unpredictable though. If you plan a vacation here in the winter, it may be beautiful and it may not. That means fewer tourists. However, if you live here you will almost certainly get to enjoy a few weeks of Faux Summer . Then there will be a few cold and rainy weeks… time to get some projects done around the house. But most of the winter will be cool butnot cold. This is perfect weather for hiking, biking, walks around neighborhoods, and if you miss the heat you can just drive inland for a couple hours and you’ll find plenty of sunshine most of the time. One of my favorite things about the winter in San Diego is that I can go for a run right after work at the beach and see a terrific sunset almost every time.

Running at Sunset at Pacific Beach

The end of summer is more than about a change in the weather. It’s about the passage of time. Everyone has a limited number of summers to enjoy, so each one is precious. When you are young you take this for granted… it seems there will always be another summer, and you’ll be happy, healthy, and ready to enjoy it. As you get older, and I’m definitely getting there, you realize that in 10-15 summers you will not be doing the same things you have loved to do all your life. You are likely to be less energetic, might have health issues, and even if you can still do it, who wants to see a wrinkly old man yank his shirt over his head and run into the water! So each of the passing summers becomes more important and the passing of a summer means you have one less summer to enjoy! All the more reason to take your life by the horns not the tail. Plan a full life, then live it!

Three Sisters FallsIt rarely rains in San Diego in the summer, so by late May anything that is not being watered is likely to be brown. But the winter rains bring new growth on the inland hills and small mountains. Winter and early spring are a great time to hike in eastern San Diego county and there are several trails that are near water or lead to water or waterfalls. My favorite is Three Sisters Falls. I’ve hiked there a couple of times, it’s really just a big kids playground with huge boulders to climb on and around. I plan to hike a lot this winter as we prepare for a rim to rim (to rim – hopefully) hike at the Grand Canyon late next spring.

The summer of 2013 is over, but it was not wasted. We had a terrific time, created some great memories, and spent a lot of time with some of our favorite people. The summer of 2014 is not far away, and I have high expectations! Hope you had a terrific summer this year and next years is even better! Until then enjoy the fall, winter, and spring.

PS: One other nice thing about the winter is there is less marine layer in San Diego so the views are clearer. We have a great view from our house and we’ll get to enjoy a clear view much more often in the winter.

View from our balcony Nov 2012 - views are clearer in the winter

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