Ay, ay, ay. A week in Reno is, well, over. It was awesome, but I must admit, I'm glad to be home (did I just call Boston home? Yikes.).
You see, this trip held a lot of interesting "what-ifs" for me, and I was a little bit nervous to go back. I haven't been there since I left more than 6 months ago, and I was afraid that 1) I would see everyone and miss it so much that I would never want to come back to Boston, that 2) I would go back and think "I can't believe this used to be my life...what was I thinking," that 3) my social agenda was going to fill up so much that I wouldn't be able to enjoy myself while I was there, or that 4) I would run into a bunch of people with whom I had severe awkwardness before I left, and that it would be awful. In fact, none of these things happened, and it was an incredibly lovely trip.
Here is a recap:
Wake up at 4 a.m. to call a cab and catch our flight. Get into Reno at noon (yay! half the day left) and decide to go to lunch with my mom at this Vietnamese place across from the airport. We walk in, the place is full, and two tables are filled with people I know. Is is now completely undeniable that I am in Reno again and that I lived here too long. We decide to go to sushi instead and have a completely awful meal (except for the company of my mom, which was awesome. I was missing her.). Then, a beer and pizza run and back home to hang out with family (the hairy siblings included) and laugh our asses off at old stories until we are too tired to move. Had the best sleep ever in the camp trailer with soft blankets, a feather bed, and the northern Nevada breeze coming through the windows. Awesome.
Breakfast with mom with veggies from the garden (yum!), then a drive around the lake and to Truckee for lunch where we bumped into some of Mom's friends and met up with Gabe's mom. Reminded yet again that I am in Reno and that Reno is small. Our first day back training Aikido, which was awesome, and got to see everyone. Got home late and tired and made ourselves some janky cheese and tomato sandwiches for dinner, which turned out to be great. Couldn't sleep much because it was *way* too hot in my old room.
Gabe had to work, and I was supposed to go to the lake with Carolyn, but somehow those plans fell through. Had some Bibo iced coffee (only the best in the world...seriously, you won't be able to drink non-cold-brewed coffee again). Took a little nap (which was sorely needed) and had some incredible sushi for lunch with my dad (Sushi Moto--I highly recommend it). Then, CAROLYN!!!! I have missed this girl terribly, as she has been wandering around the jungles of South America for the last year and a half. (Natasha, by the way, is still lost down there somewhere trying to become a shaman and make bracelets.) Carolyn's puppy, Baby Wednesday, exiled from the farm for killing chickens, has won a special place in my heart. If she is not careful, I will steal him ;) Dinner with Grammie, then Sandra's bachelorette party, which was really nothing more than the girls hanging out in a hotel room drinking beers and eating pizza. Nice.
Went to Arielle for a haircut which made me feel pretty. Spent some quality time alone with Gabe at the Yuba River (yes, the emerald pools) playing chicken on a log floating in the middle of the river. Being that it was a Thursday, we had the whole spot to ourselves which never happens and was a nice surprise. We couldn't stay long, though, because we were both *exhausted* after the flight, time change, bachelor/bachelorette parties, not much sleep, etc. I was so tired I wasn't even sure I could drive. Somehow we made it to his parent's house in Truckee where we took a nap, had a nice visit and dinner, then crashed.
Woke up early to get in the hot tub before leaving Truckee (we were too tired to go in it the night before, and didn't want to miss the opportunity). Hurried into town to make it to Charlie and Sandra's wedding rehearsal and lunch. Lunch was at LaVecchia (again, highly recommended), which is owned by a friend of ours who trains Aikido too. I knew both of the waiters working our lunch and was yet again reminded that I was in Reno. The food was awesome. Bob (one of the waiters) tried to get me drunk, and 10 glasses of wine later, I think he succeeded. I think I only stayed that way for about half an hour, but was buzzed for the rest of the afternoon. Note to self: learn to say no.
Later that afternoon, Gabe and I met my dad to shop for the big BBQ blowout we had planned for Sunday. I think I was acting a bit silly on account of the previously mentioned 10 glasses of wine, because for some reason I couldn't shut my mouth, and everything in the store was incredibly funny to me (including the giant plastic shed that I tried to lock Gabe in, not realizing that it had three other doors, all of which were open). Oops. Yeah. I sobered up enough to go to Aikido (which was probably dumb, but oh well), and go out to Silver Peak afterward, but all I wanted to do was go to bed.
More training in the morning, then off to get some lunch, get my hair done (thank you again, Arielle) and get ready for the wedding. My god. Sandra looked beautiful.
The wedding and reception were nice, and I was honored to take part in it. I think the best part was during the reception. We were all drinking, visiting, having a great time when all of a sudden a 50 piece marching band burst into the room. Everyone was stunned. The band played several songs, and just about everyone of the 150 people in attendance got up and danced the conga line. The band with the American Legion convention that was in town, and I guess Charlie had met the band leader in the elevator earlier that day and had asked him if he wanted to come play at his wedding. It was great.
Oh yeah, that and I fell on the dance floor in my nice dress. Thank you Aikido for giving this clumsy girl a little bit of grace. I wonder how many people saw my underwear...
The big BBQ. Chicken. Chorizo. Beer. Family. Friends. More beer. It was awesome. I was sorry that I didn't get more time to spend with everyone, but it always makes me incredibly happy to see so many people that I love all in one place. I needed that.
The night ended with a glass of wine with Gabe and my dad on the deck looking out over the city with the cool breeze washing over us. It couldn't have been more perfect. Thanks guys.
Oh shit. We are already to Monday? We have to leave today.
Breakfast with my dad turned into lunch with my dad. Lots of packing (actually, not that much--both Gabe and I travel light), then some sitting around, which was probably needed. Got to see some people at Bibo, drink another Iced coffee (I will miss you!), then off to Aikido. Trained our balls off, then got some Vietnamese for dinner (and ran into two of my friends. Yep, I'm in Reno). Then, home, quick shower, red-eye flight at 12:30 a.m...Houston (where I just happened to see the lunar eclipse over the wing of the plane, totally random)...Newark (where I saw New York City for the first time, again, over the wing of the plane)...Manchester (where I had to say goodbye to Gabe. It never gets easier.)...Free shuttle back to Boston... Orange line...walk the few blocks to my house with heavy luggage...kitties!!!...Nap!!!...Food!!!...Pub with Joe and Nan to watch the Red Sox game....then finally, bed. Oh yeah. It is Tuesday night by this point. Just sayin'.
Whew. I'm still exhausted. I accidentally slept through my alarm for TWO HOURS today. Oops. Well, as the saying goes, I'll sleep when I die. And, I just might (die), because I'm going up to Montreal tomorrow for an Aikido seminar with Tissier Sensei from France, who is notorious for kicking everyone's ass (I was super exhausted after training with him last time). This is what life is about though, right? Family, friends, and kicking ass.