California Through and Through

As part of our holiday festivities, Bill and I got the opportunity to head to his home town to spend some time with his family. Where is his hometown? Um, here.

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It is not this cold in California. Not in Northern California where I grew up. And definitely not on the beautiful, sunny, just-about-70-degrees-year-round Central Coast where we live now. Anybody who has experienced a Minnesota winter was skeptical when I told them we were going. Bill asked me which cold weather clothes I was bringing, and when, on a 60 degree night, I pointed to the one I was wearing, his only response was laughter. And even though I spent part of my time packing laying in the fetal position on my closet floor, I was DETERMINED to be tough, to be a champion, to not let it get to me. That’s just my fighting nature.

But then we got there, and it was effing COLD. Like lungs-turn-to-ice-when-you-breathe-in cold. Like I-can’t-open-the-car-door-because-it’s-frozen-shut cold. Like constantly-falling-on-my-ass-because-the-ground-is-pure-ice cold. Yeah, it was kind of like that. But the weirdest thing is that people still do whatever it is they would normally do, like go to the movies (This Is 40 is hilarious), or shop at the Mall of America (omigod LOVE), or walk from their apartments to lunch (um, hold on… I didn’t do so well with that one).

I got over it (on the outside), and we had an amazing time. Here are a few snapshots.

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Flying over the states at sunset!

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I found a little peace on the plane in a good book and the kindness of strangers. Thanks for the healthy organic snack, Ernest! I hope you had a good journey to Chile.

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Our first morning there included venturing outside. Snow angels were made, and sled rides were had.

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Huh. That’s something you don’t see every day. (Well, at least I don’t!) I carted this little puppy around with me for the better part of 20 minutes. An icicle!

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The Timberwolves *cough*marrymerickyrubio*cough* put on one heck of a show, breaking the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 12-game winning streak.

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College basketball teammates came together at a St. Paul pub to catch up about engagements (us!), weddings (Eric!), and babies (Jeff!). Even though I wasn’t around in the glory days, you could tell that times they are a-changing (as is the definition of “glory days” it seems).

Not pictured: the amazing Christmas celebration we had with Bill’s family, the timeout we took for beers at Wild Bill’s Saloon, meeting Bill’s best man and family over appetizers at TGI Fridays, or the bonding time I spent addressing our save-the-dates with Bill’s mom and sister. Even though I was nervous about the cold, the trip was incredible. Bill introduced me to another little piece of himself, and the more time we spent in Minnesota, the closer I felt to him. It was so nice to spend part of the holidays…

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…with the new side of my family.

(But I am glad to be back in California. It’s much warmer here.)

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