It s been almost a month on the road, now. This last week and a half has been filled with old memories, tears, laughter, more tears, and more laughter. And since we've been out east, every day was filled with either French Press or pour-over coffee (the first time I've tasted it!), with fresh milk and a tinge of honey or stevia, fresh egg burritos, fresh-everything.
Day 21 We left San Francisco, bound for the Sierra Nevadas. Drove into the foothills, and spent several nights with old dear friends on their ranch. There's something about pulling into a dusty golden driveway around 7pm, walking in sneakers up to the barn hanging out with squinty sun eyes amid flies and warm milk and flip flops and the grunts of cows and catching up with casually folded arms and gleaming eyes. It's the feeling of home, of comfort, of belonging.
We were fed homemade keifer for dinner and swam in the pool under the stars and feasted poolside on farmers market strawberries and homemade kombucha, drank glass after glass of fresh milk and went to bed late, exhausted and happy.
Day 22 I introduced that Austin guy to Yosemite. We ate lunch by the Merced River, and then got sassy and jumped into the icy water. That'll wake you up.
I wanted to get out immediately but we swam to the other side, warmed up (barely) and swam back. Fortunately, in CA the weather is nice. It wasn't too cold and wasn't too hot and we dried quickly and then took the shuttle to stop #16, hiked the Mist Trail and got wet again.
Then because you can't be in Yosemite without see at least one waterfall, we visited the Lower Yosemite Fall, and then drove up to Inspiration Point for the sunset and ate the last of our Boudin bread from Pier 39.
Again, home late, tired and happy.
Day 23 Breakfast burritos in the morning. And then we visited my home, where I grew up. Full of tears. Met the sweet owner who welcomed me more than I ever expected or deserved. She hugged me when we left.
That evening, lake day with friends! Home-grown grass-fed beef patties and never-ending cup games and stories of catch-up and reunion.
Day 24 Spent the day in Old Town Clovis, went to the Book Barn and loaded up with classics and a tome on the effects of WW I. It was just the two of us, picnicked in Woodward Park, and then met up with everyone for a 6:30 showing of Superman. Did NOT realize it was the opening weekend. TOO. MANY. PEOPLE.
Also, I will not buy movie theater drinks or candy. I just won't. It's a thing I have. So me and a friend walked across center to a candy store and hid BAGS of candy in our shirts and shorts and smuggled in so much sugar.
Day 25 Went to a little Anglican church in Fresno, came back and sat by the pool, read books, walked around the country side, played with kittens, stayed up late with over-due conversations and memories.
Day 26 Left our home-away-from home around 8:30. Almost cried because of the good-byes. Memorized every turn. Stopped at a fruit stand somewhere along I-99 and got bags of nectarines and cherries and strawberries for $4. Arrived in Santa Cruz. Set up camp, and spent the rest of our day by the ocean. May or may not be an uncomfortable shade of red at the moment.
Day 27 Today! Santa Cruz. Boardwalk and sights and smells are on the agenda! Ice Cream and food stocking are on our plans as well.
Looking forward to heading down the coast and spending the next two weeks in the southern part of California!