Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas in California

I knew when I came back home I would be epically jet lagged and exhausted, so my plan was to literally do nothing except sleep, eat my Mom's cooking and cuddle with my dog for a good five days before deciding to put pants on and join the world. I even planned it so that my first day back at work would be a week after my arrival, so I had ample time to relax (yes, I did get to keep my job while I was away. And thank god because I have the best job ever!)

(I've missed cuddling with this fat bitch. She got a scar on her nose while I was gone from getting in a fight with a mole while digging in the backyard. The mole won. She fails so hard at being a pitbull.)

(Busting out these bad boys for the first time in three months was a strange experience!) 

But of course, that's not at all how it ended up. For the first couple days I found myself not being able to sleep past 5:30AM. This was great news to my mother, who wakes up at that ungodly hour every morning to go to work. So naturally when she found me awake she insisted we spend my first day back running around. On that day alone I got a new phone (you may remember from a previous post that a Parisian nightclub ate my last one),  explored my Mom's new house (she purchased it while I was gone!), got a juicy American burger for lunch, and went Christmas shopping. Something totally crazy for me - the mall we went Christmas shopping in is in Dublin, California. So within 36 hours I had been in two Dublins, completely across the world from each other!

(Ocean view from my friend Matt's house!) 

(Saw this gorgeous setting while driving and felt the need to snap a photo of it!) 

I spent the rest of my first week back visiting with friends, Christmas shopping and unpacking. It took me over a week to fully unpack and do laundry because I'm lazy as fuck I was just so busy doing other things! 

(My family's house was already decked out for Christmas when I came home. Could not have made me any happier!)

Being back wasn't as weird for me as I thought it would be. I got back into a regular routine pretty quickly. One thing that did really change for me was the appreciation I have for the place I live. My entire life up until I entered high school, I had lived either in San Francisco or no more than ten minutes from it. Then, for high school, my family moved to a suburb about 40 minutes from the city, where they still live today. I'll be honest, I absolutely HATED high school and I hated living in a small town. Though I will admit that I am still not a fan of living in a suburb (I'm definitely a city person!) as I've gotten older I've been able to truly appreciate its beauty. We're surrounded by mountains and rolling hills, beautiful trees, hidden hiking trails, tons of wildlife (the other day I saw wild horses running on the hill behind my Mom's new house!) and traveling has only made this appreciation grow even greater. It's made me realize that, even though backpacking isn't for everybody, traveling certainly is.

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