Thursday, December 23, 2010

Home for the Holidays - Part 1

So I made it in to California yesterday. I've confirmed that I'm allergic to the state -- my case of it yesterday was aggravated by an incessantly screaming child on my flight from San Francisco to Santa Ana, and most embarrassingly lead to me -- for the first time in 22 years and some 170,000 miles of flying -- reaching for the air sickness bag, and then proceeding to shamefully hand such bag to a flight attendant. But not just any flight attendant, a flight attendant who actually resembled the idealized image of the attractive female flight attendant found in so many films.

Ugh. Not that I would ever hit on a service industry employee while they were working (striking me a both uncouth and the makings of an awkward and uncomfortable flight for both of us) but still an impression I'd like to leave anyone with (I was actually hoping to just discreetly drop it in the galley trash without anyone noticing but she was blocking my way).

My dad met me at the airport "Ready for some In-N-Out?" he queried, knowing my weakness for the food of legend. "Not quite yet -- I'm really not feeling well" "Are you sure? You look fine." he asked -- I can't imagine how I looked anything resembling fine. It's a feeling I've become quite used to -- something about arriving in California, the state I was born and raised in, just doesn't sit well with me. But this trip seemed to hit with unusual severity.

After attempting to be politely social with my dad and his wife for a couple hours I painfully crawled into bed and slept well. Waking up this morning my dad was already off to work but I visited with the family dogs for a little while and just generally kicked back. I love dogs and people have said that I seem far more relaxed when our office manager brings her Golden Retriever* in to the office but not having a yard and traveling as much as I do I don't think it would be fair to it at this point in my life.

Since both my Mom and Dad were working today I had thought about just generally exploring on my own and perhaps hitting the beach. The weather here, however, is arguably worse than what I left behind in Cleveland. Doing the beach lost its luster.

So instead... I met my dad for lunch -- at In-N-Out Burger. It was heavenly. Every time I come back to California I'm afraid that In-N-Out won't be everything I remember it to be. I'm never disappointed; it is the one thing I miss about the state. Though I also realized on this trip I miss both of my parents more than I'd generally admit. Anyway, after lunch I got a quick tour of his office and started heading South.

Californians really can't drive in the rain.

An hour and a half later I made it to my hometown, Temecula, and I took a quick swing by my high school just to see if any of the instructors I knew might still be around. It was deserted for the holiday. But it's all for the best -- my Mom had just gotten home from work and I headed to her home.

After catching up for a little while we caught the film How Do You Know -- the closest I will come to a performing arts event on this trip and depressingly reminiscent of my dating life in too many ways, but it, at least, has a happy ending even if it is a bit on the long side. After the movie we did dinner -- at In-N-Out Burger.

The sad thing is as tired as I am I could do In-N-Out again. I really do want to eat something else while I'm here but it's so hard to say no to something so good.

And this may have been the most boring post I've ever written but I'm spending uneventful time with family and sleeping. Though I wish there was a show to see, those two activities are keeping me quite content for the moment.

Merry Christmas!

*- I grew up with a Golden, they have amazing personalities (caninealities?).

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