Yesterday we rented a car, a crappy Chevy with lots of leg room. My dad complained that it made him feel as though he was driving an old man car, his father's car, and we all pointed out that since he had just turned 49, he WAS verging on being old. 6 more years and they'll let him into a Senior's only living residence, if he so chooses.
We drove South, our destination being Carmel, but on the way we passed through a gloriously strange little place known as the artichoke capitol of the WORLD. My fam is weird; from a young age we've all adored steamed whole artichokes, dipped in melted butter with lemon juice, and so for us, this was some strange version of heaven. We bought some fresh, for dinner later, and ate lunch at a BBQ place with sawdust on the floor and heavy farm boys hunched over their ribs in the corner.
We stopped at some beaches, played on the sand and clambered over some rocks. The water was cold, icy, not the mellow temperature of the Mediterranean and the Agean such as I've been used to the past few years, but the numbing cold of my childhood in Vancouver. Carmel though was beautiful, with white sands and adorable tiny cottages probably worth millions. As the sun was setting we drove for another 45 minutes south on Highway 1, revelling in the twists and the turns and the sun reflecting off the sea.
We got back into the city in the pitch black evening. That, too, was special, because we found an Oldies station on the radio (hits of the 60's, 70's, 80's), and my mom and dad knew all them, and us kids knew most of them, so we sang songs for an hour driving along the dark highway. And then we had artichokes for dinner and they were spectacular, way more meaty than the old things we get shipped to us now, and the best flavour and the biggest hearts. So tasty.
And then this morning we woke up at 5 a.m., tugged on cold clothes and shivered our way to the airport in the dark before dawn, foggy minded and quiet. On the flight home I watched Breakfast at Tiffany's on my ipod for the 20th time, and vowed to try and be more like Holly Golightly. Graceful, flippant, kind, and the host of the best parties. The snow on the ground over E-town was shocking, but now I am home in my clean, art-filled basement with a load of laundry in, new clothes hung up, and the fireplace roaring. Finally, on my own! I think tonight I will watch Harry Potter, eat chocolate, and go to bed early. My mind is too filled to write much more coherently than that.