life updates: california edition

// Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hi. I’ve been radio silent for a while – I’ve alluded, briefly, to the fact that there were big changes on the horizon, that I was thinking in futures, but I never actually got around to writing that post when I wanted to write it. I didn’t have an appreciation for just how much goes into moving, for how little time there is to do all the things and see all the people and pack up an entire life. The image above is my bedroom from my apartment, after everything was all emptied out. It was my first real post-college apartment: a wonderful space shared with a wonderful human, with a kitchen that I will likely always kind of miss (because as far as I can figure, kitchens like that do not exist in California; neither do pine floors), and the best light (kitchen in morning, living room in afternoon). I’ll write more about that space when I’m in a place where writing about the apartment and (formerly) local things seems like an exercise in good nostalgia and not just writing about last month. Or I’ll write about it next week, if I manage to properly sort through my pictures and/or get some film (!) developed.

In keeping with my recent trend of burying the lead, all of this is to say that I now living in California in the East Bay. My boyfriend finished his PhD (!), got a job offer out here, and accepted said job offer – and we decided we would move out here together. So! That’s what we did: my last day at my job in Massachusetts was August 20th, the movers came on August 21st, and we started driving west on August 22nd. (It made sense, for a variety of reasons, for me to do it that way, but in an ideal situation I absolutely would’ve tried to have at least a few days off in between work and moving to allow for…less frenzied last minute details and packing and seeing more people. Because I was as prepared as I could be, and super organized, but there was only so much that could be tangibly, physically done until the last few days.)

leaving-massachusettsEn route to leave Massachusetts on August 22nd, possibly the last time my car will be driven on 93?? That’s weird to realize. I’m definitely going to be visiting family and such, but I feel like the chances of me driving across the country to do that (versus flying) are slim.

ca-leaving-oregonLeaving Oregon/entering California! For some reason, California is the only state we entered that didn’t have any sort of “California welcomes you!” sign, so this is the best I’ve got. But still! This was on Friday, September 4th: who doesn’t plan to end a road trip with a ten hour day of driving on the Friday of Labor Day Weekend??? (We got lucky and didn’t hit much traffic at all, but whooooops.)

I’m currently sitting in a local coffee shop, bouncing between reading things to apply to and drafting a cover letter and this, but the overhead play is Matchbox 20, and that is much more writing music than it is professional cover letter writing music. And it’s ‘Real World’, so I mean, if the lyric of the song is I wish the real world would just stop hassling me… So, you know. Blogging. (Also: I kid. I don’t mind the real world at all; I am very much looking forward to having a job again and a routine that involves coworkers. I’ve been hitting the job search hard; I’m just trying to get better about fitting in the personal things that are important to make time for.)

I have a lot I want to write about: a review/recommendation/love letter to Forge Baking Company (and in double checking that that link was correct, I just realized they have online ordering. Guys, seriously, once I’m employed again: mail order business to California?); my final summer 2015 weeks in and around Boston; our road trip out here; how I’m adjusting and liking California so far (spoiler alert, I like it a lot); and all the other things that I’ve been meaning to write and can’t think of right now. But right now, really, I just wanted to check in: to say I’m still here, just three thousand miles away from where here was the last time I wrote; to say that things are good, even if there’s still a lot I’m trying to get done; to start getting back into blogging again, because I’m not thrilled with myself that it’s been over two months since my last post, but it also makes sense, because there was so much more to do than I think I’d realized with regards to moving.

I obviously will be posting a lot more pictures, and a lot more about the trip out west. We viewed it as a true vacation road trip: highlights include the Badlands, SD; Mount Rushmore; Shoshone National Forest; Yellowstone; Jackson Hole, WY; and Portland, OR. But for now, here’s a few pictures from California thus far (and apologies if you follow me on instagram and some of these are repeats):

ca-nightstandA partial glimpse at where we’re currently staying. We’re lucky to be able to stay with (and rent from) friends while we look for a place of our own. Apartment hunting from here is difficult-ish; I can’t imagine how hard this would’ve been to do from Massachusetts. I also am quite amused by the fact that the accent wall is very much my color scheme. (File under: things that make me happy, things that make it feel like home, even if a temporary one.) ALSO: all my plants survived the road trip!! The spider plant is living inside a tiny bit worse for wear after breaking a few leaves in the car (but it’s growing again!), and my succulents are all outside. One of the succulents is a little sad because I didn’t appropriately increase the water for 105 degree direct sun from how I was watering it when it lived inside on my nightstand in Massachusetts, but the other two are flourishing. At least for now, i’m counting that as a win.

ca-coffee-morningsA typical morning for me now. I’ll be happier when this includes a desk of some kind, but for now I’m loving being able to sit outside and drink coffee out of my Diesel Cafe mug and look at a whole bunch of succulents and cacti in the backyard.

ca-palm-tree-sunset:). Sunsets and palm trees are great.

ca-las-trampasLas Trampas Regional Wildness. I’ve only seen a tiny portion of it so far – there are “5,342 acres of wilderness” with a whole bunch of trails. It’s pretty great, but it’s also going to take me a while to get used to the fact that sometimes “hiking” means “walking up a gravel path hill with no trees” – but that said, one you walk up the gravel path road with no trees, you get to a place with trees and roots that feels more like hiking in New England, only you’re walking on weird slippery sand-like dirt. But it was super pretty once we got up to the top of the trail we were walking on.

More posts to come soon. As I’ve mentioned, I have a lot I want to write about. It’s good to be writing here again.

Travel Thursday: Roadtrip to Minnesota via Instragram

// Thursday, April 2, 2015

So! In putting together this post and going through pictures, it occurred to me that I never actually got around to writing the post I meant to write about roadtripping out to Minneosta in December to visit my boyfriend’s family for pre-Christmas Christmas: I want to talk about the drive out there, about time spent playing tourist, about the coffee. And I plan to do that one of these days – or, at the very least, write a review/cheer/love letter to Five Watt Coffee in Minneapolis, which was amazing. I’m hoping to do that soon (god am I behind in things I want to write about, while also trying to write actual words in a way that is not just documenting, but. There is time, and I will make more.)

But anyways: for now, I’ve decided to structure Travel Thursdays in such a way that I’m working my way backwards. Last week was the BVI, from January; the next couple of weeks will be about Minneosta, from December; and so on. I was originally going to make the roadtrip to Minnesota and time spent in Minnesota one post, but after going through only iPhone pictures (admittedly we didn’t take many DSLR pictures on this trip but there are still more than a handful), I only managed to narrow it down to twenty-two pictures. Which seems like kind of a lot, and more than a little overwhelming to read/view in one post. This week is the roadtrip; next week likely will be the rest.

Without further ado: a roadtrip to Minneosta via Instagram (and some regular iPhone pictures). Also, an adorable puppy that I very much wanted to transport back with us to Massachusetts.

tt2-01-dieselPre-roadtrip coffee and breakfast at Diesel Cafe in Davis Square. They’re wonderful, and we spend a significant amount of time there on weekends and some mornings before work, though trying to get better about making weekday coffee at home, because fresh roasted beans from Tonx Blue Bottle are great). Diesel, therefore, was a given on the Tuesday morning we left for our roadtrip. Excellent coffee + delightful food = happy passenger and happy driver.

tt2-02-i80-paThis was my obligatory, “I just took a nap at a rest stop?????” bathroom mirror shot. Because, why not. Also, I was tired. This picture came out far better than it probably should have, I think.

tt2-03-indianaSnow in Indiana. Also, my first time in Indiana. There were so many trucks.

tt2-04-chicagoChicago! From the interstate, but whatever. This marks the first time I’ve driven through Chicago and only the second time I’ve “been” there. (Though the first time, I did actually spend time in the city, but not enough that I’ve formed an opinion of it yet.) In spite of what I’ve been told, we didn’t hit any traffic at all. I was pleased.

tt2-05-wisconsinObligatory roadtrip progress / we’re kind of sort of almost there picture. Wisconsin!

tt2-07-accurateArrived in Minnesota! This is the next morning, and a very accurate representation of a lot of things. Hi, can you tell I like turquoise? Also coffee and notebooks and maybe my phone?

tt2-08-puppyPupppppppy. Cutest dog in the world. I very much wanted to bring her back to Massachusetts with us. Also this picture was taken about two minutes after the prior one, and I love that a lot. So many happy things.

Minneosta was absolutely wonderful – and not even that cold! I know it changed later in the winter, but it was definitely warmer than Boston at the time, which was funny. I love catching up on posts like this, but I’m very glad it’s officially spring in the present.

What’s your favorite photo?