May 7, 2006

Central Coast is the Most!




We are safe and sound here in California and the drive was very smooth (although long) because of the new glorious mini DVD player we bought for the trip. Ezra sat quietly and vegged out to Veggie Tales and Elmo's World, and to tell you the truth, I think he traveled better than I did...

We stopped in Albequerque, New Mexico at 3:00 AM and drove to 9 different hotels before we found one with a room available.
What I learned about New Mexico: Graveyard-shift hotel employees are not inclined to kindness.

Then, the next night, we stopped in Flagstaff, Arizona and got to stay with my parents who were randomly vacationing in a two-bedroom townhouse 1 mile off of Interstate 40-- directly in the path of our travels. We had some strong drinks and ate some ice cream and slept for 10 hours before we hit the road again. (a 'mini-mid-vacation' vacation of sorts.)

The next day we tackled the last grueling long stretch of road between us and California and we arrived on Sunday evening to see a beautiful sunset and some smiling faces that we love.

It feels so good to be here, but I would be lying if I said it was all fun-and-games so far... It's been a shockingly emotional trip for me, and I'm still not really sure why. I think it's because my heart really came alive when I lived here, but it was also deeply wounded here. So I feel like I go between the pain and the joy as I drive these familiar streets. When I hang out with the people here who still love me well, (the ones who will always love me even if I'm not all shiny and perfect on the outside), I feel alive and at home. But when I'm by myself, or I bump into people that have changed so much that even their eyes aren't familiar, I start to reflect and I feel so sad and lonely. Did they ever really love me? I still really love them.

And I see all these young college girls walking around without a care in the world, and I remember that I used to be one of them when I lived here... So part of me remembers how easy and carefree life used to be and I realize that it will never be like that for me ever again. And there's a joy in that, but also a sadness. So everything is really up-and-down.

But the time I've spent with old friends here has been so healing and refreshing, that I wouldn't trade a second of this time for all the deviled eggs in the world. I love this place and I think it loves me too.

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