From San Francisco we drove north across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sonoma Country and my home town.Because my family moved to Dallas years ago I rarely had the opportunity to return to the Bay Area and it had been four years since I was there last. They say that home is where your family is and this is true for the most part but I couldn't help but feel instantly comforted by the rolling beige hills, orderly green vineyards and tall redwood trees against a bright blue sky.Due to the amount of uncontrolled fires in the area there wasn't much blue sky but it didn't ruin the sensation of going back in time.
The main reason (or good excuse) to make a detour to California before flying to New York was to attend a good friend's wedding.Of course this wedding only warranted a weekend visit but we opted to stay 10 days. This is the kind of decision you can make when you aren't working.The wedding weekend took place in an 'alternative' town tucked on the banks of the Russian River.Wooden bungalows were nestled between huge trees that led out to a large outdoor patio and lawn that bordered the river's edge.The wedding took place outside and during the ceremony kayaks floated by and a group played volleyball next door.The casually dressed guests sipped their beers while listening to the carefully chosen readings and later enjoyed delicious locally grown, hormone-free food prepared by a close friend.Day turned to night and soon everyone was dancing to "Sweet Home Alabama" dedicated to all the American guests, which meant that only Antony had to sit down!All in all, it was a beautiful wedding and a fantastic opportunity to catch up with old friends.Jodi and Dan Blue - we had a wonderful time and wish you all the best!
In addition to attending the wedding, we spent a few days with the Heing family who were neighbors of ours for many years in Santa Rosa.Even if the California landscape had failed to give me the tingly feeling of returning to my youth, hanging out with the Heings would have sealed the deal.The five children all made an appearance at one point or another and just like old times we were cooking, eating, drinking, playing, gossiping and laughing throughout.The hospitality was beyond compare and it took approximately 30seconds to settle in and feel like we had always lived there.
Whilst it seemed that time had stood still, Megan and my childhood friends have been busy.Jessie and Katie have graduated from college and are saving up for their own travel plans, Trisha arrived with her husband Roy and their four year old daughter Maddie, Troy arrived with his wife and Mandy rolled up in a delivery van with her husband and four kids in tow.If all of this can happen in four short years, I wonder what our next visit will be like!Now being Stateside we hope to see each other more often and anticipate a visit in New York any time now.
Then the time came… when we boarded the plane for our final flight to New York City.And just before I could focus on the butterflies in my stomach we were told to get back off the plane because of a mechanical malfunction.While fellow passengers huffed and puffed about the inconvience (sp?) we weren't bothered at all.We've waited 9 months, what are another few hours?
Next time we will (hope to) be writing from NYC!
Love, R & A