Last night, I returned from nine days in sunny southern California. It was nearly 80 degrees everyday, which is just ridiculous.
There's nothing particularly exciting to report back. I relished the time with my family, saw my sister's incredible (and incredibly expensive) wedding gown, took our dog Leah for walks to the park, and sat around watching The Wire (still so good) with my sister and our two territorial cats. We drove out to the suburbs of Rancho Cucamonga for one Christmas party, then to Redondo Beach for other holiday celebrations, and visited places in between. I frequented my neighborhood taco joint for what are consistently darn good fish tacos, finally tried Tokyo Fried Chicken, had a steaming cup of horchata coffee at my favorite coffee shop in Los Angeles, Tierra Mia, sampled the products of my sister's new ice cream maker, and had lunch with my parents in downtown LA, in what was once Dad's favorite fish and chips place, which is run by a Khmer family and serves up Thai ice teas alongside Mexican horchata drinks -- only in southern California can you have this crazy mix of cultures!
On my last night before flying out, we stayed with Lath in Santa Monica, walked over to have dinner at Milo Olive, and after, watched some strange but equally amusing karaoke at a local bar. And then, I was on a plane, back to winter, back to reality, back to DC.
I'll admit it's been a rough few months, but there are many things to be grateful for and small pleasures to enjoy. And it's with that perspective that I ended the year.