A Chapter In Your Life Called San Francisco

That is the title of a song by a disbanded group called The Lucksmiths. You should really check them out.

It is also the title of this part of my life, which I would never have expected had you asked me even a few months ago.

In March 2013, Max and I took one of our much beloved vacations. This time we went to France to explore Wine Country (and Champagne Country, for me!) because Max had developed a dangerous passion for fine dining and fine wine. A few pictures from our trip below:


^^In Paris on the Pont Des Art Bridge. Our lock is on there^^


^^My hubby is a hottie. Midnight photo shoot at the Louvre.^^


^^We are at Domain Romanee Conti here.  Max cried.  Not kidding.^^


^^Max proposed on top of a mountain at a 3* Michelin hotel and restaurant called Michele Bras. I was a crying hot mess, but we were flying high.^^


^^A picture of Max out front of our hotel room the morning after we got engaged. Just wanted you all to see the view we appreciated.^^

The sad part is that while all of this was going on, my family was enduring a tragedy.  My dad had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer the October previous.  I won’t go into it too much in my introductory post, but suffice it to say for now, that the last few years, though punctuated with moments of intense joy, have been intensely painful, as well.  Max wanted so badly for my dad, with whom he was close, to be there at our wedding.  He wanted my dad to walk me down the aisle.  Meanwhile, I knew my dad would be happy if I was happy, so that was really my only goal.  After my father passed away on Christmas day last year and Max stepped up for me and my family so amazingly, I said “Fuck it-I want this man to be part of my family,” and we pushed the wedding up to May 2014.

I was the very first of my friends to get married and had only really been to a few weddings before starting to plan my own.  I think I pulled together the perfect affair.  It was my dream wedding, on my dream day, to my person.  Never had a better day.  In case you’re curious, below are a few pictures from the wedding day.


^^My beautiful Los Angeles and the stunning Walt Disney Concert Hall, our venue^^



^^Hubby, Me, Mama Malanga, and Max Malanga (not to be confused with Max Coane, my husband.  I know-weird.)^^


About a month after we married, Max was presented with an amazing job opportunity that required him moving up to San Francisco immediately.  Now, I never want to look back on my life and feel like I kept someone from having the life he/she deserved.  I already feel that way sometimes.  (My high school boyfriend eschewed Brown University on partial scholarship to follow me to USC with no monetary incentive, which was hard on his family.  He dumped me, anyway.  Max left the music business because he wanted to be a good provider and husband.  He still opines about his life in the music industry, but he won’t admit he is also looking at those days through rose colored glasses in a big, big way.)  So, I told Max to pack a suitcase and go to work at Saison, at the time a 2* Michelin restaurant in SF as a sommelier.  We lived together for 5 years, we get married, and all of a sudden, we are in a long-distance relationship.  You never can tell where life is going to take you.

Why didn’t I just go up there to be with him? I’m sort of a specialized attorney, and since we are just getting to know this thing called the wine industry, we didn’t think it would be wise for me to up and quit my awesome corporate job with awesome corporate benefits to be up in SF unemployed while we explored the possibilities for Max.  So, in the end, I’m in LA with our cat and our apartment, and he is living with roommates in SF.  He’s been promoted to head somm at Saison and in October, Saison received its 3rd Michelin Star.

Amazingly, our relationship has not suffered.  I send him pictures and texts of everything I do or Smudge does.  I want him to feel like he’s still part of our “little family” and that I appreciate his sacrifices.  I think he does feel that.  I’ve been up to SF to visit him a few times, including for his 29th birthday the first week of November.  It is like visiting my new boyfriend!  We have such a great time together.  You’ll see below.


^^Reunited and it feels so good^^


^^Max’s 29th birthday weekend at L’Auberge Carmel^^



^^You should get to know me as the pot-head I am now.  No pretenses. haha^^

So, that’s where we are today.  I leave this weekend for a short trip to Palm Springs with my mom, who is now battling breast cancer (see what I mean about the intense tragedy?  She’ll be ok though.  Prognosis is awesome.)  We are going to get some much needed R&R.  My hair is long and unmanageable at the moment, but perhaps there will be a few nice pictures from our weekend away to show on here.  Next up, we tackle Thanksgiving at my in-laws.

If you were here and read this.  Drop me a note.  Otherwise, I will assume I am and be perfectly content with writing into the black void of the Internet forever.



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