Wednesday, June 22, 2011

California Dreaming





My very favorite cupcake, ever!







The last time I set foot in California was 1985 (according to my mom). So, when Chris and I decided to combine a medical conference with a belated 10 year anniversary celebration, I was thrilled. I vowed to savor every minute of our West Coast travel, imaging it could be decades (if ever) before I returned again.

Chris landed in San Francisco first. A few days later, I joined him. In between conferences, we toured the city by foot and trolley. We stumbled upon several observation points that provided a panoramic view of the bay, Alcatraz, and the Golden Gate Bridge. We meandered through a street art fair, and strolled through a beautiful historic catholic church.

On Sunday, I vowed to run across the Golden Gate Bridge. The run was a little lengthier than I expected, but the experience was priceless. As I ran across the bridge, I gained a greater appreciation of the grandeur and magnitude of the structure. My view from the bridge was hindered by a blanket of fog. Through the haze, I could only see the waves of the bay swirling underneath. With each stride, my emotions teetered between trepidation, exhilaration, and awe.

The remainder of the trip was spent in the Napa Valley. Chris and I immediately took to the landscape. As native Hoosiers, we savored the lush valley surrounded by mountains. We kept saying, "Look at those mountains. Remember those mountains. I hope we see mountains again."

The highlight of Napa was the day we rented bikes. The temperatures were in the high 90s, but we peddled along, dripping in sweat. The bike rental company placed our picnic lunch at the top of a hill (of course). We were just hungry enough to travel up the steep incline. Once we made it, the view made up for our fatigue.

Tonight, we landed back in Indiana. I reflected on all of the beauty we encountered, but most of all I appreciated the days spent with Chris. As we've added children, we've become well aware that a marriage needs to be cultivated and nurtured or it's easily squeezed out of the priority list. We're grateful for the time spent together and the individuals who made that possible. Including:

Grandmother Wood: She took the first shift. We're grateful for her generosity and kindness. We know she sacrificed a lot (visiting with a brother from out of town and spending time with her husband on Father's Day).

Grandma and Grandpa Joseph: They watched all four boys for days. We appreciate all the energy and time you spent to help with the boys. I'm sure they have great memories with their grandparents.

Ali Maxwell: Ali had Connor over for a marathon play date on Saturday. She's supermom! We're always awed by her thoughtfulness!

Tonight, I asked Chris if the grandparents would ever watch our kids again for a future trip. He said, "Give them five more years and maybe they'll consider it." I'm hoping, after a little rest, they'll remember fondly the time with their grandsons.

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