It came and went like the passing of the sun through the sky; before I knew it, back home to the Bay Area was over. The whole trip is a very happy memory for me after not seeing my parents for almost a year, and I’m left smiling as life goes on in Calgary. You can read about my first few days here and the reason there’s no substitute for quality here second CA instalment here; now to finish off the rest of my experience in the Bay Area!
After my fun 13.24 miler on Sunday morning, I drove back to Lafayette and got ready to visit a friend I grew up with and see his beautiful (new!) bride for a reception lunch at their church. It was so fun to see him older, in a new phase of life, living well and not the little neighbor I sometimes still imagine in my head! I also got to reconnect with his parents and really loved the time chatting with them and reminiscing about “the old days.” The bulk of my childhood was spent on Dora Avenue in Walnut Creek, a small 1950-ish cul de sac full of great families and hidden just a few blocks from downtown. It was a great place to grow up and so significant to remember some good memories there and connect on life now with them. What a great surprise to find out this small event was being hosted on the weekend I happened to be in town!
The rest of the day was spent shopping (GASP for those of you who know me! Not so hard when your mom insists on buying everything!) and strolling around downtown Walnut Creek. It’s a beautiful city that I appreciate more now than when I lived there, and I enjoyed seeing what’s changed and getting some killer new kicks to train in (thanks mom!).
Some highlights of the last day (and trip in general) included:
- The personality change of our cat, Sinatra (named thus for his blue, blue eyes!). Sinatra went through some mean phases, some I’m-scared-of-everything and skiddish phases, and now, just in the last few weeks, is in an I-love-people phase. It was fun for him to really feel like a pet! Even my mom kinda likes him now, which is really saying something! Hopefully he keeps getting more personable and affectionate as he keeps aging!
- Monday morning meant one thing and one thing only: BOOTCAMP! How fun to start the day off with a great workout with both my parents (and lead by my mom)! [Oh, and by the way, my dad has lost so much weight and is full-blast on the workout wagon! It’s so fun to see him healthy and is the best gift he could give any of us, but especially my mom.] I am admittedly SORE from the moves and really pushed. It’s so much easier to push in a group and so much harder to get motivated to workout hard on your own, so I was grateful for all those early morning workouts while I visited.
[Speaking of good workouts, if you’re looking for some solid yoga poses to help ease those aches and pains (ahem, Bonnie!), check out Lindsay’s Tuesday Trainer today!]
California sunshine! Oh MAN has this been nice! I sat in the sun and read my chapter out of Chesterton’s Orthodoxy for this week’s Fat Tuesday – it’s much more fun to read in the warm sun than the basement with a blanket over my lap. I soaked it up as much as possible and, although I love where we live and have learned to embrace winter, I sure appreciated every moment of the warmth I received.
Yogurtland. That’s right – I finally got a yogurt from this famed place! If you read any “healthy living bloggers,” like this crazy runner, this tell-it-like-it-is runner, and this speedster, you’ll know that Yogurtland is some of the best quality frozen yogurt and cheaper than other delights out there. My mom told me it was her favorite and we waited until we were good and ready and finally went. It beats the Yogurt Shack, Yogurt Delight, and Coco Swirl hands down! My flavor choices? Pumpkin Pie + Kona Coffee with a smidge of Red Velvet Cake just to sample it. Toppings (how could I resist?!): some mini PB cups, crushed Oreos, and a pump of Ghirardelli chocolate. OH YEAH. My dad said they should open some in Canada (yes please!). Clearly, I enjoyed my experience.
- Peet’s Coffee. It really is my favorite coffee shop ever and produces, in my opinion, the best coffee beans, hands down. I only got a cup twice on the trip but my mom brews it at home in the mornings and sent me home with a 2 lb bag of French Roast beans. Can I say it again? OH YEAH.
Peet’s in the SFO Airport to go!
But of course the best part was connecting with my family. I loved seeing some extended family members, some people I consider family like my old neighbors (hi Todoroffs and Oberas!), and spending so much time with my parents. This trip was refreshing and renewing to my heart in a time where I find myself struggling with work and direction and simply missing home. I forgot what a part of me California still is and let every glimpse of the hills, every Bay Area-vibe, every memory flood over me. At the risk of sounding cheesy I type it all out because it’s true! Thankfully, home is where my man is, and I love being able to live wherever he is and find home with him.
Thanks to my mom and dad for the good talks, encouragement to continue trusting God, and good moments that felt so familiar and fun. One last happy 54th to my mom – I truly hope I’m living with the same passion for life, for Jesus, and for others as you are now and doing it in goo d style and with muscles galore! I love you both!And here’s a way to end a post: as I finish up and am typing in Starbucks with my man, killing time before our Fat Tuesday gathering in this area of the city soon, one of my favorite songs came on: California Dreamin’ by the Mamas and the Papas! #loveit
Have a great rest of the night – I’m headed to Fat Tuesday! Catch ya later as I slide back into life in the Great White North! Live well & be well,
(A “Run Happy” shirt + Veg Max drink to replenish me after my travels today…life is good!)