My Wild and Crazy NorCal Adventure!

Paula and Diane

Last weekend I drove up to Alameda to spend a few days with my daughter Diane and her hubby Sam, plus their critters Rory and Zizi. I stopped frequently to stretch my legs so my back would not freeze up. Took me more than 8 hours (supposed to be about 6.5), but I was okay with that.

Friday night we ordered a strange pizza with ricotta cheese blobs… Diane and I loved it! Sam, not so much.


To get even for the pizza, Sam kicked our butts at Scrabble. Next, we decided to watch a movie and chose Out of Africa. None of us liked it much, and Rory woofed at the doggie on screen. I fell asleep and we didn’t finish the film. Got a good night’s rest without being awakened by Gatsby’s howls.

On Saturday, we went to a mall in Walnut Creek to mosey around (everyone masked). Then we headed to lunch at Kabab Burgers in Lafayette. Everything was crowded, so we took our lunches to Sam’s parents’ house in Orinda.

Mediterranean sampler

Omg so delicious! The food was excellent and it was a beautiful day to dine al fresco. Then, the real adventure began. The lovely Orinda house is secluded in a gorgeous woodsy area, and I asked Sam where this path led I saw from the porch. He said there was a tiny old wooden schoolhouse back in the forest from like 100 years ago. Of course, Diane and I wanted to go see it. Sam led the way…

Sam in forest

Turned out there wasn’t much of a path and we had to hack our way through the wilderness like explorers in the Amazon. There were birds and bugs and probably salamanders, toads, and snakes. Bobcats and bears too! Finally, after an arduous 7 minutes or so of intense hiking, we found the schoolhouse.

But two things happened simultaneously. One, we saw that the building had collapsed into a pile of rotting wood. You couldn’t even tell what kind of structure it had been. Sad. Two, I lost my phone somewhere in the jungle. Oh no! Sam said we’d find it and not to worry. He took a pic of Dee and me with his phone.

Diane and Paula

We began to trace our steps back and search for my phone. Nothing. I looked around and realized what a vast woods it was, teeming with life. An eagle could have already swooped in and taken my phone, or a rattlesnake might have eaten it, or it could have sunk in a pile of quicksand. I was starting to panic in a major way. How would I get home sans GPS? What about my Scrabble games in progress? I’d miss out on all the Messenger chats! But then Dee called my number and it rang. Sam spotted my phone going off in a patch of leaves and handed it to me. Whew! What a relief!

We headed home and proceeded to play board games: Carcassonne, the Castles of Mad King Ludwig, and Ticket to Ride. I lost all of them. I wasn’t too hungry that night because of the big lunch, but I managed to try my pre-birthday cake and pie selections.

Birthday cake and pie

There was carrot cake and red velvet cake, both with scrumptious cream cheese frosting, and there was my favorite pie… key lime in a graham cracker crust. So yummy! No movies that night; we all read books on Kindle. Sunday morning I slept in even later and had cookies for breakfast. Lunch was a variety of dim sum (delivered) and later we took a walk with Rory.

Alameda geese

We saw lots of ducks and geese on the other side of the island, but it was windy and freezing, so we stayed out only a short time. Warmed up at home with some wine and baked brie, plus two rounds of Catan and two rounds of Lanterns (lost all, keeping my streak going). Doggo was happy to be back in her cozy bed.

Rory golden retriever dog
Zizi orange tabby cat

Kitty is older and not feeling well, so she mostly stays snuggled in a soft blanket. Poor sweetie. Sunday night came around so quickly… and then Monday morning when I headed back down south. Easy-peasy trip home with little traffic and a bit of drizzle in the middle of the journey. Visits with family are always too short! Already planning to return for Turkey Day. Hopefully I will get a chance to redeem myself at board games… will practice on friends in the meantime.

This trip is definitely my smile for the week.


Images are mine.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

41 responses to “My Wild and Crazy NorCal Adventure!

  1. Paula, what a wonderful time with your loved ones! The pics to go with are so cool. I could see you turning at least a few of them into paintings 🙂 I’ve played Carcassonne and like it; and Ticket to Ride but only online via Steam and that’s also a lot of fun.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Oh this sounds like an awesome trip! So glad you had so much fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good the the bobcat didn’t steal your phone!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. That pizza looks *amazing* 🙂 (disclaimer – I think most pizzas look amazing)

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Orinda. You were in my neck of the woods.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Loved hearing about your fun trip to see family. Lots of adventure and good food – making memories! Glad you found your phone! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. sounds like you had a fun trip and I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday. I think that I may have missed your Bond W post today.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. It sounds like you had a fantastic time. I’m glad you found your phone.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. That sounds such a wonderful trip.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. You must be terribly relieved that after all this time you managed to get a really great break away with your family 🙂 I am still shocked from your walk on the wild side – who’dve thunk it!

    When it doubt ring it out 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Sounds like a great weekend, despite the phone going missing for a short while. I don’t know what Sam’s thinking, but the pizza looks good, but so do the kebabs.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. How wonderful! So good for you too merry family and celebrate your birthday with them. A happy belated birthday Paula.
    Lovely pics.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. That pizza looks nom nom! What is drizzled so artistically across the blobs?
    Key Lime on graham… is there any other way?
    I was wondering when someone would think to call your phone… glad a bear didn’t answer😉
    Perfect pre-birthday! Do you get to see the grands this weekend? I think another Santa Ana is predicted, forecast Friday of 91🥵 in my inland valley☹

    Liked by 3 people

  14. What a great trip. Seeing family, celebrating, and enjoying the outdoors sounds like a wonderful pre-birthday.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. What a lovely post. Glad you had a lovely time (and found your phone). Thank you for sharing ♥️

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Love the pics of the animals

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Sounds like a great trip with those random adventures close to home that I think are as rewarding as traveling far afield. Was wondering if you’d think to call yourself. 🤣 I realize that my phone is now more important than my house keys and wallet. I have “find my phone” turned on because it’s in a dark case and one time I left it on my bed, which happened to have dark sheets…

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I laughed at your forest adventures. Well written 🙂
    I’m glad to hear you had a nice time with your family. Poor kitty indeed. I hope she feels better.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Pingback: The Weekly Smile Recap for 4/26 – 5/2/2021 #weeklysmile | Trent's World (the Blog)

  20. The photos are pretty, beautiful, fabulous!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Wonderful pics, such a sweet Kitty.

    Liked by 1 person

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