Tomorrow our reverie comes to an end when Driver Joseph Savage pulls an 18 wheeler full of our stuff in front of the lovely little two bedroom rental we found. It means real life will be delivered, with its routine, work and responsibility, and our built-in, yet somewhat transitional vacation is over.
And what a lovely time we’ve had.
There is something to be said for hotel living, particularly when it’s a one bedroom suite that takes dogs, and provides maid service when you need it. We’ve been here so long, I’ve done laundry three times, and the girls at the front desk know our daughter by first name. Daizy, our Boston Terror (er, terrier) picked these particular two weeks to go into heat.
I know. I know. Pets should be neutered.
We chose to wait until we got here, and will get on that straight away (at much less cost). Anyway, she was dripping everywhere, so we bought puppy pampers, which differ from Luv’s only because of the hole in the back, presumably for a dog’s tail. That hole is an important part of doggie diaper engineering. Unfortunately, if you know anything about Boston Terriers, you know they have no tail to speak of, and so at first Daizy’s diapers wouldn’t stay up. That is, until Elizabeth invented doggie diaper suspenders, which are cleverly attached to Daizy’s little red harness. They’re strings. Now, when in the hotel and after one of the numerous daily walks she and Jack con us out of, Daizy lays back like a baby, closes her eyes in contentment, and allows me to diaper her. It has an almost hypnotic effect. Daizy loves to wear her diaper. It’s probably the most ridiculous, undeniably undignified, yet still incredibly cute thing I’ve ever seen.
We’re in a wing that is full of animals. Each day, as Elizabeth and I are tugged down the hall for a walk, Daizy and Jack stop at the room on the right to torment two little screamers that live there. They’re owned by a woman we met the other night at dinner. She’s incredibly thin, has very tan skin, orange Susan Powter type hair, tree-bark like skin (obviously a serious smoker) and speaks in monotone with a German accent that is really hard to understand. The other night, she explained to Leslie and I, or to me really as Leslie couldn’t understand a word she said and promptly tuned her out, that she walks the dogs in the middle of the night because her little terrier has social issues. His name is Polo, and she got him at a rescue after he spent the first three years of his life on the streets of San Francisco with the homeless. When it’s time to go to bed, she lifts up a pile of blankets for him to crawl into, and he’s down for the night. Just like the sleeping bags he slept in on the streets.
Only here, friends.
Our van, affectionately referred to as Vera, made it to California safely atop an 18 wheel trailer driven by a nosy man named Terry. He had to know everything about Vera, everything about Leslie and I, and he also gifted us with some choice words about Barrak Obama that we hope do not mirror the feelings of the Midwest, in general. He said this to Leslie straight out, but I’ll spare you the profanity. She was shocked with the pride and frankness behind his words, however gross they were. Vera herself was no worse for wear, but now has squeaky springs, and had a layer of dead bug crud taken off her back window at the Tower Car Wash. Vera is one of the family, and despite having 194,000 miles on her, is still going strong. This is primarily due to Leslie’s attention to her health and well being. Vera looks brand new, and she and Leslie are one.
We’ve tarried back and forth between our new house and this Residence Inn, without really having to make the shift there completely. And it’s a good thing, too, because the last two weeks have been two of the hottest in California this season. Our house is just far enough down the peninsula to get into the high 90’s on bad days, highlighting the 30 degree difference that can occur between San Francisco and the peninsula, which is probably only 11 miles in a car. According to our new neighbor, Eldridge (who has crooked ears, but is unflinchingly neighborly), however, we should see only two very hot weeks out of the year, and it is my hope that I’ll spend most of that time in an environmentally controlled office building in downtown San Francisco. Leslie, of course, is fully versed on this weather having driven a city bus up and down the hill there for several years in the mid-80’s. She used to wet her uniform vest and wear it to help stay cool. That was before buses were air conditioned, of course.
Tomorrow’s first challenge will be unloading the truck into a house that is less than one half the size of what we had in Connecticut. Needless to say, more than one half of our furniture and belongings will go directly to storage, do not pass GO, do not collect $200. I keep telling myself, “remember, this is temporary”. The good news is that we have a beautifully remodeled kitchen, and a lovely deck out back that is bigger than our new living room and surrounded by fragrant California flowering and lemon trees. The smell is heavenly. Straight away, we’ve purchased a new patio set and a brand new bar-b-que, set atop a lovely matching in door/out door carpet. I’ve always had a thing for outdoor living space.
We still miss Margaret and her family, and fully expect to for some time. Although as a tribute to their ingenuity, the girls are finding many ways to connect. They’ve figured out how to have a virtual play date using wifi on Nintendo’s Animal Crossing for DS. We’ve sent cards back and forth, and goodie boxes, and the minutes on our cell phones are way, way over. We used all of our roll over minutes with AT&T. That’s got to be a first. Leslie got on the phone today and bought some more, and the customer service agent was kind enough to employ the change retroactively (which means we save money for last month, too). It’ll be strictly land line from now on.
Ironically, I’ve seen my first Blue Heron in the marsh behind this hotel. It was across the water sitting quietly with a white heron and a gaggle of loons. This is my spiritual marker from the Divine Mother, assuring me I am where I’m supposed to be at this time. Dolly Parton is everywhere. Each time we turn on the television, we hear her voice in Target commercials that don’t play on the East Coast. It’s like my Celebrity Guardian Angel is watching over us. Also, a plethora of Dunkin’ Donut commercials promise that our favorite coffee is well on the way. How thrilling! We find ourselves missing the Athena Diner almost every day, however. Sad, but true. We’ve lost our taste for many of the old stomping grounds here, pummeled by the home cooking we had in North Haven. Lai Lai’s, Chinese food, just doesn’t cut it. Fresh Choice, an elaborate salad bar, made us ill. These are places we were looking forward to visiting again regularly. We’re still looking for the perfect dining experience, and given that we’re close to a major metropolitan city, I’m confident we’ll find it soon. Unfortunately, we don’t hope to match the transcendental soup experience we had at the Athena Diner. Leslie really wanted some good chicken soup today.
Today is Friday. Seafood bisque.
Oh, the longing.
Tomorrow, it’s good-bye to the beautiful swimming pool here at the Residence Inn, and back to real life as it approaches in an 18 wheeler helmed by Driver Joseph Savage and delivered to our front door step.