Monday, September 18, 2006

The trip!

So. Our trip. We left Friday night, a little after six pm, initially driving straight into the setting sun, which is fun in Charlie's visor disabled car. But! But! It was fun. We drove and drove, and we listened to the entire second season of the Ricky Gervais podcast, which made us laugh like crazy. We ate homemade riceballs. We chatted. It was a nice drive. Except for the very last part, where getting to the hotel was hilariously confusing and we drove around the same stretches in San Rafael for almost an hour. But even that was okay, because we got there eventually, and we went to sleep. The room was clean and safe, and that's all that was needed.

The next day we got up a bit earlier than we would have chosen, but with good reason. My father and my sister, also in town for the wedding, were driving over to pick us up. First they took us for a wee diner breakfast. Then it was up a twisty, twisty road to Muir Woods, which I hadn't been to in about fifteen years, and which Charlie hadn't been to in ever. If you've never been there, and you get the opportunity, go. It's one of the most beautiful places on earth. It isn't just the massive redwoods towering above you, although those are amazing. It's also the things closer to the ground. The gnarled roots that go everywhere. The thousands of different flowers. The wildlife. We saw a family of four or five deer, close enough to touch. Twenty or thirty people were crowded around taking pictures, pointing, watching, and the deer were unphased. Which is sad, in a way, that they are so accustomed to human intrusion at this point. But for that moment, it was awesome. I stood and watched quietly, and I then I took lots of pictures. They all came out painfully dark, but I'm still happy to have them. It's a reminder of how amazing that was.

After the woods, and after a taco lunch, Charlie and I were returned to our hotel to prepare for the wedding. I was basically ready to go, so I laid on the bed and watched cooking shows while Charlie showered and shaved. Cooking shows are the main reason I wish we had cable. I watch very little tv, but I miss having the food channel from my cable having days in Chicago. I realize it would lead to more time spent in front of the television, but it's so soothing to watch someone else cook.

From there we went to the wedding itself, which was outdoors. It was a wonderful setting, and perfect weather. And the couple getting married are really wonderful people, people I know make each other happy. There were so many people there that I know and love. I don't think I stopped smiling once the entire time.

The next day we slept in, and then took our sweet time getting ready for the day. Once dressed and checked out of the hotel, we drove around until we found somewhere to get coffee. We sat in front of a Starbucks, drink cappucinos that were a little too sweet for me, and just right for Charlie.

After coffee we drove down to Berkeley, and poked around Pegasus Books until my friend Anna arrived to meet us. Anna is my oldest friend, and the sister of the groom to boot. One of my favorite parts of moving to California is that I get to live closer to Anna. (A six or seven hour drive is a bit much, but it totally beats a four or five day one.) We went to Anna's apartment and played with her new kitten Clementine for awhile. I haven't had a kitten in years, and it's always a treat to get to play with one. They're ridiculous in a way that adult cats usually aren't. More work, but really hilarious.

After some quality kitten time, we went and got a really wonderful Thai meal, at a lovely little restaurant who's name entirely escapes me. And then it was back on the road, because by that point it was about 4pm, and we needed to get home.

The ride back was faster, and featured more time in which I could actually take in our surroundings. That said, the best part of the drive home was getting there, and the tremendous welcome we got from the cat and dog. They missed us. I missed them. Even now, Smee right next to me, curled on the bed beside the desk, almost entirely hidden by blankets and books.

And tomorrow, a little tiny pig!

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