I spent a very busy, very quick 11 hours in The Bay Area on Sunday. I feel its almost unfair to call it a trip because it was so very fast in its nature. I was graced with a too-fast breakfast with Rebecca and a too-fast dinner with Eoin, and the desire to connect with another half dozen people I know in the Bay Area that I couldn't muster up the time to see. Shame, but the brief stint away reminded me how I do love that part of the fabulous state of California.
I managed to buy my Grandma some of her favourite coffee (Pete's) and grab an americano at a place I love in Berkeley. I let myself peek through the rolodex in my mind of the memories I have of Berkeley, San Francisco, and I find myself smiling and giggling.
I went and represented at a Travel Expo. Thing is, I was a little out of place. From my outfit to the offering of the adventure trip we have, it seems clear we're barking up the wrong tree. People would give you the quizzical, confused, baffled expression. What are you doing here? As I watched the people file in at the conference I inwardly groaned. It was going to be a long few hours. Grey hair, walkers, wheelchairs and a generally older age made me realize these folks are probably not going to bike through the mountains for their holidays.
The woman sitting next to me was wearing a cream coloured suit and a Chanel scarf. And Christian Loubintin high heels. She told me of her terribly exciting life which also included having just returned from France. I listened politely and tried to add into the conversation, being that I have been, but I was quickly shut down. The problem with France, she told me, is that everyone is dressing so casual these days. Just like you, she added, pointing out the fact I had already noticed. I grimaced at this backhanded insult. Men in suits, women in dresses, me in dark skinny jeans and a classy but simple black blouse. Underdressed, cursing myself, the 27-year-old-rookie. My Mom taught me to always overdress. How could I have imagined this simple but very Business Casual outfit would cut it? More inward groaning.
I smiled as much as I could and went back to my booth. I tried to talk to everyone who passed by. I returned home exhausted. But laughing. When Jon asked me how the trip went, I could only answer the question with a question.
"How do you think it would go over if someone set up a cigarette booth at a marathon expo?"