After being away WAY too long, it's nice to finally be home again.
With the exception of being home for five whole days following Nancy's funeral, I've really not been home since June 7th. I don't think I've ever been away that long in my life. Never mind that I went on "Semester At Sea" for three and a half months once. That doesn't count. Much.
Anyway, I am finally home.
I had so many things I wanted to do in California that just didn't get done. The number one thing I wanted to do was go to a beach. It hurts that I didn't get to. And I wanted to visit my aunt and uncle's house in Newport Beach (they are now deceased) just to see what it looked like. I also wanted to show Liz what a family-owned theatre looks like, since I used to perform at one in Glendale and since then I've always wanted to own one. I still do.
I guess those three things will have to wait for my next trip.
I did accomplish a lot on this trip though.
**I saw my old college friends in Bakersfield (the trip that my friend Nancy and I were supposed to go on together)
**I saw a show at the Buck Owens Crystal Palace (!) and got to see the famous Dewars Ice Cream Parlor in Bakersfield.
**Had "tea" at Morgan's house and dinner at Karla's. By the way, thanks for the wonderful hospitality, Karla! And to everyone. It was great seeing everyone!
**I had lunch with Juanita - a friend and former coworker - who so graciously gave us a tour of the Warner Bros. lot
**I saw Tamara for a quick drink at Starbucks
**I visited both Disneyland and California Adventure so many times that I can't even count them all
**I visited Alaska via an Alaskan cruise
**I saw Canada for the first time in my life, and stayed overnight in Vancouver
**I saw my mother's grave for the first time since she passed away in 2007
**I saw my parent's house for the first time in two years. It has not changed.
**I visited my old church and saw some dear friends there.
**Ate at Del Taco, Shakeys and In 'N' Out - all in Anaheim. Texas has none of this fine cuisine.
**Ate dinner at Marie Callender's and got POTATO CHEESE SOUP! And Sour Cream Blueberry Pie. Also not a restaurant that Texas has...
**Helped my friend Jenny move the last of her things out of her old house in Santa Maria into her new house in Santa Maria. She bought her first house!!
**Visited Solvang for fudge!
**Visited my cousin Bill and his wife Marilyn in Ventura. What a nice treat!
**Rented more cars than I care to count and got myself all mixed up in how to get them all back to where they were supposed to be.
**Flew on more planes that I care to fly on again.
**Rode on more shuttles that I ever care to again, too.
**Took my first submarine ride (and not at Disneyland!) This one was real.
**Saw a whale feeding in Juneau, Alaska... 17 whales had cornered a ton of little fish and all banded together to force them into their giant whale mouths. Apparently that was a very rare thing to see and I got to see it.
**I saw the "Electrical Light Parade" at California Adventure. Hadn't seen that since... maybe high school?
**Had dinner with Joanne - a friend and former co-worker from San Gabriel Unified. We ate at Mrs. Knott's!!
**Had breakfast with my new friend Katie, who was originally Nancy's friend, the morning we headed back to Texas. We hope to stay in touch with Katie (!)
and my favorite accomplishment?
**I survived the Alaskan flu... in Skagway, Alaska. Something I hope I NEVER get to experience again!!!!!
Yes, it's good to be home. If I ever get the flu again... I want to be near my very own restroom.
Juanita, you're probably on your second pot of coffee by now. Everyone else, I hope you're not yawning too much.