First Visit Back to the Bay

24 Sep

Six weeks after moving, I made my first trip back to the Bay. It felt a little too soon – like I had made all this drama about moving and, in a blink of an eye, I was back. It was long enough for people to feel obliged to say they missed me but I suspect they hadn’t because the time was so short. When I was living in the Bay, seeing you every six weeks was pretty good for me.

I was sitting in Orange County airport (named after John Wayne because we love ourselves a rich cowboy) waiting for my flight to San Francisco (which, along with Oakland airport, is thankfully yet unnamed), and I ran into a friend of a friend who used to live in the Bay. I had forgotten that she moved to Irvine. We sat together on the flight and chatted about how none of her Bay Area friends have visited her in a year and perhaps never would.

I had come to the Bay for a series of events and the first was the wedding of a longtime friend who grew up with me in OC but has lived in SF for the past few years. He is one of the few people who can actually make me remember the good things about OC. I always imagined him getting married on a San Clemente beach, but it was lovely to see how fitting the Maritime Museum in San Francisco is for him and his bride. There were two other people from our high school at the wedding, but none of them still live in Southern California. It was strange for me to be representing the OC contingent.

I anticipated that many people in the Bay would ask me how I liked OC and the answer I had prepared was to gloat about the weather. But the Bay Area failed me by having absolutely beautiful weather the entire week I was there. While I appreciated the warmth and sunshine, I didn’t appreciate the Bay making me love it even more.

I hadn’t come up with something else to say, so I said a lot of, “It’s okay. I like living with my partner and we haven’t killed each other. We live near the beach, though we haven’t gone much. Our apartment is nice.” All of which sounds utterly boring. Which it is. Nice and boring.

The Bay Area is not boring. I didn’t actually end up going to any of my favorite haunts. There were so many other interesting places to go (and eat) that I had never been to before; I didn’t even have a chance to get nostalgic. The one pang I felt was when we got on BART at SFO. It felt comfortable, like I was coming home after a long trip away.

But when my partner picked up me at Orange County airport after my trip was over and he gave me a big hug and kiss, I knew I was home.


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