Thursday, September 9, 2010

California Vacation

I’m back! Did you miss me? I just returned to DC from an absolutely lovely week at home in Petaluma and Lake Tahoe. In that far-too-short week I did almost all of my favorite things: eat-run-reading of course, but better than usual because it was all with my family! I ran on trails with Sister2 and Dad, ate Sister1’s cupcakes (yummmmyyy!), read on the beach, lounged in inner tubes with my mama, and watched a Christmas movie (yes, true - judge accordingly)!

As I said in my pre-vacation blog post, I arrived in the Bay Area extremely late Wednesday night (or early Thursday morning, depending on how you think about it – either way it was tired o’clock). Thursday morning we woke up, packed up, and got in the car for the oh-so-familiar 3 hour drive to Tahoe. First we drove through the vineyards. The hills of rows of bright green vines sparkled and shimmered in the sunlight thanks to the streamers vintners attach to the vines to ward off birds. Behind the vines were the yellowy-brown California hills, spotted with the occasional rounded clump of dark green trees. Then we drove through the Sacramento Valley – flat, brown, and booorrrinnnggg. But soon enough the oaks gave way to evergreens, and we were in the mountains.

My family bought a cabin in Tahoe 16 years ago, and to this day it is the most consistent “home” I have. Tahoe means beaching in the summer, ski-bladeing in the fall (omg - scariest thing ever - I’ll tell you about it sometime), and skiing in the winter and spring. All things I LOVE.

In Tahoe, everything slows down. There isn’t much to do, so you’re never in a rush. The only rush is to get to the beach early enough for ample tanning time. And I’m pretty sure we accomplished that – now that I’m back to DC-pretty pencil skirts and blow-outs I’m almost offensively tan…

Our days in Tahoe follow a comfortingly predictable pattern: wake up, eat something small, go for a trail run, get ready (a.k.a. eat, bathing suits on, sunscreen applied) and go to the beach. 

At the beach we read/work on a crossword/play scrabble until overheated, then go lie in a tube in the ice-cold snowmelt lake to cool off. Repeat as desired.

In the evenings, we walk our dog, make dinner, watch a movie, then go to bed.

If all feels so natural, I’m disappointingly surprised at the end of each day that this isn’t my life.

Sister2 is just back from a summer in CO, so she’s all kinds of in shape for high-altitude trail running. (We look pretty good for just finishing a long run, right?) 

We did an 11-miler one day to prepare for an epic breakfast experience at the Old Post Office, our all-time favorite breakfast restaurant. Back in the day, Sister2 was all about the side of potatoes and a chocolate shake, but she’s now matured to enjoy Bananas Foster French Toast and a side of sausage. Mama and I split Blueberry Pancakes and a Spinach, Bacon, and Swiss Omelet, and Dad copied us and ordered the same thing!

And my family knows how to eat. I promise you there was not a scrap of food left on the table by the time we were done!

Well-fueled and tired, we headed to the beach for a long day of reading in the sun. There’s really nothing better. I promise.

(The only thing (or I should say “person”) missing from this vacation was Sister1! She and her boyfriend were visiting his family in Las Vegas, so I only saw them for a short time Tuesday evening.)

After 6 days of Tahoe awesomeness, we headed back to Petaluma. Mama and I went to her yoga studio (yes, I take full  credit for starting my whole family on Bikram yoga!). 

Then we tried a new Petaluma restaurant for lunch – Punjab Burrito. My two favorite cuisines are Mexican and Indian, so the deliciousness of this surprising fusion was no surprise at all! We split pumpkin and crab enchiladas, and a lamb and roasted eggplant rice plate. (Look at Petaluma! Getting so mature and multi-cultural!!!)

Alas, it was time to get on a red-eye back to DC. Back to work. Back to real life. Or, I should say, back to my current real life. I love DC, but every time I go home I realize how much I miss CA…