I woke up Sunday morning a week ago to a message from Andrea, inviting me to come out to Northern California and go to a concert with her the following Monday. I immediately thought of at least a dozen sound, responsible adult-type reasons as to why I shouldn’t just take off to the other side of the country at a moment’s notice, particularly the third week in January, which also pointed out exactly why I should drop everything and go.
Of course, in the week in-between planning to and actually going, Andrea and her family came down with all sorts of bugs (as did members of my own) while I also had to wade through multiple kitchen plumbing problems as well as some minor furnace repair (thankfully on one of those warmer 45 degree days of that week) at our house. Adulting is rather relentless sometimes.
But finally, Saturday came and off I flew, all by my lonesome. Of course, I had work things pop up before I even landed, so I ended up working long distance and then, while I was at it, did a few chores around Andrea and Randy’s. You know, laundry, vacuuming, taking down the Christmas tree.
We had a lovely stroll on the trail in Andrea’s neighborhood. I really wanted to see redwoods on my trip and her neighborhood obliged, although there were only stumps of the first generation redwoods there – it’s otherwise all newer redwoods. It was still a rather lovely forest though.
There was this marvelous old first generation redwood stump that had clearly been burned at some point, but there was no evidence of fire anywhere near the stump, so who knows how long ago that happened. The stump was also covered in moss – the entire woods seemed to be covered it to be honest. But when I climbed up to get a closer look (and a shot) of the giant burnt mossy stump, I slipped in mud and got mud all over the rear end of the only pair of jeans I brought (which is how I ended up doing Andrea’s laundry – I needed it done too). Anyway, Andrea got a shot of me with my stump, so you can see it for scale.
The concert was in Napa, but we didn’t do a whole lot of sightseeing there. On our way in, we saw row after row of grapes planted as well as some damage from the recent fires, but green was also springing back up. The concert was in a small venue that made for an intimate evening. The band, Spoon, put on a good show. We found ourselves a spot down in front, made friends with the security guard and I ended up bringing the set list taped down to the stage home. So, a good night.
My last day there, we tried heading up to Muir Woods, but they had a new policy go into effect THAT day where you had to reserve your parking space ahead of time, and as no one had a cell signal there, by the time we drove to get a signal, I decided to wait until next visit to see the great big old redwoods and just hit the beach instead.
It was a chilly, foggy January day, not exactly prime beach weather. But I can’t be that close to the ocean and not go see it. And after living in the deep freeze that has been January here in Virginia, 50+ degrees at Muir Beach felt downright tropical.
I flew out on the red-eye Tuesday night, arriving home to snow on the ground Wednesday morning. I would have stayed another day, but there’s only so much of life that can be put on hold, especially when you put a good bit of it on hold during the recent holidays. It was a wonderful trip – low key sight seeing and quality time with one of my best running mates from college, making it the sort of trip that is most welcome. I really need to do that sort of thing more often. Thanks for thinking of it Andrea.