Thursday, July 21, 2011

GAWA2011, Day 14: The Last Chapter

By the time the last day of our trip was upon us, we had become so lethargic that the thought of putting effort into the day was nearly beyond us. We drove about half an hour before we found ourselves at a neighborhood Starbucks, sipping iced coffees and killing time before our first meet-up of the day.

Early afternoon found us knocking on the door of my coffee-swilling, book-devouring, conversationally-enhanced, plotty-fingered friend Marie. Don't get me wrong: we had a great visit! But if I were to go back, here are a few things I would change.

  1. We would have exchanged secret code words before she opened the front door.
  2. There would have been an explosion of some sort.
  3. We would have taken pictures jumping off her cat. Or her son. (I'm not picky on the details.... but there would have been pictures.)
And that's about it! Other than those elements, it was a perfect visit, including fresh coffee, a spirited discussion of the works of one Connie Willis, a visitation from His Fourthness, and a dialogue that rocketed around like nobody's business. Unfortunately, it was a short visit, since Alissa and I were due in San Diego for an early dinner with yet more friends.

Late afternoon found us checking into the Vagabond Inn on Mission Boulevard and preparing for a night out. As the afternoon hours passed, I became increasingly giddy as I anticipating hanging out with one of my favorite friends, ever.

<3 Dreaming

Dreah and I first met in China in 2004, and since my return to the United States the following year, we've been blessed to see each other at least once a year since then. Interestingly, we don't always plan to meet up, but with the way that we both travel, we wind up being in the same place at the same time more than you would anticipate. Incidentally, Dreah is also the unwitting catalyst to the entire Great American West Adventure: had I not gone out to her wedding in San Diego in May of 2010, Alissa and I would never have started talking about the San Diego Rock n' Roll Marathon, and then where would we be?! It doesn't bear thinking!

ANYWAY. Dreah and her husband Matt met us for some mouth-watering Mexican food in Old Town. Since we all had to be up early the next day, we intended to have an early dinner and make it an early night, but we there was just so much to talk about, and we were having so much fun that we didn't tear ourselves away and make it back to the hotel until around 10:00pm. As quickly as we could, Alissa and I repacked our bags and laid out our clothes for the next morning.

Morning came quickly.

We were up by 4:00, dropped off the rental by 5:00, checked in with the airline by 6:00, and were in the air shortly after 7:00. Despite our early start, flying cross-country takes some time, not to mention the three hours we lost flying back.

All things said and done, it was dinner time by the time Alissa's boyfriend picked us up at the airport and started us north on I-95 for home.

* * * * *

And so it ended. Neither one of us stayed put for long, though. Alissa left a few days later for more summer travels in Pennsylvania, Maine, Ohio, and the Caribbean, while within forty-eight hours, I had driven 800+ miles up the eastern seaboard to Lynchburg, VA.

Although our summers were far from over, The Great American West Adventure 2011 had passed into the annals of history.

Tune in during the summer of 2012 as Ruth and Bethany head down across the equator to New Zealand, where all the seasons are backwards and people walk upside-down!

Until then, here's hoping Ruth finds something else to blog about.

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