Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Going Back to Cali.....

I thought I could contrast the last cold & snowy post with a reflection on our recent January trip to sunny Southern California. We made plans for the trip last summer not long after we moved to Minnesota. It was my first time back since that time. The main catalyst for the trip was to keep up the tradition Julie and I have where we get away to a bed and breakfast in Julian with our dear friends for a weekend. We have been doing this for the last 8 years. We also knew that January would probably be a good time to get away from the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Well, our first weekend in Julian was surreal due to the fact that we were experiencing the same weather in California that we had left in Minnesota. Temps in the 20's and snow flurries. Our trip to California happened to coincide with a rare cold snap. We were a bit bummed. But, being with our friends for the first time in 6 months more than made up for that. It was a great weekend to unwind, re-connect, and refresh.....without the kids! I love our kids, but it was a needed break from them!

After Julian, we spent the rest of our week visiting family and friends. I got to see my new niece for the first time, which was great. she is already growing way too fast! We went to the Getty Villa Museum in Malibu with Julie's dad. What a beautiful setting for a museum! I had never been there before, but always wanted to go. The museum showcases Greek and Roman art and artifacts that date way back before Christ. Very cool stuff. The kids got to go to Legoland & The San Diego Wild Animal Park with my folks. We also took the kids to a miniature golf/mini-amusement park with Julie's folks. It was a good time.

People here in Minnesota often ask why in the heck would we leave California and do we miss not being there? Well, I can't explain it, but we had this tugging on our hearts that brought us here. For me it was a desire to connect with a place that I felt was home even though I did not grow up here. I wanted to lay down roots and attempt to connect with a family that I did not see enough of growing up. When we decided to go for it, Julie had a stronger conviction than I did. She loves it here. I also think that God has good and interesting things in store for us. What it is I do not know, but its a feeling I have. Do I miss California? I miss the family and good friends we left in California. Its not really that we left them. We just won't get to see them as much. The friends we have are my friends for life and the trip back cemented that in my mind. I have no doubt that these people will be there for many years to come.

Not seeing family as much is harder. I love the relationship that our kids have with their grandparents and it is not easy for them to not see them as much. The up side to this is that when we do get to see our friends and family the visits are much more meaningful. We make the time we spend with them count and don't take it for granted, which is so easy to do sometimes.

There are days when I have a hole in my heart and wish I could just jump on a plane and head back for a visit. But I know, deep down, that we did the right thing. Julie and I do not doubt it for a second. We are looking forward to forging ahead and making new friendships and connections, which is already happening. Our family in California are already making plans to come back and visit us, if they haven't already.

Its kind of weird to say, but our trip to California confirmed for me that we did, in fact, do the right thing. When we landed in Minneapolis on the flight back, we felt like we were coming back to home.

1 comment:

Doah said...

Tony, nice post. What's this "dear friend" and "reconnect" B.S. thing? Rumor has it you only go to Julian for the pie!! Come on, admit it!
Love, Apple/Cherry Crumb Boy