Wednesday, December 5, 2012

This California Girl Returns Home!

This Cali Girl is back on her home soil!  (Well, close enough, anyway.)  A change in jobs brought us back to my home state and to the Bay Area.  Kris is now working for the CRAY installation in Oakland, associated with the UC Berkeley Campus.  The whirlwind world tour whirled again!  Last Thursday morning, we got in the car at zero-dark thirty, as my father would say, and left Miami, ending up at my folks house very very early Saturday morning.  Talk about a long drive!  We carved out 1200 miles in the first day, cut across a corner of Alabama, finally stopping for some sleep in Shreveport, LA.  We spent dinner and the next night at my grandparent's house in New Mexico, where we got to see my Uncle Jeff and my cousin Jesse and his family for a couple hours, stopped off at the Grand Canyon to spend a few hours with Kris's Uncle Steven, who works there so showed us all his favorite vistas, and lit out before sunset to land home.  It was a long trip for us, a very long trip for the monster, who handled it very well from her perch in the back seat on top of all the pillows and blankets, and it was so very awesome to cross the border into California and know that we only had a few hours left before we were home.  We spent two nights at my folks' house and got to see my brother and Rachel, Ralph and Sabrina, and Kirby before we relocated to a two-week Extended-Stay America to stay at while we find a place to live.  We found ourselves right on the Alameda Marina and also found that there are currently a couple of houseboats for sale....Hmmm!  One hour wandering around town by our lonesome after heading back up and picking up Kris from his first day, we met a gal and her dog on a little walk who revealed that she lived in the marina on her boat with her husband, she told us who to talk to about the marina and the houseboats, etc.  One hour and we'd already met boat people!  We get lucky.  We're so thrilled to be able to start putting away a little savings towards a boat and being able to spend weekends sailing down in Monterey and being closer to both our families.  During his interview trip, Kris went out and found a pizza parlor and had already made a few friends who remembered him upon our visit last night for a couple beers and some pizza to unwind.  After Kris's first day of work we really just only wanted to grab some fast food and call it a night, after finding a few Ingress portals, of course!  But last night was awesome, to meet the people that Kris had told me about and try the pizza, which was awesome, and get a feel for where we're going to be living!  I was extra excited this morning to realize that we'd be living back in a big city that was full of so many different cultures with so many different cuisines.  I like the idea that we're going to be living right near San Francisco without living in it directly, as the traffic coming up here was just interesting enough not to want to do every day.  I'm so excited to be able to see Alcatraz and Angel Island, the Navy Pier, all the museums I went to as a kid, Chinatown, and everything!  It's going to be such a blast to re-discover everything and to show it all to Kris.  
Our Miami friends sent us off in style, with a little WOB party, new glasses and shirts to take with us, and we decided to pass the WOB cape along to mini-Chloe, otherwise known as Mila.  Her owner, our friend Joaquin, wanted me to make her a cape as well, but I had no idea how I was going to make a cape for a four-month old fluffball of a poodle who was going to grow so I decided that she could grow into the original and that I could make a new one for Chloe with the shirt that Eileen had given me a while back.  So we had a changing of the WOB dog ceremony and little Mila was paraded through the bar.  We're going to miss everyone there, our friends Yvi and Andres and everyone else we met, who were so totally awesome and of course we're going to visit with our WOB shirts in tow as often as we can, of course.  Miami was fun to move to and explore and make new friends in, as we seem to make the best friends wherever we go, and to make the holidays so much easier to visit family.  My dad was about to send my mom out for Christmas as we were deciding to make this transition so I had to tell him to hold off on buying the plane tickets and since I haven't been home for Christmas in three years, it's going to be good to be there.  Relocating is always interesting but we seem to be off to a good start already, and I'm looking forward to finding a more permanent place to actually unpack and organize and do it all again.  I'm pro at it, at this point!  
On with the day, but of course there will be more news as it happens!  Have a great week! 
Happy Positive Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes, everyone!

Allie H.