February 20th was my 34th birthday, and lucky for me I often get to choose something entertaining to do for my birthday because it falls nearly the same time as we receive our tax refund. This year was no exception. Joanne and I spent a couple of days discussing what I would like to do and ultimately decided that we’d go to a Thai restaurant in town that I had visited, but she had never been to.
I was craving mango sticky rice so badly. I couldn’t wait to go.
Then, just before my birthday hit I was looking at the “getaways” on Groupon thinking it would be really nice for Joanne and I to get out of town, kid free. I had my eyes set on this cute little bed and breakfast in Cambria, CA. I love visiting Cambria and it had been quite some time since Joanne and I had been there.
I mentioned the bed and breakfast idea to Joanne who loved it, and we began to consider the idea of purchasing the package on Groupon. Then, I made an off-hand comment… it was just a random thought that came to me…
“Ya know, for the price we would pay for this trip to Cambria for just the two of us, we could take the entire family to Las Vegas. I know it wouldn’t be a trip just the two of us, but… LAS VEGAS!”
She agreed and the only debate left was should we leave today or go first thing tomorrow morning (my birthday).
There were simply too many things to do to leave on February 19th so we waited for the next day, Friday the 20th. We packed up early and go out of the house around 9 AM and made our way to Las Vegas. I was so excited I couldn’t stand myself. We had not been to Vegas since we left and moved to Washington 4 years ago. I was going HOME! The place I have always talked about and ended with “a piece of my heart is still in Las Vegas…”
It’s like I couldn’t drive fast enough.
We made plans with friends on Friday night to have a birthday dinner with us and shortly after arriving in Las Vegas and checking in to our hotel, we went to check out their new house. From there we jumped on the freeway, avoided going anywhere near the strip, and over to a restaurant. Joanne and I were talking as we exited the freeway and made our way down and ordinary street in Las Vegas. Our conversation was something about Las Vegas feeling like home, that it was so wonderful just to be here, how we couldn’t wait to go do everything.
And I’m crying. WHY? Why am I crying?
The answer was simple. I was home. This is home, yet everything I own is in some apartment in California that is too small, and I hate it. Plus, the majority of my family was back in California. But, we lived here, for 8 years. Joanne and I really became Joanne and I here as we were forced to grow closer together, to survive just the two of us, to make relationship problems work out, we were each others fall back.
This was home. This is where more than just a piece of my heart lived and I wanted to be here, complete and whole.
We proceed to enjoy dinner with our friends and then took the kids down the strip to see the Bellagio fountains, Paris, Excalibur, Luxor, more. We stopped at many fun places, enjoyed restaurants we hadn’t been to for many years, sat the airport and just watched the planes. We really didn’t do anything special. We weren’t quite tourists, but we weren’t exactly home either.
Our intent was to say Friday-Monday, but when Monday rolled around I woke up feeling empowered.
Hold on, this can happen! We can move home… now and here’s how we do it. By Monday late morning I had extended our stay at the hotel one more day and began to call different places for rent. If I could make this happen in 24 hours, this was meant to be.
In that short time we managed to look only one single house. It was a beautiful house… 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, more than 2,000 square feet of living space, A POOL!, just miles from the strip with beautiful views, a great school district, and oh so totally in our budget.
The yards needed some work, trees were over grown, but I was able to look beyond it. I knew how I could make the yards look beautiful and I could picture how our things would look inside and the color scheme I would decorate with. I was mentally moving in and it wasn’t our place.
We applied. I relentlessly called the private owner renting the house… I LOVED this house, it had to be mine.
Tuesday he made plans with us to meet us at the house and when we pulled up we had no idea what to expect. He never said on the phone if it would be our house and Joanne and I were so anxious to find out. Did we make this happen? Was it really ours?
Standing outside he talked about the work the pool needed done, it didn’t have a fence around it, and it was feeling very anxious renting to people with kids, because of the safety concerns over the pool. Quick on my feet I began to offer solutions, things that could be done, addressed his safety concerns, and then he said…
“Well, I’m going to rent you the house.”
Damn right I made a move happen in 24 hours. We signed a lease, paid him, got our keys, and headed back to California, to pack. We arrived home late on February 24th and in the early evening of March 1st our UHaul truck was loaded and we were on our way home.
And that is how you make a far fetched dream, a reality.