On April 28th, I moved out of my apartment in San Diego and freed myself of almost all of my possessions. I spent the next week in LA, finishing up with clients, saying goodbye to friends and organizing the last of what I decided to keep: one box of books (that I didn't have time to distribute amongst friends), one box of paperwork (that the government tells us to have) and one box of items that were gifted to me (that I wasn't ready to part with yet). Whatever was left crawled into my suitcase and a little over a week later, I headed up the coast in the other supposed material necessity that I have yet to part with; my Subaru Crosstrek.
After a straight drive to Ashland, OR (my favorite stop when driving up and down the coast), I grabbed a room at the Best Western Bard's Inn (it is my beloved Shakespeare's festival town, after all) and, not realizing this at the time, had the last peaceful full day and night by myself that I would have for a month. I left first thing in the morning after having this epiphany: "When you put yourself under a microscope, you better be prepared for the scrutiny." I stopped to see a friend for a lovely lunch in Vancouver, WA, right across the river from Portland and then dove, head first, into a month of insanity that I was not prepared for.
Seattle can only be SO insane. Let's be real; it's Seattle. But considering I was visiting two of my oldest and dearest friends, Lisa from the Bronx and Ingrid, who grew up with me on Staten Island, you max out the month's insanity quotient for all of Washington State. We really didn't do very much but spend girl time together...and eat..and drink (oh, and boy time when my sweet friend and videographer, Roberto, joined us). Yes, this was the beginning of a month-long challenge to see how much bread, cheese and alcohol I could consume. As with my forgotten alone time, I was not aware of this at the time either. The plan was to have a "clean" diet beginning the next day. Everyday.
After four short days of celebrating life with my BFFs, I dropped my car off at Lisa's, hopped in an Uber for Seatac and got on a plane to Washington, DC to see family that I had not seen in seven and half years. Which reminds me, the trip has been highly emotional from the first exit: leaving my paragliding crew in San Diego, goodbyes to many dear friends and my yoga tribe in Los Angeles and yet another parting with two people that are family to me. So then, I was to see my niece, nephew and great niece for only a day and a half after a far too long separation. Bittersweet it was. It's an amazing blessing having people to love all over the world. And it sucks, too. My reunion with my eldest sister's kids was wonderful and poignant at the same time. I only have a few relatives that I know. I don't like being so far away from them. I'm usually impervious to these emotions. Not this time.
The weekend was filled with girlie things to do and before I knew it, I was rising at 5am to get to the airport. Part 2 of the journey was about to begin.
Traveling with 100lbs of luggage is not recommended. Why in God's name was it that heavy, you ask? Well, my trip to Europe is to teach yoga and paraglide, and I have a tank for a glider and a massive harness that is way too heavy. I also had nearly 20lbs of cookies that were donated by Lenny and Larry's (the best vegan cookie on the planet guys) for our retreat and clinic. So at least now when I get on a plane, it will be only 80lbs of luggage...
Europe. To be continued...