I left on Tuesday morning, after coffee and toast with French guy, and it took two of us to carry my stuff to the car because I had to kind of take part of my office with me. And, for just 4 days away, could I pack lightly? Not really.
So today, I did my SportsBites radio show from World Talk Radio's San Diego studios, and met my Executive Producer in person for the first time. He promised me that my show is doing extremely well and that we will plan to move forward to make sure I am on the air for a long time to come. This felt extremely good, especially because when we sat down my first words to him were, "please tell me something good."
I was also delighted to bring a gift to the wonderful engineers who run my show because, I could not show up grateful yet empty-handed. So they got dozens of my signature oatmeal-Euro-chocolate-chunk cookies that were actually Derek Lowe's birthday cookies at one hour...whole separate story for another post another day (but I will say that Derek probably does not realize how fortunate he was to have one of the best cookie recipes in the universe named for him but, he should).
Tuesday, as I drove down, I had a fabulous day unfold. My friend Nic Romano, for whom Temecula's new Villa Romano is a soon-to-be-dream-come-true, invited me to taste some wine for his new VR wine club, have lunch, etc., so I spent half the day with him and his people. Then after enjoying a really good iced mocha with my friend Tina who was surprised I showed up in her town instead of being in AZ for the week, I drove to my hosts' home here in San Diego.
Janet and John live in the sweetest home, with two dogs that I adore, and I always feels so welcomed here. Janet is also a chef so we always dine well together and we both really love to tell and listen to each other's stories. She has travelled all over the world, and we share a special passion for Italy and France especially.
Yesterday she had a meeting - food-oriented of course, that I was included for - at Lotsa Pasta in Pacific Beach. This is a wonderfully unique and incredibly delicious custom-made-for-you concept restaurant that I positively recommend. After we dined very well, we shopped at Great News! cooking store, and had a field day in there. Then to the Farmers Market in Ocean Beach - amazing $2 strawberries - and a tour around the cliffs and seaside homes up there, which inspired me to tell Janet stories of my time in Liguria last fall, which led to the story of my Genovese great-grandfather. Very nice.
Dinner was at Pietro's back near Janet's home - exquisite pizza, antipasto salad, and host. Pietro is from the island of Ischia, near Naples, Italy. I am already invited to their New Year's Eve party in 9 months. I kind of already gave my RSVP.
Tomorrow we are having breakfast in La Jolla with Domenica, a fascinating 83-yr-old lady I met in Florence, Italy, a few months ago. She was born in Italy, and is a retired professor from UC San Diego. When she was little and her family moved to America, she went to school and did not speak English. Most everyone knows her as Dorothy; I feel privileged to know her by her birth name and am very excited to reconnect with her. We especially will enjoy reminiscing about our gelato with "Casanova", my last night in Florence. Another story, another day.
My point is, I love when I can expect the unexpected with an open mind, and especially an open heart. In my life it's usually really good news when plans cancel; the gods invariably had something better in mind for me and, prove it. I regret missing my friends in Arizona this week but lo and behold, my producer made noise today about how I need to make regular trips there (HQ studios for the station are in Phoenix), to make contacts, have meetings, etc., so I trust a lot of that is in my future. Yeah um, OK!
I have had an amazing, and tremendously fun week. And look, time to blog! While Ricky the dog is sacked out across the room, and the house here is so quiet and I am so serene, I am reminded of how blessed a change of scenery is.
I'll definitely be venturing away from home - even if it's an hour or two away - a lot more often.