I grew up in Northern California, Folsom to be exact. Obviously I don’t live there anymore, now I call Colorado home. I could say that the reason for this is because of the benefits of living in Colorado is greater than those I found in California, but that would be misleading. I moved to Colorado because my work moved here. I would probably turn down an opportunity to move back to California if given the option. It’s not my cup-o-tea. I don’t want to get into a pissing match about it, let’s just say I would rather live in the fly-over.
The first thing I noticed upon arrival to the Sacramento valley is a shortage of visible sky. I am used to Colorado where you can always tell where you are by looking west towards the Rocky Mountains. Montana may be the “big sky state” but Colorado has that and more. Everywhere I went the sky seemed to be cut down to a hole directly overhead. Trees and buildings blocked the view around. I couldn’t see the Sierra Mountains, I still don’t know if that was due to my position or smog. I felt claustrophobic and somehow compressed, like California was trying to surround me and prevent me from leaving.
Something else that I noticed over the next few days visiting with my parents and friends, it didn’t feel like home any longer. During the first few years of living in Colorado, I always felt a certain amount of nostalgia when visiting Northern California. This time was different, I felt like I was visiting a vaguely familiar place. My parents’ home is nearly the same as when I lived in California, however, I didn’t feel the same about it. Maybe the nostalgia will return when I get really old. I hope so.
I absolutely love Round Table Pizza. I wish Colorado had a chain of these wonderful pizza restaurants. Really, I can’t even relate how much I love Round Table Pizza. I just thought I would throw that in.
After a few luxurious days lounging around the pool with my family it was time to head to Santa Rosa. I am honored to be my cousin’s Best man at his wedding; this also means I get to do the Bachelor party thing. I am not much into parties. My idea of a party is to sit around the fire with some rocket or pyro buddies, drink and tell stories. It turns out that the bachelor party was a lot like that, but with the added bonus of having a bunch of my cousin’s friends around the fire. Jim is a lucky man to have such cool friends, I immensely enjoyed their company. I am more of a whisky kind of guy, but rum is their thing so rum I drank.
The party was held at my Cousin Monica’s ranchette. This includes Bulldogs, chickens, horses, and some kind of crazy dog, I don’t remember the breed, but it ran like the wind and liked to dive into the horse troth to bathe. I am not a big fan of dogs. It’s not that I don’t like them; I guess I am more of a cat person. The bulldogs were nice and kind, however when you get up at 6am after drinking all night they can be a bit disturbing on first glance. I was looking for coffee, opened a gate and started my zombie walk towards the kitchen and suddenly two 60 lb bulldogs were blocking my path.
I probably stood there for a full minute before remembering that they weren’t the kind that attacked people. For a while it was touch and go, but they are good doggies. We were well taken care of and had a really nice time. I still haven’t written a toast, but figure I had time; the wedding was 24 hours away at least.
The wedding was great. It was so nice to have all of my relatives in one setting. I won’t go into details about the wedding itself, that’s Jim’s and Lisa’s story to tell. They were obviously very happy and head over heels in love; it was great fun to see Jim so nervous. I will say that I didn’t flub the toast. I was a bit nervous, but it is amazing how quick I can move from my normal shy self to an obnoxious public speaker then return back immediately. Doctor Jekyll?
Oh and Jim, in case you’re wondering it’s a key holder. Three hooks for three sets of keys.
After the wedding we drove back to my parents place in Folsom.
It was on this drive I really noticed the difference between Colorado and California driving. When I lived in California I was under the perception that California had the worst drivers in America. I was wrong, Denver, Egypt, and Nevada has the worse drivers in the world. We were driving up I-80 towards Sacramento on Saturday night and people were actually maintaining a confortable following distance. Some even used turn signals to change lanes. What a stark contrast to Colorado. When you drive down I-25 from Cheyenne to Denver it is bumper to bumper 80 miles per hour pandemonium. Everyone drives in the left lane and keeps a following distance tight enough to prevent anyone in the right from moving over. But the “California stop” is still quite prevalent. I don’t think I saw a single car make a complete stop during my entire vacation, until the return trip.