The last week has been pretty great! Little F arrived late Friday night, and it was so good to see him, especially because he didn’t look nearly as sickly as I had expected! 🙂 D and F are super close, despite their nine-year age gap, and being around them when they’re together is both really sweet and a lot of fun. While he was here, he came to our current gig with us (and received the same very generous rate!), cooked us *delicious* meals, ate our sweetbreads, and schooled us on the sector(s) of the counterculture he had been dabbling in. (He also introduced me to The League, and I can’t believe how much I like that show.) Little F is one of the few people that I know that likes to talk more than I do, so we get along great.
Tuesday morning, D and I went to work for a few hours while Little F rested and made us some bangin’ (organic, free range) chicken chili to take on the road. We all showered, did laundry, cleaned the apt, picked up the rental car, packed, and hopped on the road at 4PM. After a few hours, we knew that we weren’t going to drive the whole way that night and I voted to stay in Lompoc because I really love the drive between the 101 and the 1 that is required to get there. We crashed in a lovely motel that night and arrived in Monrovia on Wednesday, then spent the next three days hopping between his brothers’ and parents’ homes, visiting with everyone. His fam has been very welcoming and incredibly kind towards me, and I’m just really loving getting to know all of them. (D is the third oldest of six kids. I feel for his mother; that’s a lot of kids to worry about.)
We said our last goodbye – with little F – after lunch, and I got slightly choked up (and then got teased). You’d think that after several years of living thousands of miles from so many of my loved ones that I’d be used to it, but I still always get teary at goodbyes. Back when I was That Girl that is obsessed with quotes, there was one from Snoopy that frequently graced my AIM away message (Yup, I referenced AIM) about wishing that everyone you love could be in one place, and wanting more ‘hellos’ and fewer ‘goodbyes.’ I liked that quote. But! The sadness is a good thing; it means that we have people in our lives that we care about enough to miss. 🙂 (It also means that we know when to end a visit. Always leave while the party is still fun!)
Fortunately, I had the 101 to distract me, and I thoroughly loved the drive back up here, both for some quality one-on-one time with D and for the stretch of idyllic land between Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz. The views never look the same – changes in the clouds, light, time of day and year all significantly impact the look of the landscape – but they are consistently breathtaking. (If only we could learn to stop and take some pictures!! We’ve done that drive probably 12 times in the last year, and I have maybe three decent pictures of that landscape and it’s one of my very favorite drives ever. Ridiculous.)
Santa Cruz greeted us with a beautiful sunset. I was so mesmerized (read: stupefied from exhaustion) that I couldn’t be bothered to get out of the car and took these three extremely crappy iPhone pics from the passengers seat while the car was moving.
And then Danny found me this good picture from the Santa Cruz Boardwalk page. He’s great. ❤
Always so grateful for the opportunity to live in such a beautiful place ❤
Fortunately, we have a few days in between to rest and recharge before my parents arrive on WEDNESDAY!! 🙂 We are very much looking forward to their visit. ❤
OH, AND!!! One of my dearest friends in the world, whom I have known since our August 2003 college orientation when he was still rocking tie-dye T-shirts with cargo shorts, became a FATHER this week. Sending really BIG hugs and lots and lots of love to BG and his little family. I'm so, so happy and excited for all three of you. ❤
Smile, laugh, have a great week, and spread the love! ❤ 🙂