California Dreaming

What pregnant woman wouldn't love a vacation to California in the middle of a Cleveland winter? This is the question I asked myself when my husband proposed the idea a few months ago. We'd travel separately, him for work, and me later, and meet up with three other couples in San Jose, then we'd tour wine country in Napa Valley, take a day in San Fransisco, and then fly home. It sounded perfect (if you ignore the part about not being able to actually sample any of the wine because you're pregnant).

As I left Cleveland, the weather broke into a final hissy-fit of snow as if to give me an appropriate send-off to sunnier climes. Only... they weren't sunnier climes.

Our entire visit, the temperature stayed under 55 degrees. And it rained. While this seemed like a blow to our sunny plans, the locals were overjoyed and their faces showed their delight when we brought up the weather. "I know, isn't it wonderful?" asked one vineyard grower. It's hard to give a grouchy response when he was so obviously happy. I sighed and let it go. I was unprepared for the chilly air and as a consequence developed a little cold for my trouble. It was probably Alcatraz that set me over the edge.

What Napa had to offer despite it's cold snap, was plush fertile vegetation and living beauty. While Cleveland sits for half a year under a hard casing of mud and ice, barren branches waiting for Spring, California was ripening under the soft touch of rain, cherry trees in full bloom, cyclamen lining the streets, lemons refreshing the air with their delicious clean scent. Everything was in a permanent state of Springtime. No wonder people like to live here.

We had excitement in San Francisco when we visited Alcatraz (and were even allowed to leave after).

Something about that cold, prominent rock evokes all kinds of poetry in the mind. Our boat bobbed on the waves as the island came further into view. We imagined we were being delivered here to live out the rest of our days as many men had in it's colorful history. (Below, Raymond celebrates being non-incarcerated on "The Rock.")

We were treated to a dazzling sunset behind the Golden Gate Bridge from the grounds of the prison (which is a now a National Park) then ferried back across for some hot chocolate and pizza! A good time was had by all.


Blogger Churlita said...

That sounds exciting. When we were in San Fran this Summer we wanted to go to Alcatraz, but we would have had to make a reservation two weeks before we got there, they were so busy.

13/2/09 17:11  
Blogger laura b. said...

I'm glad you had a good time in spite of the uncooperative weather. Wish we coulda done better for you ;-) But come back again sometime...and further south, too!

14/2/09 00:54  

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