California Love

I’m looking forward to my last fun-filled weekend as a full fledged California resident: a bachelorette party for my friend C, who is getting married this coming August. Her sister organized the bulk of it – cruise stylie with events, outings and meals planned – at this amazing house in Sonoma County. Can’t wait to go, even if my tan from my trip to Playa del Carmen is fading (while I perceive myself to be “white” my real “white” friends find me to be quite dark!)There is nothing I enjoy more than celebrating my friends and in this case, I am so happy to be there, given that in TWELVE DAYS, I’m leaving for Santiago. Can we say a Charlie Brown style “Ack!!!??”

Keeping in mind this upcoming weekend – one weekend – I can pinpoint SO MANY things I’m going to feel nostalgic about when I move. Almost like those cartoon drawings in the magazine “Highlights” where you have to find what’s different/missing in one picture when compared to another. Off the bat, allow me to briefly state just a morsel of things I’ll miss/grieve/look upon fondly on:

1.) Sonoma and/or Napa County. While Chile does have it’s own wine trails and tourist attractions with regards to wines, nothing beats the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Especially when you’ve grown up taking trips with girlfriends to go wine tasting. This is the kind of stuff that people from the Bay Area take for granted. I know because that’s me! It’s always there, so what’s to miss? Growing up in San Fran and then in the Bay Area, it’s like a right of passage to head to Napa with the girlfriends, sometimes even going all out and renting a wine bus and/or a limo, just for shits and giggles.

2.) Road trip with girlfriends. The first road trip I can recall going on was with some friends from high school, including one of my current bff’s – S. That kid was a rebel child disguised as one of those goody two shoes, ballet/drama style kids. I loved her to pieces for the ball of drama that she was then and love her to pieces more so now. We decided to go with some other gf’s to Carmel – of all places – and when we got there, we practically passed out from boredom. What did we do? We
decided to take the car down to the next town over – no less than Santa Barbara. You don’t need a map of Northern California to know that Carmel IS NOT and never was, the next town over from Santa Barbara. I guess we had fun though, but the next year beat out any fun we may have had in CA, when we decided to drive to Lake Havasu, Arizona for no other reason than because the MTV Beach House had been there the year before. I don’t recall much about that trip except laughing about the town of Blythe, California. It’s the last town before you cross on over to Arizona, and let me tell you, there is NOTHING to see here. In fact, we

tapped into “Wayne‘s World” and just kept repeating “Hi, we’re in Blythe” all the while walking in place, waving like Queen Elizabeth. Come to think of it, this one event sums up many-a-less-than-stellar encounters I’ve experienced in recent years. The whole “WTF” thought process can easily be replaced with “Hi, I’m in Blythe.” A void encounter. No jazz-hands, if you will.

Wait – speaking of road trips – there was also the time we drove to San Diego, crossed over to Tijuana with some random people and consequently GOT DETAINED there when I failed to show my Chilean passport to the border authorities (why would I carry that thing on a road trip?!!). They asked “What is your country of citizenship” and all I had to say was “United States” but I just couldn’t LIE!!! I couldn’t do it man… and still can’t!! Ugh! I was almost left there to rot and right now would not be telling this story, were it not for S and some random peeps paying the Federales a good $200 to see me through the border to the other side….
Hmmmm…on second thought, let’s never speak of this incident again.

Where was I?

3.) Sha-MONE!!! A couple of people will know precisely what I mean by this and for the rest of you let me just say, I’ll miss the road trip mix CDs/tapes/iPod playlists. I would go into more detail than this but after I finish explaining it I’m just going to move on to realize that you had to be there and then I’ll wonder why I bothered taking up blog space.

4.) Sunny California… there’s a reason we’re the object of bitter envy and jealousy. We’re from California and no other place is as bad ass as this one. Mind you, I’ll find and embrace the beauty that Chile has to offer having already been lucky enough to witness a lot of it…but something like California? No way. The cheese stands alone.

I feel like I’ve veered off topic but the object of this blog entry was to remind myself (and you while I’m at it) of all that I take for granted being a native Californian. Stuff that I wonder if I’ll ever embrace again with such casual ambivalence as I have done so my entire life here. Or will I just come back and forever more be the returning tourist, wearing the San Francisco fleeces (or worse, socks and crocs – aaaaaahh!)

Oh my sweet, dear, chocolate covered, Cali … what homage can I pay to thee that the great ones haven’t already paid?

(And by ‘the great ones’ I do mean, Dr Dre and Tupac. Naturally.)
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