Auckland was amazing; Kiri is a wonderful friend and we spent a great deal of time talking, eating and generally getting messy. As I made the last of my less than sober phone calls, I realised it was time to get off the islands and go on my way.
After a pretty cruisy 12 hour flight, I arrived in the maddest place on earth: LAX. Everybody was angy, the flight was delayed for 3 hours to San Fran. It felt so bizarre to know that I had no one I needed to call, no work needed to get done and no bills needed to be paid. Everything was tied up in a nice bow and it felt really, really weird.
I was picked up from the airport by my lovely Aunt Dominque and spent a lovely day with her, talking and walking around. She lives in San Jose, near the famous Winchester Mystery House. Now, those who know me well, know my love of ghost stories, the macabe and anything slightly weird. I had always wanted to visit the house that Sarah Winchester built over the space of 38 years. Despite my pleadings with my auntie, we couldn't go as we had to meet with my brother and his partner for dinner.
It was a lovely evening; San Jose was cooler than expected.
In the morning Auntie and I went for a lovely walk around the hills. Tina, my friend from Hawai'i, who I hadn't seen in five years picked me up. She aksed what I wanted to do and I said, of course, the mystery house. She jumped out of her seat and screamed "Oh my god! I thought that too! Wahooo!!!!
We proceeded at a quick pace to the crazy, 160 room mansion. Sarah, in an effort to avoid more than her fair share of pain and suffering on this planet, consulted a psychic regarding her future. The psychic told her that the reason she had expierenced so much loss was because the ghosts of all those people killed by the Winchester rifles had come to haunt her. In order to break the cycle, she would have to move to the west coast and build every day for the rest of her life.
Which she did. The Winchester house answers perfectly the eternal question: what can you do if you have bucket loads of cash and are absolutely insane. Sarah built until the day she died for 38 years. She built crazy shit like stairs that went no where, doors that opened into walls and rooms that had lots of 13 windows. (Oh wait, did I forget to mention that 13 was her favourite number? And we visited on Friday the 13???) OOOOOO SPOOKY!
Anyway, the house was full of crazy. Tina and I spent the rest of the day catching up on life. We picked up the Dave (her husband) from Apple and had dinner at the Auntie's house. Then visited my brother (hey, wait, are you guys getting bored yet???)
Flew to Seattle in the morning (the plane, as predicted was an hour late). Seattle is...HOT. Like 39 degrees hot. And dry. But I am enjoying spending time with the cousin and meeting up with people I haven't seen in a decade or more.
I think it brings up the eternal nature of some friendships, where you can sit down and just start talking like no time has past (even if 5 or 10 years have passed)....those are friendships (like Tina's) that I treasure with all my heart.