Goodbye, California

Four and a half years ago when we moved to California, we knew it wouldn’t be forever. It was an exciting opportunity at a time in our lives when we didn’t have anything holding us down or keeping us from saying “why not?!”, so we packed up for some temporary fun in the Golden State. A few years of West Coast’ing and we’d head back to our friends and families in Ohio to settle down. Save our seats at the dinner table, ma.

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heading to our going away party, March 2010. babies! we were newly engaged then! chico was an only child! what happened to that lipstick?!

The longer we stayed out here though, the more that carpe diem’ish spirit grew. All the “what the hell, let’s do it!”-ness was an unexpected but super awesome perk of making that jump in 2010. Not only did we get to experience so much life in sunny Southern California (in all of its beautifully perfect and obnoxiously fake-perfect ways) but it really got us out of our comfort zones.

[for ease of editing, flow of the story, and respect for all characters, the intro is very “we.” the following will be very singular because I don’t want to speak on Brian’s behalf and also he’s a lot less fucked up than I am so probably none of these really apply to him anyway]

How Uprooting Your Life and Moving Somewhere Far Away Where You Don’t Know Anyone Can Impact Your Life for the (mostly) Better

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first month in town, walking the Laguna Beach boardwalk like some young lovesick froufrous (sis was visiting and took this pic)

  • I learned how to open up, soften my steely outer shell, and not be such a judgmental bitch in an effort to make friends. And when that didn’t work I resorted to soliciting people from the internet. The latter boasts a much higher success rate, unshockingly.
  • I realized my Type A was a lot less of a “cute quirk” and more of a deplorable obstacle for anyone trying to make plans, live, or work with me, and let the hippie surfer vibe mellow out my uptight ass a little.
  • I developed the ability to distinguish Thai from Indian curry, pronounce and enjoy pho, and chopstick dexterity I never imagined possible.
  • I became a total and unapologetic beer snob.
  • I grew meaningful relationships (including some I didn’t think would stand the test of time,) let others fizzle out, and planted new ones I’m pretty confident are just getting started. My friend-garden has been weeded, preened, and slathered in manure, and I’m really happy with its outlook. Quality really is the name of the game.
  • I offered a shoulder to the sad and weary, and let myself accept it when I needed one, too.
  • I honestly reflected on our first years of marriage, and (after some time) realized that the valleys are worth more than the peaks. Having someone willing to ride that roller coaster, hand-in-hand or screaming at the top of our lungs, means the world.
  • I fell in and out of love with running like a billion times.
  • I made some career moves that small-town Ohio Sarah wouldn’t have been ballsy enough to make, and some that would’ve made College Sarah cringe, but realized in the end working for/with people you want to be on a team with is a hell of a lot more fulfilling (and fun!) than doing anything just because you’re good at it/stuck in it/went-to-school-for-it-and-are-determined-to-get-your-tuition-money-out-of-it.

On that note…

(you had to realize by now this was all going somewhere)

This weekend I’m closing our SoCal chapter and driving whatever fits in a little tow-behind trailer up to Bend, Oregon. !!!!! <— So many exclamations! A new adventure awaits and I’m outrageously excited about it.

(yes, even the cold and snow)

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bookmarked this page in June and have had it open ever since

It’ll be an unconventional transition at first – Brian’s staying down here to finish out the year at the hospital and going back to Ohio for Christmas. (That was my consolation to his parents for “We’re moving, but it’s not to Ohio yet, sorry!”) I’ll be settling into our new home, taste-testing and run-testing all our new soon-to-be favorite spots, and trying to figure out how to shape-shift my flipflops collection into snowboots.

On the bright side, Emily is still the most easily persuadable person on the planet when it comes to shenaniganing and road tripping, so she’s flying down Friday to make the 15-hour drive with me! And the dogs. Two humans, two small dogs, and an over-packed trailer tugging behind it all. I may have failed to disclose those parts of the deal when I sent the trip proposal.

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three words and a screen cap of a cheap flight. like candy from a baby…

California has been great. More so figuratively than literally, but still, 100% grateful for our time here. But you know, “all good things come to an end” and “one door closes another one opens” and all that shit.

Luckily that new door is opening to probably the only place that can rival SoCal’s beer scene. Made convincing Brian a little easier… It only took 3 seconds instead of 30.

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@craft.beer.me version 2.0 is pumped about all the Bend brews to insta

Here’s to a week of frantic packing and purging! You probably won’t hear from me again here until after the move, but you know where to find me on Twitter and IG.

  • Does anyone in Orange County want some furniture, a tube TV, or an orange and black motorcycle? Really, we’re selling 80% of our shit.
  • Does anyone have a favorite pair of cute AND warm winter boots? hashtag I miss my flipflops already…

Sarah OUaL

That Time I Missed a Race in SoCal Because of Snow

So, funny story.

Err, kind of.

I was in Bend (#inbend as they “say” up there) last week for some work stuff, and was scheduled to fly out Friday morning to get back to sunny SoCal just in time to book it down for the Temecula Wine Country Half on Saturday.

Well Mother Nature and the weather-making-ologists had different plans, delivering a surprising and massive winter storm which included dumping a foot of snow on Central Oregon the night before I was scheduled to leave.

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the face of someone who packed 200% more running shorts than snow boots

Friday morning I woke up, having dreamt of riding blow up innertubes through an airport with my sister and two best friends from Ohio (I’ve been having super vivid dreams lately that are outrageously bizarre in plot but creepily accurate to my actual life, always featuring people I know really well.) Anyway, I had a text from Delta saying my flight was cancelled, and they’d contact me with my rebook info. I didn’t want to bog down their customer service line if they were already on top of it, so I went about the day like normal, relishing what I thought would be a few extra hours in the winter wonderland that was almost too pretty to be mad at.

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I said *almost*…

After two hours and no word from Delta, I gave them a call.

“Oh, Miss Booney, your flight is departing at 12:33 today, going to Salt Lake City”

“UMMMM I THOUGHT IT WAS CANCELLED. YOUR WEBSITE AND THE TEXT I GOT SAY SO.”

“Oh, well hold please. Just one moment please. Ok yes, that flight is cancelled. Are you at the airport now?”

“No, should I be?? Do you have another flight out soon?”

“Oh, well let me see when I can rebook you. Hold please, don’t hang up please.”

(frantic fear of disconnection sets in, why would she feel the need to tell me not to hang up if calls don’t get prematurely truncated routinely?)

“Ok, well, I can put you on the same flight but on the 17th.”

“HAHAHA!!!! WHEN IS THAT, TUESDAY?!!”

“Monday.”

They had a flight with two layovers going to LAX late Sunday night, but my car was at Santa Ana and getting in a few extra hours did not seem worth the potential clusterfuck and general blood-boiling that happens every time I enter LA county. So she booked me on Monday and I settled in for three extra nights of slumber partying with Kate and Collier.

It wasn’t the worst – I mean missing the race sucked, but Bend is a seriously amazing place, despite the frigid temperatures I am most definitely not acclimated to. (Ohio thick skin, where’d you go??) But by Sunday night I was definitely ready to trade my double-layered fleece pajama set in and be back home with Brian and the dogs.

also, not running like Bambi

Monday morning, aside from eating the toasted PBJ I packed for lunch a little early and getting hungry on the flight to Salt Lake, everything was merry. Brian, I’ma comin’ home!

I sent the standard “boarded, ETA 6pm, see you soon!!!!!” text, and waited for the instruction to flip to airplane mode for takeoff. I hustled between apps in the usual frantic social media binge before being forced into digital seclusion, when the pilot came on, informing us there was a “minor mechanical glitch.” Great. They were going to reboot the system to try and fix it.

Right, like what you do to the router when the internet isn’t working. Or your phone freezes. Mehhhh, just hold the power button down for 10 seconds and see if it fixes itself! Apparently they use that IT magic trick on airplanes, too.

Except it didn’t work.

No big, we’ll just deplane, they’ve got another bird in the hangar they’ll pull over for us to use! Quick inspection and we’ll be on our way, folks! So we head back into the terminal, I impulse buy a bag of white chocolate peppermint pretzel thins instead of the veggie sandwich I was in search of, and then proceeded to eat all four “suggested” servings before boarding our new plane 20 minutes later.

“All good folks, this new plane is perfect and great! We’ll be taking off in 5!”

We did pull away from the gate 5 minutes later, and even made it out to the runway before what sounded like we hit a major pothole, blew a tire, and our brakes started screaming for Midas.

Apparently that plane was in the hangar for a reason, and someone forgot they were still working on it when we stole it? Something with the steering shaft mechanism or something another – probably kind of essential – whatever it was it meant we couldn’t fly in it.

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when brian tried to explain to chico why I still wasn’t home. weepy heart melting.

Back out onto the concourse, more impulse meals while we waited (Wendy’s side salad and baked potato, mostly just to soak up the sloshy sugar belly from the previous delay snack.) I watched three or four perturbed fliers make elaborate rebooking plans on flights into LAX, Long Beach, San Diego – all adding hours of extra travel and hassle onto their already disrupted day.

Just as I started considering it, the herd started shuttling down towards our original gate – they had another plane for us and we were boarding now! Hustle hustle! Sit down shut up let’s go!

And it worked and we flew and California is just as I remember it, the end.

Oh and the dogs were happy to see me. Probably Brian, too, he just doesn’t express it as clearly as the others:

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When Ordinary is More

lifecycle of an ordinary run

run1

eee ahh ooo eeee, creek crack squeak, shuffle scuffle plop plop

‘don’t judge a run by the first mile… don’t judge a run by the first mile…’

run2

thump, thummmp, thumpthump, THUMP

inhale, exhaaaaaaale, inhaaaaaale, exha- inha- exhale-e-e…

run3

swish, swish, swish

‘alright, finally, this feels kind of normal’

run4

push, lift, push, lift, push, lift

‘…is there time for one more??’

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Who’s counting anymore??

It doesn’t take much to turn an ordinary run into extraordinary, but when it happens, it’s worth those miles in gold.

Sarah OUaL