I live for the thrill of the road these days. The vistas changes dramatically myriad times a day – radical changes from plains to mountains and more subtle changes from red hued grasslands that shift to gold and then white tones. Experiences change as radically. I renew acquaintances with old friends where we fall into the familiar banter that defined our relationship years before to hikes through idyllic scenery to new experiences that stretch and stress me.
But the last few days have been old and familiar and I loved every moment. Linda joined me for a shared adventure through national parks as we traversed Arizona, the tip of Nevada and California all as we anticipated a reunion with our daughters and their partners for New Years. Rather than a multi-course dinner in a gourmet restaurant or a jam-packed celebration at a packed club, we gathered in a lovely home overlooking Bodega Bay and settled in for time together as a family.
It could not have been more glorious. Jane, Linda and I hiked across the sand dunes to the Pacific (on a much longer and more circuitous path than we ever anticipated). Leah and Alex joined us to pick up some of the best clam chowder I have ever had at Spud Point Crab Company. On New Year’s Eve, Alex and Leah prepared an amazing dinner of raclette which, of course, was accompanied with champagne Alex’s parent had brought from Nantes. Yet more cheese from France was set out on New Year’s day. Of course, the food was accompanied by board games (Saboteur was the new addition this year), reflections from each of us on personal highlights from 2017, a dance-off to favorite songs and myriad other touching moments luxuriating in each other’s presence.
What a gift and what a great way to start 2018!