But that wasn’t enough to stop me from marching right over those dunes (I can’t get over how there’s like parking lots and roads, then suddenly, out of nowhere, DUNES.) and across an abandoned beach to touch my feet against the awesome waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Well, I shouldn’t say ‘me’, I should say ‘us’ since I dragged my wife out there too-She’s the one who took the picture and she was a good sport. The ocean wasn’t anything new to her. Thanks, honey!
Anyway, it was spiritual. It was moving. And I think I last described the whole trip as ‘bittersweet’, because I knew it wasn’t meant to be.
But hey, you know what? I ended up getting that promotion anyway. Yep, I get to stay here in Illinois and I start my new job this Monday with the same pay I’d have gotten if I moved out there. How cool is that? Not that I’d mind being surrounded by all those beautiful mountains and be near the ocean, but there’s a lot of family for us here, and these things happen for a reason.
Most of the trip was business-related, but as soon as I got the chance, I drove my cool rental sports car (And it had to be a sports car for some reason. No, it wasn’t an upgrade.) all the way from Sacramento to San Francisco, dashed out to the ocean, then turned around and went back. To say that it wasn’t the most stunning drive I’ve ever taken would be fibbing. We took the Bay Bridge into SF, and as I went across the city, I thought about how crazy it must be to parallel park on those hills.
Okay, I lied. I ended up making one stop on the way back. It was getting pretty late and we accidentally stopped in a shady part of El Cerrito to grab a bite to eat. Oops. But it was the first time we’d ever eaten at a Jack-in-the-Box and it was so good, it was worth escaping that crazy dude who was chasing after us. I’m not kidding. About the dude or how good the food was. For the price, I mean.
We also had our first Cinnabon at the airport. Man, those are good. Dangerously good. The state is definitely pretty liberal, too. We stepped off the airplane and the first thing I see? A brochure dispenser right next to the women’s restroom. The brochure? ‘Why You Should Consider Divorcing your Husband’. lol.
But everyone was extremely nice. The weather was crappy. Cold and rainy all three days we were there, but everyone insisted this was NOT the norm for that time of year. I guess we chose the worst possible weekend to go. None-the-less, I had a wonderful time. We had excellent sushi, got to see all the beautiful houses. I’d like to go again someday just to enjoy the sights.
And, with that, I’ve crossed off everything on my bucket list. I’d been to Japan. I’d seen the mountains, and I’d seen the ocean. Even my 16-year-old-Nick bucket list has been achieved: I’ve been in the same room with Nobuo Uematsu and I’ve been to Square Headquarters, too. Heck, I’ve even climbed a mountain and touched the ocean now. So I decided to kick my bucket list up a level.
1. Get a story published somewhere.
2. Swim in the ocean.
I think that should keep me busy for awhile.