Michael called me last week while I was still in California and said that the high temperature for the day was twenty six. My reply was "I'm not coming home." He then threatened to eat an animal a week until I got home, starting with the chickens and ending with the dog. So, I came home. I came home to freezing temperatures in order to save the lives of our pets. I hope they recognize the sacrifice I have made for them. I spent exactly one week in the bay area of California. It feels like I was gone a month and yet it also feels that I missed so much. I never made it to the Castro or Japan Town. I didn't spend enough time in Chinatown or walk enough steep hills. But, Oh the things I did see and do and eat.
Things I fell in love with:
- Ike's Place. This place is where it is at and when I say "it" I mean the best dang vegetarian sandwiches I have ever eaten. The Handsome Owl made with fake chicken, teriyaki sauce and wasabi mayo on Dutch crunch bread, brought me to tears. Dutch crunch bread is the sandwich bread you didn't know existed but will want for every dang sandwich.
- Muji. I don't even know how to describe this store, but it is the most relaxing shopping experience. The stationary and notebooks are a dream. I bought a pocketed notebook and some colored pens and I'm in love with them.
- All the National Parks I visited: I went to three different National Park visitor centers while I was in California. I asked for Junior Ranger badges from each one and received two really nice wood badges and one awesome patch. Our Junior Ranger badges from other areas have all been plastic and not all that special. The California badges are unique and lovely.
Probably, my favorite experience was visiting the Point Reyes Lighthouse. You have to walk down 308 steps to get to it, but it's worth it just to read an excerpt from the lighthouse keeper log book. There was something very rewarding about making it back up those 308 steps as well. I'm pretty sure I saw a whale. I did see a giant slug and couple dozen deer. The Point Reyes National Seashore is the home of the Alphabet Ranches, so we saw lots of dairy cows and a few coyotes. Heather and I ate so much cheese from the Cowgirl Creamery and we learned that building fires in a wood stove is kind of my super power. Heather named my fire Satan's Asshole. All those years of camping and watching the men in my life build fires has paid off.
I am thankful for many many things this week. I am thankful for not just the time spent in California, but the time spent with Heather and her two beagles. She's been trying to get me out there for a few years now and I hate that it took me so long to do it. I am thankful for Heather. I am also thankful for Michael who held down the fort while I was gone. I came home to a clean house and Christmas cards printed and ready for me to address. All the animals are alive even though Josephine ate five of Michael's crab rangoons. I am thankful for this, the clean house and living animals thing, not the crab rangoons. And even though it's a whopping twenty five degrees today, I am thankful to be home and settling back into a routine.
I am thankful for warm snuggles from the puppy and love from the cat. I am thankful for wasabi flavored marshmallows. I am thankful for thumbprint art. I am thankful for you. Here's to a weekend of calm before the storm and a super Thankful Friday.