Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Our Visit to CA

My wonderful little philosopher husband, being the grand student he is, successfully managed to get a paper accepted at the Lonergan conference held at LMU in CA. We were both somewhat shocked, but very excited. T also got funding from BC for 1/2 the price of our plane tickets, which was certainly a big help.

We woke early on Friday to get ready and to leave enough time to walk to the T, spend an hour riding it to the airport, take a bus to the terminal, check our bags, go through security, and generally hurry up and wait for our flight. We did leave in plenty of time, but when we stepped outside the door of our building, it was drizzling something fierce. "Drat," I thought, "we almost escaped." We knew it was supposed to rain all weekend in Boston, and we were very much looking forward to spending it in sunny CA. And so, even on the plane, we carried with us an encumbering memento of the east coast--a huge maroon and gold umbrella, standing at an impressive 3 feet. Oh well.
Luckily (I suppose), it wasn't considered dangerous enough to be denied its persistently awkward place at our side and we didn't need to check it. Also luckily, we had a rental car where we could properly neglect it.

We arrived on time in CA and met my parents (as quickly as we could) at In 'n' Out Burger (YUM!). From there, T and Daddy headed to the conference to play and Momma and I met up with my sister to go dress shopping (for me). See, T's in a wedding in May and I'm not. I don't mind not being in the wedding (I will get to sit in the pew with all T's siblings!), but I wanted to be sure to get a dress that would look good next to T's tux. I'm happy to report I found a dress--the first one I picked off the rack! I love Ross :)

We all went out to dinner Friday night at Olive Garden and guess what! THEY HAD PORTABELLA MUSHROOM RAVIOLI!! I'm not generally a fan of mushrooms (not as much of a hobbit as T), but Luigi's, the restaurant where we had our reception, used to have it and it was amazing! Anyway, walk down memory lane eating my pasta. Fabulous.

T's paper was scheduled for 11am on Saturday and we all (Momma, V, and I) trouped over to LMU to hear it. He was so cute. When I wasn't busy being nervous for him, I just wanted to squeeze him. He wrote about the struggle against bias--as understood by Bernard Lonergan. Toward the end of his paper, he started to read it much faster and I was getting a little worried that he was worried or nervous. Turns out he was reading more quickly deliberately 'cuz he wasn't as sure about his arguments in that last part as he was at the beginning. Maybe he was reading faster hoping the more critical listeners wouldn't hear anything to criticize. I dunno :) After his paper there were several questions and he answered them all very well! I took notes of the comments and suggestions (ah, the life of a philosopher's wife!). Afterwards, Momma told T, "I have to say, you will make an excellent professor someday." :D

There was a banquet at the end of the conference and Momma, Daddy, T, and I all attended. There was an open bar (gotta love them Jesuits!) and the dinner was delicious--just the right sized portions and YUMMY food! It was good to meet a few of the "heavy hitters" in the Lonergan world, and we all had a generally wonderful time.

Sunday we went to 8am Mass with the 'rents and my sister, V. The priest was a delightful old man who reminded us a bit of Wakko from the amazing, wonderful show, Animaniacs, which was amusing. The gospel was beautiful--the story of the journey on the road to Emmaus. I love that one... Toward the end of Mass, T must have been very excited for something because he got all hyper and started tickling me and chuckling and moving his legs around. Oh well :)

Brunch at the restaurant where V works (more yummy food) and then farewells to Momma and Daddy. It was so good to see them. Being so far away seems to make time between visits longer than they actually are. We saw my family in January but here it is April and it feels like much longer than 3 months. We want to get back to the west coast sooner than later..

Next, T and I headed off to see DD, another friend from GU. We went to the Cafe Mermaid for a snack (being very full from brunch) and walked on the beach. Ahh, how sweet it is to catch up with old friends! As fun as it is to make new friends, it's always fun to reminisce with friends who have been there at formative periods of your life.
While walking on the beach, we found an OCTOPUS! A real one! We figured he got stranded there between high and low tide. DD just wanted to poke it and play with its tentacles, but T and I saved it (with my flip flop). At least, we hope we did. Maybe it was sick and oozed up onto the shore to die in the sun.. oh well. :)

Sunday evening we had dinner with with Mr & Mrs JMFV (I'm still excited that I remember all his names). We just love them and it was so good to see them! They took us to a fabulous Mexican restaurant--we've been missing good Mexican food. It's not something one finds very often in New England.

After dinner, T and I went back to my sister's place and we all three (plus two of V's best friends) watched the movie Enchanted. We thoroughly enjoyed it! It was a clever parody of any and all fairy tales but with enough respect for the hope in them to have a happy ending! Amy Adams has the princess bit down pat--voice, dancing, hands (especially the hands). It was a fun night of laughing all around! Even the morals of the movie were solid (i.e., the lawyer and his girlfriend don't sleep together). Highly recommended! :)

Finally, after several more email attempts to meet up with a certain vocalist all weekend, we packed our bags Monday morning to return the car and head "home." It was an odd feeling, getting on the plane and heading east. We knew we were heading home, to our own home which we love, but we were leaving a home just as close and familiar (not my sister's apartment--the west coast and proximity to family). It's strange to feel so divided--not in a bad way, of course. We feel divided because we know we are supposed to be on the east coast at this point in our lives. But we also know we want to be closer to family and old friends. They (the proverbial "they," that is) say "Home is where the heart is." Can your heart be split between so many places? Boston, CA, WA (east and west), even TX and AL?

BUT! We had an absolutely amazing visit and it was wonderful and blessed and full of joy and happiness. We'll get back "out west" one of these days... here's hopin'!


  1. BTW, when we have our Byzantine farm commune, Taylor can be our yoga instructor. ;-p

    I am working--really I am. I just take short breaks.