So, when we first arrived (literally the first night), Dee came down with a wretched cold that his big brother generously shared during the plane flight over. We tossed and turned and sat up and back patted and offered sips of water and rubbed our eyes and somehow we made it through the night. There are times when its really nice to be two people parenting and not just one. We just kind of traded off when it got insane and we were wishing for toothpicks to hold our eyes open and between the two of us we both managed to scrape up survival levels of sleep. The next night was the worst (although mercifully Ru has improved more and more and has been sleeping like an angel every night) and then we had one more wretched night at A's maternal relative's home. The great mercy here was that they had us set up in two separate rooms (intended to be kid and parent quarters) but what it actually allowed was for the "off duty" parent to get some quiet, closed door sleep while the other person took a shift. A and I both slept more deeply, even though there were still not really any more hours of shut eye between us. But folks, that was the blush of dawn on the horizon...last night there was no wheezing and many fewer wakings and so much less anguished wailing. Praises be...we felt downright normal in the morning. So, here we sit, preparing to dig into the quilts at a new mom and pop joint and we have every hope of getting decent rest for the second night in a row and ending up positively giddy on the road to Hearst Castle in the morning! *glorious whoops of victory all round*
What else has happened? Well, both A and I were surprised how sane and reasonable San Francisco struck us. New York feels considerably more grubby, fast paced and harried. A even ventured to say that San Fran felt like a "town" to him and although I would personally never go that far, I do have to agree that it doesn't have the staggering metropolis feel that NYC feels swathed in. We're both curious how L.A. will strike us.
Another surprising bit has been the fact that besides San Francsico and of course Los Angeles and San Diego (which we know are looming down the coast ahead of us), California feels like a long and fairly empty state full of wilderness, big trees, empty tracts of land, long winding roads and scattered small towns here and there for punctuation. We can't get over how the dominant conception of the state is materialism, city, urban, glitz and yet the real sum total of the state seems more like wilderness with a couple token cities. I guess, its a little like New York state that way although on a larger scale. New York-staters (I hesitate to write New Yorkers) are always complaining that they are not reasonably represented by New York City. Upstate has so little to do with the rush of Midtown. A and I are have learned that we need to quickly check our cell phone messages and rush to update our directions and mapping plans in the cities and bit towns we pass through because big swathes of the state have no cell coverage of any kind and are quite remote feeling, albeit really beautiful, keeps us on our toes with planning and is taking apart our conceptions and silly constructions.
Right now we're spending the night in Big Sur, one of those big wildnerness areas I mentioned, a redwood scattered, turquoise bathed coast with giant black rocks sticking out of the sea cliffs where our path, Highway 1 winds on and on. We both find it curious that the west and east coasts have a Hwy.1 that runs the length of the shore! We never noticed before. We're starting to toss around the idea of reproducing our idea here on the Altantic Coast just for kicks. A nine day drive from our home in Connecticut (or better yet from the top of Maine!) all the way down to Florida's tippy toe. Sounds like fun, no? Sounds like even more fun, knowing that someday I will be un-pregnant and that this imaginary trip might very well fall in that space in time.
(putting my puffy ankles up on the dash as we cross the Golden Gate Bridge)
The shine, I'm afraid, has worn off. I'm good and ready to have my body back. I think this week was the first time I've started to really feel like, "Okay, all this other stuff is all well and good but, I think when we get home...job number one needs to be Baby." I'm ready to be done. I can't wait to feel comfortable again, I can't wait to lie on my own stomach, I can't wait to just be alone in my own skin, call me an introvert...I'm ready for some personal space. I am also of course so excited to meet the baby and very interested in getting home and having a little time to get organized before the actually make an entrance etc. etc. BUT...but but but....I'm up for the next stage. Its time to be un-pregnant good and soon folks and that's the way it ought to be right about now.
So, that's the scoop at the moment, friends...life is good, California is different but different/good and we're about halfway down the state, squiggling our way towards my warren of maternal cousins in Orange County.
And one more thing...(how crazy is this bit of familial info that A and I just put together)....we both have, Aunt Nancys...who live in California, are teachers by profession and had sons named Matt. What are the odds, people? Nuts. Life is just wild.
So, goodnight California, quirks and wackiness and double-takes galore...we're glad we're here and we'll see more of you in the morning.