On a Saturday night, 2 weeks ago, I was in a hotel room in Carlsbad California with my family. The weather was surprisingly unpleasant but still, I will never complain about being in Southern California and near the Pacific Ocean. It's a pretty good place to be. The next day's activities were uncertain at that point and, while family vacations have many pleasant elements, there is also an ever-present risk that choices will be made that don't please everybody or perhaps even anybody. It was important to come up with something good.
My phone decided to enter the conversation and suggested that we might like to go to Balboa Park in San Diego. I didn't know about Balboa Park and decided to find out some information about it.
The park's website was helpful and we were interested. Still, though, we couldn't be sure it would be somewhere we'd like to go and while it sounded great, what if it had become rundown or neglected? There was a story on the news that night about a nighttime walk taking place in it. Its purpose was to stand up to violence. That wasn't especially reassuring. But it wasn't even fear that made me hesitate about going. It was new to us - did we want to try it out?
We did decide to try it out, whatever our reservations, and within a few minutes of arriving within that massive urban park, I knew that we had made the right decision. It's an amazing place - there are many museums, gardens, an Arts and Crafts house, and a fascinating history behind every attraction. An enthusiastic man at an information center tried to explain it all to us. It was a lot to take in but soon, brochure in hand, we were able to choose some places to visit. All three of us were interested in the baseball section of the sports museum and I marveled at the Arts and Crafts Marston House. As well, just being in and walking around the park was interesting.
In addition to the information we learned at Balboa Park and the enjoyment we had there that day, I take away more from the experience. I have new pictures in my mind and, more importantly, I have gained an awareness of how important it is to try new things. There are lots of places to go in and around San Diego and we could have returned to somewhere that we knew. But we did this that day and I am glad.
I will try to remember this experience the next time I am in an unknown city or situation. And I will pay close attention from now on to any suggestions my phone makes. It turns out it has some really good ideas.