Home(s) is Where the Heart Is

^^ West Village during the first big snowstorm of December. ^^

Well will you look at that, 2017 is over! We’ve done it! English breakfast tea for everyone!

The end of the year always tends to fly right by. From Thanksgiving onward it’s a mad dash of putting up a few Christmas lights for the two weeks I’m home, getting presents to the right zip codes, saying goodbye to NYC friends and trying to plan catchups with my California loves. Before I know it, I’m home in Valencia and the chaos of getting there just seeps away. This year, I spent two weeks being spoiled with home cooked meals and card games accompanied with delicious margaritas. I saw family and friends and EVEN Mickey Mouse. For those two weeks it was a little paradise away from the real world where I could simply hang my hat and rest.

The longer I find myself staying on the east coast, the more I consider both California AND Brooklyn to be home. I love the relaxed, laid back attitude of Southern California, and the culture’s focus on building a meaningful life outside of the office. But I also love the hustle and ambition of New York City as well. There is always something to do here and as a writer, I’m forever inspired by the endless creativity I encounter on a daily basis. I’ve come to love them both for the different sides they bring out in me and the balance I try to strike between the two of them. I’m curious if one will become a bigger draw over time, but perhaps for now, I’ll find a comfortable seat somewhere in between — keeping my California attitude, and forever trying to adopt some New York City gumption.

Now before the cold erases all the warm memories of the holidays, will you indulge me in a photo extravaganza below? You’re the best, thank you!

Not documented, the back to back 6am flights I thought were a good idea to book. Never again.

One of my biggest highlights this holiday was getting to meet little baby Hudson in-person. I wrote about him a bit here but he’s the rainbow baby of my dear friends Zabie and GMoney (not his real name, but if I keep using it maybe one day it will be 🙂 ). It was literal love at first sight … for me. I think he was a little quizzical of my existence but nevertheless he let me hold him for a good hour and sway around the room. Watching my Zabie bear be a mum to this little nugget made me incredibly emotional as well, but I blamed it on the jetlag so Hudson wouldn’t think I was an uncool aunt who cries in her sushi bowl when she’s overwhelmed with emotion.

After getting to see a “Star Wars” double feature with my coworkers, I made my way to Valencia on the 15th to finally meet my family’s new rescue cat, Batman. Oh yeah and to see my parents! Batman is pretty much a typical cat. He likes to sit by himself and not cuddle and will wake you up at 5am so you can walk him downstairs to his food bowl. He just likes the accompany we assume. But by the end of the trip, Batman would let me sleep nose-to-nose with him and every once in a while, sit on my lap. It was probably compensation for him losing his mind on the way to the vet. By next time I’m sure we’ll have matching tattoos.

Is there anything sweeter than someone asking: “You want to go to Disneyland today?” Oh Churro Patino, you’re a poet of words!

Now the mayor of Disney, Churro took me for a day of catchups and Disney adventures right before the holiday craziness began. Unfortunately, a guy behind us in line said HE was the mayor of Disney so Churro and that dude are trying to sort that out, but needless to say, the trip was magical. I saw Frozen for the first time which I found oddly emotional. By the end I was clapping and muttering, “You’re right puppet Olfa, I must go accomplish all my dreams. Yes, yes.” I went on Guardians of the Galaxy for the first time and was so motion sick by the end I don’t actually remember what the ride was about. But the best part is always Churro, he’s just my guy.

And in honor of our almost 10 year friendship (WHAT!) here is a photoshoot I made him take because he always makes me wait to eat my food so he can take a photo.

He’s so versatile, a real star. Speaking of stars, look at this MVP below! Our family game night took a little bit of a turn this year in which everyone took a spin of wearing the antlers. Well everyone but me since I was afraid of being hit in the face so Melinda gallantly offered to fight for me.

And last but not least, these wonderful humans. Thank you for always knowing the right thing to say, having time for endless life talks and long walks, and for all your delicious meals. I am in awe of you both and grateful to be your kid.

 

PS. Because you made it this far, here’s the holiday picture outtake.

 

 

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One thought on “Home(s) is Where the Heart Is

  1. Wonderful writing, torn between two worlds…..the old sunny comfortable one in SoCal with mom and dad, and the new unknown of the challenges of NY. Thanks curious one

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