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Cabrillo National Monument, CA #7

Cabrillo National Monument is on a peninsula bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Coronado Bay. Even though it is in San Diego, it feels miles away. The views are lovely!

360 degree views!

This National Monument is dedicated to Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a Spanish Conquistador. He stepped ashore here in 1542 from his ship the "San Salvador" after leaving Navidad, Mexico; that's near Manzanillo to you and I. I have actually been to Barra de Navidad, where he sailed from. It's a sweet little village on the Pacific Coast. It used to be quite the Spanish ship building mecca, but now is a sleepy village. This was the very first expedition north of Mexico to what is now the United States, making Cabrillo the first European to set foot on the west coast of the US.

They have determined from Spanish military rank records that Juan had served well under the harsh Hernan Cortes. I was curious about the personality of our young conquistador; was he brutish like heinous Cortes or did well out of fear, but I could find no information to lend an opinion either way. He did settle down for a time in Guatemala, but then agreed to take one his best ships to explore the west coast.

I read after claiming San Miguel (San Diego) for Spain they continued up the coast to Monterey Bay and Point Reyes. In the literature and exhibits they seem SO surprised that Cabrillo sailed right by San Francisco Bay without seeing it. "Have you ever been there?!?" It's almost always shrouded by fog! You could sail by it 10 times in a row and never see it!

Sorry for the detour into Logic-ville. Anyway, Cabrillo decides to winter with the boys in the Channel Islands. While there he takes a fall in a scuffle with the local Indian tribe, sustains a fracture to his leg and 1 year after discovering San Diego, dies.

Evidently, Spanish soldiers were fashionistas to an extent. There were no uniforms to speak of, nor did the soldiers want to look alike. They all had the obligatory helmet and protective gear but they all dressed however they wanted. Who knew?

Cabrillo NM is also home to Point Loma Lighthouse (old & new). I found the old lighthouse, which is a museum now, to be so enchanting. Standing in their living quarters, it's intriguing to imagine life in a lighthouse on a lonely bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. There were no closets, no bathrooms, no large living areas and yet I'm certain they felt a peace there that money can't buy. I felt it...

The old lighthouse - they lived on the small first floor.

Who wouldn't want a delectable garden overlooking the Pacific Ocean? Yes, that's a giant rosemary shrub on the left.

This is an example of how technology has changed. The little light in the lower left hand side is the new light in the lighthouse and puts out more light than the old giant lights in the middle.

On my run, I observed lovely wildflowers, bunnies, and even a fox.

Tidepools and rocky coastline

On a personal note, I was so pleased to be joined by Margaret Bean, Program Director for The Healing NET Foundation, Cindy Lovelace, CEO of The Healing NET Foundation, Gene Lovelace, Hospice Chaplin, and Dr. Eric Liu, CMO of The Healing NET Foundation and Anna's surgeon.

Group picture getting the stamp in my NPS Passport Book.

L to R Margaret, Dr. Liu, me, Gene, and Cindy

This is for the Caregivers out there in NET land. Dr. Liu was reluctant to go with us to Cabrillo because he really was exhausted and the Summit was starting that day. This man works non-stop for his patients! I did my motherly duty to him and nagged quite a bit the night before that he should come. It wasn't that I wanted to see him miss out on sleep, but that I wanted him to be restored by the nature and beauty. He joined us, albeit a little grudgingly. I assured him that I would not make him run with me, but all I asked was that he climb the hill and sit on a bench and absorb the beauty and let it restore him. I think he really enjoyed it, because on the way back to the hotel he said "thanks for forcing me to go". He needed a restorative experience. We all need to be restored.

As Caregivers, so very much is asked of you! I remember how draining it is to be on duty 24/7, but you wouldn't do it any other way. It is our best way to show our NET patient that we love them and care deeply about helping them. I remember with Anna I could rarely leave her, nor did I want to, so my time of restoration came in the form of snuggling her and watching our favorite Disney movies together. I ignored the dishes and everything else and we shared a special time together. I have never regretted any of it. It was a way to restore myself and comfort my child.

Find the quiet, sacred spaces...and be restored.

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