Especially when flight days go something like this:
Also for the record, before US Airways boards “regular” passengers,the order goes something like this:
Uniformed U.S. Military (ok, i’ll give them that one)
AAdvantage® Executive Platinum / AAdvantage Platinum
oneworld Sapphire and Emerald
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive cardmembers
After a wasted day of flight delays and airport changes and hour long car rides with awkward cabbies, I’m reminded that sometimes it’s better to drive.
Regardless of the journey, though, I know my destination is worth the hassle.
All of it.
(Photo: Edie, the Persian Princess)
I forget sometimes that no man is an island. The introvert in me thinks I can live off books, coffee, and Netflix alone. But it only lasts about two weeks before I’m calling my friends and begging them to hang out with me.
So, lately I’ve been filling up my days with adventures.
With all the complaining I do about traffic and the hassle of finding parking in a Trader Joe’s parking lot, it’d be easy to think that I hate LA. And while it’s true that my love affair with Los Angeles has passed its honeymoon phase, I’m realizing that there’s still a lot to love and learn about this city.
On Monday, I ventured down to the flower district to have brunch at poppy + rose with some of my favorite ladies. The $6/hr (on a holiday!) parking meters were a buzzkill (why, LA, why?!?!), but the coffee mug and company more than made up for it.
(Photo: C with her Hairy Otter sweatshirt; awesome david bowie cat mug)
On Wednesday, I stopped by to feed my friend’s (three!) cats, which called for a spontaneous visit to Sweet Lady Jane, where francy face bought the most delicious rhubarb pie I’ve ever tasted.
(Photo: Francine’s hand/fork purposely placed for comparison of this massive delicious pie slice)
And running. Or rather walking/hiking/jogging – basically every word to describe moving your legs except for running. And it still feels good.
(Photo: Wilacre Park views)
Sitting on the Bart with my luggage on both sides of me. Reflecting on this gift of a weekend spent talking and eating and reminiscing with an old friend. Volunteering at St. Anthony’s. Looking out my window and seeing the city full of pastel colored houses. A young black man reciting a speech soliciting money to help his basketball team go to regionals. Stay hungry. Stay foolish (I never went hungry though).
Sitting on a penguin fleece blanket at Dolores Park peeling blood oranges and splattering specks of red juice on my pale skin as C tells me about R. Adoration and all the signs of early romance on her face. She is “cautiously optimistic, though,” she says. We sit for hours on the grassy knoll while a brown pit bull roams around us, slobbering on my shoes, and I notice that the blue lining along the sole is finally starting to peel. A baby faced Dutch(?) boy asks us twice if we would like tickets to a show that night. The weather is perfect but I turn my face away from the sun because I’m afraid of getting wrinkles now. C wanted guava juice but got kombucha instead. She found out she hates kombucha. So much for trying new things.
Two Chinese(?) women get off at South San Francisco. We continue on to Airport/Millbrae.
Bi-rite ice cream with earl grey and brown sugar. Every city block we walk is a little different. A little dirty. C walks with confidence, though, as someone who’s been living in the Mission for a while. We don’t have to consult the maps on our phones and I like that. I like following her blindly around, recognizing stores on streets we must have walked past just moments before and ending up at our destination. She looks down frequently at her new shoes. Dusky brown chukkas with rainbow paint-splattered panels on the sides that I brought for her. I hope I don’t stand out next to her. I hope I am not as she says with so much disdain “too put-together.” In my blue flannel check shirt and skinnies which could be ok if they weren’t from express and pre-distressed.
Sitting on the airplane now next to two girls who could be my age but are probably younger. I think everyone is younger than me now, though. Everyone who is young and beautiful and having fun like it is their birthright.
(Photo via Jessa Mae Photography)
When you travel with two other girls of similar age (or at least esprit), there is no one to complain about taking too long to get ready. You eat when you please. You walk aimlessly on cobblestone streets simply because it’s beautiful. You squeal over the fat Bulldogs gracing blue doorways in Le Marais and the scroll-worked balconies that adorn all the apartments of Paris. You stop at all the stands at a farmer’s market you chance upon. Tasting five different kinds of olives from the nice oliveman and buy un peu to eat later with your wine.
You take 984326 photos and spend ten minutes in silence on a park bench while you all edit your respective pictures and selfies. Music is always playing as you get ready. There are never enough mirrors.
You find a garden and sit on a blue bench under the perfect cloudless sky, next to the lawn that is so vibrantly green it looks like you’re seeing it through a filter. You look up at the enormous phallic monument that is intricately made and notice that new leaves are starting to bud on the tree behind you.
Vagrants sleep on benches next to you. Their heads resting on shopping bags stuffed with their belongings. And still, everyone seems happy and life seems so good.
(Photo: Sacré-Coeur on our last day)
I came across this article
some time ago. A young family uproots their comfortable life and moves to South Africa, with a goal to “reset.” I saved the last paragraph after reading it. Since then, it’s been a chunk of text that’s been buried in the notes on my phone. I read it from time to time, sometimes on accident and most times on purpose. Always reminding me of what’s important.
And as I’m discovering, the big adventure is not a place, an experience, or a plane ticket. The real big adventure is the thrill of a life (any life, anywhere) that’s lived honestly, deeply, and with intention. This kind of life doesn’t avoid questions, risk, or vulnerability. This kind of life is the one I want.
(Photo: Sunrise over California)