The adventure has officially begun! As I write I am flying over the Pacific en route to Sydney! As always, I was busier than I thought and didn’t have a lot of time to write. Looking forward to some rest on the beach and time to gather my thoughts. I have been on this trip for a week and almost two days (depending on where I am in the Pacific and what time zone I am in) now and here’s what’s happened thus far…
My mom and I flew into San Diego last Saturday. We arrived to the sunny California weather and were eager to put the top down on our convertible. Most of the natives were complaining of the cold but my Mom and I were ecstatic about the warmer weather and enjoyed; running by the harbor, yoga on a rooftop, and of course driving with the top down.
I had set up many appointments to view apartments. I looked in many different areas and found a few great options. I will make the final decision of where to live and when to move once I get back in April. We also had time to enjoy some beautiful spots in SD including La Jolla and Coronado. There were plenty of delicious meals enjoyed as well.
I am so happy I stopped here first. To be honest, I was starting to wonder what the hell I was thinking; it’s a lot of work to move across the country! Once I got back to San Diego I knew why I had made this decision and I think it will be the perfect new home for me and Lila. It certainly won’t be easy reestablishing myself on the West Coast but I am confident it will be worth it in the end.
On Tuesday we headed up the coast to Los Angeles. I really wanted to drive up Highway 1 to enjoy the views. There were some specular views but the drive was very different than driving along Highway 1 between San Francisco and Big Sur where Matt and I got engaged which I hoped to relive. I know I will make it back to that spot someday. There was a long detour along the way to find In and Out Burger. Matt and I had almost missed our flight coming home from our engagement trip so In and Out frustration is now a definite tradition but worth it in the end.
My Mom and I arrived in LA a couple of days prior to the Zumba Conference and were able to take in some of the sights. The first night we dined at the restaurant of one of my favorite Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. She wasn’t there but it was still fun to have dinner there and the food was excellent. The next day we took a Celebrity Homes Tour on an open air bus. This was of course extremely touristy which I usually shy away from but it was a blast! We drove through Hollywood Hills, the Sunset Strip, Beverly Hills, and Melrose Place. There were no celebrity sightings but I think I have a solid foundation that the next time I go to LA, I know where to find them! Although, the few times I have come across someone famous (including the creator of Zumbe, Beto), I usually see him/her and think well they are just a normal person trying to walk down the street, eat their croissant, or enjoy the day and chicken out about approaching them because I don’t like invading their privacy. After all they are just like us right? US Weekly has the photos to prove it!
After a day of sightseeing the Zumba Conference kicked off. On the first day I tested for my Aerobic Fitness Association of America certification. I had prepared well and the day of review was excellent so hopefully I will find out I passed in a month or so. The next day I took a training to become Zumba Gold certified which is Zumba for seniors, special populations, and those that are new to exercise. I took the training from the creators of the program and they along with a few other instructors were simply inspiring. The class met a woman who teaches in her wheelchair and would put many of us to shame with her moves. I also met a lovely woman who is battling cancer. I had to say something to her. I shared with her that Zumba had been such a blessing my life and had helped me as my husband battled cancer. She asked me how he was doing as my eyes teared up as I shared with her we had lost him last year. She gave me a hug and we chatted about making the most out of each day. This woman is living that and she had an amazing energy. Zumba seems like a silly crazy fitness phenomena but it is so much more to so many people and I am proud to be a part of an organization that has inspired and changed so many lives. I am even feeling inspired to bring this to the widow community and hopefully share how much fitness has helped me in this healing journey and hopefully get some widows moving!
The remaining days were filled with tons of Zumba; everything from a Fitness Concert with Pitbull, Dancing through the Decades, a Hip Hop Remix, and more Zumba-ing in between. The keynote speaker was Suzanne Sommers (yep Chrissy Snow) and had a lot to share with us about how she has remained so healthy into her 60’s. The last day of convention left my Mom and I exhausted barely able to walk our serparte ways to our terminals. We were so lucky to take this trip together and I know we will remember it forever. I was also very thankful to have her with me as I looked at apartments.
I am feeling much the same as I did with my last post. I feel so removed from my life with Matt. That doesn’t mean I don’t miss him but I don’t see him in every step as I moved through our life alone. I certainly wish we were crossing the Pacific together leaping into the future. As widows, we are constantly asking ourselves, is this what he would want me to do? Sometimes you just don’t know. Most likely because you never had to face this situation without him and you never really talked about it because that would have acknowledged it was happening. I know Matt would be happy that I am going to Australia to visit one of his best buds and he loved it down under especially since we planned to at some point take this trip together. The Bali part? He would probably think I was crazy but I think that was some of my charm to him. But then you realize that you are in this alone now and while you can use your spouse as a guiding force you have to make decisions that will make you happy. I am so happy I am making this trip and can’t wait to see what the next leg has in store!
Mom and I in La Jolla enjoying the beautiful weather