California was everything I expected and more! Everything went so smoothly, flights were on time, the hotel was beautiful, even the rental car was nice. We spent some time exploring Sacramento, it is so clean and the highways are really smooth and look new. The midtown area is bustling with vibrant little shops, apartments, and restaurants. Everyone there was so personable and really aimed to please. There was a dramatic difference in the weather, with my city in the single digits and Sac in the 60's. It was so nice to be able to wear skirts and sandals again!
We explored other parts of Northern California too, with a side trip to San Francisco and San Jose, and an impossibly charming Nevada City. Traffic was a little nuts near San Fran and I'm glad we aren't going to live there, but otherwise, being in California for vacation was like being in paradise!
We ate so much food it's amazing I fit the airplane seatbelt on the way home! What a strange thing this is, eating on the road. We had a tiny fridge in the hotel room but it didn't do much good if only one person had leftovers, we still went out for meals together. The leftovers ended up stinking up the room until we threw them out. But the food was good and the service even better.
I started dreading coming home about halfway through the week, I was thinking about how awesome it would be to live in a place where the winters are warm and green and blooming with flowers and life. I was starting to realize how much I would miss the evening glasses of wine my husband and I shared in the hotel lobby, recalling all the awesome events of the day, and the look of amazement on the kids' faces when they saw something new or interesting, starting to dread the reality that I had to come back to this frozen, snowy place we currently call home. We had to catch an early flight Saturday morning at 6am to get home, and the whole day I had a lump in my throat, leaving California felt so wrong. I'd grown attached far too easily. So much so, that I didn't get the familiar "it's good to be home" feeling that I usually get upon returning home from travel. And when my husband and I would discuss "the move to California" I had to contain myself while he was being pensive. Our job was to figure out what to do with our apartment lease renewal, which was due today. We had the choice of signing for a year or going month-to-month for a hundred dollars more each month. That was a huge conundrum. Visiting Sacramento solidified my husband's desire to move, and I have been on board for a while now, but how to fill out the lease when we don't have jobs lined up or anything else coordinated. In the end, my husband said he thinks it would make the most sense to wait one year, build up our resources and build/strengthen our connections out there so we can find jobs a little easier and have more of a cushion in case we don't find work right away. I knew he was thinking rationally but I had a very emotional reaction to his idea. I felt like I was going to cry like a little girl you are going to make me suffer through another horrible WINTER???!!! And I did express my dismay in having to face that reality, but I knew in the end that he was right. We have a decent cushion now, but moving is not cheap, and the worst way to start off in a new place is feeling stressed and worried. I comfort-ate so much today, silently crying via sugary treats, but after I went through all sorts of emotions, my husband chimed in and said he was really excited that we finally made the decision and are just going to do it. And we are going to do it. Not as soon as I wanted, but a year will go fast, and I can handle what's left of this winter plus one more if I know that's the last snow I have to deal with. Plus, a year gives me time to see family and friends more, seek out the perfect apartment for us, and brush up on my Spanish. I can accept the logical route for once. I feel fortunate to have a logical husband who is looking out for all of us. I think our move is going to be pretty darn smooth when it happens. Now if only I could get rid of this lingering jet lag...