Thursday, May 30, 2013

san fran with soph

 I know this happened 13 days ago already (how did that happen?!), but it was such an adventure, I wanted to post it anyway. The passing of 13 days has altered my memory of the experience already--forgotten is the circling of Oakland city center trying to find the BART station parking, the slight panic (in my mind at least, Soph was calm as a cucumber) when the trolley stopped & didn't appear like it was going to be moving anytime soon in a less than high-end neighborhood, the exhaustion of driving all. day. long. Nope, what I remember now is a day full of color & vibrance & smacking deliciously of life.

 Soph was the one that insisted we visit Chinatown, which really was fine by me. The sloping streets lined with red lanterns were like nowhere I'd ever been before. It was a barrage to the senses.  It was colorful & had this smell--kind of smoky & spicy. We shopped & drank some milk tea, observed the locals playing cards & chinese checkers in the park.
 In a city known for it's public transportation, Soph & I wanted to make sure we took full advantage. And did we (6 trolley rides later). I loved it though--sitting back, not worrying about missing my turn, being able to ogle the narrow houses wide enough only for a door & a window, a sudden surprising view from the crest of yet another hill--I have never been in such a undulating city! The hills, the webs of cable above the streets, the houses stairstepping. Sophie & I had a blast picking out the houses we liked best.

 We hit up a bakery I'd been salivating over for years. Shara had one of their cookbooks, & I almost felt like I was seeing a celebrity while we waited in line (yes, a line, it's that good) for our devil's food chiffon cake & lemon cream tart (which, if you are into that kind of thing, there's this reception coming up in a few weeks where I hear they are serving it...). Soph insisted on Chinatown, I insisted on Tartine.

 And of course, we wouldn't have really been to San Fran if we'd have missed this. It was much further from the city than I'd always imagined. Unfortunately, it was the end of a rather long day for both of us, and I don't think we got to enjoy it quite as much as we otherwise would've. I kept asking Sophie if she was done yet:) A little role reversal. But I'm still glad we got to see it, one more check on my bucketlist.

And then the day was over. It seems like when you leave a place like that, something more should happen than you just leaving the lights behind in the rearview mirror. Fireworks or a good five minute cry while something sad & full of violins plays in the background. I said goodbye to California without too much fuss. It was like the next chapter in my life had already begun (and really, it has, so I shouldn't be so confused) & this one just faded away into a memory that felt so far away & distant, it makes one question if it ever really happened. But I have the photos & a 10-year old girl who won't let me forget our little SanFran trip;). Thanks, Soph, for a lovely memory of a California city on my last day as a SoCal girl.

Now, I hope all of you who have been subtly telling me I need to update are satisfied:). (No hard feelings-it was high time.) And you will just have to be understanding the next 3 weeks because I plan on going through some life-altering events that seem to be sapping any brain power I might have had to begin with, leaving me with nothing but a rambling string of thoughts that involve 1)this guy 2)tart shells 3)whether or not I should bring this painting I have & 4)what I'm going to cook my man the first day we get back to Oregon in our (as yet) non-existant abode & bare fridge. He'll be fine eating out...right?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

friends from the other coast

 I've known Sarah a long time. It was through her that I met JaNae. Good friends. The type that fly (literally) across the country to see me. Of course, living in southern California doesn't hurt either:). We packed as much as we could into 5 days, 2 of which were rainy. And since a picture's worth a thousand words, (and more because I've got a roadtrip of 1050 miles--recognize that number anyone?--tomorrow) I'm going to let you just salivate over my photos. And I won't even have to tell you what a absolutely grand time we had.

 Thanks again, girls. It was a lovely time. I fully expect the same effort to come out to Oregon. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

cbus in 2 days

Two dear friends.
One magical train ride.
72 hours.

Had a sleeper car.
Watched the world rush past.
The scenery melted from industrial, hard edges & loud, bright signs hawking things no one wants to buy to green trees & pastoral settings.
Crab cakes in the dining car with a couple named "Weez & Gordon" who'd been married for 45 years & have the same anniversary I'll have. 

Weez was blind & full of life. She met Gordon over burnt hot chocolate
He'd been her eyes ever since.

A top bunk & a few hours of much needed sleep. 
Arrived in Cleveland.
Rented a Jeep Patriot. 
Drove to Akron. 
Slept some more. 
Drove to Columbus--the back way:). 

Perfect spring weather.
Back in my old stomping grounds.
Not too much changed.
Jeni's ice cream in Columbus.
"Saffron Olive Oil Citrus & Caramel" + (my perennial fave) "Pistachio & Honey" in a waffle cone.

Shopping in the Short North.
Lunch at North Market.
A brief respite in Goodale Park.
Saw an old professor meandering down the street.
Walked High Street.
Turned down Lincoln.
Right at the first alley by the Mona Lisa mural.
Turn into the first brick parking lot.
There's our b&b.
Ducked under the lilacs & dogwood.
Made our way around the side of the house.
Punched in the door code.
Unloaded our luggage in a sun-drenched room complete with a fireplace.

German Village.
Cobblestone Streets.
Crepe Myrtle & all kinds of blooming tree scents.
A coffee fix at Cup O Joe.
Browsing at the Book Loft (32 rooms of books!)
Observed a rehearsal of "King Arthur" at Schiller Park's outdoor theater.
Ordered lobster nachos at MoJoe's (after seeing them whisked by us while ordering coffee).
Crispy wonton chips with a fresh salsa, lobster bits, & light delicious cheese.
Took lobster nachos back to b&b.
Enjoyed them under the twinkling string lights of our b&b's backyard in the balmy spring night while being entertained by another guest & his guitar.
Another day done.

Pastry strudels at Mozart's Piano Cafe in Clintonville.
Salzburg Chicken.
Potato & Portabello.
A little walk to Hayden Falls.
A drive on Riverside.
Back to campus.
Senior art show.
Seeing an old friend.
Not being too sad that I wasn't there to graduate.
Buying my first original artwork.

Dinner made by another dear friend (I've got the best!)
Wednesday church.
Seeing my "people".
Another trip to Jeni's (Browned Butter Almond Brittle + Double Toasted Coconut)
Drove back to Cleveland.
Train was delayed.
Caught a few winks in the train station.
One more train ride to Union Station.
Saying goodbye.
CTA card expired...the day before, so begged $2 off a safe-looking girl.
Thanked God.
Took the CTA to Midway.
Flying to SoCal.
Back in Ramona.