I haven't been around much this month because of travel. I've learned that I'm not one to enjoy this much travel and I like being home. My husband is here, I know where I am, the foliage this time of year is great... I've come to appreciate New England more since I've been traveling.
The bulk of my traveling this month has been/will be for work. Two weeks ago and then again this week I'm stationed at our Costa Mesa, California facility. On the one hand, the weather is nice and the conference room that I park in has a view of the Pacific Ocean (and 6 oil derricks) about a mile and a half away. On the other hand, after work I leave, have a fancy pants dinner (I know, oh darn... but I enjoy cooking for Steve and I), go back to the hotel, perhaps exercise, crochet and go to bed. Alone. It's almost like I'm just killing time with no real purpose. Then there's the almost 12 hours in an airplane. The good news is that the company flies us JetBlue, so that's not so bad. Staying at the Hilton isn't terrible either.
But as we drove around California from work to the hotel, it just wasn't home. Things were overly busy, the highway wasn't that consistent (4 lanes, to 6 lanes, back to 4 lanes, to 5 lanes, to 7 lanes with NO SIGNAGE), and everything was just dry. Not much vegetation to speak of, people's lawns were patchy rather that lush and green, and while the palm trees were pretty they weren't the radiant oranges and reds that I'm used to in October. It wasn't home.
The last time I went out there, I got home on a Friday afternoon late. I was hungry, and Steve picked me up at the airport and we walked around the North End to find somewhere for dinner. The heavy Boston accents were comforting as was the cool fall breeze, as was being able to partake in some wonderful Italian food and Mike's Pastry. Then we went home, and the next day hopped in the car to take a jaunt up to the White Mountains with some friends of ours. I took pictures of the vegetation and the foliage the entire trip (until the camera battery died). Looking out over the White Mountains at Polly's Pancakes for breakfast and then at the condo we stayed at next to Attitash was like a big welcoming embrace back home. Listening to the Pats win on Monday night was like a big welcome home party. Knowing that any day now the first flakes could fall from the sky and cast a "dusting" of 1-6 inches.
Steve picks on me because whenever I go somewhere and come back to this area I start singing "Dirty Water" by the Standells. But it's that refrain, that "Oh... oh... Boston you're my home"... it just continues to ring true. I hate the cost of living here, I hate when we get more than 8 inches of snow... but the more I think about it, the more that no matter where I live or where I go - New England will always be home.