A lottahourslater I’m finally back on ‘the rock’. It’s the hottest time of the year, and it shows. Even the locals are complaining! Now that I’m here I’ll admit, I was a little hesitant to come home. I was feeling like I needed to mentally prepare myself for the transition back into island life, and I hadn’t had a spare second to think past what plans were happening next, and next and next! So here I sit, at the kitchen table, sleep deprived but happy. I’m happy to be back in my tree house. The hammocks are so inviting and there’s a nice breeze rolling through the house this evening.
|Living room hammock|
The visit home was nothing but success. I got to see almost everyone, at least once if not more. I had some awesome opportunities to camp, jet ski, BBQ’s, river floats, wine taste, shop, family time, LOTS of eating and drinking, go to the cinema, open air concert, beach cruises, historical tours, Harley rides and Helicopter ride*!
|And that's pretty much how it went!|
|Reason 999 why I love my friends|
|My favorite flower, Hydrangea. I check on these particular ones every summer, just in case I get married one day.|
|Seattle Pike's Market & harbor reflection|
|We sure do love our shrooms in the PNW!|
|Pretty cool, whatever it is! Broccoli-Cauliflower hybrid?|
|This is Portland during the annual Waterfront Blues Fest. Love this city.|
|Caroline, and old room mate and friend of mine. Love this girl.|
|Portland and its randomness.|
|I love we're still 'growing up' together, after all these years!|
|My little LuLu|
*For those of you who don’t know me all that well; my older brother is a flight nurse in California. I visited him for a few days en route back to the island, and we had a great time wandering around downtown, telling silly stories, surveying the local surf spots and touring his work base. We drove an hour north of Santa Barbara to check out the base, he suited me up in a flight suit, boots and ‘brain box’ and we headed out to the helo for safety orientation. Helicopters are risky business, and when you combine them with trauma emergencies on top of everything else, this is some serious shit! There are LOTS of check, re checks, double-triple checks as precaution to the aircraft, the crew and the patient. Just as we wrapped up the safety orientation a call came in. So I headed out with Josh’s co workers and the pilot to respond.
I was REALLY freaked out at first, only because I was very worried about getting in the way, or taking too long to get in the aircraft or fumbling with my seat belt and adding time to the emergency transport. Clearly when airlift is required, it’s pretty serious. None of these things happened, of course, and the crew was more than accommodating to the fact that ride alongs to save lives just isn’t something people do everyday! Thanks to Suz, David, Jeff, Josh and Calstar!
|Pismo Beach Sand Dunes|
|These dunes go for miles and miles!|
|Southern Cali Agriculture Land|
|Santa Barbara Hospital|
|Back safe after the transport|
|This is AWESOME!!!|
|David, Calstar Flight Nurse|
The landscape around Santa Barbara, both on the ground and in the air, is seemingly beautiful. The city backs up to a hilly mountain range; and the other direction its spilling into the ocean. Breathtaking estates are everywhere, as are ranches and wineries. A fair amount of the city has a lot of historical buildings still in tact, and preserved quite well. The town is very clean, and is covered in gorgeous drought resistant plants, most of which bloom into something fairly bizarre looking. There are lots of fun things in and around the city to do, and even more at the beach. The weather is always a moderate 70 something with only occasional morning clouds. It’s really a beautiful place my brother gets to call home.
|The cutest little surfer posse|
|EVERYONE surfs here!|
|So many interesting plants! They're all so beautiful!|
|Santa Barbara Harbor|
|It's breathtaking, everywhere you turn|
|Even at the airport|
There’s simply too much to recap the whole trip, so I’m letting the rest of the story tell itself thru pictures instead.
Thanks for letting me take a hiatus to be with loved ones these last few weeks. I had some awesome opportunities to connect with so many people, family, old friends and making news ones too.
I am still, without a doubt, RICH beyond words.