I hate Last Days. Actually as I am a Pre-Loss Anticipator, the time period of approximately 2 days to 12 hours prior to a Last Day is also one of mild irritability to total funk for me. This is a wasteful personality characteristic, so I made a decent attempt to not be bumming to leave California today, especially when I noticed that the Seattle-ish forecast for my return was a high of 65 degrees with RAIN (insert anguished wail here).

After packing up and leaving the hotel and enjoying some coffee and Eggs Benedict at The Broken Yolk, I walked 20 feet to a Starbucks and got another big coffee. Why? Because it was there, is why. Most times, if you hand me a coffee, I’m gonna drink it. Unless it’s Folgers or, god forbid, Dunkin’ Donuts. We then headed down the road a short distance to an upscale outdoor shopping mall because there was a Free People shop there, my fave brand, and they were having a sale. Sunny perfect day, fully caffeinated, shopping for clothes – that’s like a couple of Xanax for me. Ahhhhhh. The mall was populated with upscale cars and upscale people, all upscaling themselves on a Saturday morning. I was just looking for some shirts priced under twenty bucks. I did not succeed, so I walked over to Anthropologie, another favorite store, because they too were having a sale. Nothing screamed, OMG BUY ME YOU BEEOTCH!, so I didn’t, instead shaking my head at $195 jeans and remembering to stop doing that because that’s what my mother would be doing and I used to hate that.

Could I live in California? I think I would like to sometime. I wonder if I would get anything useful done, or if I would just shop more and go to the beach more and have sushi more and get cancer sooner. It struck me that maybe one of the reasons TITANS like Microsoft and Amazon and Starbucks are in Seattle and Seattle-ish is that people are more likely to be at work, working, when it RAINS FOR NINE MONTHS EVERY YEAR. Of course, that Apple is in Cupertino, CA. blows my theory, so I give it up, and wonder instead what it would be like to be…different.

I also wonder why whenever I see someone walking by the road in California, it is almost always a lone Mexican man with a mustache in a white t-shirt. Perhaps it is the same dude who just keeps walking. Maybe he is a shoe tester.

Head back down the 5 to San Diego to catch the plane, with a short detour to Land Of Party People And Tourists, Mission Beach.

I remind the kids to not dive in the ocean and roll in the sand like animals, and they nicely comply this time. It’s busy, and I feel a bit awkward in my shorts and shirt and carrying a purse here, all Old and Midwesterny. But I don’t care that much either. Everyone is busy playing Frisbee or chatting in big tanned groups or adjusting the butt of their swim garments. MissSix takes off her sandals and looks for elusive seashells. There are a lot of seaweedy things, but not very many shells. But she keeps at it, and finds a few for our little collection. She knows it pleases me, and she smiles when I tell her she did a fine job.

After a few minutes, it’s back to the airport to eat some crappy sandwiches and pizza, back on another airplane. As we pass over the L.A. area, we see the huge smoke plumes from the fires there. Delighted to not be vacationing there this time.

The universe cuts me a small kindness. As we land in Seattle, the clouds part and the sun comes out just to show me its last few rays before it sets for the night. See you next July, Giant Gas Ball.