California Dreamin’

Greetings from somewhere on the west coast…

Life continues at a frenetic pace. I dream of lazy days curled up by a fire, rain beating on the roof, a good book and hot cup of coffee for company. However, at the moment I am between homes, so my days are spent either hunched over my laptop working, driving interstates, or on good days visiting dear friends.

Potter at Spanish Village

This past weekend was a combination of all three. I arrived in San Diego on Friday, after bidding Phoenix a bittersweet goodbye. Stopped in Yuma for a few hours to work at a beautiful library (we had a massive project with tight deadlines that didn’t understand “vacation”), then rolled into town just ahead of rush hour. Found a parking spot I DIDN’T have to parallel park in (woo hoo!), and chatted with Yvonne’s daughter Marianne until her mom arrived. And our weekend began.

We strolled down the street to a Mexican bistro for caipirinhas, guac, ceviche, chips and salsa, and lots of catching up. Even though she was in Phoenix a month ago, a lot had happened. Besides, it was just nice to be sitting and chatting with a friend again. We walked off our dinner browsing through the shops in Hillcrest before heading home to crash.

Ocean Beach

Saturday was general running around. The mall, Wahoo’s for lunch (fish tacos, my favorite), errands, and coffee at Ocean Beach with the old hippies and surfer dudes. Although it was gray and cool, the sand was still warm from the afternoon sun, and we walked and gazed at the waves and listened to the surf crashing on the shore. Then we scoured the streets for rentals, and dreamed about life at the beach.

Spanish Village

We stopped at Balboa Park to wander through the Spanish Village, where a pottery sale was taking place under purple jacaranda trees whispering in the late afternoon breeze. I wanted one of everything, but settled for a small vase made with a crystalline glaze that produces amazing iridescent flower-like blooms. (Next time I buy one of everything.)

Dinner was Thai at a local cafe before heading to Old Town to listen to Gary Seiler, a Trop-Rocker I met in Key West last fall. (He introduced me to the audience as the co-writer of the newest Folgers jingle – even though the finalist isn’t crowned until tomorrow – which was flattering!) We wandered the empty streets of Old Town and wondered about life before San Diego became a metropolis (and watched the SeaWorld fireworks in the distance), before heading home to crash.

Longshadow Winery

Sunday dawned clear and sunny, with no sign of June Gloom. So we hopped in the car and headed an hour north to Temecula, and wine country. Yvonne hadn’t been to a wine tasting before, so I was determined to make her first experience special. We sought out unique wineries – Longshadow because they feature draft horses and a barn-like tasting room (and a very knowledgeable and friendly wine-pourer!), Wilson Creek for their almond champagne (mix it with port for a drink worthy of the gods), Cougar Creek because the owners used to live in Washington State, and Keyways because it’s the only winery owned by a woman.

Longshadow Winery

We snapped pictures and sampled great wines and laughed with friendly hosts, and all in all greatly enjoyed the day. We ended the trip at a creperie, then headed back to San Diego to share pho (Vietnamese soup) with Marianne. Then work called – I worked from 9pm til almost 1am, slept 4 hours, and was back at it by 5ish.

Wilson Creek Winery

Monday I worked. Yvonne worked. Marianne worked. Anthony job-hunted. I stopped to heat up leftovers for lunch, and worked some more. It was another gorgeous day outside, but I had responsibilities (ugh). But by 5:30 I was done, and we were off to BevMo to buy aforementioned almond champagne, then a quick dinner at Chevy’s. Wine awaited us at home, but not before we walked the block to Pinkberry’s for salted caramel frozen yogurt (yes, Beth is once again eating her way cross-country).

All too soon, the visit was over. Tuesday morning I said sad goodbyes, and headed north. It was a long hot 95 degree day driving on a boring interstate through miles and miles of barren land, and I fought sleep the entire day. It was a relief to pull into Alameda at dinnertime and find Adrienne waiting, along with 70 degrees and sunny skies. We walked through town to a Thai restaurant for dinner, then waddled home to visit for a while, and then sleep.

Cougar Creek Winery

Which brings me to today. Of course now that I have time, there’s no work to do – feast or famine. So I read, lounged by the pool, shopped at Trader Joe’s, and caught up on my blog. Tonight we’ll have dinner and drinks, and tomorrow I hit the road early, both to avoid traffic and make it to a town where I can find wifi (noon meeting with the Mother Ship, aka the home office). Tomorrow night it’s the Oregon Coast, and ditto Friday. Friday night I visit cousins I haven’t seen in decades, so that will be great. Then Saturday I should be in Coeur d’Alene by nightfall, unless I see something shiny that changes my plans.

After that, I have no clue. I’ll be staying with my friends Ali and Kevin for as long as they’ll have me. I already have a coffee date with Linda on Tuesday morning, and will be filling up my social calendar ASAP. There are friends to catch up with, favorite places to visit, drinks to drink and food to eat. Walks to take along the lake. Visits to neighboring towns. And decisions to make about the future. But today, all I can see is getting to the Oregon coast tomorrow – one of my favorite places on earth.

I’m just hoping it’ll rain….

Thanks for checking on me – I’ll be back as soon as I have internet again, and stories to share! And if you’re in CDA, I’ll see you soon! (And if you’re in California and I missed you, I’m sorry. I’m on a mission to get to CDA as soon as I can. Hopefully on my next visit, I’ll have more time…)

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2 Responses to California Dreamin’

  1. Pat says:

    I think I want your life…yep, I do.

    • Beth says:

      The grass is always greener, Pat. And don’t forget, I’m a fiction writer – I can make anything sound wonderful! But yes, I am lucky most of the time, and I know it. It’s just when I’m feeling rootless and homeless that I wish I had YOUR life. 🙂

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