Saturday, July 26, 2008

Home ?

Every time my husband and I go on vacation we think about what it would be like to live in the place we are visiting. So far we have considered a move by the beach at Newport, RI, to a hilltop villa in Tuscany and now, a small home or townhouse in Carmel. I can’t believe it took me so long to get to California but maybe the reason why is that I would love it so much that I would have wanted to move. California is awesome. We arrived in LA, drove to Solvang, stayed in Carmel, went on to Sonoma and ended in SF. I didn’t have a bad meal and loved seeing the view of the water everywhere. I realized I should never pack for my lifestyle but for the lifestyle I am going to (no dresses necessary). I spent a lot of days in fleece. My husband grew a beard, which actually looks very nice. There is still so much we haven’t done in CA and so many restaurants we have yet to experience. I thought Point Lobos was the most scenic place on earth. Tony loved the scenery of Monterey and was also excited about the Red Bull motorcycle race at Laguna Seca. I know he imagined the thrill and beauty of Highway 1 on a bike. I, on the other hand, would be happier on a cable car in the city. The narrow, winding road around Muir Woods which we mistakenly took thinking we were going to the Pelican Inn which was only 100 yards from the base of the road did me in. Next time, I will read the map more carefully. Everyone at home seemed to survive without us. I give my kids credit. We arrived Saturday morning on the redeye to a perfectly clean home and no signs of the parties that probably took place at least once or twice (or more) the last 10 days. I don’t know what they ate but in the fridge I found 5 boxes of ice cream (all different flavors), a carton of hot pockets and the leftovers from the dinner I made 10 days ago. So be it. Part of the enjoyment of the trip was thinking of how I would love it if the kids would be there too. There in is where the problem lies. We could move to the city of choice and enjoy the breathtaking scenery and perfect climate, or move to where the kids wind up. It is hard. My mother stayed in the same house she bought with my father until the day she died. Tony’s mother was in 14 houses, mostly in Florida, all within the last 20 years. I don’t know what feels right except that for now, I hope to travel more until I do know what I want. Next year, I want to go to California again. We’ll see. Family In Sausalito

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


It is finally here. The vacation I have planned since February starts tomorrow. Tony and I are going to California. The itinerary is to start in Solvang (the land of the movie Sideways), drive up the coast to Sonoma and end in San Francisco. Tony will be going to the Laguna Seca motorcycle race on Sunday. I, luckily, have a cousin who lives in San Francisco who will enjoy keeping company with Tony at the race while I am tooling around town with his lovely wife. I have never been to the west coast except for business and that wasn't much fun. Tony hasn't at all. The kids, oh yeah, they will be home alone. Honestly, it doesn't worry me that they are home. It worries me more that both my husband and I are traveling together. A feeling of danger came over me this week. My organizational skills kicked in. I'm flying to the land of fires, mudslides and earthquakes. What if I don't come back. I quickly pulled out my will. OMG, it hasn't been updated since 1997 when Anthony was 11! This will not do. Even if I am not around, I can't be leaving this planet without a plan. I know this is morbid but I am a realist and need to have things in order. I called the lawyer and asked to have the will updated before Tuesday. He said not to worry, most deaths occur within five miles from one's home. Very comforting, very lawyerlike. I typed up a While We Are Away sheet of things the kids should know about the house (empty dehumidifier every day, when the garbage is collected, where the electric panel is and what it does, who to contact for what). I have an emergency contact sheet that is hung up on the cork board in the laundry room. It once included the phone numbers of the nearest relatives, schools and doctors. It now includes my lawyer, accountant and financial adviser. I'm hoping they won't have to use it but just in case they should know I was thinking about them. I would have loved to have taken them along but schedules between 3 kids and 2 adults gets impossible to coordinate. Last year, I planned a week in Newport thinking the kids would join us. They didn't. It's okay, I get it now. I'm thinking they wouldn't want to go to the places in CA that we would be going to anyway (maybe). I'm packing tonight. My husband always tells me I overpack. Well what do you expect when I read that the temperature is 88 degrees during the day and 55 at night. The Mark Twain expression "the coldest winter I ever spent was the summer in San Francisco" keeps popping into my head. I like to be prepared clothingwise for anything. Doesn't everyone take 6 pairs of shoes? When we come back, we will have some new pictures, some good wine and hopefully, we will all be safe. We're California Dreaming, on such a summer's day.