Thursday, October 25, 2007

San Fran in October

Ahh...San Francisco! Every time I go I say I want to stay. And I would if I could.

My good friend, Lori Peak, joined me last week in San Fran. We had a great time catching up. Since she moved to the other side of the state (Muskegon) we don't see nearly enough of each other. Here she is just as we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge to the Sausalito side. We spent the afternoon checking out that quaint city, having lunch and just lollygagging around.

Lori is a pretty fascinating person in that she has experienced so many diverse things in her life. She is the first woman to gain seamanship status in the US Navy! And boy, is there a story to tell there! Also, she was CMO for Wright Airlines (now defunct) back when the glass ceiling was VERY thick (not so long ago, actually). Now she is a principal for two correctional facility schools in Muskegon, MI. She previously worked at a maximum security prison in the Detroit area. And as you can imagine with that background, she has a TON of interesting stories. I keep encouraging her to write a book. I even think her life would make a good movie. Lori is a woman who knows the true meaning of perseverance and is a terrific role model for the females in her life.

Lori and I found this little alcove of shops in Sausalito that had flowers galore along the sidewalk and above. This was a beautiful flowering tree, one of which I had never seen before. The flowers were a cross between a rose and a hibiscus. My camera has a feature where I can tell it to choose a color and it will photograph in black and white everything except what it see in that color. It's a lot of fun to play with. I couldn't resist having Lori stand in front of this tree with her red shirt. Unfortunately, Lori had to leave on Friday, the same day that another good friend of mine, Donna Brown, arrived. I would have loved for them to overlap; the laughing between the three of us would have never ended. Both Lori and Donna know how to have a good time!

In between Lori leaving Friday morning and Donna arriving Friday night, Richard and I took his son, Nathan, to dinner and then out to see 'Guys and Dolls' in San Jose. Wow! What a production! As some of you may know, the lead character's name in that play is Nathan Detroit. Richard's son Nathan was called Nathan Detroit by his aunts and uncles while growing up. So it had a special meaning to both Richard and Nathan. During the intermission Donna called to say that she had arrived at the San Jose Amtrak station so Richard and I left Nathan at the theatre to go pick her up and used Nathan's ticket to sneak Donna in to see the last part of the show. Don't tell anyone.

Donna lives in San Luis Obispo which is on the coast in central California. She was born and raised in Michigan and I miss her being here. We've had some absolutely crazy times that only special friends can share. Hopefully I will eventually make it out to California for a stint of my life and we will have the opportunity to see each other more often. Boy, does this blog sound like all my friends leave me?? I'm just lucky enough to have them all over the place!

On Saturday, Donna, Richard, and I took a ferry to Angel Island, an island in the Bay. We had a riot riding Segways. Segways are those crazy, two-wheeled personal transporters that you might have seen in the airport or maybe someone riding one on the sidewalk in a city like DC. It took a few minutes to get the hang of balancing and turning but once we 'felt' it, there was no stopping us. Well, up until I saw a steep hill that I had to wheel down. I was okay until Richard mentioned skiing. I like to downhill ski but I don't like to ski fast. And sometimes when you start down a snowy hill it just takes you and I'm not that experienced to not get nervous when the speed kicks in. So when he said 'skiing' my body froze for a minute. The guide was cool, though. He went down with me and as soon as I realized how easy it was to slow down on the Segway I started to enjoy the steep downhill. The neat thing about the Segway is that you can't go too fast. In order to accelerate you must lean forward and if you reach the max speed it pushes back. So, really, there is no way to go too fast. These Segways that we were on would go up to 12 miles per hour.

So here we are. I'm in the red helmet, Donna is in the blue helmet singing that well-loved song, 'Hey, hey, we're the monkeys!' and Richard, well, he's the tall, handsome one.

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