We're goin' back to Cali.
I don't think so.
Remember that song? Great song. I've always felt it was written especially for me.
I've been holding out on you just a little about living in Germany. The truth is that since moving back to Germany last September I've been determined to spend summers in California. My reasons are thus: 1) I want my kids to be half American; 2) I want to spend face time with my colleagues, instead of being on the phone every night; and 3) I want to shop on Sundays, dammit!*
* The Germans, who treat smoking everywhere, even delivery rooms** as an inalienable, God-given right, have managed to make it illegal to smoke in restaurants but still hold firm on the concept: 'And on the 7th day He rested.'***
** OK, I said that for effect, I don't think even the Germans smoke in delivery rooms.
***If monks had been women it would have been, 'And on the 7th day She shopped' and Germany would be a vastly different place because of that one little word change.
But going back to Cali is not so simple. For one thing, the company we work for, after spending quite a bit to move us back to Germany and rent office space for us here, is understandably reluctant to finance our trip to California.
For another thing, the friend who was going to let us have her house in July made some dramatic life changes and is now moving abroad and renting out the house, so instead we'll be imposing on a mixed bag of colleagues and friends and moving around frequently in a borrowed car with 2 small children and enough personal effects to get us through seven weeks.
Which, as Sara kindly pointed out, could put a damper on the shopping.
Added to this, the theme du jour seems to be, 'You shouldn't have moved to Germany, mwa ha ha ha ha....' Which is good because a huge welcome would have been so embarassing.
There is also an emotional price to pay. Our 17 year old cat is clearly depressed by our pending departure. A friend of ours will be staying in our house while we're gone to look after him but he knows. He's a loving fellow and a dear old friend who values routine and having his family around him. He's been a little under the weather lately and I am not without worries on his account. May he please be well until we get back.
And finally, the piece de resistance, if you will, is our vacation. The money we might have spent on plane tickets to Hawaii will instead be spent on short-term daycare. Normally budget constraints would have forced us to forget about Hawaii and drive down to San Diego instead. However, my mother works for Hawaiian Airlines so the four of us are going to attempt to fly standby to Honolulu out of LA, where we will be visiting the rest of my family. And it gets better because hotel cancellation policies in Hawaii make it impractical to book a hotel in advance, since we may not make it to Hawaii at all.
I leave to your imagination a family of four with too much luggage and fairly uptight, control freak parents trying to fly standby out of LAX with no hotel reservation on the other side.
I know I seem incredibly easy going but I'm not at all about travel.
Suffice it to say that this summer will be something new for us. Everything will not be planned to the nines and there will be multiple logistical and professional challenges to work through. But our friends have really pulled through on accommodating us and our family and friends - not to mention Target, Pottery Barn and Whole Foods -are so excited to see us that we're going to try to make the best of it, have fun and do our part to generate much-needed business revenue in bankrupt California.
Anyway, that's the update on my end. If I'm quieter than usual for a bit, never fear.
I'm just in transit.