The middle of December saw me packing my bags to get back home to sunny San Diego before the holiday rush at the airports began. Luckily, in between my long bus and train ride to get to Paris, and my painfully long flight from Paris to San Diego, I got to spend the day romping around the city with my friend Kelsey. Paris welcomed me back with cold, crisp weather and sunny skies.
We started the day with a picnic in the Jardin des Plantes near Kelsey’s school, then went to warm up with some mint tea at the Paris Mosque.
The rest of the afternoon was spent walking around the beautiful Parisian streets, occasionally ducking out of the cold for coffee (and later, cocktails). Then, all too soon, after an amazing girl’s night out in the city (which I really needed after 4 months in the quiet countryside) it was off to Charles de Gaulle for my early morning flight back to San Diego. It had only been 4 months since my last visit, but once people you love start having children, the time away stretches and warps in a funny way. Whereas 6 months away from home used to seem like nothing, it now seems like a small eternity: when you come home and your infant nephew has, since your last visit, become a toddler and is suddenly starting to walk and talk and has teeth like a real little man, you get this deep-seated anxiety to not miss another moment.
Once back in San Diego and recovered from my jet-lag, I got right down to the business of being sick with the stomach flu, shortly followed by a cold. After a few day quarantine, I could finally hang out with my best friends and their children without fear of spreading my cooties (even though they and everyone else in San Diego had already been sick before me). A short four days after my return my sister flew in from New York with my nephew, and the sight of all my favorite little babies playing together was enough to break my heart.
After the time being sick, my 3 weeks in San Diego was a blur of family, friends, seafood, sushi, Mexican food, wine and delicious home-cooked meals that all went by way too fast.
Before I knew it my time at home was coming to a close, and I was heading up to LA to visit my friend Kate. I took the train up, enjoying the ocean view to my left, and the hills to my right.
Once in LA, I went to see Kate’s adorable apartment on the edge of Venice/Santa Monica, and we hung out and caught up over a couple of coupes de champagne. The we went down the street a few blocks and met some of her friends for amazing cocktails at The Tasting Kitchen. All that drinking made us hungry so we headed across town to West Hollywood for dinner at The Eveleigh. This is an amazing restaurant, if ever you are looking for a place to eat in LA, I highly recommend it. The patatas bravas are a must.
Too soon my time with Kate was over, and it was time to head back to San Diego…
…but not before my sister and I got our Italian passports. What!? No more French visa malarky for me.
Once back in San Diego we just had a few more San Diego sunsets to enjoy…
…and then I piled onto a too-small airplane with my sister, brother-in-law and nephew and we left San Diego behind for New York.
My time in New York was short but sweet. I barely had 2 days there, so we made it count. We went (as per usual) for a long walk in the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens (free every Tuesday!)
I met up with my friend from San Diego, Janese. She just moved to New York in August, and has an adorable apartment and is loving her new life in the city. We also met my friend Emma (maybe you remember her from my days in Rennes?) for lunch at Ippudo, the crazy popular Ramen restaurant in Manhattan.If you ever decide to go there, I suggest going on Wednesday as it is an abnormally slow day for them, we didn’t even have to wait. If you go any other day, plan on being there by the time they open their doors at 11 (they don’t take reservations) and expect a wait of up to 40 minutes, even if you get there before it opens. Is it worth it? Yes. Don’t miss the shishito peppers.
After our divine lunch (I can never get enough Asian food when I’m not in France), we spent part of the day wandering around the Picasso exhibit at the Guggenheim and then met my dear friend from France Augusta for too many martinis at Rouge Tomate.
The next day it was off to the plane to the train to the bus and then finally back to my little nook in the middle of nowhere, and some much needed after my vacation!
It seems like forever ago already, doesn’t it? Great story and pictures. I really like the last one, of Toby in the field. Great composition, and a rare good photo of him!