Goin' Back to Cali

The first week in Vancouver whizzed by. After celebrating Canada Day, Ryan had to go back to work to begin the load-in. I had one more glorious day off. I took the bus over to Kitsilano, a beach neighborhood west of us. I did some shopping, sat in a coffee shop for a while, and walked down by the beach. It was a nice ending to our few days off.

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On Thursday I was back at work. The Centre Theater is plenty big for us and although the local crew are non-union, they are pretty good, so the load-in and opening went smoothly. We aren’t sold very well here in Vancouver, unfortunately, due in part to a mistake on the Broadway Across Canada website, which claimed we are sold out. Not so. The enthusiasm of the audiences have made up for their small size, though.

Friday was spent packing and organizing, because after only two days back at work, Ryan and I were heading out to California for the weekend to celebrate Jen and Mike’s wedding, having been allowed a couple of personal days from work. We dropped Tallulah off at her gay uncles’ apartment (Ken and Jeff) on Friday afternoon. They took very good care of her all weekend while we were away.

So on Saturday we headed back to my hometown of Sunnyvale, California, where we first met up with my family for lunch at the best pizza place in the whole entire world, Ciceros. Ryan agrees that it is really good pizza!

After that we went back to our hotel to get ready for the wedding. Jen (well, we call her Fin – a shortening of her last name, Finney) is one of my oldest and dearest friends. We met when I was fifteen, when we were all taking catechism classes to prepare for confirmation. Out of those classes developed a youth group, and I am still very close with all of my friends from that time. So Fin met Mike a couple of years ago, and while we were in Salt Lake City, she called to tell me they had gotten engaged. I’m so happy I was able to make it back to California for the wedding!

Ryan and I met up with Bryan (another of my good friends from youth group) and his lovely girlfriend, Erica, at the Saratoga Country Club for the wedding. The ceremony was short and sweet and touching – both Mike and Fin got a bit choked up…and I did too! It’s very overwhelming to see one of your best childhood friends get married! It was a beautiful setting, in a gazebo overlooking the valley.

The reception was held at a hall at the Country Club, and I had a blast at our table, catching up with Mary and Erika, who were both bridesmaids, Tristin and her husband Ross, and Bryan and Erica. We ate, we danced, we laughed. It was great fun. Afterwards we headed back to the hotel and had more drinks at the hotel bar!

Mr. and Mrs. Draeger

Mr. and Mrs. Draeger

Erika, Mary, Fin and Mike

Erika, Mary, Fin and Mike

M, Mary, Fin, Erika and Tristan

M, Mary, Fin, Erika and Tristan

Bry and Erica

Bry and Erica

On Sunday, we woke up early-ish and met up with Fin and Mike and their families, and some of our friends for brunch. Then Mary, Ryan and I headed off to San Francisco for the day. Ryan and I got a great deal on a convertible at the rental car place – perfect for sightseeing around northern California!

We had plans to meet up with Laura and Neil at their place in Oakland later in the afternoon, so a stop in San Francisco seemed like the best way to spend the earlier part of the day, especially since Ryan had never been there! We first drove along the coastline in the Sunset district, stopping for a minute in the Richmond district to see my old apartment building, and Mary’s (how I miss living there!), and then set out across the Golden Gate Bridge to the vista point on the other side. Unfortunately, there was typical San Francisco fog, so the bridge and city were hard to see, but Ryan got the idea. We then went back across and into the city, and drove down windy Lombard Street. Then we went over to North Beach, my favorite neighborhood, and walked around a bit and got some gelato.

Foggy Golden Gate

Foggy Golden Gate

The view from Lombard Street

The view from Lombard Street

Mary in Washington Square Park

Mary in Washington Square Park

Ryan in the convertible

Ryan in the convertible

Me outside Vesuvio in North Beach

Me outside Vesuvio in North Beach

After a few hours in San Francisco, we drove over the Bay Bridge to Oakland for a BBQ at Neil and Laura’s. It was the first time meeting their beautiful son, Quincy. What a cute kid! It was a great surprise to see that Laura is pregnant again and expecting their second son in three months time! We also were able to catch up with another old friend, Chris, and his wife Lorin. And then Jason surprised us, showing up for some good eats and good company as well!
Laura, Neil and Quincy

Laura, Neil and Quincy

With Mary, Chris, Jason, Lorin and Neil

With Mary, Chris, Jason, Lorin and Neil

Baby Q

Baby Q

After stuffing our faces, we got back in the convertible and headed back to Sunnyvale, to one of my favorite bars, the Duke of Edinburgh, to meet up with David, who was in town for a hot second before flying to Austria to play with the opera for two months (he’s a bass player). Erika, Bryan and Erica also joined us for a couple of pints. It was great to see David – and to hear about his exciting opportunity in Austria! I can’t wait to see the pictures he takes!
David and Mary at the Duke

David and Mary at the Duke

After drinks, we had to say goodbye to all of my friends. I love them so much! Until next time!

On Monday, we had to get our priorities straight. Ryan needed to have his first In-N-Out Burger experience. It did not disappoint.

Then we got in the convertible and drove over the hill to Santa Cruz, which is probably my favorite place on earth. I spent two blissful summers there working at Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and many days lounging on the beach. It is just such a cool town, with such beautiful surroundings. We drove through the UC Santa Cruz campus first, and I showed Ryan the redwood glen where I did two shows with SSC. We saw some carpenters working on building the current set.

After that we drove along the coastline to the lighthouse and visited the Surfer Museum. We watched the surfers outside for a while. Then we drove over to Natural Bridges Beach and chilled out for a bit before heading downtown to check out the shops. It was a great afternoon. 

Pigeon Cove

Pigeon Cove

Catching a wave

Catching a wave

Ryan at Natural Bridges

Ryan at Natural Bridges

Me at Natural Bridges

Me at Natural Bridges

That night we had another BBQ at my parents’ house in Sunnyvale. We had some delicious burgers, and it was nice to catch up with all my sibs and play with the dogs. I love you guys!
Drinking beers with the fam

Drinking beers with the fam

Simon and Jack

Simon and Jack

Nick

Nick

The next day we had to go back to Vancouver. After a torturous day at the airport (our plane was inexplicably 3 and a half hours late leaving), we made it back to Canada in time for the evening show. Tallulah was very happy to see us when we picked her up afterwards.

So that’s the story of our lovely mini-break to California! It was an amazing weekend filled with friends and family and lots of love and laughter. I can’t wait for the next time!

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