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Saturday, July 2, 2011

What Marvelous Hols

So I've just spent the past month on various adventures in different parts of the West Coast, enjoying lovely holidays! I have taken as my motto what my boss said, that we will work hard so that we can play hard! In other words, I don't mind working 12 hour days (which I shall be on Monday this week) if I can take a proper vacation in the middle of the summer, or have a long weekend off to spend time with a friend.

My adventures began the beginning of June when I set off in my trusty little Suzuki, headed for the southernmost part of the state. I took a slight detour to visit Laura and Jaime and to break up my long drive with an overnight stay. We had fun making breakfast burritos the next day with Taco Bell fresco bean burritos, tater tots, scrambled eggs, fresh salsa, and sour cream. Yum! Then I hit the road for another four hours in the California heat. Thankfully my car does have a/c and a friend had just put a CD player in for me a couple of days before so I was well prepared with my favourite music to sing along to.

I arrived at my final destination weary of driving but happy to be there. I met my gracious hosts, Karen and Nick, who quickly became good friends. Mike came over as soon as he got off work, and then the whirlwind of a week began. There was a trip to Sea World, where we got soaked on the ride (but kept the camera and car keys dry!) and we stood in line for 20 minutes at the 4-D Theater until I realized it was Sesame Street Characters. Now if it had been Winnie the Pooh. . . There were beaches galore (Venice had the most character, Santa Monica, Laguna and the million and one stairs, and Balboa Island). There was the theatre, movies (okay, so I've finally seen Back to the Future I and II now, yes, I know, I was in a time machine and have missed out on some major parts of life in the USA, but it wasn't my fault that I was growing up halfway across the world, running around in a t-shirt and shorts, with flip flops on my feet, learning French from the children at church). There was a spring orchestra, where we met up with friends I hadn't seen in years (seriously, how long has it been?), and we found ourselves eating cheesecake at eleven at night while laughing hysterically at the humongous glob of cheese that came in the eggplant veggie burgers at the Cheesecake Factory. There was a very special birthday dinner, with amazing food and fancy drinks and a jazz band playing with my favourite musical instruments. And of course, there was eating out! From vegan to Indian to Lebanese to Italian to buffets and pancake houses, there was no end to delicious foods to eat!

The week flew by and before I knew it, I was saying goodbye to dear friends and heading home on a very long drive. After a busy week at work, I hopped on a plane this time and flew in to Seattle to spend some time with LaVonne and her family. It was so nice to see everyone again, and see how much Isabella had grown! She chattered away and I scrambled to pick up her adorable three and a half year old dialect as quickly as possible. We played a million games of Bear on the Ice and I spent about an hour pulling grass in the backyard and stuffing it into her polka-dot rain boots, because she insisted they had to be filled with grass.

I attended my first Native American funeral, which was a cultural experience in itself. I appreciated how the community came around those who were grieving and showed their love and support for the family. We took a huge ferry over to Friday Harbour and walked around the shops, enjoying a lovely Syrian falafel sandwich and a zaatar appetizer. We ate a large pizza with mushrooms and olives, drank almost a whole soda bottle of root beer, watched Netflix and movies to our hearts' content, and went thrift store shopping for great steals. I was really excited to cross over the border into Canada where we had delicious veggie burgers for lunch and experienced the buzz of Granville Island. (I am realizing that a lot of my memories seem to center around food!)

All too quickly, my month has come to an end and I must now head back to the reality of work and every day life. I'm guessing, though, that I'm not the only one who finds it hard to crash back to earth after spending such a wonderful time with friends and having great adventures. But it's okay, because I'll just be counting down the days till my next holiday comes along!

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