Ah, summer. The season of road trips, iced tea, and adventures is officially here. The climbing temps always get my heart aching for California and the beach. Visions of Reef flip-flops and Coconut Lime Verbena lotion begin to creep out from memory to the forefront of my mind. My Jack Johnson station on Pandora is played on a daily basis and Mango iced tea is always by my side.

In my late High School and early college years my family would visit the San Diego area every summer. Those were happy times. My brother and I became best friends with the shared mission of surviving mom and dad’s embarrassing displays of tourism taking pictures of every seagull we came upon, metal detecting on the beach, and riding the giant blue harbor tour floating bus thing. From the tide pools at Point Loma we’d watch the surfers perfect their craft. My mom had to go into every tacky souvenir shop filled to the brim with preserved alligator heads, shot glasses, and tee shirts. We ate freshly baked cookies at Seaport Village and I bought journals from The Upstart Crow.

But my fondest memories are of all the diners we ate at. My parents always loved going to Denny’s. When we were little my brother and I collected the baseball cards they gave away with every kids meal. So in CA we naturally gravitated to the familiar diner. One trip we stayed in the Hotel Circle area and discovered The Waffle Spot; a cute little diner attached to the Kings Inn. The decor – purple and blue with medieval themed breakfast food characters – was hopelessly goofy and I loved it! They served plate sized waffles with great melted blobs of milk and white chocolate. Their icon, Sir Waffelot, smiled up at you from the coffee cups glad that you took a sip of the freshly brewed goodness. I still need to get out there so I can buy a mug with Sir Waffleot on it!

In honor of summer and all the good memories it brings back I’ve decided to focus on my story about the diner with the abandoned baby and the WWII vet. The diner is largely based on The Waffle Spot. I want to give it all my warm sparkly feelings about California and create a setting of glowing light and hot coffee poured from pots with brown handles for regular and orange handles for decaf. To inspire creativity I’ve been gathering all the items that remind me of those days, writing down as many memories that will allow themselves to be conjured, and Googling all the places we visited.

Here are some photos of my inspirations! Hope you are having a great summer creating new memories! Peace, Love, and Surfing!

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My collection of seashells found and bought over a span of ten years

 

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A page from a scrapbook I made about one of our trips.

 

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From left to right – a postcard bought at the Del Coronado Hotel, the coolest little deli on Coronado Island complete with surfboards hanging from the ceiling, my favorite photo of my brother at the Balboa Park amphitheater, Roxy all the way!

 

 

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I read this book every summer. It’s like having coffee with a friend while listening to his surf stories.

 

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A collage I made for a culture studies class. Obviously I picked surf culture 😉

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