Well I guess I'm back in Cambridge. The weather in California was so perfect that this chilly slush weather is like a slap in the face. We took a walk at Surf Beach last Tuesday with James's dad and sister Connie and two dogs. It was so wonderfully warm that I took off my sweater to feel the sunshine on my bare arms. How could that be December? Unfortunately I also caught a cold while in California (go figure), and I'm now fighting off the remains of it here in Cambridge. I'm at the stage where I'm not really sick enough to not do anything useful, but my nostrils are getting all dry and flaky from all the tissue usage. Bwahh!
Anyway, James and I really did have a great break. We spent the first week in San Diego with my family, doing some last-minute holiday shopping and cooking lots of goodies for xmas. We caught up with some old Berkeley friends, who are always as awesome as I remember, and ate a bunch of Mexican food. We took my parents' dogs, Chuckie and Buffy, for a long walk in the crazy Christmas-Card Lane neighborhood, and enjoyed the sunshine coming through the corner windows in the house. My relatives came down from LA on Christmas day, and we had a tasty late lunch ending with a delicious chocolate tart made by Ayesha. (Yum.) Then Dad insisted that we all go over to the house of this Sri Lankan friend of theirs, who was having a big celebration at their similarly big house. Of course, we managed to arrive right as they were saying a prayer before their dinner, and we noticed this as we walked to the front door and saw about 60 people through the window, all holding hands and bowing heads... so we awkwardly stood outside the front door in silence for like 15 min, pretending we weren't there! Especially since most of us had never met any of those people! Our entrance was still the epitomy of awkward, but sometimes I expect nothing less from my parents. ;)
Anyway, James and I took an Amtrak train up to Lompoc the next morning - actually it took the entire day to get there. By that time I probably needed a break from my lovely family, and he was really itching to spend time with his. We crashed with his brother Jason and his wife Jeanne, and spent most days hanging around at various people's houses, cruising around town in the giant tank of a wood-paneled station wagon, eating tasty oatmeal prepared by James's dad, laughing at Wally dog. My cold started right when we arrived there, which was super lame, in addition to the fact that I seem to be allergic to most dogs and cats these days. Lame. But we had a great time, and it was really good to see everyone!
Our journey back to Cambridge was not too fun, starting with the drive to Santa Barbara airport, where I started to feel carsick, a feeling that seemed to linger with me for the rest of the day. We took a really small plane to our layover in Denver, and there was so much turbulence before landing that I was seriously not happy. And here I vow never to book a flight on such a small plane ever again! Hopefully I remember this vow next time I'm booking flights!
Well, back to work tomorrow. I really needed that break.