Sam, Tipsy and I arrived in California late Friday night. Saturday I unpacked and settled in, and Sunday Sam took me hang gliding. He wasted no time getting me to Do California.
Sam has been hang gliding every available weekend since arriving in California. He would send me videos of him soaring in the air. He said he didn't get very high or fly for very long, maybe ten feet for ten seconds. I had no desire to do that. It looked cool, but also seemed way to scary. I'm not afraid of heights or flying, but I am afraid to tie myself to a big kite.
On my first California Saturday, Sam told me he wanted to hang glide on Sunday. I told him, that'll be fun for him and to do it. But he wanted me to go along. He signed me up for a lesson and we went to bed early so we could get up early to drive an hour to Tres Pinos.
The drive to the hang gliding site was lovely, not too much traffic and there were mountains! I don't think I'll ever get over seeing mountains. We drove through Gilroy, the Garlic Capital of the World, which smells amazing and Hollister (not just a clothing store).
I had visions of showing up and flying. That didn't happen. We had to walk up a gradual hill what seemed like a mile, but was probably less, to get to the hang gliders. I watched Sam put his hang glider together and talked to the nice guy running the show. Then it was my turn. The first lesson was to put the hang glider together. TBH, it was boring. There were people sky diving above us and I was more interested in watching them fall. Hearing their chutes open was neat. I never thought about the sound a parachute makes. Also, I wasn't sure I wanted to get into a hang glider assembled by newbies.
I told the instructor that I was nervous to fly high, and he said we won't get very high. And he added that most people think learning goes too slow. I assured him I was happy for it to go slow.
After the assembly lesson, we learned to run down a hill without too much movement. Reminded me of my freshman marching band days. Then there were more lessons about turning, and landing, and then I got to the point where I wanted to FLY! I was bored with the lessons. I wanted to do what Sam was doing, which was being launched into the air going really high. I was on the ground, flying for a few seconds at a time, which was just as fun, but Sam was in the air for minutes! The instructor was right, the learning was too slow.
It was a fun experience. I'll go again and one day I'll soar. Check out the pictures here.
If you are interested in hang gliding, check out Mission Soaring Center in Tres Pinos.
Just like that, I'm living in California. Last week was a whirlwind. This week is already going fast. I can't believe I'm actually in CA. It seemed like it was so far into the future. The packing, the goodbyes, the move, living with Sam again. And now I'm here. I'm doing California!
Last week mom helped me pack up my things and clean. My motto was: If it doesn't fit in the car, it's not going. Luckily mom took a lot of my stuff to be stored in her lower level because you never know when I'll need that pair of white fluffy slippers or part of a Halloween costume from five years ago. She also took most of my yarn, which was the hardest to part with. Take my bridesmaid dresses, my purses, my DVDs, but not my yarn! I did take a few balls I knew I'd work with right away. I envision myself making an oversized sweater to wear in the colder months.
Despite storing a lot of stuff at my parents and giving my nieces all my crafting stuff, we still made many trips to Goodwill. I gave away more than half of the things I own, and I still had a lot to move. Mom and I stuffed my car to the gills, making sure to leave just enough room for Tipsy, Sam and me.
Getting rid of things felt both good and sad. My head knew I didn't need to pack four water bottles. But my heart wanted them all. "But this one is purple! This one has room for fruit! This one is teal!" I had a lot of excuses to keep things. Luckily towards the end of packing I was in the mood of EVERYTHING GOES. I kept one water bottle.
Sam flew in on Wednesday and we left for California early Thursday. Our drive was uneventful. Poor Tipsy was sedated which made the ride better for all. She would meow occasionally to let us know she was still there and unhappy with her situation. But all in all she was a great passenger and she traveled well. She's settled into her new apartment nicely too. She has cat inspected every inch of the new space and knows the best places to hide.
About half way through the road trip we stopped at the Historical Plains Hotel in Cheyenne, WY. I didn't know until after we stayed that it was haunted! I wish I had known before, but Sam didn't tell me, probably so I'd sleep peacefully. We didn't end up on one of the frequently haunted floors and nothing exciting happened. Tipsy was not freaked out so I don't think we had a ghostly visitor.
The hotel was built in 1911 and it looks like it. It's in great shape, but the rooms are very tiny and everything is old. But in a good way. There were old clocks, photos, the floor looked original, and a tiny little elevator that looked like it may have been the first elevator in the world. It was definitely a historical site. We got in to Cheyenne after sunset and we left before dawn. I don't know what Cheyenne looks like in the daylight, but it served well for a good night's sleep.
We took the I-80 most of the way and it was fun to see different road signs. In Wisconsin you might see a sign that says "tune to 1610 am when flashing" or something about traffic due to a sporting event. Never do you see a permanent sign telling you the road is closed due to weather. We passed many "I-80 closed when flashing" signs. Permanent signs! All because of snow! There were also signs that read "snow chains required when flashing" - um... ok. Coming from Wisconsin I am still confused. A simple Google search will tell me that it snows more there than it does in Wisconsin, or that they aren't equipped for snow removal, or that the plains cause snow drifts (there were major snow drift fences). But I'm not going to Google it. I'll just have to wonder about it until I forget all about it. My favorite road sign was "Speed Limit 80."
We made it to California about 10 pm on Friday. We unloaded the cat and the backseat of my car and went to bed. Saturday morning we emptied my car and I unpacked and settled in. It took one day to move in. Sam and I took a walk around the neighborhood and we could see the mountains. I don't know which mountains, but they are mountains! The apartment complex has palm trees and a pool. Practically next door is a delicious taqueria and Mexican grocery store. I am definitely going to like it here. Now if only I had a job...
I'm still making the rounds telling people I'm moving to California. I am met with well wishes and "good for you, bad for us" as well as people being excitedly jealous. I really like my Madison coworkers and I'll be so sad to leave (most of) them.
This weekend my dear friend Dave got married in Wisconsin Dells. He and I have known each other since middle school, but we got really close after college. He asked me to do a reading at their wedding and with help from Michele, I picked the wedding vows Paul Newman read to Joanne Woodward.
On Tuesday, I woke up with a scratchy throat. Me being me, I complained about getting a cold the week of the wedding and through texts Kristin convinces me it's allergies. I confirm with webmd and I move on, now complaining about allergies. But it's not allergies. It is now a full-blown cold and at this very moment I cannot talk. I have no voice. I had a voice for the reading, it may have sounded like I had a cold, but I was heard. After the party and the catching up I no longer have a voice. At least not one I recognize as my own.
I secretly used Dave's wedding as my going away party. I leave in a month and I probably won't see most of that group before I go.
The wedding was beautiful. The weather perfect. Libations in abundance. People in high spirits. I had such a wonderful time catching up and laughing and seeing old friends that I would have a wedding every week. We looked at pictures from freshman year of college and there was definite proof that we've aged. I'm still in denial and I will hopefully soon forget those images in favor of tricking myself into thinking I will forever look like I am 16.
Oh, and this was the first wedding I've ever been to where I unintentionally wore the same dress as another guest! Modcloth is the place to shop.
The Art of Marriage Written by Wilfred A. Peterson
Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created.
In the Art of Marriage, the little things are the big things…
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
it should continue through all the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the crowd.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude
of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation
and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding
and a sense of humor.
It is having the capicity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal,
dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.
It is discovering what marriage can be, at its best.
My office has four and a half floors. And that doesn't include the two other locations. I work with maybe 100 people in this office? I've never counted. I'm not going to say goodbye to each and every one of them, but there are a few I'd like to see before I go.
I started that task today. So far so good! All have been really excited for me and supportive, but also sad that I'm going. It's bittersweet. I feel the same way. I'm sad to leave but so excited to get out there!
So far I've said goodbye to maybe ten people, I have about five more to go.
Done! It was hard. And I'm still in shock that I did it. I gave them five weeks. I hope that's plenty of time to replace me, but let's be honest, I'm hard to replace. :)
It was a short 90 second conversation with my boss, who I will miss dearly. I really didn't want to tell her, mainly because I don't want to leave her. She's amazing. Supportive, easy, fun, and all the best things in a boss. I've had a few great bosses but my last two were so hard to leave.
And then I told my parents. I think Mom cried. It's getting real. I have an end date with work. I am going to pack up and leave a state I've lived in for a large number of years, I can't say the number because I don't believe it myself, I still think I'm 17 sometimes.
My brother lives about a five or six hour drive from my parents. My plane ride will be about four hours, and with the arriving early to the airport, it'll put travel time at just about six hours. I think six hours is fine. Especially since I don't have to drive. It's totally do-able for a long weekend.
Now that one is done, I have to move on to Step Two: personally tell people before they hear it through the grapevine.
This is the idea: Boyfriend will fly in to WI and we will pack up my car and drive out there together. I am the worst at car rides. Between Cat and me, I don't think Boyfriend will survive. I think there are enough miles for us to break up twice and reconcile by the time we get there. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.
At this moment in time, 10:19 pm on a Sunday night in WI, I plan to only take what I can fit in my car. Gasp! I don't think I can actually do it. I take it back. There's no way. My makeup alone won't all fit in my car. I have too many clothes, but I won't have to take my winter jackets! Or my long underwear. Or all my winter knits that I've made over the years. Looks like Mom and Dad will be warm this winter. And they'll also have a lot of dishes, towels, shoes, and eyeshadows.
I drive a Toyota Corolla. I don't know how I'll fit another human and a cat with all my things. But Boyfriend is an engineer and I'm good at Tetris so I'm sure we can make it work. Also I'm on a mission to lose three pounds so that'll free up a little room.
I have to go to bed, so I can stay up all night fretting about telling my boss I'm moving. I will be giving five weeks notice, I think that's enough time. But then again, how do you replace me? Maybe she'll keep me on and I can work remotely! Win win win.