Mission Beach, San Diego, California | My Family Travels
This is a picture of the beautiful ocean featuring me with some seaweed.
I know mermaids are not real but I like to imagine that they live here.
Watching the sun about to set on Crystal Pier.
Succulents are growing on every corner and they are so beautiful.
Sneak peak of the coast between these beach condos.
My two favorite things: pizza and the beach.
The waves are my favorite part.
The California coast.
The waves fold over with such force and grace.
Paddle boarding in the bay.
Such a beautiful sunset.
I can clearly remember the strength of the waves from this day.

Home: the place where a person lives. Sorry Webster’s Dictionary but I have to disagree with you on this one. If I was following this definiton then home would just be the state of Arizona. To me home is a feeling; a feeling of familiarity and security, comfort and warmth. Throughout my 17 years of life I’ve found many, people, places, etc. that I define as my home. My family, and my best friend’s family, that is home. Home has become a classroom in which I have spent most of my time after school working and making memories with the greatest of people. Home is the smell of fresh summer grass reminding me of the good old football days with my brothers and my dad when I was younger. I have found the home of the homes, the ultimate home, the home that outshines every person, place, or thing, Mission Beach, San Diego, CA.

QUARTER-FINALIST 2015 FTF TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP

I have heard the many shared opinions of this place, the good and the bad. I have seen multiple pictures of everyone’s vacay pictures, but none of them even compare to the actual place itself, trust me. From the time I was a toddler my family and I spent every summer here. I have spent endless hours in the blue, seaweed infested, vast ocean. I didn’t entirely appreciate this place while I was younger, I just thought of it as another family vacation up to the shore like many others do. Although, these past few years I have realized that this place is home. I know every street and alley-way, cute little coffee shoppes and surf rentals, secret hidden swing sets and succulent gardens. You know this place really is home when your parents let you wander around on Mission Beach more than they do in your own hometown. In Mission I have spent late nights walking across the crosswalks of Mission Blvd to get my ice cream fix and gooey 50 cent cookies, sitting on my laptop editing pictures while eating acai bowls and drinking Better Buzz coffee, walking into little stores with Sun Bum chapstick and Pura Vida bracelets with no shoes, salty hair, and bathing suit bottoms revealing my sandy cheeks. Staying out until midnight riding bikes on the boardwalk and meeting new people fills my heart with simple adventures. The people that walk among the beaches and San Diego streets contain warm hearts and beautiful sun-kissed faces.

I spend every waking moment in this place soaking up the sun and loving every inch of it. But, most of all I love the ocean. When I first step foot into it is a rush of coldness and then I venture off further and further until I can’t reach the bottom anymore. It is warm now and the waves are over my head and the salt is on my lips. These waves crash with such force trying to pull every inch of it’s being onto the shore. White wash is like snow. It is crystal white, foamy, and liquid sugar. White wash covers the the top layer of the shore after the waves crash, to where you can’t even see the ocean floor so you’re left wondering what is underneath it: it could be seaweed or jellyfish, or stingrays swimming around in their home. Whatever is under it is left as a beautiful mystery that I wouldn’t want to figure out. After spending hours of being in the water I swim up to the shore and rest my tired body. I always try to look as far as my eyes allow me to, out beyond the ocean I wonder who is riding the waves out there or is other side.

Arizona is home and will always be, although I can’t help but feel like it is not the place for me anymore. I need to escape to my truest home that offers adventure, a cool breeze, and the ocean. I belong in Mission Beach, San Diego, California.

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