This past weekend I drove down to Los Angeles from San Francisco.  It’s about a five and a half hour drive the way I did it – straight down the Interstate 5.  Taking the Pacific Coast Highway is much more scenic, but just about doubles the driving time.

The purpose of my visit to Los Angeles was two-fold. 

First, I helped my parents pack up our house in Glendale.  They are selling the fabulous Spanish-style house – which is the house I grew up in – and moving to Oregon.  We have vacationed every year in Oregon as a family, my younger brother lives in Oregon with his wife and kids, and my parents still own a beach house on the Oregon Coast.  So it’s not unfamiliar territory at all.  It’s a great move, but certainly tough to leave such a beautiful house with so many memories.  The good thing is, the memories stay with us.  My parents have done a good job 'purging' so that not everything in the house is going with them to Oregon.  It was fun to go through so many bits of nostalgia, including old photos, correspondence and news clippings, and personal effects.  Perhaps the biggest highlight was that in the evenings, my parents and I sat around and watched "Shark Tank" episodes.  This is way better than in the past when they would make me watch "The Bachelor" episodes.  Way to go, Mom and Dad!

Second, I attended my college reunion at Occidental College.  I was slightly disappointed at the attendance (we only had about 10% of our class show up), but the reunion weekend included reunions for classes from every 5th year, so I had a chance to mingle with alums from other classes as well as my own.  One of my best friends, who couldn’t make the reunion and whom I had lost contact with for nearly 10 years, was nice enough to fight the LA traffic to meet me separately for dinner the following week.  You know who you are… Thanks!

In all, I was in Los Angeles for about 6 days.  It still felt like home in so many ways. – especially my childhood house, the neighborhood streets, and the Occidental College campus (which is only 6 miles from my house).  But at the same time, the City of Glendale has changed so much (it’s now a thriving metropolis with traffic!), and I was anxious to get back to the City by the Bay.

On the drive back north, I couldn’t help but think about my own house in San Carlos, and how nice it would be to pull into the garage and flop down on my couch with a glass of wine.

Ooops.  House is rented still.  The adventure must go on… What's next?  Stay tuned!

My childhood home.  Spanish-style with lots of stained glass, tile, wrought iron, and arches.  This is taken from the stairway landing (see comment on last picture about Christmas morning - this was the view we'd have as we came down the stairs with Mom, Dad, Christmas tree, and lots of presents below...)

My childhood home.  Spanish-style with lots of stained glass, tile, wrought iron, and arches.  This is taken from the stairway landing (see comment on last picture about Christmas morning - this was the view we'd have as we came down the stairs with Mom, Dad, Christmas tree, and lots of presents below...)

This was the stained glass window in our wood-paneled den, or TV room.  The room also had a red light in the left-hand corner and a green light in the right-hand corner.  I never really made sense of this until now -- after 4 years of sailing -- these are nautical "running lights."  Red is left, port side.  Green is right, starboard side.  All these years later, I see these hints about sailing that were right in front of me for 18 years living in this house!

This was the stained glass window in our wood-paneled den, or TV room.  The room also had a red light in the left-hand corner and a green light in the right-hand corner.  I never really made sense of this until now -- after 4 years of sailing -- these are nautical "running lights."  Red is left, port side.  Green is right, starboard side.  All these years later, I see these hints about sailing that were right in front of me for 18 years living in this house!

Another feature related to sailing:  Spanish galleons engraved on the lights in our living room.  Each of the four fixtures had a different engraving of a ship.  So cool, I never really noticed. (Or maybe I did notice but it just didn't hit home as much as it does now.)

Another feature related to sailing:  Spanish galleons engraved on the lights in our living room.  Each of the four fixtures had a different engraving of a ship.  So cool, I never really noticed. (Or maybe I did notice but it just didn't hit home as much as it does now.)

Our tile stairs.  We used to come down these in our pajamas on Christmas morning.  We would pause on the landing, shown here, and peer over the wrought iron railing looking down into the living room.  My parents would be in the living room below and film us.  Those old home movies are somewhere now converted to DVD...I hope.

Our tile stairs.  We used to come down these in our pajamas on Christmas morning.  We would pause on the landing, shown here, and peer over the wrought iron railing looking down into the living room.  My parents would be in the living room below and film us.  Those old home movies are somewhere now converted to DVD...I hope.

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