Rafa flew into San Diego at 10:00pm tonight but, hours and hours before that she texted me from Vermont with another big list of possible things to do to fill my day with places to ride to and places to eat –she’s a great long-distance tour guide. I rode to the Olympic training center, sat by the lake, looked at the mountains, orange and rusty in color, did some writing (Rafa says she usually reads here) and then rode back. I listened to some Christmas music while I ate lunch. Connie came in the kitchen and was humming and singing under her breath while she did motherly things like put stuff away and wipe down counters and push chairs in. Their home is decorated like the North Pole and I love it. Later on, David and Dani and I drove into the city for some epic donuts at Donut Bar. Large, colorful, sugary circles seemed to glow under the soft warm lights overhead.
There’s a lot of love for donuts in this place. The 3 of us went to the mall afterwards, David wanted to upgrade his wardrobe. I normally avoid malls like the plague this time of year but, I never mind going along for the ride. We all had fun; Dani and I made all the decisions for David in terms of color and pattern. I haven’t bought any new clothes (except for what I’ve been wearing on this trip) in quite a while. I like second-hand stores but, I admit, I was a bit enticed by all the nice sweaters and jackets. I’m not going to know how to dress myself when I get home. I’ve got about 4 shirts and a few pairs of pants/shorts that all have a specific purpose. I’m going to need help remembering to wear something different every day, even underwear.
We didn’t have much time to relax between getting home from the mall and going back out to pick up Rafaela, just enough time to eat another donut. There she was, sitting out in the California cold, still bundled up from Vermont, looking like all the photos I’d seen of her but still somehow different. Images of people and things make us think we’ve actually seen something or met someone but us humans are easily swindled by our own ideas of something. So far, my mental image and the real Rafa are in sync; I always thought she was a kind and beautiful girl and the short time spent in the car on the way back to Chula Vista confirmed my vision of her. It was close to 11:00pm when we got back, it felt like 2:00am to Rafa so we all went to bed to rest for tomorrow’s party.