Chicago may have been my home for the past five and a half years, but California is (and will continue to be) my forever home. These past two weeks back here with my family have been great, and the “chilly” 60 degree winter days–along with the ample sunshine, abundant hills and dazzling sunsets–have reminded me just how much I love the golden state.
To start off my California finale, I crossed the 500 mile mark for miles-run in 2018 during our first ever Thanksgiving morning Turkey Trot. We headed to the Hirsch’s in the afternoon for our traditional Thanksgiving HLS feast and, as one would expect, we all ate too much. And therein began a theme for the following 10 days…
The day after Thanksgiving (four day weekends really are the best), Steve and Elana joined us for our second annual Gingerbread Turkey contest. Alex and Shelby’s turkey was clean and sophisticated; Steve, Elana and my turkey was a hippie love fest; and my parent’s turkey was… a hobbling, one-legged, botox-infused mess. You can tell who has aging on their minds 😉
Given the eating never ceases when at home, Alex, Shelby and I escaped the house twice over the weekend, first for a beautiful seven-mile hike through Chino Hills State Park followed by a jam-packed day at Disneyland. (Thank you, Alex and Shelby for a fantastic early Hanukkah gift!) You know you’ve done Disneyland right when you start and end the day with your favorite ride (and squeeze one more run in between). Space Mountain, you really are the best.
While I was wrapping up work during the weekdays, I filled my mornings with (very hilly) runs and my evenings with fantastic company. After joining Steve and Elana to watch Doctor Who on BBC America, I gained a new appreciation for commercial-free TV; and after having gone to a fancy spa for the very first time with my mom, I realized there are some perks to joining corporate America.
I ended the work week by meeting Sonali for lunch in Irvine. While picking us up Poke, I was both excited to see just how built-up and “downtown-ey” the Irvine business area feels, and also saddened by how the car congestion really detracts from just how nice that area could be. Either way, the Poke was great and the conversation even greater. Already looking forward to seeing Sonali again in the Alps (on a mission to convince all my friends to travel to different parts of Europe so I can hop over for a weekend and meet them there…).
My final weekend at home featured the best coleslaw (and a pretty solid tuna melt) at Katella Deli, more doggie cuddles with Sadie and a second viewing of Crazy Rich Asians with my parents. (Singapore, I’m so ready for you and your street food.) This morning I packed up my backpack, downloaded many offline google maps for Peru and Chile and messaged our first Airbnb host in Lima to make sure we are all set for our arrival tomorrow night.
California, you are wonderful. Until next time…