Well, I've been back from my vacation for two weeks and I feel bad that I haven't written anything about it.
First off, it was great! Exactly what I needed at the time I needed it. I was a little nervous about the long drive, but I had good company, music, audiobooks, and food, so it was fine. (The last two hours of each drive were the hardest. I just wanted to be there.) We arrived in California ahead of schedule, even with the little detour we accidentally took (thank goodness for the road atlas my insurance agent gave me!). Here's a review of the week:
We went to my sister's work--a chocolatier--and had a tour (which included free chocolate). We also went to the aquarium. The ocean is so amazing and it was beautiful to see the life that is under the surface. They had a beautiful exhibit on jellyfish, which are beautiful in their pink and oranges, silently floating through the clear water.
This was probably the best day of the whole trip. We went to San Francisco, which is about a 2 hour drive from where we were. Bro-in-law was able to get the day off, so all four of us went together. The first place we went was the Golden Gate Bridge.
I saw it and I started crying (I know, I know, you're asking yourself: "Did someone drop a hat?"). I've seen thousands of pictures, and it's such an iconic piece of Americana, but seeing it for myself, with all the fog surrounding it, and it is so beautiful, I couldn't help myself. Tears came to my eyes and I knew that I was in San Francisco, a place I wanted to see for a long time. Fortunately sis understood and just hugged me. Then I cried again later when we went to Grace Cathedral when the organ was playing when we walked in and the light was shining through the stained glass. We also visited Golden Gate Park where we went to the Japanese Tea Garden, and Chinatown (of course!).
The first two days were pretty exhausting (and it didn't help that I had a hard time sleeping--stupid sea gulls), so I let bro take Perry to go hiking, and I spent the day with sis. We visited Fisherman's Wharf (after I got lost walking to her place), the museum of monterey, and read on a bench listening to the ocean.
Sis's boss gave us tickets to the Concours Races (it was Concours week). So we headed out to Laguna Seca and saw a lot of old cars, some races, and got sunburned. It was fun, but tiring, so we spent the rest of the day watching a web series.
Sis and I headed to Carmel and wandered around looking at all the shops. We headed back and met up with the boys. We went to Fisherman's Wharf for lunch (and to try out every restaurants clam chowder). That afternoon we headed to a little town to see a Mayan Festival, but it was just ending when we got there, so we stopped by a produce stand on the way back and got some artichokes, peaches, bread, and some other yummy things.
We went to church and then hung out at bro-in-law and sis's.
The only exciting thing about the drive home was when Perry started not working quite right and the check engine light came on. I made it home, but Dad took the car in the next day when I was back at work and fortunately nothing horrible was wrong. But it did cause some anxiety on my part.
Something I did learn in California was to be a little bit more of a confident driver. But the driving rhythm there is so different from here! I don't want to say that they are bad drivers, but compared to the way we drive in Utah, it seems like it. They seem to be a bit more aggressive, whereas the drivers in Utah are more . . . defensive, maybe? Or maybe that's just me. Anyway, it was nice to be someplace cool, and to do different things. I don't feel as restless as I did before the vacation.
I already fulfilled one of my goals and that was to clean my apartment and organize all the piles of papers that were just sitting everywhere. I do still want to go through drawers and cabinets. And to keep my apartment clean and organized. I really hope I can! But now that it's clean, if I clean it every week, it should stay clean, right?
My other goal for September is not to spend any money on nonessentials. I went on vacation and when I came back I bought some clothes (all for work, so I'm going to get a lot of use out of them), so I came to the conclusion that I need to spend a little less money. So, no books, music, movies, TV shows, or clothes; I can, obviously, spend money on things that I pay monthly, like cell phone, Netflix, rent, car payment, etc. It's only the second day of the month and already I'm having a hard time! Some new books are coming out and they are discounted quite a bit on Amazon, but I can't do it! Huge exercise in self control, which I haven't had to do since college. Oh well, I'm telling myself that I can buy myself a pair of shoes in October if I make it.