It’s been just over 11 months since I embarked on my singing journey, moving out of San Diego, first to San Francisco for the summer and then Arizona for school. I’ve been back in San Diego a few times, but every “visit” had a rushed feeling to it. The first visit was really just a pit-stop as I drove from San Jose to Phoenix (my brother and I decided to break up the 12-hour by spending a night in San Diego before heading East into the desert). The next two trips were for singing: one for the Messiah (the weekend after my jury and before the rest of my finals, yikes!) and the other for the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus Young Artist Competition (3rd place, yay!). Both were weekend marathons of driving, rehearsing, singing, and then driving back. It wasn’t until this past weekend when I went to San Diego for my friend and fellow-soprano Jen’s senior recital that I relaxed and relished in the things I missed so much about the area. Of course, I couldn’t stop myself from making this a working vacation by scheduling a rehearsal with the pianist I’m working with for the Musical Merit audition… but I got that out of the way early on – driving 6 hours, warming up and practicing at my alma mater, then jumping right into an hour-long rehearsal to run all 8 pieces of music – so I could spend the next 1.5 days enjoying the things I had to say goodbye to 11 months ago.
Managed to see an impressive number of friends in one visit, including former roommates, co-workers, a cousin, and my teacher-turned-mentor. Catching-up, revelations, reassurances, reminiscing, planning…
Maybe I have the wrong impression about the food scene in Phoenix because I seem to go to the same 3 places repeatedly and in rotation, but food in San Diego seems more interesting and more delicious. Also, there are more Asian tea shops with much more satisfying and crave-worthy teas.
Tried a new restaurant with Enrique: Finch’s Wine Bar and Bistro in downtown La Jolla. This is their pistachio crusted salmon.
Strawberry and passion fruit teas at Tea Garden. Not pictured: the amazing milk green tea and fried tofu Kristina treated me to at Tea n’ More.
Natasha still teaches on Saturday mornings, so I indulged myself and surprised her by showing up for her class. She was my first yoga teacher and remains one of the most positive and powerful souls I know. Walking over to the gym, rolling out my mat, and hearing her voice – it was like I’d never left. The class was superb – we went through the primary series – and I came out sweaty, flexible, and full of joy.
Phoenix has its charm, and I’m getting used to the heat, but I miss having the water a few miles away. After brunch, my cousin, his girlfriend, and I walked down to Scripps Park in La Jolla so I could get my ocean-fix.
Headed toward the water.
Looking down the coast in La Jolla. Didn’t have time to go into the water, but having the wind in my hair was good.
La Jolla. The horizon is that much more mysterious when it’s floating along the waves.
Jen’s recital went well, and I loved the repertoire she presented. In particular, the English and French pieces stood out. She sounded great, and the new concert hall (which wasn’t there when I was going to school) is shiny and lovely. I’d love a chance to sing in there someday!
In less than 2 weeks I’ll be back on San Diego for Musical Merit. We’ve already made plans to go salsa dancing the Wednesday I’m in town, but the rest of the week will likely be less adventurous: I’ll need to stay focused on the audition. The fun can come right after!