Donner, Party of Seven?

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When I was kid I thought the drive from Davis to Tahoe was just about the longest, most agonizing ride you could experience. As it turns out, the directions for the longest ride to Tahoe are as follows: Head South-East on the wrong freeway and end up in a touristy gold-mining town.  Then take a slow, windy detour to the Auburn In N’ Out. Follow the same road after making yourself sick from a mix of peanut butter pretzels, ginger beer, and Ira Glass’ ever-so-smooth, always-so-nasal voice. Stick head out window to ensure that you are still alive. Arrive, dear friend, at Tahoe to reap your reward.

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Yolo county, California

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We were just in Davis for a short while, but below are some things that happened while we were there that aren’t reflected in these photos:

More fresh eggs in the morning

Joey ate a five-year-old’s grapes

Tim’s bike tour through Davis

Michelle’s pool and an inflatable orca

Dad’s gnocci

Guadalajara in the park

Sunburns

Davis night scene??

Megan somehow planned out the rest of our trip

Lots of talk about In N Out

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“The coldest winter I ever spent…

…was my summer in San Francisco.” Thanks for the heads-up, Mark Twain. Any witticisms about the public transit?

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Actually, it was in San Francisco where Twain wrote “Jim Smiley and the Jumping Frog,” which, apparently, first catapulted him into stardom. I have my own associations with that story, specific to when I first read it at age 14. More specifically, when I was wearing spaghetti-straps like a boss and taking “hella tight” grammar classes on the Sacramento State campus in the summer.

Yes, I did use this bad boy to get me into R-rated movies in Davis.

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Anyway, enough about how amazing I was and how much of life I had figured out at 14.

What I was trying to transition to was that no number of literary jabs could keep me from loving San Francisco any less than I did when I was a teenager. I probably was as obsessed with San Francisco as much as I was with myself. She was my city upon a hill. The Golden Gate through which I saw the end to my graceless adolescence. She was beautiful, and I loved her, all of her. Her Twin Peaks, her Coit Tower, her North Beach. To me, San Francisco never left the 60s. She kept Howl in her back pocket, didn’t care what her parents said, and was BFF’s with Joni Mitchell and Hunter S. Thompson. She taught me about dim sum, Jack Kerouac, public transit, and thrift shopping for dirty shoes and tight pants. She took me to Stern Grove for the first time, bought me an Assata Shakur t-shirt, and told me she liked my poetry. She didn’t care that I was some sad, Vitamin D-deficient girl from the suburbs who just discovered Conor Oberst and therapy. She was love and love was Haight.

In many ways, San Francisco really was my first love. And, as my first boyfriend at age 14 once dramatically said after I roller-bladed (wrist guards, no helmet) to meet him on the North Davis greenbelt; “You never forget your first love.”

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Wait. Was he breaking up with me?

I guess it’s just you and me again, SF.

Geographic Amnesia

In preparation for February– a month of the year with brevity being a sole redeeming quality– I’m posting a few photos from my California trip to remind me that blue skies do exist somewhere. A few days after Christmas, we took a lunch break in Winters, CA at the Putah Creek Cafe. Their tri-tip sandwiches, much unlike Seattle summers (someone had to say it), are worth the wait. Here’s to forgetting where I live for a few months out of the year.

“Not ripe until the third week of February”

I think I might make a tumblr for all the things I found in books (thanks to Nick and Allison for the genius book-deal/I’m-gonna-be-on-Oprah idea). So for now I’ll hold off on posting any more of those gems and share a glimpse of my holidays instead. I can’t believe I haven’t done that yet. Better late than never, eh, eh?

I was lucky enough to hop in the car and make the quick 14-hour drive from Bellingham down to Davis. I slept for a good third of it, waking from my slumber only to demand cinnamon rolls and to get harassed about not wearing my seat belt correctly by the officer giving us a speeding ticket. Suspiciously, he didn’t seem to know anything about the whereabouts of those cinnamon rolls.

So, with that, there’s nothing like taking a stroll through your hometown…starting with your childhood home.

Did I mention we have an orange tree in our front yard? Maybe I never mentioned the morning I woke up on the couch only to look out the window and see what appeared to be a homeless woman with a fruit picker– like the claw your grandma bought off an infomercial–picking oranges from our tree. Well, what actually woke me up was the sound of my dad opening the front door to yell as she ran off, “They’re not ripe until the third week of February!”

Sometimes you just have to be concerned about the sophisticated taste palette of the homeless woman with the claw.  Sorry, Dad, but this story never gets old.