Friday, April 15, 2011


Last weekend the kids and I headed to Santa Rosa to spend four days with my sister, her hubby, their adorable little baby Seamus, and my big bro. My sister planned the trip months ago and arranged it around my kid’s spring break. I consulted the kid’s school website on the dates they'd be out of school in April. Michelle promptly bought her tickets and arranged lodging, only to find out a week before the trip was scheduled that the website hadn’t been updated in a year and the dates listed were for the kids spring break from last year.   If there is a way to screw something up I always find a way.  I remedied the problem by pulling my kids out of school for two days.

It was the first time I drove all the way up the California coast without Aaron. It was relaxing. I had full control of where we stopped, what we listened to, and the route I took. It was liberating. 

In my opinion there is nothing better than a road trip. They are intoxicating. I like to think that my kids have gypsy or maybe tinker blood in them what with the way they take to travel. They settle back and watch the rows of crops whoosh past  while enjoying the mountain backdrops.  they even note the amount of cows or a bird with red on the tips of its wing. They are fantastic travelers. The ride was harmonious with the exception of Amelia’s need to constantly sing which annoyed the boys to no end.

Michelle rented a house up on a hill on the grounds of a vineyard. It looked like a postcard.  I felt like we were on a movie set and that at any moment Jude Law would emerge from the flowery hill next to our cottage with a bottle of deep red wine. We filled our days exploring wine country and walking around the grounds of the vineyard. Roger, my bro, who lives 40 minutes from the cottage, was a no show the whole time until the night before our scheduled departure.

The kids adore him so they kept asking "when is he coming! When!" He is moving away from San Francisco for good in a few weeks.   His life is crammed packed with loose ends, work, and saving for his upcoming move to Chicago.  Still, despite all the worries in his life right now, I had a tiny feeling in the back of my mind that he didn’t care to spend time with us at all. It appeared that to him seeing us was more of a chore than anything else. I felt all those old childhood feelings bubbling up again. I have always had a deep admiration for my brother but at the same time I have never felt completely loved by him. There is a small part of me that always feels like I need to prove myself worthy of his love.  I find myself behaving like a child trying my hardest to impress him.  I don’t know where that comes from or if my feelings are warranted but nonetheless they are there every time I see him. I think this is the first time I fully recognized the way he makes me feel.

On Sunday when the kids and I pulled out of the winery driveway in my dusty pickup truck to head all the way back to San Diego I wished more than anything that I lived closer to my family. The biggest adjustment I had to overcome when I first moved to San Diego was being so far away from them. I am used to it now but every now and then I feel an intense homesickness for my family. A weekend with them just isn’t long enough. Next time I’ll have to stay longer.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I wrote this week's San Diego Reader cover.  This story was the bane of my existence for nearly two months because I got so caught up in trying to make it perfect.  I awkwardly interviewed numerous western world enthusiasts and pretended to be professional.  I loved/hated every minute of it.  I am super proud of this article because it was way out of my comfort zone.  It was the most challenging article I have ever written. I learned so much.  The best part--I got paid to do something I enjoy.