I Brought the Rain to California (You’re Welcome)

Actually, it’s a family condition. My grandparents are also followed around by unusual weather. It works like this: in the places we usually live, we do not affect the weather at all. If we go to visit each other, the weather in the visited location changes for the worse. This usually means that when my grandparents come to visit us in South Dakota, it blizzards. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is.

But more recently, Dustin and I went to visit them in California, and though it hasn’t rained there since last March, it spent four of the five days of our visit pouring. Poor grandma was beside herself.

In any case, I spent the last five days in California visiting my grandparents, and I had a wonderful time despite the weather. We used to visit every summer for about three weeks, and it was my favorite part of the summer. We always visited a few spots of interest (Santa Cruz, Sea World, Great America, various other parks and touristy sites), but often we stayed around the house and did the things you’re supposed to do with grandparents: played in the yard, went for bike rides, went swimming, did crafty hobby things, played computer games. My grandpa owned the first computer I ever used. How many people can say they learned how to use a computer from their grandpa? Pretty cool.

I haven’t been back since I graduated from high school. I miss it. There is something special about grandparents’ houses, I think. No matter how old you are, they make you feel like a child again. You know you’re in a place where someone will take care of you and feed you wonderful food and entertain you and you don’t have to worry about stupid grownup stuff like work and bills and cleaning toilets. Happiness.

Since I brought my husband along for this ride, though, it seemed best not to try and spend all my time sitting around the house soaking up my grandparents’ attentions. He’s never been to California, so I had to show the place off a little, even though it was raining.

We visited several of the wineries in the Livermore valley, which I’ve never done before (never having been to California while of legal drinking age before). That actually turned out to be a really lovely day, and we got a couple nice bottles of wine. The above picture is from the Concannon winery.

The Golden Gate Bridge is lovely this time of the year, n’est-ce pas?

We spent a lot of time in San Fransisco, checking out the town and the shopping and the bridges. We thought about going to Alcatraz, but it was raining so much, in the end I’m pretty glad we didn’t try very hard. (Alcatraz is actually somewhere in the background of the picture below.)

We took a driving tour through Tamalpias State Park, looking for some big trees to oogle, but it was so cloudy and wet that day, we couldn’t see much at all. Still a nice drive. We went to see Fort Point under the Golden Gate Bridge, but it was closed for retrofitting the day we were there. So we watched the waves and then moved on.

We drove down Highway 1 to have lunch by the ocean, and the views were stunning, though somewhat wetter than usual. The below picture is from Half Moon Bay.

Next time, we’ll go back in the summer. We’ll plan a little better so we can hit some of the big parks (Kings Canyon is on my list) and beaches, and soak up a little more sun. But until then, I’ll happily take this does of California.

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