Now we are back in San Juan Puerto Rico on the tug Patriarch. A month ago I was getting off a boat in Jacksonville and flying home to Seattle. It was a little tough getting off the ground in Atlanta, however, with thunderstorms holding up every aircraft in the place.
But eventually we were on our way, and I explored Seattle for the next few days, sometimes with Jake at my side but usually alone. I saw a Bay Area tug one day in Portage Bay – presumably to work on the state route 520 bridge. Westar does get around!
That weekend we headed to SoCal for a wedding in Palm Springs, flying into LAX and driving out to the desert. It was my first time in Palm Springs and I loved the mountains, the dry heat, and the feel of the town itself.
I wanted to stay at the Parker, which was less than a mile from the wedding venue, but we rocked the cheap motel across the street like it was our job. Gene Autry’s old haunt we will leave to a time in the future when money grows on trees.
The wedding itself was divine, and we danced outside well into the night despite the heat.
After returning to the Northwest it was only a few days before I flew south to the Bay Area to be with my family. When I got home I found our family cat of 13+ years, probably well beyond fifteen years old, sick and beat-down with the heat. After two days of spendy vet visits we had to let him go. For the first time in my adult life I had to make the decision to put an animal down, and it was intense. I really miss that little guy.
I escaped the next day (incidentally the 4th of July) to Tahoe to unwind. I had grand plans to hike Rubicon Peak every day before the sun got too hot, but mostly I slept in every morning and stayed at the beach late into the afternoons.
After spending three days visiting with dozens of old family friends and Rubicon Bay neighborhood mainstays, I drove home to Napa for church in the city on Sunday and mom’s birthday, then spent the next two days unpacking and repacking for work as has become my routine. I never knew I’d live out of a suitcase as deftly as I do now but I’m getting used to it. The flights have become manageable, if not always enjoyable, and I know that when I get on a boat at least I don’t have to get up and go anywhere for at least four weeks. Also, I have a permanent crew now! And a more or less regular schedule at last.