Getting to Oakland and Santa Cruz
Jet was up a few times last night, and when he started crying at 5, I said, "That's too early!" but I got up, nursed him, napped a little with him, and when it was 6, we went downstairs. I started getting my breakfast together, and Jet asked for ramen for breakfast! He went to the pantry, dragged out a package, and handed it to me. I couldn't get an answer out of him as to whether he wanted it cooked or not, but he seemed to want it a lot.
John showered, came out, and cooked ramen for Jet while I finished putting myself together and packing the very, very last things. When I came out, Jet had already eaten a third of his ramen, big fistfuls of the stuff straight into his mouth. I guess nursing isn't doing that much more for Jet. That's a cool thing. I hugged John a lot and kissed him, and then hugged Jet and kissed him and asked for a kiss back, which he promptly gave me. Wow. I don't usually ask, I guess, but it was nice to get one. He gave me a very cheerful "Bye-bye!" as well, and I headed on out, in the Passat.
As I drove, I changed, "I have 'til 8! I have 'til 8!" and when I reached 98th, I took it and the fifty cent toll instead of going straight to Pena and paying the $1.75. Small savings, I guess, but savings nonetheless, and I had pleeeeenty of time... though I'll admit that I was grinding my teeth already. I actually did get to the parking lot well before 8, got out, and them jumped up and down in 23 degree morning while waiting for the shuttle. But the guy came and loaded me up, and away we headed to the terminal.
The lines outside for United's curbside check-in were six deep, and it was COLD outside. So I went in and found that there was a lady waving folks towards the International Check-in and the First Class passenger check-in. I guess the interior line was so long they were trying to shorten it.
So I went right over to International, got checked in really quickly, and away I went to the gate. I found, at security, that my covered, outdoor Moccasins DO set off the metal detector. Growl. Oh well. It wasn't that long a delay. I got there well in advance of seating, so I just sat and read and thought until then.
It was really cool to be able to just sit and wait until my row was called instead of going in early. I have no huge desire to be trapped in a plane when I could be enjoying things out side of it. With a baby it's different. It's nice to not trap people behind or around us while we're trying to put the car seat in or when Jet insists on walking himself or climbing into his seat. It was nice to fly by myself and not have to worry about that.
It was an easy flight, and I spent the first half it asleep. I should have used my toothguard, as my jaw ached when I woke up. I'll remember that coming home.
Carl arrived before my bag did to baggage claim. So we had no problems meeting up. I walked out to his car, and he offered to let me drive, but I declined. I'm fried today, from the last week of worry and planning and trying to get things through my head. So he drove out to Santa Cruz, with a quick stop at Lion's Market, an Asian Market that I'd seen several times on the way between Mountain View and Pleasanton. It was good to actually stop. I bought a pommelo 'bigger than my head', as Carl put it, and a box of mango mochi balls. Carl ate one, and I ate two. Yum. We saved the rest for Santa Cruz.
Gretchen was in the shower when we arrived, and she came to open the door wrapped in a towel. Moose was with her, and curious about these new people. Moose is BIG. I thought he was bigger than Fezzik, but he might have been about the same size, a bit over a 100 pounds, but no fur to hide in, and he's big, solid, and golden and white and a very big, happy kind of guy.
I got to pet him, thump him, and scritch him on the special spots that get the back leg to thump away madly. It was really cool. I really liked him.
Moose has only one flaw. He hates getting left alone, especially in the house. So Carl and I went off and got sushi to-go from the local sushi joint. It was in the Galleria, and the place was called MoBo (Modern Boy). It has all the traditional sushi, but they also have some combinations on rolls or with their own style of combination nigiri that were all their own. So I got a couple of rolls and an order of what they called "Sunset", which had tobiko (flying fish roe) and quail egg. It's my favorite 'sushi dessert'.
Carl and I waited for the take out food, and the Sunset was just gorgeous! Sprays of roe around the bright yellow yolk was what I could see. What I couldn't see until we got to Gretchen's and opened the box was that they were wrapped in tuna instead of seaweed! Wow. Gorgeous. Beautiful. Easy to bite. The last proved important as the lozenges of rice were far bigger than I was used to, so they were definitely two bite pieces. I got yolk into my soy sauce, and made for great dipping.
It was wonderful. Then we got to pile Moose into their car, and we went to Gretchen's acupuncture appointment. I was curious and wanted to see what it was all about. I was very glad I went. I really liked the feedback and interplay of just talking everything through that they did at first. It was pretty awesome seeing the hair fine needles. I really enjoyed the quiet meditational base of it all and how they worked with what they knew were getting results for.
While we left Gretchen to her treatment, Evan asked to read my pulses, and he got a generally healthy outlook with a wiry spleen and a flat liver. He asked if I was a vegetarian or if I'd had caffeine today. I'd actually had no caffeine, though I was craving it pretty badly by now. Thinking about it, I actually eat quite a lot more chicken and fish than red meat on a regular basis.
He mentioned a few possibilities and it included being post-menstrual. And I am! He mentioned that some of the symptoms are dry eye and fatigue, though I would have attributed it to my complete lack of sleep for the last week more than just the menses. He did note that eating a good piece of rare meat would probably help my liver out by giving it something to work with. I remembered that.
9:05 pm: From the acupuncturist appointment we hit the beach. Moose was very happy to be there, and we chased him around the beach and fed him quite a lot of doggy treats. He got to the point where he started just ignoring the beach and the other dogs and started just wandering between Gretchen, Carl, and I. That was pretty smart of him.
It was wonderful to see the sea again, the big, curling waves, translucent green like glacial ice, and there were boogie boarders riding the tight-curling waves like bucking broncos with yips, yells, and crashing, bruising falls. Wow.
When we got tired, it was still too early to get Brad, so the three of us went to Donnelly's Chocolates, the artisan store o Pacific. It's their original shop and there was a line going out the door. We got in line. Carl noted that for the day before Valentine's it was bound to be busy and crowded.
We got boxes of chocolates. I got John a box with chipotle, rose, mac nut with caramel, peanut butter, and ginger. All wrapped in a beautiful little heart-shaped box. I also got a small package of dark chocolate wafers, just for eating either during the Con or afterwards. I ate one right there and enjoyed the rich intensity of it. Mmm...
From there we headed to Brad's work, picked him up and then headed back to their house. Gretchen was ready to fall over, so she got to nap while we went out to dinner at a crepe place. I had eaten far too much for lunch, I guess, as I ate barely a third of my super stuffed crepe. It was fun to talk with Brad, though, and talk through all the stuff he's been thinking about for the last couple of years. The last time I really talked with them and saw them was before their wedding. It was good to be able to talk with them both for a bit.
I also followed Brad into their local super market, and enjoyed the local ambiance. The Santa Cruz store was remarkably like the local Vitamin Cottages or the Ideal Market in Boulder. That was fun to wander through. We got Gretchen some steak, which was pretty cool.
When we got back, we stayed long enough for me to get a good demonstration of the Playstation dancing game. It *is* pretty cool. I can imagine Jet would love just jumping up and down on it to the time of the music. I think I might do okay on it as well, especially with the incentive of getting through levels of a game.
We left soon after to let Gretchen eat and to get me home early enough to get good sleep. I had to wrestle with the breast pump, though, as it's been a very long time since I've used it. Now I know why Jet keeps asking for milk or can eat whole meals after nursing. I got a bare tablespoon. We'll see if I do any better for the rest of the weekend.