Hotel California

We’re back!!!! And thankfully so. We had an amazing trip, but we are tickled to be home. We spent two nights in Carmel (in a dog hotel), two nights in Napa (in a “green” hotel – not the color), and three nights (in a Union Square dead-middle-of-the-city hotel) in San Francisco. And I’ll try not to bore you too terribly with trip details, but I really had some neat experiences and made some interesting observations (mainly about myself) while we were there. So there may be a couple of vacation posts to follow… Here are some of my vacation superlatives:

Biggest blessing: The flights were mind-blowing. Thank you to those of you who prayed for our travel, especially given my high, high, high state of anxiety. Our flight to California was amazing. I was desperately searching for the barf bag before we took off, but once we began to taxi down the runway I was totally okay. I had asked specifically in my prayers to enjoy the flight, and I internally whispered Isaiah 26:3 over and over again. He showed up. Right on time. As always. Large and in charge. The flight home was a little more turbulent than I would have preferred; we ran into a bit of “weather” which threatened to leave me totally unglued. But – as it turns out- my fear and a little weather were no match for Him.

Biggest surprises:

  • I got my nose pierced.
  • California is cold! At least the parts we were in. It was 59 degrees when we landed in San Francisco. It was pretty overcast and even borderline gloomy for most of the time that we were there. There’s a popular quip that I found to be totally true – “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”
  • The people we encountered in Carmel and Napa were so nice (The city’s a whole different story for another post…). The South definitely doesn’t have the monopoly on kindness and hospitality.
  • My hair liked California.
  • We very much enjoyed the dog hotel in Carmel. It was this ultra-super pet friendly hotel, and there were dogs everywhere. We are not dog people, so we were prepared to cancel our reservation if it was too over the top when we got there. BUT, and this doesn’t usually happen to us, we were pleasantly surprised. The dogs were beautiful, and well-behaved, and so varied (lots of unusual breeds) that we so enjoyed the dog aspect. We even decided that we might be dog people as empty-nesters.

Biggest deer-in-the headlights moments:

  • We went into a clothing store in Carmel where Chris picked out a shirt he liked, and we dropped our jaws when he flipped the tag to see that it cost $365 (as opposed to the $11 Old Navy shirt he was probably wearing and the $4 one I was wearing). This was not a singular experience; I picked out a $125 white t-shirt. Chris picked out $600 shoes. Needless to say, those items are still hanging out in Cali…
  • We used hotel points to pay for our stay in SF, but it cost $50 per day to park there. It only cost us $24 to park for the entire week at the Charlotte airport; we were rejoicing to be back in the South!! The SF hotel also charged us to use the business center and the fitness center (which we are not accustomed to paying for). As slow as I am, it would have cost me a fortune to blog there (they charged in time increments).
  • A Diet Pepsi cost $1.89, and a gallon of gas was in the $4.50-$4.70 range.

Things I missed the most:

  • OUR GIRLS! By Monday it was almost unbearable trying to go to sleep on the other side of the country from them. All four of us slept together last night until about 4:00 am (when it became unbearable to be that close).
  • Water pressure!
  • Brewed tea
  • Driving without traffic
  • Being in a place where 20 oz. bottle Diet Pepsis are plentiful!
  • Clean clothes – because the weather was colder than we expected, we had to keep rewearing our warmer clothes. It was totally disgusting by the end of the week. That’s gross, I know.

Things I learned:

  • New word: patisserie
  • New kinda food: Asian fusion
  • You gotta be gritty in the city.
  • There aren’t as many convenience/gas stations around but there are a gazillion Walgreens everywhere.

Biggest fish tale:

  • I didn’t get my nose pierced but I really want to! Gotta think about it and research it a little more…

More to come I’m sure as my brain and body rhythms catch up with the three hours we lost yesterday. If you’re ever heading that direction, I would love to share some of our faves and some things we would do differently.

As lame as it may sound, The City Girl, on her 35th birthday, couldn’t be happier to be home doing laundry and washing dishes with the sound of shrill little girl screams in the background…

City Legs
Over and out, good buddy!

One Comment

  1. Mary Nell
    Mary NellReply
    July 4, 2008 at 2:22 am

    Your nose pierced??? You crack me up! My cousin actually has hers pierced. She is so cool because she is a nurse and mother of four who lives in the country and gardens/does 4H raising sheep with the kids, but has a much “wilder” streak than me in that she has a tattoo, belly ring, nose pierced, crazy hair, etc. I love the many facets of people’s personalities.

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