Scenes from California -- Part I

Some of the blogger attendee's favorite images from art.com at The Bold Italic

My new girl crush, Lauren's killer blue shoes...

Brunch at Bar Tartine (best salad ever)

art.com dinner by Stag Dining Group at Bluxome Street Winery...

When I was still at my old gig, I would travel to Germany for meetings once or twice a year. Truth be told, it was usually a bit of a whip -- quick trips, long flights in coach, raging jet lag... But there was one particular trip when the stars aligned and I was granted permission by the powers that be to fly (wait for it) business class. It was like a whole new (totally magical) world. And after ten hours of made-to-order ice cream sundaes and cozy slippers and on-demand movies and a fully. reclining. seat., I deplaned with only one thought: I didn't need to know that exists. See now that I knew the wonders of business class, coach would never be the same. I would always know what I was missing...what would never be mine.

That's how I feel about California.

I love California (specifically northern California) in ways that aren't natural. It is my soul place. I grew up there, it shaped me...I tend to think that its smells and culture and landscape is somehow imprinted on my psyche, ruining me for any other place... for all time.

Suffice to say, this presents a bit of a dilemma. I long to be there, but then I get there and I'm instantly melancholy because I know I'll have to leave. It would be better if I didn't even know it existed. How's that for totally and utterly depressing?

My trip this weekend was no exception. It was blissful and beautiful and inspiring...and sad. Now I'm home trying to shake off the funk (it doesn't help that it's 102 today in Dallas). It's slow going, but I'm trying. I am.

In the meantime, I'll share some photos from my happy/sad trip with you, in two parts. Today's snaps are from my first two days in the city where I joined up with a group of other bloggers for an art.com brand summit. (I'll share more on that later...they are up to some v. cool stuff those art.com folks.) Tomorrow I'll share pics from my weekend with Bryan in Marin.

And in between I'll try to forget and move on. Cool?


Angela Lee said...

Unfortunately I wasn't born in San Francisco but my husband was raised there and I know what you mean. I feel like I BELONG there. My body is in LA but my soul is in northern California. I was there last week for a fundraiser and I just didn't wanna leave.

Heather Taylor said...

ahhh, i love this. joanna and i were just talking this morning about how we would love to take you for drinks and dinner if you ever come to LA. CA loves you!

Jo Harper said...

I feel the EXACT same way about 1) Flying business class and 2) No. California. I and my then-boyfriend/now-husband found ourselves bumped up to business class flying home from Rome once(an excruciatingly long flight in coach), and it's completely ruined me forever. (I've flown coach ever since. Not by choice.) It's really just like that Seinfeld episode. And, we went to SF on our honeymoon four years ago, and the East Coast (we're from Philly) has been a big, fat disappointment ever since.

mes bijoux said...

very funny/sad post! I share your thoughts about the business class. About the second part, I think that it is always better to experience a good, superb thing/place/person although you would lose later, because you can always have the memories.
kisses from lovely Barcelona!

Simply Mel {Reverie} said...

northern california's magic grabs a hold of you and nothing. absolutely nothing. compares. hurry back.

jamiedawn said...

these photos are absolutely gorgeous. you have a raw talent for sure!!

torrie said...

i'm in southern ca and i completely agree with mel on this one. we travel up north a few times (as many as we can possibly squeeze in) a year, but the killer (in the sense that you are describing) is the *summer trip. the 2 weeks of eating (drinking... picnic-ing...) our way through wine country. each year it is more difficult to come home. we feel like we belong there (but so many "things" that hold us here). i am already dreading it(!) in a sense because i know what this trip does to my heartstrings, my mindset, ...my soul.

all that to say, i get it. :)

Lakshmi said...

Why not plan to move to your soul place in the next year or so? If there's 'YES' inside of you, you'll be amazed to see how things work their way around that intention. Hokey it may sound, but it is true... :)

la la Lovely said...

Oh, girl. .... I have SF on the brain in a bad way lately. I, actually, have still never been. Everyone keeps telling me I would love it and I'm kind of strangely certain that I would love it and want to move there. But after reading your post, maybe it is just better that I not go and not know what I am missing.

I hope you can shake the funk sooner than later...try not to think about the 102 degrees...if that is even possible :)

xo . trina

Maria said...

oh gosh- I so relate to this:

"Suffice to say, this presents a bit of a dilemma. I long to be there, but then I get there and I'm instantly melancholy because I know I'll have to leave. It would be better if I didn't even know it existed. How's that for totally and utterly depressing?"

Mary Beth said...

Oh, Joslyn, I have been thinking so much about your post today. I'm in Southern California and over the last year or so I have learned to embrace all the beauty and magic that is right here. And I am so much happier now! What helps: there are a number of bloggers writing from right here in S. Cal and they have lovely lives and I never hear them complaining or longing for what they do not have.

Laura at Ascot Friday
Rachel at Heart of Light
Elizabeth at The Littlest
Taylor at LA in Bloom
(and more)

You have such a lovely home, life, and family (I know you know . . .). Just felt like expressing I do know what you are talking about but that I feel so much better now that I've learned to embrace where I live. Best wishes to you, always.

Molly said...

This post resonated with me. I am staying California right now for 1 month but live in Arizona. I grew up here too and the sea, mountains and sense of inovation are forever imprinted on my soul.

Howevere when I grow melancholy I think of what my family would have to do to live in Cali.... I would have to go back to work a huge law firm, most likely, my husband would have to commute some huge distance and we would be so financially strapped to afford to live here that our stress would outweigh any beauty of the place. Where we live now I can afford to work part time at meaningful law work, my husband commutes 5 minutes so he can spend a lot of time with our daughters etc. inctually think these things make a bigger difference in day to day happiness. So maybe you have it the best of both worlds... You k now the place well so you can visit it and enjoy it but you don't have the incredible hassles and financial pressure of actually living here!

Heidi said...

Just discovered your blog and was reading back through all your posts and this one really resonated with me. You feel about California the way I feel about Louisiana. And I'm here, in San Francisco, desperately longing for some of my south. I've been looking at all of your photos and thinking how much I live in the wrong place. I totally feel you. Maybe we should do a swap;-)