Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Return to California

I loved California when I was there with Matt P and Pete G back in January. But I had no idea how big a role the region was about to play in life-as-I-know-it when I visited then.

Because this is the internet, and no one has an attention span longer than 2 seconds, I'll get straight to the point. Gerhard has accepted a new job at the biggest snowboard magazine in the biz: Transworld.

Transworld is based in Carlsbad, CA about half an hour north of San Diego, right on the coast. Don't ask me why snowboarding magazines always seem to be published in the most un-snowboarding of places (Toronto, as another example ... no offense Blue Mountain).

And so here we are, riding the rollercoaster of life in the fast lane, trying to figure out what happens next. Because California is a loooong way from Toronto on pretty much every level.

So how did this all happen? Well let me just brag and say it wasn't like Gerhard was looking for a new job. This job came looking for HIM. And if you follow his articles with Snowboard Canada, you'll know why. Or maybe they just saw this:

Anyway, one thing led to another, and that led to a job-interview in Carlsbad. A quick trip, but I decided I needed to be there to try and make more sense of all this impending change. Maybe palm trees and ocean breeze would be the spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down.

And it was.

I travelled via Vancouver where a former colleague and her boyfriend were kind enough to put me up for the night. That lined me up for an early flight to L.A. the next morning.

When I landed, I was immediately hyped. I went to pick up the economy car I'd reserved from the rental company, and let them up-sell me to a red convertible. It seemed like the obvious thing to do. Then I booted down the interstate blaring the pop-tunes, and letting my new cut and colour fly around in the wind.

I got to the hotel first, so I had the tedious honour of waiting for G. In the mean time, I got a sandwich and a drink from a place up the road and made like ten friends who all had great advice on what to do and where to eat for our little stay. I got back to the hotel and finally Gerhard arrived. We spent the rest of the afternoon booting around in my whip, checking things out and imaginging what life could be like there.

We thought the actual interview the next morning would be over in time for lunch and surfing, but it turned out to be an all-day appointment. So I had nothing left to do but take myself shopping! I also checked out the flower fields which are famous in the area and took myself out to lunch at the "Naked Cafe" before poking my head in some neighbourhood bike shops.

To celebrate the success of both our days, we headed to San Diego to try some fish tacos one of my sandwich-friends recommended. We drove by a rollercoaster and stopped for some spontaneous thrills and poetic symbolism.

It was a great trip. But is it real life? For one of us, starting June 6 it sure is.

Gerhard has been beavering away to get his documents in order for a move to the States. Lucky for him he doesn't have to "immigrate" in the formal sense because he is a dual citizen. But chasing down passports and social security numbers plus trying to squeeze the most out of his last weeks with healthcare have kept him busy.

I have been working on finding a roommate and fussing over Gerhard's to-do list. We're having a going-away party for G next Thursday by the way if you'd like to bid him farewell (and ingratiate yourself to him so you have a place to stay if you ever want to go to SoCal.)

So that's been the overwhelmingly heavy, scary, exciting, happy, confusing, sad, proud news around here.