Whew, we are back from our “vacation” to Southern California’s Inland Empire. Mrs. RB40 wanted to visit her family and friends so we went down a bit early to beat the holiday rush. This worked out quite well because the tickets were on sale and we didn’t have to fight the holiday travel crowd.
We were hoping for some nice weather, but it was super windy in her hometown. I guess I should have known that because of all the wind farms I’ve seen in the area. It was so windy that we had to stay indoors nearly the whole time we were there. We took a walk around the block once and RB40 Jr. was almost blown sideways. He kept asking to go back to the warm house. At least on our return, the wind was at our backs. Mrs. RB40’s dad said it was an aftermath of the recent storm.
It was nice for Mrs. RB40 to visit her family and old high school friends. At the same time, it was tough for her to see some of her friends wrestle with the so many challenges that often seem insurmountable. Her hometown is not a place where large industries are clamoring to build facilities, so good paying jobs aren’t plentiful (unless you count the casino). While the town is an inexpensive place to live and to raise a family compared to the rest of Southern California, many people end up commuting up to two hours a day to their jobs. Those who rent don’t always have landlords who fix the problems that occur. One side of town could even be considered a bona fide food desert with the absence of a real grocery store. Upon reflection, she is really thankful for her life now. Even with a stay at home dad and a baby, she feels that she is doing better than if she had stayed.
From Mrs. RB40
I’m sure my parents would be thrilled if I moved back home. It had been over three years since my last visit. I have a greater appreciation for the history of the area as well as the natural resource environment that exists. I never noticed any of it when I was much younger. But what would I do if I moved back to the area? I wouldn’t be able to just walk into a job (they are already occupied). I suppose an opportunity could be created similar to what Joe did for his blog, but returning to a rural area after creating a life in an urban setting is not something I want to do right now. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to study elsewhere, to use what I’ve learned to earn a livable income, to travel far and wide, to have an entrepreneurial life partner who shares my values, and to have enough time to spend with our healthy kid. My life is really good and I appreciate the opportunities that have opened doors even further for me. I may not have had those same opportunities had I stayed in place. Joe was a really good sport to accompany me on this reflective trip.
RB40 – I feel really lucky to have the life we have. We tend to compare ourselves to people who are doing better, but sometime we need to be reminded how lucky we are too. I really don’t want to move back to Southern California. You have to drive everywhere and it is just so busy.
Busy after getting home
So we got back home and the fridge is pretty much empty, but we were so tired of eating out. Her dad’s kitchen wasn’t really equipped for cooking and we went out most of the time. We did a masterful scrounging job and came up with a small menu to share between 2 adults and a little kid.
- 2 frozen crab cakes, edamame, and Korean pancake with 2 green onions for Mrs. RB40 and Jr.
- 2 burger patties, rice, 1 egg, and white gravy mix – I made loco moco for myself.
Our pantry was really bare after that and it’s time to go shopping to restock.
Now we are done with our holiday travel and it’s time to put up the old Christmas tree to create those magical moments for our kid! We didn’t want to the cats to chew on the tree while we were gone so we put it off until this weekend.
Do you have any travel plans for the holidays?