Just got home and I sure would like one of these right now... Mmmm... Key Lime pie...martini. Yes, that's pie crust around the edge of the glass.
It was a fantastic trip. The flight out was uneventful. Julie greeted me at the airport and wisked me away for the traditional coming out pie. The West Coast version comes in martini form. We drank our martinis and moved on to the next event: sushi. Sushi eating with Julie is not just a meal; it's an event. There's no dainty nibbling on a roll or two and a few pieces of fish. The table is filled and everyone feasts. Now, that's the way to eat sushi! And, by golly, it was good. Sushi in my new city sucks. It was good to have it in a place where folks know how it's done.
After we feasted, we headed to Julie's place where I got to meet the cats. Max, the 14-year-old boy kitty, welcomed me warmly. Deuce hid. In fact, she hid the entire time I was there. I suspect Julie got an earful after I left today, because Deuce seemed to have an opinion about the strange woman in her house. I'd gladly tell you what she looks like, but frankly, I never got much opportunity to see her and when I did, all I saw were eyes...big, scared, nervous eyes. I hope she's recovering.
Max, on the other hand, is really an old black man in a cat's body. His soulful face leaves you with the expectation that he'll break into the blues at any moment. He loves to drink water from a bottle cap, and he seemed to develop an abiding affection for my Birkenstocks. This morning, he helped me pack.
The morning after I arrived, I got up and took a run through Julie's neighborhood. There's a Buddhist temple on the street I ran, so on the way back I stopped and walked around for a bit. On the run, I was reminded of all the things I love most about California...the rich cultural and religious diversity, the green (or golden, depending on the time of year) rolling hills that run in and out of the Bay Area, and the fantastic food of all varieties imaginable. I was also reminded of the things I hate most...traffic, houses so close together they practically share walls, and high prices ($3.16 per gallon for gas nearly made me pass out).
After I took a shower, Julie made breakfast for me. My plate was full of eggs with Irish cheese, hash browns, toast....and....grits. For a moment I thought it was a set-up, a test to see if I would honor her picky, provincial rules about grits. But then in a true gesture of friendship, she handed me a big carton of sugar and graciously accepted my way of eating them, in her own home no less. Now that's a true friend! And, boy can she cook. It was good. I ate every bite, and just an hour or so later went out for lunch with her, and had a salad. This would set a pattern for the rest of the trip. I truly ate well.
I'll post more later about Yosemite. Right now, I've got laundry to do and a cat to enjoy!