17 January 2011

Whirlwind

It was supposed to be me and my father and my sister, flying to California to visit his brother, our uncle, who's not well with some ill defined progressive neurological deterioration. But two days before hand, Pop canceled out sick, leaving Pinky and me to go it alone.

While this was kind of a bummer - it would have been nice if he'd been with us - it did open up a world of possibility. Three people meant we needed to rent a sedate sedan; two let us get a convertible. Pinky dubbed it the Snooki-mobile, but no matter - we had the wind in our hair (and cooperating weather). Pop might not have wanted to detour through Santa Cruz for lunch with an old college friend of mine; Pinky was game and we ended up walking along the ocean and spotting surfers in the waves. We stayed overnight with our aunt and uncle, happy to spend time with him on their deck high in the hills with a panoramic view of the Pacific, delighted to try on her tap shoes and learn brush step / brush step / brush step / ball change from her, the old show girl, still spry at nearly 90.

We bid our adieus, and headed north - choosing to forego the direct route offered up by Google maps in favor of a trip on twisty mountain roads through the redwoods. Serendipitously, we came across a splendid overlook where the ocean was visible between distant mountains, and Monterey rose up in the south.

Descending back into the developed valley, we Yelped up some tacos for a late lunch on our way to see our step-sister. I've seen and been in touch with Helen in recent years; Pinky hadn't seen her in 25-odd years. Dinner, Scrabble Flash, wine, and reminiscing - with lots of talk of our father, her mother, their marriage, and Helen's extended complicated family - ensued. (Helen's family is so complicated that when her children were asked to do family trees in elementary school, she told them to just make something up - there's no way a child could grasp the intricacies of who was married to whom how many times, not to mention the step-siblings that were also second cousins so that when they were no longer step-sibs they still retained family ties. Et cetera.)

Alas, our last day dawned foggy and chilly and we were forced to return to the airport with the top up on the convertible.

All told, though, it was a perfect whirlwind trip to California - 48 hours on the ground, 60 hours away from NY - chock full of novelty and nostalgia - punctuated by texts from home cataloging the dipping temperatures in the East.

12 comments:

kathy a. said...

oh, wow. you did a whole lot in that 48 hours on the ground!

Mental P Mama said...

Sounds perfect to me. I love your aunt!

Anonymous said...

Glad you had a good trip!

Lady M

painted maypole said...

convertibles make every trip better. ;) particularly in CA we really wanted to buy one when we lived there, but we had a kid, so we bought a minivan instead.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

We did have divine weather this weekend--I'm glad you got a taste of it.

We find a flow chart works better than a tree in our family!

Irish Goddess said...

Haven't had time to read blogs lately, so it was a special treat to read yours. I had forgotten how well you write. Divine.

yogurt said...

The Redwoods a la convertible -- You girls know how to live!!

Antropologa said...

Very awesome!

YourFireAnt said...

I would like to see that family tree sometime. I LOVE complicated family relationships.

;-)

mayberry said...

You fit in a lot! I love sister time.

de said...

That sounds like a great trip. I'm so jealous (though sorry for the illness that initially inspired it) because I need some extended adult time, I need some adventure and I sure as hell need some tacos.

de said...

never mind - I lack for nothing now that I've seen the tap dancing. Thanks for the smile!