Ahhh. Home sweet home. There's no place like home. And all that stuff...
So we had a fun weekend in California with Scott's family. Moana was the hit of the party once again... what a social little thing she is... she was surrounded by her grandma and grandpa and aunts and uncles and 7 cousins and she could NOT have been happier! She especially loved her 9 year old cousin, Erica, who was the only other girl cousin is this family full of boys. And Erica loved Moana too. It was just so cute to watch the two of them play together at every opportunity. Erica had an ability to keep Moana from melting down at times when she otherwise definitely would have- picture the scene- it's an hour past bedtime and we're all still out at a restaurant eating at a long table filled with a bunch of adults... not exactly a toddler's preferred activity... but Erica could entertain her for hours right there on the floor and it was perfect. I didn't even have to drink (that much) wine to stay sane.
And it was fully best case scenario on the plane. Both ways! Moana slept for a couple hours on each leg of the trip and was otherwise occupied by Elmo on the portable DVD player and drawing on the etch-a-sketch. I think it's best to have very low expectations on these kind of things and then be pleasantly surprised at how easy it actually is.
So besides all the fun socializing with the family, I got to go on a couple of great runs while we were there. The first night we stayed with Scott's sister in Menlo Park. I was directed to a park to go running... trail running... oh how perfect! The training plan I wrote for myself for this week called for something like, "If you feel like sleeping in and skipping it, fine. But if you find yourself enjoying a wonderful run on beautiful trails on a perfect blue sky day, then go ahead and explore the narrow trails." So that's what I did. This preserve area had a couple of main fire roads that were wide and wound their way through the park... and then there were other narrow paths that split off from the main road. I resolved to always take the narrow trail when presented with the opportunity. 7 miles later, with dusty ankles, I found my way back to my car and was all smiles for the rest of the day. I had decided that I could definitely live in northern California again.
The next night we stayed with Scott's parents in a retirement community in Walnut Creek. I got up and ran first thing, before it got HOT, and found the roads to be so nice in this area. Wide shoulders with bike lanes and plenty of cyclists out riding... another good morning for running in California. I could definitely live here. Ok, maybe not in the retirement community, but northern California was winning me over with its blue skies and warm weather and perfect roads.
Sunday we traveled down to Monterey and met the whole family for a reunion in Pacific Grove. And while it was nice there for sure, um, what happened to the HOT? Oh my it was so cold. So cold. Like shivering teeth chattering cold. And windy. I take it back. I could not live here. These temperature swings were too much for me. I followed the other option in my training plan when Monday morning came... slept in and skipped it. BRRRRR.
BUT, 2:00ish came around and while it was still not warm, my teeth weren't chattering anymore so I put my long sleeve running shirt on and headed out the door for a little jog along the coast. I told Scott I'd be back in less than an hour. But I gotta say, oh my what a beautiful gorgeous perfect run! I started out at Asilomar Beach (for those of you who know the area) and ran along a little sandy dirt trail that hugged the coastline... stunning views of the Pacific and that coastline! 3 miles later I was NOT ready to turn around so instead I followed my training plan that went something like, "If you find yourself with a very rare opportunity to run along an amazing coastline and you feel good, go as long as you want." So that's what I did. Sort of, I probably would have gone even longer had I brought any water with me (see, now I was thankful for the cold temps b/c I could run 10 miles without any water) but forced myself to turn around at 5 miles so I wouldn't end up too parched at the finish. But seriously, this was one of the best runs I've ever had. It was so so so nice.
I like making up my training as I go. One of these days I'll get back on a real plan, but for now I'm enjoying a bit of spontaneity and just doing what I feel like... And right now, I feel like I'm just glad to be home. Balmy humid air with a little breeze (and NOT cold). Ahhh. I like visiting California, but living in Hawaii is what fits.