California Love: Friends Near & Far


ryan ericka and sherri, originally uploaded by funchilde.

I’m back from California. It was just what the doctor ordered in terms of feeling more energized, focused and refreshed. I went out for work of course but had 10 days between the two events I needed to attend, I hit San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Santa Barbara, Ventura, San Jose and finished up in Palo Alto…and of course, there was that one day in Napa that shall never be mentioned again. You know your day can only get better when you wake up to the phrase “Yall still here?” (Thanks Blaine and Tawana!).

The work part was pretty great. We laughed, laughed, worked until we were so tired we were delirious and laughed some more. My favorite saying at the end of each day was “First round is on ME!” This is for my NY client and I love my colleagues more each time we meet, there are those I miss, but our mix of personalities and workstyles keeps everything moving fast and with alot of fun. You can’t beat that.

I was lucky enough to have gracious hosts and decadent hotels, but of the two I enjoyed the time I spent couch surfing the most. I stayed with Sherri (above right) for 5 days and got to see her beautiful home complete with orange, apricot, plum, and lemon trees (and something I’m forgettingooh, pears).

It was nice to feel domestic and pick lemons right off the heavy branches and make lemonade. No trips to Trader Joes/Harris Teeter/Von’s necessary. Likewise, mojitos with fresh mint from her garden were the perfect welcome. I enjoyed helping out with the fruit picking and clean up, loved cooking breakfast on the grill, we strolled through the Ventura Weekend Market and checked out the San Buenaventura Mission, read (Golf for Women Magazine), napped, read (Back Roads), listened to old school Erykah Badu and Jill Scott, and read some more. Oh, and watched a phenomenal movie (Half Nelson w/ Ryan Gosling).

We’re both foodies, so it was nice to indulge and be indulged-I grilled steaks and asparagus, portabella mushrooms and chicken-apple sausage. She made a crustless quiche, salsa from scratch and an amazing breaded Tilapia. Wine was a staple, a necessity. The weather in SoCal is so amazing that I worked outside on the back deck every day.

We had a BBQ that included Ryan and Ericka (above w/ Sherri) two of our Semester at Sea students who are absolutely adorable, gracious and wise beyond their years. I also got to hang with one of Sherri’s best friends and met this guy (one of my favorite OG’s of Hip Hop-note the capitalization).

I also got word that I’ll be going back to a project with one of my favorite clients, this time for a 9 month (oh lawd) stint. So this trip represents the slow closure of my immediate sexy travels, but I’m excited to be in one place for a while and work on my fitness and health goals, get to know some people better, and plan the next big phase/trip/thing. So, back to New Hampshire I go….!

I’m already researching Mexico, Thailand and an overland Europe to Africa Trip. And I am always game for another jaunt on the Green Tortoise. Whatever it is, I hope to keep making friends around the world because there’s nothing better than re-living your journeys with people who were with you.

More than anything I missed my nephew, and I can’t believe I’m admitting this…felt a touch of baby fever, not that I want to actually birth one, but the thought of nurturing and loving a little person crept up on me. But it might just have been gas from the asparagus. And while I’m happy to be home on the east coast, I can’t say that I missed either the humidity or the mosquitos.

So what’ve yall been up to?

8 thoughts on “California Love: Friends Near & Far”

  1. Sorry I have been away with the fairies as they say (trust me, they say it where I live). Wow lots o California memories (where are the avacados on the trees?), which are sorta good (like Trader Joes) and sorta bad (like coughing up black stuff and going “What happened to the San Gabriel mountains?” – I hear the smog is better now). We are getting the biological “let make one” thing too (see ours started with “let’s just be close to our nephews and neices” – we are holding out….mostly due to a lack of sperm; it’s less fun when you have to BUY it)

    Glad things are working out for you and I hope you get to do the big trips – we are thinking to do Japan in the Spring – hahah!

  2. hey e! good to hear from you, i hope your health is improving. the avocados weren’t to be found on Sherri’s property, some of her friends have those and peaches. They trade lots of fruits and veggies…so cool. I’m hoping that having my nephew for a week at camp will cure the baby fever…i actually think its just a by-product of knowing i’m about to enter that ‘too late for you’ (st)age as I hit my mid-30’s. but hey, good luck to you two/too?!

  3. hey dia!

    Good to hear your trip went well! I already need another, myself. Shannon and I bought an old victorian house a month ago. It’s been a wild, expensive, and exhausting ride! Things are coming along- we will have plenty of beds to stay in if you choose to travel up this way! RA Tom and Emily and coming to stay with us tomorrow night! They are living in NYC these days. Take care of yourself!

    your friend,
    john paul

  4. JP! Wow, congrats on the new house, CRAZY! You guys are in the northwest right? I have a good friend moving out that way so…two birds, one stone and of course we can get started on that ubuntu brew. i miss you guys so much. hi to tom & em. hugs to shannon!

  5. So glad to hear you really took advantage of hanging out west. Did you ever get the golf in that you were hankerin’ for? I’m waiting for the day you ask to take over my kitchen. You say that and I’ll gladly say “the first round is on ME!”

    Travel safe to New Hampshire.

  6. W: lmao. anytime lady, as long as nobody complains about my cookin’! Golf out west is VERY expensive, so I’m glad to be back east where you can find a crappy but fun course for cheap! Safe travels to you this fall as well!

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