Yes, I know I have been a terrible blogger lately. But for good reason—I was in California for a quick visit, most notably to celebrate a friend’s birthday in Monterey. Some highlights of the trip:
- Going kayaking among the sea otters with Cherie, Chris, Donna, John, Michele, Tim, and Tori in Monterey. We were on the water for about four hours, including having a serene group lunch.
- Staying at a posh hotel (the Portola Plaza) with super comfy beds, a pool and hot tub. Remarkably, despite having the most comfortable beds I’ve ever slept on, most of the others got very little sleep due to 1) a Friday night party that somehow I didn’t hear (sound sleeper), 2) seagulls that would let out primordial screams at, say, 4:00 a.m., and 3) other patrons yapping on their cell phones on the balconies, including a guy who yelled on his phone at 6:00 a.m., “I’m calling you from the balcony so that I wouldn’t disturb anyone…”
- A scrumptious group dinner for Tori’s b-day at Montrio Bistro that ended up costing $90/head. “This is quite different than our $1.75 meals in Panama, huh?” Tori later asked me that night. Well, it really was a gorgeous dinner and I guess once a year is okay, especially for one of my best friends…
- Getting to know Michele better and being her carpool/weekend hangout buddy.
- Lisa taking me out to lunch at a chocolate factory for my birthday (which just so happens to be the day before Tori’s), and then Sarah taking me out to an Indian dinner later that evening. Thanks!
- Going for a walk with a 73-year-old friend/cycling enthusiast Joe around the Lafayette Reservoir, along with visiting his nice home in the hills which he had lived in for an astounding 29 years. Joe is probably the healthiest 70-something I know.
- Finally getting to meet A.J.‘s new wife Melina, who is just as cool as A.J. said. We had a lot of laughs over BBQ that night.
- Running 2.4 miles while Stacey—now on her second year with a new pair of transplanted lungs—followed behind on her bicycle. She could keep up most of the way!
- Getting crushed by Stacey during an hour of badminton like an energetic high school student playing hoops against Michael Jordan. I was running/lunging all over the place and was really proud of myself for returning a lot of her hits, but her placement was always too good, whereas I unwittingly kept hitting the birdie right to her. I now know why Stacey was the gold medalist in badminton in the Transplant Olympics last year.
- Going swimming in Stacey and Ann’s pool.
- Having sushi with Alyssa, Ann, and Stacey and then climbing with Alyssa. I couldn’t stick around long enough to do 10 climbs with her like last time, but we had fun even if I kept complaining that I couldn’t high-step like Alyssa can.
- Driving back to Fort Collins, CO with Tori and Chris (who were going rock climbing in Wyoming afterwards). Despite stopping for at least an hour, we made it in less than 18 hours—a new record for me and quite a bit faster than when I did a similar trip in the MG.
- Showing Chris and Tori around Fort Collins, including my neighborhood, Old Town, Horsetooth, and Nick and Dana’s new home with fantastic views of Horsetooth. Nick and Dana had a BBQ for us and some of their friends visiting from Denver and New York.
Unfortunately I forgot to bring a camera for most of these things (ironic considering how both Tori and my dad gave me new digital cameras a month ago as early b-day presents) so I have no photos aside from the ones shown on this page. Some of the others took photos but it seems to take them quite a while to post them (hint hint, Tori!)
I also apologize to all of my other friends in the Bay Area I could not visit this time. Due to the time constraints I could only spend time in one quadrant of the bay (mostly the East Bay) and missed virtually every one of you on the peninsula. Well, next time!
Update 7/25/07: Cherie has posted photos from Monterey. Hooray!