...or you really can't go home again.
Mr. Cleaver and I just returned from an almost week spent at my Mother's in Napa, California. Our flight out was delayed (canceled and re-booked, really) by two days due to a huge snowstorm on the east coast, but our actual travel was fairly uneventful.
It'd been two and half years since I'd last been back and it was the first time I was truly hit by the fact that I didn't live there anymore. Though in general Napa has gotten more touristy, with large hotels and tourist-aimed shopping centers being the most noticeable changes, not all that much was different (the Uptown Theatre is still closed, the flood abatement project still isn't completed, the Cinedome still stands tall, my mother's favorite restaurant is still the Red Hen, and Butter Cream still makes the best doughnuts in town).
But it wasn't home - I didn't remember my way around the roads, my childhood bedroom was filled with boxes of things that weren't mine, all the art seemed lower on the walls, I couldn't recall where the pots went in the kitchen, the bakery I once worked in was now a hair salon. I not longer had any ownership of the place as it is, only as it was and it was a sobering feeling.
That said, the weather was beautiful and it was nice to see family (Mr. Cleaver got to meet a lot of my mother's side of the family for the first time) and friends (shout out to Angie & Steve, Sean, Heatherly & Angelina!). I love that there will always be people in my life that no matter how long it's been since we've talked or seen each other (which is regrettably often too long), we can always pick back up right where we left off - and that's a comforting feeling.
I didn't take many photos while on the trip, but I did take a series of shots on Christmas morning when Mr. Cleaver and I visited my neighborhood park (which is, yes, also a city drainage basin). I'd like to point out that Mr. Cleaver is wearing my Christmas gift to him, a Woven Bands Pullover re-imagined as an Elizabeth Zimmerman shirt-yoke seamless sweater knit in Cascade Eco-Wool. Mr. Cleaver loves it, which makes me so happy - you have no idea.