My dear grandma Helen is 91 and lives in Sun City, California (in Riverside County, SoCal). We've had a family tradition of visiting her in January or February every year since I was a little kid. My parents brilliantly decided to fly me down for this years' winter visit - though lately it has just my folks that make the cross-country trip from Massachusetts and not my sisters.
|Grandma, my sisters and I in California, 2010|
|Yes, I too was a baby once. Here I am with Grandma Helen|
So yes, I am very excited to be going to see my parents, grandma, some aunts and uncles, and also to enjoy some warm sunny weather in Southern California - although we're having one hell of a warm, un-snowy winter. Someone switched our weather with the rest of the country this year apparently.
After such a long stretch in Juneau, I'm curious to see how I react to things in California. I have some predictions, but I'm sure after the trip, I'll have a revelation or two. Some things I think I will be shocked by are traffic, crowds, weather, options and noise. I have a laundry list of shopping stops I must make. We're seriously lacking clothes shopping here so I have saved a bunch of money for Target, REI and a haul of fresh produce. I signed up for Alaska Airline's Club 49 - available to Alaska residents. One of them main perks of Club 49 is that if you're flying in/out of Alaska, you get TWO FREE CHECKED BAGS. TWO. So my plan is to pack a duffle bag into another bag on the way down, and to fill it with a haul of clothes and produce to bring back to Juneau. We can't get tomatoes worth a damn here. I hope to bring back lots of tomatoes and citrus. I told a friend about this and they replied, "Hahaha, you are a real Alaskan now... planning to drag back produce and clothes."
We've also got a list of foodie stops... In n Out, Shabu Shabu, Mexican... We like food in my family for sure. We'll be spending some time in San Diego and Los Angeles, but we'll also be doing a lot to help Grandma. Of course, I'm quite excited to see my parents. They came to Juneau in June for a week so it hasn't been too too long, but still. I miss them terribly.
I'll be sure to check back in with my revelations, if there are any. I'm pretty sure I'll have some culture shock. I can't wait to see what, in fact, surprises me.