When I stayed outside of London with Mr. W in 2009, I watched The Hills every day, longing for California sunshine instead of the summer gloom that hung over our flat. I couldn't help but smile at the silliness of the memory as I drove along with the California coastline in my sights. So much had changed since that summer.
I was turning 38, I was married, and as I was cruising down the mountain toward one of the dreamiest cities I know, Mr. W was en-route to our new house and new life to—finally—begin permanently living with me again. I was suddenly struck by the image of us driving toward each other, like two lovers running across a crowded airport after having been apart for too long. I couldn't help myself. I started to overflow with gratitude and cry.
Natasha's words rang out from the radio, "Today is where your book begins. The rest is still unwritten."
I enjoyed some fruitless shopping on State Street and then Mr. W called and said he was close. We decided to meet at a Mexican restaurant for some tacos and beer. I felt like the luckiest girl ever. Getting my husband back (and celebrating with chips and salsa) was the best birthday present I could have asked for.
We spent the next day puttering around the house and tasting wine at the Santa Barbara County Vintner's Festival. It was a great way to ring in my 38th.
Four days after that, Mr. W turned the big four-oh, so we took off on a roadtrip to see part of the country he had never visited. I grew up taking summer vacations at Lake Powell every year, so Southern Utah and Northern Arizona have always held a special place in my heart. Traveling through them with Mr. W made that place grow even larger.
We started off with a birthday dinner at some dear friends' house in St. George, Utah. Then we headed to Bryce Canyon for a day, Zion National Park, Lake Powell, the Grand Canyon, and finished with a night in Flagstaff. It was a whirlwind trip with lots of driving and new step records on our Fitbits that left our feet aching, but we had a great time.
|Bryce National Park|
|Hoodoos in Bryce Canyon|
|Selfie amongst the hoodoos|
|Emerald Pools Trail, Zion National Park|
|Lake Powell, Arizona (and Utah)|
|Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell|
|The Grand Canyon, to which no picture can do justice|
Now we are back home and the life we've been dying to live—the one of home renovations and small-scale farming and chicken raising and wine drinking—will finally start in earnest.
The book is about to begin.