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...