Corgi Heaven in San Francisco

Son, daughter-in-law, and Theo are in San Fran for the summer, so I flew up to spend a week basking in the joy of a three-month-old baby boy.

Today we took Theo on his first beach outing at Ocean Beach to attend the Nor Cal Corgi Con 2016 Summer Event. DIL is from the UK and her love for corgis is to be expected since Queen Elizabeth is a Corgi mum.

Personally,  I’m more of a Border Collie girl, but all dogs are wonderful, so I knew it would be fun.

It was untypically hot and sunny; the sand was a BIT too hot for the poor dogs’ paws I thought, but all in all, it was a fun outing!

IMG_1007

IMG_1014IMG_1015IMG_1016IMG_1017

IMG_1019

Disabled Corgi with a dedicated mom!

IMG_1001

IMG_1002

GoPro Corgi!

IMG_1024

I can’t really believe they bred a Border Collie with a Corgi but here’s the proof…a Borgi??

IMG_1025

IMG_1003

IMG_1004

Rescue Corgi

 

Advertisements

Oh Kate Spade, You GET Me!

Kate Spade, you really do GET me.

I love you.

KSbackpackRecently, I went through a massive and stressful shopping campaign to find the perfect purse/backpack for travel and walking for all those times that my sweet baby Chanels couldn’t accompany us and had to stay home; lonely, locked away in a dark closet until my return.

BUT it wasn’t perfect after all.

I thought it was, but it lacked a certain SOMETHING, an undefined je ne sais quoi,.

My post about the journey was even featured on BlogHer!
In Pursuit of the Perfect Vegan Backpack
https://enchantedseashells.com/2015/08/19/in-pursuit-of-the-perfect-vegan-backpack/

Today, while I was on the hunt for a new pair of Asics cross trainers, I popped into Kate Spade at Carlsbad Outlet.

Kate rarely fails me and she was victorious again!

KSbackpack1Look what I found! It’s easy-to-clean nylon and the perfect size (really this time, I mean it!)

Kate Spade New York Blake Avenue Hilo Backpack
Measurements: 10.5 H X 9″ L X 4″ W

It originally sold for $245.00 (that’s on the price tag) but there was a huge sale and I actually paid $99.00 which is still a lot of money, but I wanted it, so there’s that…always that.

I brought it with me on my recent trip to San Francisco and it was perfect for travellng and perfect for walking through Golden Gate Park as well as accompanying my DIL to her doc’s appointment.

I love you, Kate Spade.

Golden Gate Park and Botanical Gardens

Spent the last few days with my preggy DIL and the original Angel Boy.

Today we went to Golden Gate Park and the Botanical Gardens.

It was a glorious blue sky day!

These might not be the best photos; I was rushed and didn’t have time to focus!
2015-11-07 14.11.412015-11-07 14.15.38 2015-11-07 14.18.12 2015-11-07 14.21.36 2015-11-07 14.21.49 2015-11-07 14.22.52 2015-11-07 14.23.12 2015-11-07 14.24.59 2015-11-07 14.39.45 2015-11-07 14.40.30 2015-11-07 14.41.48 2015-11-07 14.42.54 2015-11-07 14.43.21 2015-11-07 14.45.36 2015-11-07 14.48.28 2015-11-07 14.48.44 2015-11-07 14.50.14 2015-11-07 14.50.38 2015-11-07 14.51.07 2015-11-07 14.53.10 2015-11-07 14.54.16 2015-11-07 14.58.05 2015-11-07 14.58.49 2015-11-07 15.13.36 2015-11-07 15.13.54 2015-11-07 15.15.06

Celestial Navigation, Sextants, and a Ruined Anniversary

Not SEX. SEXtant.

It all makes sense,  I promise.

First of all, Princess Rosebud and her Tugboat Man have been married for twenty-one years, a really, REALLY long time.

Sometimes it seems like only yesterday, and at other times, it seems like a life sentence.

That’s 7,665 days, 183,960 hours, 11,037,600 minutes, and more than 662 million seconds, or, in my case ‘cos he’s gone about fifty percent of the time, we’ve only been married for about 10.5 years!

The traditional twenty-first anniversary gift is brass and that made it easy, ‘cos mariners are always shining brass, right?

 I found a small, working sextant so that no matter how far from home he might be, he can always navigate his way back to my heart.

heart constellation

What’s a sextant, you ask?

sextantA sextant is a weird looking thing — who invented this, anyway? –instrument with a graduated arc of 60° and a sighting mechanism, used for measuring the angular distances between objects and especially for taking altitudes in navigation, also known as Celestial Navigation.

In other words, blah, blah, blah, ‘cos I have absolutely no idea how to use it, but it’s shiny and has a couple of mirrors, so all is good.

My tugboat man’s a USCG certified instructor in Celestial Navigation.

If you want to know ANYTHING maritime-related, he’s your guy. Well, not really YOUR guy, he’s MY guy, but you get the picture…

Even in this age of GPS and radar, professional mariners need to fulfill a licensing requirement by exhibiting a certain level of proficiency in the use of a sextant.

Celestial navigation is the art and science of finding your way by the sun, moon, stars, and planets, and, in one form or another, is one of the oldest practices in human history.

A star to steer by…

The wheelhouse of hub’s vessels have a sextant on board and he uses it daily when he’s out in the open ocean. Mostly as a way to keep his knowledge fresh, but when I asked him why, he told me he does it because it’s entertaining and rewarding; a great mind game to stay sharp and focused.

Looks like a torture device to me.

sextant3During our twenty-one plus years, my tugboat man has been the one to make all the arrangements from our engagement to our tenth anniversary at the Archbishop’s Mansion in San Francisco — which was AMAZING and I’m talking about a spectacular dinner at John’s Grill, (one of the locations author Dashiell Hammett used in The Maltese Falcon), and when we returned from dinner, our room was filled with candles and stargazer lilies (guys, take notes) — this time I wanted to surprise him.

I had planned a romantic stay at the hotel where we spent our wedding night —  to recreate the whole scene with champagne and a great dinner at a little restaurant on the beach — but no one at the establishment responded to my two emails, two Facebook queries, and a telephone call to book a reservation.

I left a message with a nameless person who answered the phone; he promised someone would call me back and no one did.

Les Artistes Inn in Del Mar had recently opened in 1994 and the owners took pics of us in our wedding finery for their brochure — our wedding night was a lovely and magical time and now they ruined our special evening. RUINED IT!

I ended up making veg sushi and we drank with lots of sake. The next day we went for a walk and had a picnic where we were married at Magee Park in Carlsbad.

Nice, but not the same.

The best part of it all is that hub was HERE, ‘cos he’s leaving for six weeks in just a few days. For that I’m grateful, but I didn’t get the opportunity for my grand gesture, and since he’s the MOST WONDERFUL HUSBAND in the world, I’m sad.

San Francisco: “The Best Things in Museums are the Windows”

exploratorium2A warning up front so you know what to expect.

This is a not-so-humble-brag/proud Mommy-moment…

Presenting a publication by The Exploratorium with a contribution by my son, Professor Angel Boy.

If you’re in the San Francisco Bay area or planning a trip to NorCal, this is a must-see museum.

It’s one-of-a-kind — interactive, creative, experiential, and encourages open-mind learning and exploration.

The Exploratorium is located at Pier 15, Embarcadero at Green Street.


 The Exploratorium is an eye-opening, playful place—in San Francisco and online—to explore how the world works. For 40-plus years, we’ve offered creative, thought-provoking exhibits, experiences, tools, and projects that ignite curiosity, encourage exploration, and lead to profound learning.”

exploratorium1Where does the museum end and the outside world begin?

“…Exploratorium Artist-in-Residence Harrell Fletcher joined a core walking group of Exploratorium staff artists and scientists—plus the public—for The Best Things in Museums Are the Windows, a four-day trek from the Exploratorium’s Pier 15 home across the Bay to the summit of Mount Diablo. The adventurous project created a dynamic framework for discovery as it moved across water, city, suburb, and country, building on the multidimensional perspectives of the participants.

The Windows reflects Fletcher’s interest in artful investigation, community collaboration, experiential learning, and decentralized authorship. By extending the museum’s curiosity-based learning into the surrounding landscape, the trek aimed to transform the everyday world around us into an open classroom while working toward a greater integration of a cultural institution within its surrounding community.”

My son was invited to participate in the walk and is a contributor to the book.

And of course this is just another one of my obnoxiously proud Mommy moments where I can publicly boast about his accomplishments.

Seriously though, if you live in the Bay area and haven’t been to the Exploratorium in a while or EVER, do yourself a favor and go. They’ve put a lot of passion and effort into creating a real zone of imagination and exploration.

And we need more of all of that, especially now.

Less violence, less cruelty, more heart and soul and mind — more inventiveness and flights of fancy.

And sparkle. We always need more sparkle. Can’t EVER have too much sparkle!

Hike to Glen Canyon Park in San Francisco

A few weeks ago I visited Professor Angel Boy and DIL in SF. While DIL was at work, my son and I walked to Glen Canyon Park (or Glen Park Canyon) from their home.

Who knew this deep pocket of wilderness is steps away from high density living in the middle of the city?

Everything is either UP or DOWN. It was quite a strenuous workout, especially since I had to keep up with my six-foot-plus son.

We were looking for the coyotes that live in the canyon. My son saw one recently on a previous visit and we hoped to see him or her again, but we had no luck.

glencanyon18Lots of raspberries.glencanyon1 glencanyon2 glencanyon3 Twin Peaks.glencanyon4Angel Boy is always lightyears ahead of me.
glencanyon5 glencanyon6 glencanyon7 glencanyon8 glencanyon9 glencanyon19glencanyon10glencanyon17

glencanyon11 glencanyon12 glencanyon13The free flowing Islais Creek.glencanyon20Islais Creekglencanyon14 It was a little hazy in the afternoon. I hadn’t traveled with my good Canon — pics were taken with Canon point and shoot. glencanyon15 Finally, he turned around. You can tell he’s saying, “Hurry up, Mom, and stop taking so many pictures!”glencanyon16According to Wiki: The park and hollow offer an experience of San Francisco’s diverse terrains as they appeared before the intense development of the region in the late 19th and the 20th centuries. The park incorporates free-flowing Islais Creek and the associated riparian habitat, an extensive grassland with adjoining trees that supports breeding pairs of red-tailed hawks and great horned owls, striking rock outcrops, and arid patches covered by “coastal scrub” plant communities. In all, about 63 acres (25 ha) of the park and hollow are designated as undeveloped Natural Area. Elevations in Glen Canyon Park range from approximately 225 feet (69 m) above sea level at the south end of the park to 575 feet (175 m) above sea level at the north end and along the east rim of the canyon; the walls of the canyon are extremely steep, with many slopes approaching a length-to-height ratio of 1:1

10 Reasons To Get Out And Walk Right NOW!

We love to walk!

When my son was in elementary school, we’d walk before school started. We took our Border Collie, Victor, with us and walked for about thirty minutes or so after breakfast. During that time, my son would practice his spelling words or math, and we’d talk as we walked — a special time for me and my Angel Boy. We rarely missed a day, even when it rained (which it does in SoCal). I sure miss those days…

World Walks is on a mission to educate people on the many benefits of walking (and they’re a travel agency that specializes in walking tours).

As you probably know, walking carries a multitude of benefits that stretch above and beyond fitness.

From reducing stress levels to being an effective intervention for depression, walking is a fantastic and free activity for many to enjoy.

Best of all, it’s FREE!

Wherever you are, grab a pair of comfortable shoes and start walking!

World Walks infographic 10 reasons to get out and walk

When my tugboat man and I visited my son/DIL in San Francisco, we walked and walked and walked. And walked!

Here’s a view of downtown SF from the top of Twin Peaks. We walked there…

View of SF from Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks Towers in San Francisco

Even if the sidewalk is STEPS, just put one foot in front of the other.JasonwlakingSFsteps

P.S. This is not a sponsored post; I just liked their graphic and love to walk.

 

Shame on AMORAL Sierra Club: To Kill a Wolf – July/August 2013 – Sierra Magazine

SHAME ON SIERRA CLUB.

They published an essay by a subhuman who killed a wolf to see what it felt like.

For the “experience.”

I am beyond shocked and disgusted by this story in Sierra Magazine, the author, and Sierra Club.

I became a member to contribute to the advocacy for saving, protecting, and respecting animals and our environment.

I do not want to read a detailed accounting of blood lust and thrill killing.

I will cancel my membership immediately and never again support them.

This is not a memorial. This is a snarling and bloodthirsty celebration of animal murder.

I’m ashamed to think that my membership dollars might have in any way contributed to this repulsive article.

*****  To Kill a Wolf – July/August 2013 – Sierra Magazine – Sierra Club   *****

A little research reveals Sierra Club’s Mission Statement:

To explore, enjoy and protect the planet. To practice and promote the responsible use of the earth’s ecosystems and resources; to educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out those objectives.

“To explore, enjoy, and protect the planet.” 

It doesn’t say their goal is to promote the tracking, killing, and subsequent emotions from taking the life of an innocent animal.

Am I the only one that read this and was outraged?

Why aren’t they on the front lines protecting the wolf from delisting and slaughter?

If you agree, please contact Sierra Club and join with me in voicing our disapproval.

Executive Director: Michael Brune
https://www.facebook.com/michael.brune.9
https://twitter.com/bruneski

General Information: information@sierraclub.org
Membership: membership.services@sierraclub.org

Sierra Club
National Headquarters

85 Second Street, 2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
USA
Phone: 415-977-5500
Fax: 415-977-5797

Sierra Club
Legislative Office

50 F Street, NW, Eighth Floor
Washington, DC 20001
USA
Phone: 202-547-1141
Fax: 202-547-6009


There Is a Man Wandering Around California With 3 Mules

I’m not sure what happened the first time I posted this–it was all messed up, and not how I saved it to publish…I’m gonna try again.

Apologies if this gets posted twice…gremlins attacked the original.

I couldn’t add anything else to the wonderful posts remembering the tragedies on 9/11, so I thought I’d share a great story of a man with spirit and conviction. His journey is fascinating.

There Is a Man Wandering Around California With 3 Mules

And, yes, he has a website.
From TheAtlantic.com
 SEP 11 2013, 7:30 AM ET
 
There is a man wandering around California with three mules.

He has a name, but he prefers to go by Mule. Police departments throughout the state know his name. They inevitably get calls from residents who wonder why a man with three mules is sleeping on the side of the road, and from time to time they have to go and investigate and decide whether or not to ticket him. He has had so many run-ins with the police that he has a lawyer. (The lawyer knows Mule’s name.) The filmmaker John McDonald, who has spent hundreds of hours filming Mule on his journeys, and who helped Mule set up a Facebook page, knows Mule’s name as well.

But Mule introduced himself to me as Mule, and so that’s what I’m going to call him.

Mule is 65 years old and has slept outside with his three mules for the last 10 years, though he’s lived his nomadic lifestyle for much longer than that — 29 years on and off. Early on, he split his time between summer wandering, and then enduring what he calls “shit jobs” during the winter to earn enough to live off for the next summer.

He got his first mule in Spokane, Washington, so that he could carry more supplies with him into the bush than his meager, rail-thin frame can handle; McDonald says of Mule, “He has the build of Ghandi, but he sure doesn’t have the personality of Ghandi.” With his first mule, and then a second, and a third, he could load up on supplies to last him for much longer in the undeveloped parts of the American West, so he’d only have to resurface in towns to resupply once every month or so before once again disappearing.

But the world he inhabited was changing. While he sought solitude, he kept bumping into development. Land he had passed through was no longer public, and was vanishing behind fences. Everywhere he looked, he saw ever more roads and cars.

Two years ago, he walked the 295 mile stretch of land between Las Vegas and Ely, Nevada, land that was supposed to stay undeveloped by the Bureau of Land Management, land that had been used by Shoshone Indians for hundreds of years. In that BLM land, he encountered powerlines, the earliest stages of development. He knew then that he wanted to speak up about what he was seeing. Most immediately, suburban sprawl was threatening his way of life, but as Mule sees it, it threatens the way we all are meant to live. On the road to Ely, he gave up on wandering in the wild by himself. He got to Ely, and turned west, so that he could talk to people about the disappearance of public space.

Which is why there is a man wandering through California with three mules.

He has walked the boardwalk in Venice Beach with his mules. They once slept under a BART station in Oakland. They walk at day, and stop at night to rest in public spaces, which are mostly parks and neglected patches of grass along the sides of roads. His mules graze and drink the water they come across along the way. “We claim our right to use public space in a way that is applicable to us,” Mule told me.

But this does not always go well for Mule. As he walked through Sacramento, a police officer told him, “This is not okay. Maybe in the gold rush days. But now we have cars.” Police stop him constantly, which is a nuisance for Mule. He’s not doing anything wrong, at least as he sees it. “We don’t attempt to stay anywhere for more than a few days to rest. We don’t set up camp structures or anything permanent. We don’t collect garbage. We’re not homeless. Our home is the Earth.”

The police mostly let him stay for the night, since he’s only passing through. It’s rare to find places where mules are explicitly prohibited by law, so they often don’t have much to go on besides complaints from the community. Sometimes the police scare him off from where he intended to sleep for the night. Sometimes they ticket him, but they almost always drop the charges. But not always. He is currently facing a $485 charge for sleeping outside the entrance to the Torrey Pines State Reserve. He’s fighting the ticket, which is why he has a lawyer, Sharon Sherman, who has taken on the case pro bono. The first thing she had to do was push the date of the trial back from August 2013 to January 2014, because Mule follows the sun and the seasons, and escapes the summer heat in the north, and was far from San Diego at the time of the original trial date.

Recently, he had a rather nasty, run-in with the police in Gilroy, south of San Jose. He was arrested on August 30 while walking along the side of 101. The police wanted Mule to leave the road, but he insisted that there were no signs prohibiting him from being there. They arrested him for failing to follow the orders of a police officer, and Mule was taken to jail, and then transferred to a psychiatric facility, where he stayed locked up for six days. The animals were sent to a nearby animal shelter. Mule was released through the aid of a patients-rights advocate, who told a friend of Mule that it was the most bogus case she had ever seen. Mule will be going to court on September 12 to defend his plea of not guilty so that he can get back to wandering.

The filmmaker John McDonald met Mule the same way that I did — a happenstance bumping into him, and McDonald couldn’t contain his curiosity. After a few interactions, Mule agreed to let McDonald make a documentary about him, and to follow him around and collect footage.

While McDonald was at first interested in Mule as a documentary subject, after a few months of filming, he confessed to Mule, “I really believe a lot in what you’re doing. In spite of the documentary, I would probably want to support you and what you’re doing, and I respect you.”

Everyone has their own attraction to Mule. While I was interviewing him, roughly a dozen people stopped to say hi, wish him luck, or even give him gifts, like a man who gave Mule a length of high-quality nylon rope. “A cowboy can always use some rope,” the stranger said with a smile, and walked off. Mule is very popular amongst equestrians — while researching this article, I found out that a writer with Mules and More Magazine is also writing about Mule. He has support from advocates of multi-use trails that connect communities, trails like the Iron Horse Trail in Contra Costa County in San Francisco’s East Bay, a trail that allows people to safely get from town to town without using cars.

Mule’s lawyer, Sharon Sherman, took on his case because she is fascinated by the legal questions that Mule’s way of life raise. “There is always a balance between people’s freedoms, and the needs of a community,” she explained to me. “To me, this is another example of that. I’ve been in practice for 35 years, but Mule really made me stop and think about issues that I’ve never considered before. We have a countervailing balance between public space, private space, and what access do we really have to public space. Sure, I can walk down a street, but which street? What’s the difference in using a road in a car, than with mules? Why do you have more rights in a car, than if you are walking, and walking with animals?”

But what struck me most when I came across Mule along the Canal Trail, an offshoot of the Iron Horse Trail, wasn’t just the mules, or his simple, nomadic way of life. It was the large white lettering that was stenciled to the side of his packs, lettering that wrote out 3MULES.COM.

There is a man wandering through California with three mules, and a website.

When Mule first turned west from Ely, Nevada, he had his heart set on starting a website. “I needed a website so that when I got to California, I would have a voice,” Mule explained to me. “I don’t have the brain to deal with this technological stuff, but I knew that the website would be a voice. I’m nothing. I’m uneducated, I’m a weak little man, I’m the low man on the totem pole and I’ve been there my whole life. But a website would be my voice.”

When John McDonald first met Mule over a year ago, Mule was carrying with him three cell phones, two voice recorders, a digital camera, and a Samsung tablet. He already had his website, 3mules.com, up and running — set up as an act of kindness by a person he met on his way to California. But the website had very little information, and Mule didn’t know how to update it. When Mule agreed to let McDonald film him, he asked for a favor in return: McDonald had to teach Mule how to use the tools that he carried with him.

Every time they meet, Mule takes scrupulous notes in a notebook on topics like how to post photos to Facebook, or edit captions, or leave comments. It’s a slow process. As McDonald put it, “it takes a tremendous amount of patience to work with Mule, and he is slow to build trust. He has given me his passwords, but then he gets paranoid and changes his passwords, and then he’ll call me and give me the new ones.” The first time they met, McDonald taught Mule how to send text messages, so Mule didn’t have to pay roaming charges for the extremely limited plan he had for his cell phone.

As of this writing, Mule has 2,802 likes on his Facebook page. McDonald encouraged him to set up the Facebook page as a tool to better reach an audience with his message, and it took a lot of convincing. Mule didn’t like the ads on the site, because he doesn’t want his message to be tainted by commercial interests. But Mule is now hooked on it. He told me about his Facebook page three separate times over the course of our interview, and McDonald says that when they meet, the first thing Mule wants to do is talk about how the Facebook page is doing, and study the analytics.

There is something deeply beautiful about how Mule is living. Just read through his Facebook page to see how much people admire his deliberate wanderings and his simple, poetic insights. Many of the things he says about development, the “Megatropolis,” and balance sound almost prophetic. It’s especially captivating to hear him talk about his way of life as a place in and of itself. “These mules and the way that we are living is a place. It’s got its own magic, there’s no doubt about it. We are protected and guided. I’m out there on the side of the road, with cars coming at us, and there is something protecting and guiding us. This place has got its rules. You only take what you need, and you give your hope and your faith to this place. It’s a great place to be.”

But there is also something deeply ironic about Mule’s use of technology. He travels in a way that feels biblical, except that he’s carrying a GPS tracker, cell phones, and a tablet. He goes to Starbucks to charge his devices and use their free WiFi, and it’s hard to think of a more obvious symbol of suburban sprawl than Starbucks. In fact, the first time Mule and McDonald entered a Starbucks together to work on the website, Mule insisted that McDonald didn’t film him inside, fearing it would look bad.

There are those who will say that you can’t preach against the excesses of development while at the same time using the products of development. They will say that he’s just freeloading off the work of others, and that his message is hollowed out by posting it on Facebook.

But I see it differently. Not everyone will be so lucky as to stumble into Mule like I did, to share a brief but powerful encounter with a man who is living his life in a way that makes you ask yourself big questions about public and private space, freedom, and balance. But they can easily stumble onto his website and his Facebook page through the power of Shares and Likes to sample his message.

While he was detained in the psychiatric facility, he handwrote a description of his arrest. When McDonald visited him, Mule gave the note to McDonald to photograph and post on Facebook, so that he could share what he had happened. The note, which is full of grammar mistakes, concludes: “We had the right to be on US101 therefore the order was unlawful we had the duty of a citizen in a free country to disobey an unlawful order and suffer the consequences JAIL.” Without making too grandiose of a comparison, it kind of makes you wonder if Thoreau would have posted portions of “Civil Disobedience” on Facebook, too.

Mule grew up in suburbia, just south of San Francisco, and spent his childhood exploring the orchard fields of Los Altos, orchard fields that were long ago replaced with homes and offices for technology giants. He’s 65 years old. He’s been wandering with his mules for 29 years, and doesn’t like what he has seen change in that time. He will eventually make his way down to San Diego in January for his court date, but he’s in no rush. He’ll make new friends along the way, and will probably butt heads with police along the way, too. As Mule likes to put it, “We live everywhere and aren’t going anywhere.”

There’s a man wandering California with three mules, and a website, collecting Likes along the way.

There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no…

way I’ll ever go on BART again. No. Way.

That comes a bit later in the chronology of Princess Rosebud and her tugboat man’s most recent adventure.

If you’re going to San Franciscooo, be sure to wear some flowers in your hairrr…
There are sad vestiges of the Era of the Hippie; parts of Berkeley were a huge time warp. I bet hubs if I walked down the wrong street, I’d be pulled back and disappear in a pot-smoky haze of tie-dye and dreads and he’d never find me. 

The tugboat man had a business meeting in NorCal (that’s Northern California) and I decided to tag along.

I packed heavy; my motto is “you never know” and I might need to have an appropriate outfit for lots of different occasions.

Here’s what I brought along for a couple of days. You’ll notice an absence of dresses and heels, and that’s because I knew we’d be doing a lot of walking and it could rain at any time.

  • Black skinny jeans
  • Denim skinny jeans
  • Two pairs of workout pants
  • One long cashmere sweater
  • One short Free People sweater
  • Four t-shirts, including a Yale t-shirt since I’d be in Cal country and felt the need to represent
  • One nice silky blouse
  • Black boots, tall
  • Ugg type boots
  • Athletic shoes
  • Leopard print flip flops
  • Black raincoat
  • Warm fuzzy dressing gown
  • ***A pair of “he might get lucky” silk pajamas
  • ***My Hello Kitty, “I’m tired and going to sleep–don’t even try it” pajamas
  • Chanel handbag, of course
  • Backpack
  • Three scarves
  • And just in case we stopped to hike, I packed all my hiking gear, including my hiking poles.

Rose Garden InnSearching online, I found a place in Berkeley called Rose Garden Inn.

How could we NOT stay there?
I know, right?

We drove up Tuesday morning, had a late lunch with a cousin of mine that lives nearby, and checked in.

It’s a bit funky, a complex of old Victorian homes that’ve been transformed into rooms and suites. The first thing I make hubs do is check for bedbugs before I put anything down. I’m happy to say we were bug-free. (That silly Chanel loves to photo bomb every pic!) I wear flip flops in the shower; I wouldn’t let my bare skin touch any surface unless I cleaned it with a gallon of bleach. (Soz for the bad pic)roomatrosegardeninn

The courtyard is very inviting and quaint.Courtyard

Tuesday night we walked up the street to eat at an Indian/Nepali restaurant called Mt. Everest. It was an absolute treasure. Every dish we had was filled with flavors and fragrance, including the most amazing Naan bread.

His meeting on Wednesday was gonna take a few hours so I was on my own.  The concierge told me about a shopping area called Elmwood that was about ten blocks away, not enough to call it a hike, but a pleasant walk. It was chock full of the cutest little shops and bakeries and cafes.

I bought a couple prezzies for hubs and DIL,  whom we planned to meet for dinner near where she works in the city.

BART = HELL ON WHEELS

Bay+Area+Commuters+Hampered+Second+Day+Bay+zzz3mLm0DmKlHere’s where this BART thing comes in. Bay Area Rapid Transit.  We didn’t want to drive ‘cos there’s tons of traffic and no place to park in the city.  I never took BART, even tho I’ve spent a fair amount of time in SF on family visits — and I never will again. Never. Ever.

As you might surmise, I’m not an aficionado of public transportation — I’ve only been on a handful of buses even, but hubs grew up in the Bay area and I felt safe navigating BART with him.

We had one EXTREMELY unpleasant encounter with a gentleman who was UBER hostile and aggressive and threatening because we wouldn’t give him money; quite a few others appeared like they needed to be in locked facilities rather than freely roaming around.

BART SURVIVAL TIP: NO EYE CONTACT NO EYE CONTACT NO EYE CONTACT

Poor hubs arm is  probably still full of bruises the way I was hanging on for dear life. Our BART needed to go under the water – UNDER THE WATER to take us from Oakland to downtown San Francisco.

It was way too stressful for me;  I swear I’ll never take the Chunnel after this experience, but the worst part was that the stupid train STOPPED half way through its journey — STOPPED UNDERWATER and all I could think of was the millions and millions of tons of water pressure on top of us. I was THIS CLOSE to having a MAJOR MELTDOWN. After dinner and a few very necessary glasses of wine, we took the ferry back, which was a stress-free and quite pleasant voyage.

Chanel photobomb ferry SFMy tugboat man agreed: it’s better to be on top of the water than under it.
See that silly Chanel. Always with the photo bomb, even on the ferry…what an EGO, right?

The Oakland-Bay Bridge is adorned with a beautiful light show that totes made up for our scary ride at the bottom of the bay.Check out the amazing light show.

LA traffic

A loud party at the Inn kept us awake and we got a late start driving home — had to endure rush hour through LA.


A deep sigh of relief at our first glimpse of the ocean near Trestles. Almost home!Trestles

Dorothy was SO right, “There’s no place like home.”