26 November 2009

Mike: "I am impossibly tired, and also impossibly restless."

Meet the Johansens. We stayed at their house while we were in the bay area and had the BEST time. Allen, Rosa Lee, and Big Mike kept us well-fed and entertained for three days while we took the time to skate, surf, and explore the city.

I took a day in Oakland to visit Sara, Felicia, and my newest nephew Armoni! To all the family and friends who haven't met this little guy yet, BE JEALOUS. Armoni is one cool little kid. He loves roughhousing, music, triangles, and of course, his Mommy and Mama. I had a great time catching up with the Steenhouse family. Thanks for everything, Sara and Felicia!

The next day, we caught the Caltrain down to San Jose, where we Couchsurfed with Greg and his dog Buddy - thanks Greg, you rule!

And then, from San Jose, we caught a bus to Santa Cruz. The best part? A bike rack that fits THREE bikes! Finally, no need to convince the driver to let us bring a bicycle onto a crowded metro bus. Yessss. Plus we made a friend, Hannah, who gave us her phone number in case we needed anything while we were still in town. When we were dropped off at the station in downtown Santa Cruz, we said goodbye to Hannah and went to Trader Joes to buy food, then ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the boardwalk, in the abandoned amusement park.

Mike and I played in the waves, then spent some time messing around on the beach, soaking up that California heat we've been craving.

Later in the afternoon, we met up with Hannah and she walked us to Younglove Avenue, where some of her friends lived together in a house. There, we met Maria, Caity, Paige, Jen, Devan, Kevin, and Sean, who graciously agreed to let us stay in there home. Some of us went downtown for $3 dollar burritos and a few margarita pitchers, then went back to the house and spent some wholesome time hanging out and playing Parcheesi and stuff.

Next thing we knew, we were hitch-hiking down to Santa Barbara to spend Thanksgiving with Caity.

First we were picked up by Will Smith and Chantal, who were able to get us to Salinas. Then there was Micah, who picked us up in Salinas and drove us all the way to Santa Barbara, stopping to buy us a round of In-N-Out on the way, animal style. This guy is freaking awesome.

He dropped us off at the Santa Barbara courthouse, and we loitered about town for a bit, until Caity picked us up and took her to her parents' house, where we would be spending the next three nights. The next morning, it was coffee...


...and a little bit of food prep.

We spent most of the day lounging in the sun (as usual, at this point), and we met Caity's eight-year-old cousin Matthew. We talked of Nerf guns, hiking, soccer, and video games.

This is the group we ate Thanksgiving dinner with, potluck style. We didn't know any of them. Well, at first we didn't. It didn't take long, though.

Incidentally, people are awesome.

Next morning, we called Micah to see if he wanted to do something while we were all still hanging out in Santa Barbara. He and his boyfriend Kevin picked us up at noon on State Street in their Land Cruiser, and took us on a hike to Inspiration Point.

Then we took a quick dip in the ocean and gobbled up a mountain of Thanksgiving leftovers before taking another trip into the hills. First, we stopped and checked out some 350-year-old cave paintings.

Then, the Big Caliente Hot Springs.

Micah, Kevin: you guys are awesome. Seriously.

On Saturday, we drove "home" to Santa Cruz with Caity, and played some more Parcheesi with friends new and (relatively) old.

I think that more-or-less catches everyone up, right? Oh, and we saw a movie today. Fantastic Mister Fox. Wes Anderson did it again, everybody. Go see it!

Our Santa Cruz friends taught us to play a game we call "Rose/Thorn/Bud," in which you take turns telling your friends one thing your thankful/happy/stoked for, one thing that may be bothering you or holding you back, and one thing you're looking forward to.

Let's play. I'll go first, but feel free to leave a comment with your own Roses/Thorns/Buds.

My Rose: the warm, clear, mighty, California Pacific, and all the recreational oppurtunities it has offered us so far.

My thorn: a semi-mysterious raised bruise on my lower back, most likely caused by one of three wrestling sessions with my new friend and rival, Kayla. Touché, Kayla. Touché.

My bud: Campin'.


  1. Rose: The boys had a hearty family-style Thanksgiving and continue to seek adventure in every encounter.

    Thorn: I start my new job tomorrow. I'm a little nervous.

    Bud: I get to meet Armoni this weekend!

  2. Rose: The beautiful weekend I spent in Santa Cruz, soaking in the mystery of California.

    Thorn: Not so ironically, bruised knees from a successful rumbling match.

    Bud: Gaining new perspective.

  3. Rose: I Finally got a new job, senior lab technician at the U of MN, starts next week!

    Thorn: In the midst of applying for grad school, and I need to get finished.

    Bud: My baby is going to be here in a few weeks! Becoming a dad is scary, but I'm looking forward to it.

  4. Family.

    Too much work.

    Everyone home for Christmas.



yasmin lawyer