As we sit down to dinner at Pizzeria Delfina I say to Paul, "I love this place, the pizza is glorious." He smile and chuckles, remarking that frequency with which that word crosses my lips. It should come as no surprise though, its just the right word for a life full of stunning scenery, delicious food, close friends and family, and a lot of cycling.
Paul himself during this dinner is on his third trip to California in only six months, an impressive feat all the way from England, the motherland itself. The icy on the cake is that the same reasons that I can use glorious so often are the same reasons that he has been out so often.
How glorious? Glorious enough for one of England's largest (and best for that matter) cycling magazines to come out and do some featured rides for future issues. I noticed a few years ago while living in Paris the conflicting sense of validation and frustration that comes from residing in major tourist destinations. One on hand, its clearly a place to be, simultaneously the tourists can make a big mess about going about your daily life.
In cycling terms, it is pretty cool to realize the roads that I grew up riding, and the roads the I ride every day, are lusted after the world around. As of course, are all of our pre, mid and post ride food options, from class A coffee and pastries to perfect tacos and Coca-cola made with real sugar.
Its definitely a special place to live, and its richness is only better enjoyed with close friends and family. The bay area really has it all, I can climb as much as I want, get to the coast without a moments hesitation, stowaway to any number of redwood forests, see sunsets, get secluded, get lost in the tall grass.
Its so good that its time to get away. Refresh, switch it up. Whenever I come home from a long trip, there's a sense of familiarity made enthralling as everything feels seen and experienced by new eyes. This time around, its the fjords of Norway, the beaches of Portugal, and of course, my home away from home that are calling.
But there is always California, and it is always glorious. Be it the last light over the breaking waves at the Pacific, or the first light pushing through the fog on the golden gate, my home is the historic frontier. Growing up, living in and loving California means that my Manifest Destiny is reversed.
Its time to go east. I don't doubt it will be equally glorious.