Monday, July 30, 2012

Catching Up Pt 2

Continuing the long overdue tale of our trip to California, previewing the towns that will be our future home . . . or neighbors. Catch Part One here or click the "California" label to see the whole shebang.

On the fourth day, I woke up, and something was different.
Ok, I was different.
I’m a fairly mellow person. While I am defined by moments of unpredictable spastic explosions, I’m low key. It takes a great deal to vex me and even more to anger me. The downfall of this is that, once I’m in a mood, it usually requires a long, dreary, dramatic session of over-bottled-now-exploding emotions, a trip into isolation, and a nap.
It’s not pretty.
The third night, I had gone to bed almost angry. I had been dragged around relentlessly for three days. I had been told where to eat, when I would wake, and where I would stay. While these things weren't bad (Steve has great taste) and I had not thought to complaing (hadn't felt the need until this moment), I was tired of it. 
On top of that, my stomach was still churning from the night before.
So I planted myself in that hotel bathroom and firmly told Chris I would not be leaving that hotel room. Maybe not all day. But, most certainly, NOT that morning. My body and mind couldn’t take it anymore.
See, the thing with being an introvert is that you need an exorbitant amount of personal time to recharge . . . or function. Being around people 24/7 is exhausting, on top of the schedule: every day, we wake before the sunrise, pack up, check out, and drive, drive, drive. We meet, greet, eat, and do it all over again. While the scenery is lovely and the food is fabulous, it’s nonstop. I badly needed it to stop, even if just for a few hours.
So, yes, I had a hissy fit and refused to move. I was sick, after all, so I had an excuse.
Three days is the perfect amount of time for traveling with those you don’t live with, people you’re not used to being around every hour. Day four, I had reached my tolerance threshold and my control disintegrated. I needed alone time. Not wanted, NEEDED, for the safety of all those involved. So I was left to my own devices, ill and nibbling on crackers, while Chris called every hour to ask if the staff had changed our room yet (we were over the pool or something, so the wall vibrated, and Chris, with his spidey senses, was miserable). I amused myself by watching daytime television about "It ain't my baby, I know it ain't!" that made me realize my life wasn't bad at all, not even a little . . . also, that people are amazing . . . in all the not good kind of ways . . . Needless to say, come lunchtime, I was human again.
  • We spent the rest of the day driving around with a local who showed us some areas where we might want to live.
  • That evening, we had a barbecue with good friends of Steve’s. It was delightful—they’re intelligent, relaxed, and appreciative people. They knew all kinds of music, and their library consisted of every topic imagined. Loved it. Really, it was a beautiful ending to a morning that began so horrifically.
  • We also got to see what happened to Steve after several glasses of wine and shots of tequila. He’s happy and more relaxed, but still fiery for the typical human. It must be exhausting to be Steve.
  • Fields of "Spring Mix" (yeah, the salad) -- what's fun about driving through agricultural communities with Steve is that he can identify every kind of crop. I don't know how, but he does, and it's fun.
  • Day five witness another morning meltdown (I was STILL exhausted, peeps, still not significant amount of downtime) followed by a wonderfully relaxing day.
  • We had no agenda (I think Lisa talked Steve out of taking us to yet another of the company’s farms HOURS away . . . or maybe the hangover did that).
    I won’t deny it: hangovers are funny when they’re not yours (I imagine . . . I’ve never had the privilege of bring hungover myself—can’t swallow the taste of alcohol, it reminds me too much of cough syrup . . . yes, I’m bizarre). Watching Steve, an avid water consumer, downing a Sprite at 8:00 AM puzzled me, but, when he barely made it through half of his breakfast sandwich, I understood—Normally, Steve’s what his friends call “a garbage disposal”—he eats anything and everything in large amounts, which, never shows, I suppose because his metabolism has to be INSANE. I don’t know how you could be that intense and not have a metabolism on hyperdrive. You’d collapse. Repeatedly. Judging by his barely-touched plate and the mumbling, someone would be less than full throttle today.
    Which meant we might be able to relax a little.
    And, really, for all my complaints about our last two days, Steve had been “really, really good” in the words of his wife and son
. . . . I’ll let you interpret that however you may . . .

  •  If you are ever near Hollister, you simply MUST visit Casa de Fruta. It’s this delightful shop filled with every kind of dried fruit and candied nut you can imagine and then some. Plus, it’s across from the cutest little park which includes a children’s train and a carousel. LOVE.

These ducks totally begged like puppy dogs. So cute!

    You could pan for gold at this little spot right outside Casa de Fruta.

  • After all this, we headed to our hotel in San Jose. There, we had four hours to do NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. Oh, it was heaven.
  • Then it was up by 3:00 AM to catch the 4:30 bus and get on our 7:20 AM flight. Oh, GOD, I hate early morning flights. And, really, how safe am I supposed to feel knowing that the pilot was up earlier than I am??? I don’t care if you work the graveyard shift so you’re used to it—the human body doesn’t function at its peak with those hours.
  • So we leave Cali at 7:20 AM, and, with a three hour layover and a three-hour time change, we arrive in Orlando at 7:05 PM. Despite the intensity of the trip, Chris and I weren’t really ready to come home. We had fallen in love with the West, and we were ready to run, run, away.
  • Still, we were ready to see our furballs and family. Chris’s first order of business was reuniting with his pup at his sister’s. Twas an adorable reunion filled with puppy wiggles.
  • The cats were less than thrilled with this prospect, as they were enjoying a lovely dog-free vacation. Pipkin, however, was thrilled that I had brought her what was OBVIOUSLY a new bed for her as she immediately commandeered my suitcase and refused to relinquish it for days. Crazy cat.

So, that’s our California preview in a nutshell.
Seven months is too long to wait to go back.

If you managed to read through ALL of that, you get a gold star. For reals.


  1. totally, 100% agree on the introverts need time to recharge part! gosh, yes! i can handle about a day with tons of people besides evan and then i need about a week of hibernation. totally understand.

    and these pictures are STILL making me jealous. i cannot wait to hear all about your adventures when you finally get there! yaay!

  2. Hi Sarah, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  3. Ok, I need to stowaway in your suitcase when you move. It is just too beautiful there! I hope I get a chance to visit Cali one day!


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