Lest anyone think I had a terrible vacation, I really didn't. I enjoy Northern California and its differences from my native SoCal. It's much more laid back, has way more trees, and slightly better weather. It took us three entire hours just to get from Orange County out of LA county, which is well under 100 miles. It only took us four hours to traverse the rest of the way, which tells you something about LA traffic, which is insane.
I always marvel at the Central Valley when I travel through it. It's vast expanses of farmland basically feed the United States. People love to knock California, but they should really take another look at how lost the rest of the country would be without us. Seriously.
Friday night saw us dining with a friend at Skates on the Bay, which we were hideously underdressed for, being still in the clothes that we traveled in for almost eight hours. With prices ranging from 15 dollars to 50 dollars, we looked a tad bit like some homeless people that our friend had taken pity on and sprung for dinner. Despite our scruffy and dubious appearance, somehow we got a table on the second tier next to the windows, and had a view of SF and the sunset, which was gorgeous.
Saturday saw us touring the city of Berkeley, as well as the campus of the famous UC Berekeley, the jewel in the UC crown. As we looked at the gorgeous hilly campus with it's clock tower and imposing buildings, Hubba-hubba lamented that if his parents had ever taken him to a college campus like that, how much harder he might have pushed his younger self to excel in school. Touring the botanical gardens was a nice way to spend a few hours, and then it was definitely time for a nap.
Then came Sunday. I had the opportunity of meeting the lovely J, her irrepressible husband Py Korry, their beautiful daughter Maya, and the fabulous Autumn's Mom. They took time out of their very busy weekend to hang out at a great restaurant for breakfast with Hubba-hubba and me.
Can I just say that it is people like them who make me glad I am a blogger? I had "known" them for a while through their blogs, and the conversation flowed freely as if we had known each other in real life. I had always felt that they were people that I would be friends with if we lived in the same area. There weren't really any awkward pauses or "uhhhhh" moments, if you know what I mean. They are just like they are on their blogs. Funny, intelligent, and interesting. If I had never begun blogging, I would have never had the chance to meet such wonderful people, and my life would be that much poorer because of it.
And I would like to think that the same would happen with any of you, if we were to meet. I have gathered so much hope and strength from all of your prayers and thoughts, I thank you so much.
Then, we were off to watch the Yankees vs. the Giants at the most beautiful ballpark in the world, AT&T Park. If you even sort of like baseball and you ever get the chance to see a game there, I highly recommend. This is probably the only park where sitting up high gives you a distinct advantage over people in the lower decks. We were pretty high up, but that afforded us million dollar views of the Bay. It was such a great experience that we didn't even mind that the Yankees lost. Well, too much, anyway. And, a tip to the uninitiated, when Gordon Biersch says they make "garlic fries" over there, they mean garlic fries. Your hands will be smelling like an Italian restaurant for the next four days. Trust me. And I only ate four.
Dinner at the newly renovated Ferry Building topped off the day and we wound up going to sleep extra early. We pretty much made the decsion that since I was feeling ok despite some of my physical problems, that we would just go ahead and play it safe and leave one day before we were scheduled to go.
No regrets here on leaving early, it was good to get away for a little while and be distracted. But, I found myself missing that little hand that always finds its way into mine. I was feeling a tad bereft without it.