Go West, Young Man

You know when a stomach flu starts going around your office? And how, at the first sign of gastric trouble, you start catastrophizing? That’s where I’m at right now. Wondering if this slightly queasy feeling is an early warning sign that I have caught the virus. That, at any moment, I’ll turn green and then vomit.

TMI, Joy. Oh yeah. Sorry.


On Friday I fly to San Diego. I’ll be doing a grand tour of SoCal, visiting Joshua Tree National Park and Los Angeles before flying back.

I’ve been to California three times. The most recent trip was when I was 13. I flew out one summer to stay with my aunt. I had a boyfriend at the time, and didn’t realize that my parents had flown me out there as a ploy to keep me from getting too serious with him. Ah, teen love: so tenacious.

Prior to that, I visited California around 8 or 9 years old, with the entire nuclear family. We first visited my aunt, who was taking care of my grandmother, who was dying of colon cancer. I was unfortunately too young to fully grasp the situation. Or fortunately, depending on how you look at it.

After spending time with them, we drove south, along Highway 1, a breathtaking road that overlooks massive sea cliffs. Or so they say: All I remember is being car sick, and vomiting (see first few sentences of this post). We eventually ended up in L.A, and went to Disneyland — allegedly. I have no memory of that, either. Odd how memories are formed. I’m sure my parents wanted to provide me with a memorable childhood experience like visiting the home of Mickey Mouse, and I can’t recall being there.

And going even farther back, I first visited California when I was 5. I actually have more memories from that trip, like visiting San Francisco’s Chinatown, and walking around my aunt’s backyard and listening to her talk about the deer who ate the apricots from her trees. I remember feeding a carrot to someone’s pet horse nearby. I remember my aunt’s cool goldfish pond, and that she had a pool table and she taught me to play pool.

5 thoughts on “Go West, Young Man

  1. Julie says:

    I remember back in the 6th grade (I think) you went to Disneyland during the school year. Or maybe it was Disney World. That was a looooong time ago. I just remember being so jealous. There was no way my parents would ever take me on vacation during the school year. Your parents were the coolest ever!

    However, I don’t remember your trip when when you were 13. Who was you boyfriend at the time?

  2. joynmsu says:

    Yeah! It was Disney World. They won that trip on a KEDT auction! It was the week before Halloween. And yeah, it was super cool to miss an entire week of school to fly to Orlando. Somehow, missing weeks of a CCISD education didn’t faze me.

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