Archive for October, 2011

Cali 116

Considering that we’ve been together for over a year and are living together, I suppose it’s odd that my family hadn’t met Mountaineering Man before a few weeks ago.

But that’s one of the downsides of living abroad, thousands of miles away from my parents, sister Anne, brother-in-law Juan and best friends. Though I’d kept everyone informed via emails and phone conversations, it’s always only half the story because despite Facebook photo albums and blog posts there’s no way to convey the whole truth about someone or something – especially one that is particularly significant. And because I’m immersed in my life here, I often forget that no matter how much I’ve shared with everyone back in LA they’re still not getting the full picture of MM.

Cali 88

Before we left on the big trip, MM took a fair bit of ribbing from his mates. As my father is a Vietnam veteran, his buddy Joe kept making “Meet the Parents” references and joking that my father was going to be keeping an eye on MM’s every move. Despite all the teasing, he was eager to meet my family and as we pulled up to my parents’ house he seemed relaxed and ready to Meet the Kleinedlers!

For the first half of the LA trip, we stayed at my folks’ house and within 10 minutes of walking in the door my mom had the photo albums out and was showing MM my baby pictures and telling childhood stories. Later that night we gathered at Z’s sushi, the place where my family goes nearly every other week for dinner. When I lived in LA, I knew if I went to Z’s on a Friday night, there’d be a good chance my sister and her husband or my parents or all four would be there, sitting at the corner of the sushi bar and bantering with Toshi the sushi chef. It’s just our place and has been for years.


Cali 58

When I lived in San Francisco I used to go camping in Big Sur every summer with a group of girlfriends. With its rugged coastline, signature pine trees and aqua blue ocean, it’s one of my all-time top places to unwind.

As Mountaineering Man is a huge fan of the outdoors, I knew he’d love Big Sur as much as I do. And since he was about to meet my parents, sister, brother-in-law and a half-dozen of my friends for the first time, I thought one more stop before the big LA debut couldn’t hurt. We rented a car in San Francisco and drove along Highway 1, the beautiful but notoriously dangerous windy road that goes along the coast of California.

Cali 53

I did the driving because it’s a lot cheaper for me to be the only driver of a rental car (they charge more for foreign drivers!), a decision I regretted as soon as we passed Monterey and started down the main highway. It was a four-hour, white-knuckled drive, but we finally made it to Treebones, an eco resort where guests stay in yurts instead of a standard hotel room. The yurts are fully furnished with a bed, couch, table and chairs, gas fireplace and sink with running water and feature the most breathtaking ocean view you’ve ever seen. The resort is completely off the grid, meaning they produce their own energy and waste nothing. The main lodge has 24-hour showers, a sushi bar and a restaurant that cooks up organic produce grown in the resort’s own garden. There’s also a heated pool and hot tub and a little gift shop that sells some of the California coast’s best wines.


SF Vesuvio

I apologize for being away so long, but we were on holiday and I decided from the onset that I would not bring my laptop along for the journey. But we’re back from our whirlwind tour of California after nearly two-and-a-half weeks away so here you go!

The main point of the trip was to introduce Mountaineering Man to my family in Los Angeles (the “Meet the Kleinedlers” post is coming up soon!). But before we journeyed to LA we first flew into San Francisco, a city where both MM and I lived at one point in our lives – though we never crossed paths.

Cali 1

I went to college in San Francisco and spent another few years there after  graduation and MM spent several weeks there one summer visiting his Irish college friends who were there on a J1 visa. So it was only appropriate for us to first land in the City by the Bay. Instead of staying at a hotel, we opted to rent an apartment via Airbnb, and the decision is one of the best we’ve ever made. Instead of spending $300 or more per night on a hotel room (gotta love those hidden fees/taxes!) we had a 14th floor penthouse apartment, complete with a private rooftop deck and hot tub, all to ourselves for nearly half that price.