When we lived in San Francisco, Mike and I had all sorts of special spots all over the city. In fact, it seemed everywhere we went became significant for one reason or another (ah, young love) but one such spot became a favorite and we visited it over and over again – the Palace of Fine Arts.
We lived only a few blocks away and wandered the grounds on a regular basis. On especially nice days, our favorite thing to do was to pick up sandwiches from Marina Super and picnic under one of the beautiful trees running along the pond. On one particular occasion, we followed up our picnic with an oh so perfect nap and woke to find ourselves right in the middle of a group of Japanese tourists taking pictures (oddly enough this same exact thing happened to Mike on another occasion. This time the park was in Southern California and instead of Japanese tourists he was surrounded by a Mexican wedding – very strange indeed).
Another time, we had to let our landlord into our apartment and since having a cat went against the rental policy, poor Mike had to take the Boo down to the Palace in a dog carrier and wait for me to give him the green light to sneak her back in (true love). I even went by myself on multiple occasions. It was the best “thinking” spot in the city and I always left with a clear head and sense of peace.
We miss San Francisco all the time but one of the things that makes me especially nostalgic is the fact that we don’t have very many of these “special” places in LA. I imagine it’s not because they don’t exist but instead because our lives have changed so much since we moved down here. We now spend more time working, commuting, going to school, remodeling our home, caring for our furbaby, visiting with family, and fulfilling too many obligations. Clocks seemed to stop ticking when we lived in the city. I’m sure it wasn’t the case but looking back, it was as if we had all the time in the world to discover enchanting new hideaways and fall in-love with “our” life and “our” city over and over again.
Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing about our choice to move to LA. I love our house and my job so much more than I ever imagined and being close to my family is the best gift Mike could have ever given me. Still, I’m confident that LA is not our forever home. I don’t know if that means we’ll go further south someday, work our way back up north, or take off on a new adventure altogether. I’m fairly certain though that wherever we settle we’ll have the hum of a city nearby and all sorts of hideaways just waiting for our discovery. In the meantime, I will dig in and make a better effort to stop trying to recreate our SF life and instead, fully appreciate our LA life for all it is and all it’s meant to be.