Monthly Archives: December 2012

Off to the Big Island with my big sister

I barely slept last night due to the massive storm pummeling the Bay area. I guess I never really sleep well the night before a morning flight. I tossed and turned and imagined what chaos was creating the strange noises out the window. Of course it was a Saturday night downtown San Francisco so I am sure that contributed to the noise level. This morning the roads were treacherous but I arrived at Oakland airport safe and sound. Alaska Airlines boarded the five hour direct flight to Kona early in hopes of being able to take off and make up some of our anticipated weather delays. Now I am more than halfway there and enjoying myself quite thoroughly. The flight is quite sparsely populated and everyone is in good spirits. We are heading out of the chilly rainy San Francisco winter and into balmy island temps. Who wouldn’t be happy?!

The last month I spent in the Bay area was filled up with lots of relationship building, nesting, trip planning, and pet training. Not to mention chowing down on tons of scrumptious food. I have been spoiled with some of the freshest sushi creations, spicy Korean BBQ, quality Dim Sum, Elk/Buffalo/Ostrich burgers, and mouthwatering Mexican cuisine. I also enjoyed several versions of Thanksgiving Dinner and got my fill of cranberry sauce (at least for a few weeks). I discovered a multitude of dining delights and culinary masterpieces…some of them invented in my very own kitchen. How I love Trader Joe’s and the plethora of other health food supermarkets. I could (and have) gotten lost in the aisles for hours. How anyone could not eat well in SF is beyond me.

Though I stayed at a few different places, majority of time I lived on Steiner Street watching JellyBean, the orange cat while my pal Joey travels. I love having housemates but I do admit, it can be trying at times. I guess dishwasher politics, food thievery, and cleaning snafus can put tension on the best of friendships. I weathered it well, I think. And I am glad to have met such a colorful bunch. My Jelly sitting career has been put on hiatus now that Joey’s girl is joining him from Montreal. I am glad the obsessive fur-licking cat will have some stability in his life. I think I helped him while I was there because he certainly became more confident and adventurous, exploring even the backyard. All pets need consistency and structure not to mention a little loving discipline. Though frustrating at times, pet training can be fun and rewarding.

 (They just came through the cabin serving complimentary Mai Tais. The washrooms have purple orchid blooms laying next to the sink. Nice touch Alaska Air. Captain even gave a victorious sports update on the SeaHawks for those fans onboard. I like airlines who keep it personal.)

The weather in Frisco has been cooling off noticeably but I never complain too loud. In my world, rain is always preferable to snow. I always cringe at the weather updates my Dad insists on when I call home. I am even getting used to the mystical fog that rolls through almost every afternoon. And no matter how cold it is, there always seems to be a bonfire or two down on the city beach at night.

I am absolutely in love with the people of this city. I can’t tell you how many times I have been pleasantly surprised by random compliments from strangers. These shiny folks have big hearts and are not afraid to interact. I guess its helps that the area has such a large populace of Burners (those who attend the Burning Man festival and believe in the 10 Principals) who are well practiced at “participating”. Pushing boundaries and radical acceptance are a theme in this creatively revolutionary community. Living here has been quite healing for me in more than one way and I am so unbelievably grateful for the growth.

I found myself being welcomed into families of all sorts. It’s a great feeling to be wanted. And the more time I spent with my newfound friends, the more I realized that family is not something so easily defined. It is a feeling, rather than a relation. It seems to be the interest, investment, and acceptance of the essence of who we are. That said, I am just an hour away from reuniting with my sister Trina and I couldn’t be more excited. We have not always mastered those three fundamentals but we have always loved each other in a way only sisters can. It’s a bond stronger than the toughest diamond deeper than the darkest sea.

“Sister is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.” – Margaret Mead

Trina has achieved the big 4-0 this month so I birthday surprised her with a week in Hawaii. This place has been her ultimate dream travel location since we were little kids. I am thrilled to share my love of travel AND her first exposure to this tropical paradise. I know I had mentioned I was done traveling…but what I really meant is that I am done traveling ALONE. I am learning there is nothing more rewarding than sharing what you love, where you love, with who you love.

Grateful for progress.

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