J and I went to northern California to visit my childhood best friend in honor of her Big 50. June-Bug and I have been friends for, well, forever. Our parents were friends and our mothers were pregnant with us together. Our parents originally lived a few houses apart in one neighborhood and after one move for my family and two moves for her family, we wound up living just around the corner from each other. And about 25 years ago, when I moved to NJ from Pennsylvania, she moved to California to be near her parents who had retired there a few years before.
I haven't been to see her in a long time. Fifteen years to be exact - I traveled to help her when her son was born and he'll be 15 next week. She's been east many times and we've always gotten together to hang out for what ever time we could. After visiting her at her brother's house last November, I decided that I would make a visit to celebrate her big day. And so I made plans.
Of course, what would a vacation be with out drama. June-Bug's mom is in a skilled care facility - about 17 years ago she suffered a brain aneurysm and then suffered a stroke. She's has feeling, but no mobility on one side of her body. Last Friday night, our first night visiting, June got a call from the facility letting her know that her mom was being transported to the hospital. So she and I packed up (J stayed behind with her son as her husband was away working) and off we went to the hospital at 10 PM to see what was up. Her mom had an infection that caused her to be septic - the infection was in her bloodstream and throughout her body. By the time we left the hospital at 4 AM, she was in ICU and as stable as she could be. It would be touch and go for the first 24 to 48 hours. By the time we left on Tuesday, she was recovering and was awaiting a move from ICU to a regular room.
We made this a vacation in addition to our visit and we toured 4 wineries and had tastings at 2 others (which I will post on separately) and an afternoon in Sonoma. Northern California is a beautiful place, but seeing June-Bug and her family was the best part of the trip.