My company HQ is in San Francisco. Coincidentally, I love San Francisco. Always have. Sometimes I have to go visit my HQ to do work type stuff. When that happens I take full advantage of the opportunity to visit my California family.
So last Thursday night I packed a small bag for the weekend and got my booty into bed by midnight. I set the alarm for 5:30 AM. Then I lay there. And I tossed. Then I turned. Then I tossed again. Then I moved to the sofa. Sometimes I can sleep on the sofa when I can't get comfy in my bed. 2 am, 3 am, and finally, blessfully, I fell asleep around 4 am. I had moved the alarm to 6 am. Yeah, you do the math.
On the way to the airport I saw this:
When I got to SFO I took the BART, because I'm thrifty like that, to my HQ's BART stop near Market:
And schlepped the few blocks, partially UP HILL, to my office in SOMA. It was an absolutely, unbelievably gorgeous day:
I worked for a while. I had a successful, productive meeting. I found out that our HQ has a "Zen room" (more like a Zen closet) which I said was very Zen-like and my co-worker corrected me and said, no, it's more IKEA-like. But, you know, that works for me.
After a few hours there, I took the BART back to SFO and picked up a rental car. In fact, I got a BRAND SPANKING NEW rental. It only had 70 miles on it. Sunroof, leather seats, satellite radio. I dug it. And I hit the road. And parked. In San Jose traffic. It took me 2 1/2 hours to travel 42 miles. Frick 'n' frack was I annoyed. And tired. Did I mention that I was operating on only 2 hours sleep?
Finally, around Morgan Hill, CA, I hit open road and I kept going until I hit Fresno County. At which point it was about 8 pm and I had to pee. And felt a powerful need to eat a little something too. But, thank goodness I didn't need gas because that's where I saw this:
Holy preposterousness, Batman. For reals.
And then I got a text from one of my best friends from high school, Alicia. I call her Leash. Her brother's band was playing at a
dive bar that night in my hometown and could I come? Pretty please? And bring my mom since her mom was going to be there too? Um, yeah, SURE! Because I may have only had 2 hours sleep and flew across 3 states at dawn, and been in meetings all day and on the road for 5 hours but OF COURSE I'm up for hitting a dive bar with friends to listen to a rockabilly band. Duh.
So this happened:
It was sorta dark in there and my mom couldn't figure out how to work the camera on my phone. At this point we were all laughing at her. That's Leash on the right. And on the left, Kristen. We all reminisced about getting into a fender bender in Kristen's car on the first day of my Freshman year. Probably the first time my mom let a friend drive me anywhere. Yep. Kristen & Alicia look exactly the same since HS and I hate them. Except that I love them. Moving on.
I spent the weekend with my Mamacita. This is her in her backyard. It's my own personal Zen place. Her house backs up to a field so it's super quiet and there's very little light pollution so I can lay out there in the patio loungers and listen to the fountain and look at millions of stars. Om.
One of the biggest reasons I came to my hometown this weekend was to see my Grammy. You see, she's the best Grammy EVER. Without exception. Even my hubby says that she's the best - and he had a pretty amazing Gram himself.
Here's me and my Gram:
I was laughing in this pic because she was clutching her blouse up around her neck in order to hide her "turkey neck." She is so silly. The best parts of me, my cousins, my mom & my aunts all came from her. She's ornery, nurturing, loving, understanding, and the epitome of gracefulness. Except when she burps out loud. Man, can she burp. And snore. My goodness. Oh, how I love her.
I also spent a good part of the weekend with this dude:
Okay, so his hair is a little crazy in this pic, but he's still cute right? And he has kind eyes. He's my cousin. He's my brother/cousin. And he's single. Swoon, ladies, swoon. Also, he's 30 and he likes older women. If you live in the valley and want to meet him just email me. (He's also a journeyman/electrician looking for steady work so, you know, email me for that too).
Saturday night something momentous happened:
That's JONI! Yeah, THE Joni. My blogging inspiration and altogether-awesome-person Joni. And that bitty baby is Ella. I tried to hold Ella. She took one look at me and screamed her adorable little head off. C'est la vie. But I did get to try one of Joni's chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting. Delicioso. (That baby WILL like me someday. I'm determined).
Sunday afternoon I packed up my fancy rental car and headed for the bay. I pit-stopped at Harris Ranch in Coalinga. I sang my way along I-5 and 152 over Pacheco Pass. I smelled the garlic in Gilroy. The drive went quickly and before I knew it I was standing at the window in the airport looking out at the bay and thinking how much I love California. Politics, finances, even pollution aside - I love California. I love the way I feel when I visit. I love the roads that I know by heart. I love the colors. I love the ocean, the country and the mountains and that in one afternoon's drive I can experience all three. Until we meet again, California:
Sometimes I'm a lucky, lucky girl.