Welcome back

Oh, hello. I'm back from vacation and still recovering from lack of sleep, so forgive me if I seem a little loopy.

I took a week off work to go visit my people in other parts of California. Parents, old roommates, best friend, twin, parents again, strangers - it was a little hectic, but I had so much fun. It's kind of a joke in our family that we're not great with transitions, and vacation transitions are difficult to say the least. But since I wasn't any one place for more than two or three days, I think it helped me stay on my toes rather than get into a routine. So now that I'm back, let's look at some pictures!

My dad and I are a bit obsessed with used bookstores. He took me to Gatsby Books in Long Beach when I was there last week. It is very organized but still maintains that cluttered-bookstore vibe. And of course there's a cat, so I mean, what's not to love? I may have gotten another copy of Le Petit Prince...you can never have too many.

 One of my favorite things to do while I'm at home is to go for a morning run on the beach. I love the ocean, especially in the morning when it's still quiet. The only people out are the locals and the surfers. No shoes and some Bon Iver or Phil Wickham, and I'm a happy camper. I don't really care that the water is freezing or that I have to constantly watch where I step because who knows what's in the sand. The ocean has always been one of the places where I feel closest to God. Refuge.

After spending a day at my parents' house, I went up to Northern California with one of my friends to visit one of my old roommates. We spent most of the first day in San Francisco then went out to Santa Rosa. We had been to San Fran together a couple years ago, so I wasn't set on doing touristy things again. While we were delayed in the airport (don't get me started) I looked up a museum in the city with some Rodin sculptures (I must have a radar for these things), so we got lunch and went there.

Lunch was an adventure. My goal was barbeque and we ended up at a little Chinese restaurant. Nailed it. Still yummy though, and I introduced my friends to dry-sauteed string beans - a Greene family favorite.

Yes, there are chickens in the window behind us

The Legion of Honor wasn't specifically a Rodin museum, but it had a few rooms with some of his sculptures - more than I expected. It was fun to tell my friends about some of the pieces and the stories behind them, like The Three Shades, The Gates of Hell, and the Burghers of Calais. Not that I'm an expert, but I picked up a few things while I was in Paris.

The Three Shades

Rodin's The Thinker is in the museum courtyard, so of course we had to stop and document him. The picture of me on the left is in Paris, the right is in San Francisco, a year apart. Yes, I realize I'm wearing almost the exact same outfit. At least Traveling Hil is consistent.

Okay, the sunglasses are the same, but that's it, I promise.

We went to Ghirardelli square and split a sundae - it was gone in two minutes, so good.

Shocker, there was fog on the bay.

The next day we went to Healdsburg (and another bookstore, oops) and then sat by the Russian River to eat lunch.

When I got home from Santa Rosa, my best friend and I drove up to see my twin sister in Santa Barbara. It was a mellow trip but so good to catch up with the two of them. Mel is in the midst of wedding planning - goodness, it sounds overwhelming!

The bean and bear - 1.18.14

It's definitely an adjustment coming back to work and routine, but it hasn't been too stressful. I can't believe how fast this summer has gone by!

Also, introversion quotes.