I write all of these posts on the fly, trying really hard to spell check before sending them off into the wilds of the internets, but the last 10 days have found me grinding my teeth with frustration as I lose post after post to the vagaries of the internet, which is not as strong and reliable as one might think, considering my current living situation is in extremely close proximity to Silicon Valley. Today I'm lucky to have enough juice to get these photos up and out, and hopefully a little writing too.
Before and after house sits in Petaluma and San Francisco I was lucky to have an open invitation to stay with my childhood friend, Kristi. We grew up in the same town and went to school together through 8th grade, then parted company for different high schools. This is where Facebook wins, because there's no way we would have found each other again without that evil genius. If it's possible, Kristi is even more herself these days, distilled into a fiery, opinionated, hilarious, fiercely loving person capable of producing astoundingly good food and good times, seemingly out of nothing. Pro tip: when traveling, stay with a trained chef whenever possible. I've done it twice now. You won't be sorry.
Getting to Albany involved driving through an endless car wash-like situation, stopping at weird beaches with dead seals and a lot of broccoli as the flotsam-and-jetsam-of-the-day and other really nice bluffs where I met a couple from Portsmouth, NH, who were really, really hoping that the rain would ease up for their one week vacation. There was black sand, hot chocolate, and lots of bridges. There was, miracle of miracles, a dedicated parking spot at Kristi's.
Aside from the house sits, I took a couple of day trips, trying to stay out of Kristi's hair and also see the area. I drove to Agate Beach in Bolinas after driving over the Panoramic Highway, through the Muir Woods National Monument and Mt. Tamalpais State Park. I also stopped at Stinson Beach, which was freezing cold and gorgeous.
With Kristi, I walked high up into a eucalyptus grove above her house and also climbed up onto Indian Rock to watch the sun set over the bay. We visited grocery stores stuffed full of bright, fresh food and ate some of the best Thai food I've ever had at Bua Luang Thai in Albany.
Part of my time in Albany was spent figuring out my living situation in the PNW, which in turn led to me accepting a job in Seattle for a few days, and then discovering that not only did the home owner, Jill, grow up in the same town as Kristi and me, but that Kristi's dad built the house that Jill grew up in. The world keeps getting smaller and smaller - I can't wait to meet Jill in a few weeks!
Catching back up with Kristi was one of the best parts of my trip. I'm grateful that we've reconnected and that I now have a solid friendship with her all of these years later. She took really, really good care of me while I was in Albany, including being my chauffeur and tour guide in San Francisco, but we'll save that for another day, because there's simply too much to tell.