The Last Three Days

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First off, I’m sorry I haven’t written anything of substance for the last couple of days. Things have been really busy on this vacation and I’ve gotten in with just enough energy in the tank to say “I’ll get you tomorrow” twice and then go immediately to bed.So today’s blog post is going to cover the last three days – Saturday, Sunday, and today.

Saturday was the day that my wife’s best friend held a party in her her honor. We went over to their place early so we could help get things ready. My wife and her best friend mostly cleaned (I helped some) and I mostly did homework and played Secret World Legends in an attempt to occupy my wife’s best friend’s three year old. (Trying to play a game in a zombie-infested town in rural Maine with a toddler watching is very interesting, and pretty amusing. About every fifteen to twenty seconds I was asked what I was doing, and then that was followed by a litany of “why?” until the next time to ask what I was doing came around. This was occasionally interrupted when it was pointed out that I was running down the middle of the street – a perfectly safe thing to do, since all vehicles were either abandoned or being used as a barricade – because you shouldn’t walk in the street. So I had to use the sidewalk for the better part of my gaming session. Oh, and I couldn’t jump over fences either. It was cute.) The party that evening was not a big one, there were sixteen people there total, but there were only six of those people that I knew before the party, and three of the attendees were children, so this was a big test of my anxiety. I had to be social for hours with strangers, and all while the kids were playing fairly to really loudly indoors. I did really well, however. I talked with everyone at least a little bit, had a few protracted conversations with people I’d just met, and only went outside twice to get a little peace from the noise of several conversations mingling with kids at play. We were among the last to leave, and I genuinely had a good time.

Sunday was the day that we went to do the one touristy thing that I asked to do during this trip, that being to see the Golden Gate Bridge. We got into San Francisco and traffic started getting worse the closer we were to the city, and then we hit the area around Golden Gate Park and traffic came to a complete standstill. It took us well over 30 minutes to travel a mile through the worse gridlock I’ve ever seen in person. We were on our way to a particular spot to see the bridge, and on the way we missed our turns twice, complicating the trip even further. With the second miss, we had committed to actually crossing the bridge, which we did just long enough to turn around and come back, and finally traveling this way the way to my pre-ordained spot was clear. There was traffic, however, and no place to park, so there were some hurried photos taken before we had to drive on. One of those photos is above, and the significance of the place is that it is marked on Google Maps as the future home of Star Trek’s Starfleet Academy. For those that have seen the movies, the background of this photo might look a little familiar. Once we finished there, we started searching around for a place to refill our loaner car, and once we’d done that, we headed off to meet a fellow DJ from the radio station. We had a great visit with him, probably a couple hours at least, and then we dropped him off at the BART station to head back home, and we then drove to my wife’s best friend’s house for dinner and conversation for a few more hours before heading back to where we are staying for the night.

This morning we went around to some of the communities around the San Jose area just seeing what the towns looked like. I saw some places that were notable from my wife’s childhood, as well as a few tourist locations, including Winchester Mystery House and the new Apple Park complex. We also took a considerable amount of time to find a particular business that was very near and dear to our hearts, and after looking in three places using two mapping applications, we finally arrived at the corporate office for the Society for Creative Anachronism, the historical re-creation organization that my wife and I have been part of for around 20 years and that we met through. Having reached our fill of driving around, we went back to where we’re staying and took a nap.

Tonight will be a big dinner at our hosts’ house, with the two of them, their younger son – my wife’s best friend – and his family, and the two of us. It’ll be a last chance to visit with all of them before we start packing things up in preparation to fly home early tomorrow morning.

This has been an incredible trip. I’ve gotten to see a lot of the Bay Area and know now why the cost of living here is so expensive – the place is utterly gorgeous. More importantly, I’ve had the opportunity to see places and meet people that are important to my wife. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It has been twenty years since my wife was last here in California, and these last few days have been some of the best she’s had since we got together over seventeen years ago. I have made promises to several people that it will not be another twenty years before we come back to visit. There’s still so much that I haven’t seen, and I want her friends and me to have the opportunity to get to know one another better.

Tomorrow’s going to be a hectic day. Besides the flight, I have a lot of studying to do in preparation for a biology quiz on Wednesday and an algebra test on Thursday. I genuinely hope I do well – I would prefer not to have more grades that are on the low side, especially on that test. While the low quiz score will be dropped, that won’t be the case with the test, and I’ve been doing a lot of my work up to this point open-book, something that the testing center won’t allow. If I can get through this week, I think school will be easier to handle for a while.

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