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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 419 - Cal-ee-forn-eye-eh

I do love the State of California. I think perhaps because I've visited there the most. This was my first trip to Northern California & I think I love it just as much as the south. Perhaps it was the green grass & rain vs. snow of home... maybe!

I flew to Seattle first & had a layover of a few hours. I was exhausted from my 0245 wakeup call & I slept the entire flight. I didn't even stay awake for take off! I wore a face mask & I'm sure I frightened a few people. The fellow next to me texted on his Blackberry the entire flight! Well, at least every time I shuffled around, he was on it!

At the airport I bought a chai egg nog latté & it was gross. I don't know if it was the American dairy I'm not used to or the horrid sweetness of it, but Canada makes a much better chai! The airport was right in the Christmas mode & I'm sorry I didn't take a photo, as it was a one-in-million sight. They had Santa & one of his elves driving around in a golf cart handing out little goodie bags to kids. Santa had the real McCoy beard & the elf was a full-on little person! It was priceless. They also had another fellow marching around with a 'one man band' thing going on... He was pretty crazy too! It was wonderful to see the Christmas spirit!

My next flight, well, I slept again. Only I had one of life's most embarrassing moments. I wore my face mask. I slept. I drooled. Yup. I woke up as we were coming in to land. No kleenex, no napkin, no nothing! Those masks are NOT absorbent at all! I was pretty embarrassed! Thank goodness it wasn't dripping off my chin & out the bottom of the mask. Ugh. So gross. I think I'll take the risk of a bug on the flight home vs. the humiliation of drooling in my mask!

When I arrived, I was looking for Ami's parents, Gary & Sallie. I lived with Ami on the Coral Princess back in 2004 & we had a riot together. Ami taught me how to run! We had a lot of laughs & great times... She's married & lives in the UK. I met her parents once for a brief moment in San Francisco & they are just as sweet as their daughter. They had a little sign with my name on it - just in case I didn't recognize them, but I did! They were letting me stay with them tonight & then I would go back to Sacramento at noon-ish to catch the shuttle to Redding.

They took me for lunch, bought me groceries, toured me all over the countryside & even let me sleep in Ami's room! I was so thrilled to get to know them better! But I'll admit, I was pretty sad that Ami wasn't there with us! She was home in September & May, but it didn't work out with my treatments to visit. Maybe this summer when we dock in London! Fingers crossed!

The countryside was beautiful! Horses, big old trees, groves of almonds - I was so impressed with how straight the almonds were planted! It was beautiful! We stopped at a waterfall close to their house & I was shocked at how big it was!

We had a delicious pizza for supper - Papa Murphy's I think it was called. It was made fresh to order. We took it home & cooked it! Done! We had a wonderful visit all evening - the highlight was seeing Ami's Birthday Book. She was such a beautiful little baby & she still is today! She kept that same sparkling smile all through the years!

We talked about the upcoming weekend & Gary & Sallie said, 'If you're uncomfortable at all, just give us a call & we'll come get you.' I am so blessed to meet such wonderful people! I left them a little bit of money under a plaque in Ami's room, as I knew they wouldn't take it if I handed it to them! I'm hoping I can meet up with them again this summer when Jaco's ship is in 'Frisco' as I've learned it's called!

I'm off to bed now... Ami has the plushiest sheets I've ever seen... They are calling my name & I may just hibernate! xxxx Maria

 Gary & Sallie - my heart warms & I smile whenever I see their picture!

Just monkeyin' around!


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