September 24, 2007

They pull weather

This weekend, E2 and I headed to gorgeous pismo beach for a weekend of relaxation, running, wine tasting, food, and, most importantly for me, visiting my grandma.

First, I'd just like to say that I'm very blessed on the family side of things, and I know it, and I'm very thankful. I had the luck of having healthy progenitors, all in the same state, where I lived, and they all wanted to be a part of my life. I was the oldest grandchild who knew all 4 of her grandparents from birth and I also spent time on a regular basis with two of my great-grandparents, including great grandma Tommy (her last name was Thomas), who with the help of gran feeding her every day, held on 'til the ripe old age of 103 in my early 20's. I still remember asking for time off work to go to her funeral. My boss was so amazed and incredulous at my matter of fact statement of need for emergency family vacation and the reason. It was the first time when I realized that my family's close-knit connection through the generations might not be something everyone else enjoyed. "Your great-grandmother?" "103?" "Really?"

As a child, I was raised to think that vacations meant a visit to each of my grandparents on a regular basis. If not a visit, then an opportunity to meet up with them outside of their hometowns. Occasionally, we might vacation without grandparents, but that was only after we'd spent enough time with them that year that the vacation without them was easy to justify.

These days, as I slowly ease my way into my third decade of life, my grandmother, my father's mother, and the wife to my papa is my sole living grandparent. I know my grandma very well. She's been a major part of my life since my birth. She's a friend that I do my best to call weekly (which, these days, means I speak to her more than the majority of my closest friends) and a root that helps me understand where I come from. She's also a stubborn, hilarious, sharp, but focused (sometimes at the expense of the bigger picture) character of a woman, who, when R met her for the first time, made R say, "Wow. You are so much like your grandma. I now see where so many of your personality qualities that I never saw in either of your parents come from."

I've been very busy with the juggling of the lawyer gig, lately. So much so that I didn't take a proper beach vacation all summer, and I hadn't taken any time to go visit my grandmother since last October. Conveniently, my grandmother lives near one of the most gorgeous beaches in California.

Even more conveniently, E2 was willing to join me for a girls' weekend in Pismo where we fit in lots of grandma time. How great is that? Not only am I blessed on the family spectrum, but I am truly blessed on the friend spectrum. Not a day goes by that I don't feel thankful for my lot in life on the friendship side of things...

So, it was all set. My work week lined up such that I wasn't going to have to work much at all. I even spent most of Friday working from home in prep for my departure.

In fact, the only drawback was the weather., yahoo weather, weatherunderground, all of them, no matter where I looked, they predicted showers on Friday night, well through Saturday morning, and then partly cloudy mild weather for the rest of the weekend. Not exactly the type of weather you hope for to enjoy your one beach vacation weekend of the Summer.

Sure enough, on the drive down, it rained upon us as we inched through stagnant traffic in our fight to get South. After several hours too many, we admitted defeat, and stopped for a delicious dinner at Buona Tavola, a delicious Italian restaurant with true light, flavorful, but healthy Italian options (the soup of the day of puréed roasted bell peppers was delicious), which fueled us for the remaining 40 minutes of the drive so we could check in at 11:30 and fall asleep under the light rain.

Saturday morning, I woke to the Sun streaming through the window. There was some cloud cover, but no one would even begin to suspect it of rain. E2 and I took a quick survey and decided that despite the original plan of a run through the Edna Valley wine country, a run along the beach was just what the doctor ordered.

We were greeted by a rainbow cascading through the clouds into the the ocean over the cliff upon which our hotel was perched. And it only improved from there. We talked and laughed and lazily jogged our way through the 10 miles we needed to complete as we crossed through town, through the the Pismo Beach State Park campground trail, and then further through the Northbeach Campground along the raised planks through the dunes and through the Monarch Butterfly grove. At 10:30, we arrived back at the hotel to a clear blue sky and temperatures around 70F -- it was enough to feel hot and make us happy that we had gotten some sun and started your run before lunch, but it was pleasant, not painful, and beautiful.

Tan, relaxed, and post-shower, E2 and I picked up gran for a post-run brunch at IHOP. That's right. I went to IHOP. I also ate so much that I was almost ill.

Oh, and I enjoyed it so much that I'm blogging about it. Not just gran, for whom I'd eat sand. I'm talking about the food as well. I actually loved my meal at IHOP. The corncakes were shockingly addictive, particularly given that I didn't expect to like them at all... Yeah, I guess when they say that old people know all the good stuff, they aren't lying. 'Cause damn does Gran love her some IHOP.

Anyways, the rest of the weekend was equally fabulous. We visited my uncle and aunt and raved at their overgrown tomato-vine mound. I tried to hide my jealousy. The jealously slowly dissolved as E2 and I spent some quality time at Wolff Vineyards, enjoying the tasting and the view, and then later, at Per Bacco, who, by the way, are my latest pick for undervalued amazing California winery of the year. E2 and I enjoyed a lazy walk on the beach, followed by a glass of wine, an embarrassing moment of not having enough cash and a delicious Cioppino dinner at the Pelican Point. The next day, we took gran to champagne brunch at The Spirit of San Luis. If you haven't sought out a champagne brunch at the airport before you drive home... well, you're missing out.

Anyways, it was a perfect weekend. I got to hear the surf. I cried. I slept hours upon hours. I read. I ate. I drank. I spent tons of quality time with E2, some of which she probably found boring, but was much too polite to let on. And, of course, I made my gran's month.

And there, my friends, lies the title to this post.

Because when Gran asked about our run and I expressed surprise that it was so gorgeous, and in particular that the rainbow was there, she smiled and said, "Well, of course. That's because you had people pulling for you."

I got the chills.

I remembered how Gran spoke with utmost confidence about the weather on the day of my wedding. She promised that Papa would make it a gorgeous day. He was a farmer, after all, she was certain that the first powers that be he'd square up with upon arriving in the after life would be those associated with weather.

Sure enough, my wedding day was the one day of no rain that month.

And sure enough, this weekend, Papa and Daddy pulled weather.

As soon as she said it, I knew. I knew they were glad I'd gone. I knew they knew the sacrifice I'd made, leaving E for the weekend and possibly risking not being able to work on a deal. But it was important, and they approved of my priorities and wanted to encourage me to make more trips by rewarding me with amazing running and relaxation weather.

So, given that it was a running/family combo weekend, I am choosing to adopt my wise, old gran's viewpoint.

As she said, Papa and daddy pulled weather this weekend. They trumped the predicitions so E2 and I could have a great run and know that they appreciated our visit.

Oh, and it rained at home. Just in case I thought the point wasn't strong enough. Had I not gone, I would have been grumpy at the weather.

Now, I can't wait for my gorgeous Christmas break runs in Pismo -- after all, I'm orchestrating the attendance of my side -- that's got to be worth a few degrees of running comfort in Fahrenheit, right?

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