Tag Archives: California

Dashing through the snow

I know I said in my last post that I’d write from California, but I just didn’t get around to it. Sorry. The truth is, I spent ten days in San Francisco relaxing and didn’t do one ounce of writing the entire time I was there. Sometimes you need a break, and I figure Christmas vacation is the perfect time to embrace laziness. And embrace it I did!

Hanging with Dougal on the back porch

My mom hanging with Dougal on the back porch, San Francisco

Now I’m in Bangor, Maine, with Al’s dad, step-mom, two brothers, and his family’s two dogs and three cats. It’s a full house but it doesn’t feel crowded. It just feels cozy. I love coming to Maine around Christmastime because it really feels like Christmas here. It’s cold (and getting colder). There’s snow (and there’s a lot more on the way). We all sit inside near a blazing pellet stove and eat unhealthy food. Like I said: cozy.

Hanging out in Bangor

Hanging out in Bangor


It’s quite a contrast from San Francisco, where the weather during our visit was stunningly gorgeous: warm and bright, with clear, blue skies. We took walks to the beach in short-sleeves, I went on a bunch of perfectly temperate outdoor runs, we had drinks on the back porch, and we saw some beautiful sunsets. I love a good California Christmas, and always will. But Maine in late December provides that classic, wintry feel that reminds me of growing up in Michigan, where Christmas was always white.

California Christmas weather

California Christmas weather

Yesterday morning, I went for a five mile run around Bangor and enjoyed the snow. (Ginger, Al’s step-mom, let me borrow her snow cleats, so I didn’t fall on the ice — always a risk with me). I paused to take some photos of the streets as I ran, and tried to remember the last time I saw snow. It must have been Christmas two years ago, when I went to Ottawa to visit Al’s mom and step-dad. Crazy!

Snowy Bangor

Snowy Bangor

Since Al and I have lived abroad for the past year, we’ve totally missed out on seeing any snow (not that I’m complaining, mind you), so it’s quite a shock to be surrounded by it now. And Maine’s just getting started: the weather report says that there’s a big blizzard on the way, and the high temperature in Bangor on Thursday will be negative 4 degrees Fahrenheit. I repeat: NEGATIVE FOUR IS THE HIGH.


Those kinds of frigid temperatures are mind-boggling to me. I guess I’ve been away from the North for too long to be able to even process what negative temperatures mean anymore. Not that I’ll be venturing outside to experience them for myself. No, no: you can find me by the pellet stove.

How Stephanie got her blog back

As you’re probably aware, my blog has been offline for the past week or so.  This is because it was viciously attacked by malware. I don’t know what malware is, exactly, but it’s bad and it virus’d my poor, innocent blog.  I like to think that I was targeted by international spies for knowing too much (about — stuff), but who can say.  In any case, my husband and brother-in-law helped nearly-computer-illiterate me fix the issue and, as you can see, we’re back. Whew!

Lots of stuff has happened in this past week and could probably provide fodder for fives, if not tens, of posts, but let me summarize in bullet format:

  • Went to a champagne tasting/food pairing event in Joburg
  • Traveled from Joburg (via Frankfurt) to San Francisco: a total of 27 hours’ travel, no big deal
  • Hung out with my parents and assorted cousins for 36 hours
  • Hopped on a plane to Orange County to attend the wedding of two law school friends
  • Wore this dress – only problem was that sequins fell off every time I went to the bathroom
  • Flew back to SFO
  • Slept
  • Got my blog back

So, here I am, in San Francisco, still in my pajamas, hanging out with my dad and dog.


I’ll be in California for three weeks, so be on the lookout for daily updates from here.  Until then, happy December, and beware malware.