Tag Archives: travel

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.

Pizza

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.

SLS: Farewell

Ships and fiery sky

I chose Roger Whittaker’s song for this week’s prompt. His deep, intense voice is the perfect vehicle to deliver the passionate lyrics of “The Last Farewell.” You can feel his sadness as he prepares to leave his love and do his duty for his country. I’m not inclined to copypasta lyrics these days, but you can clearly hear them in the wonderful video below.

Roger hosted a British radio program where he created songs from ideas sent to him. “The Last Farewell” was a poem from Ron Webster, a silversmith, and Roger recorded it in 1971. The song played on the radio and was also included in Whittaker’s 1971 album New World in the Morning. The song is one of only 50 to have sold 10 million+ copies worldwide (Wikipedia).

Interesting that the two men have the same initials…

~*~

Written for Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday.

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

Muddy Puddle Doggy Smile [repost]

Golden retriever

Last year when I was up north I got to hang out with my sweet little grand-kitty and my energetic grand-puppy. We took Rory to the dog beach, but the tide was all the way in, so we opted for the trail instead of the shore. The trail was full of puddles however, some small ones and some lake-size. The humans and normal doggos naturally avoided the puddles because who wants to get all wet and cold when it’s barely 60 degrees?

A retriever, that’s who! There could be sumpin’ in a puddle to retrieve, and Rory was determined not to leave a single puddle unexplored.

Golden retriever
Golden retriever

Happy wet and dirty doggo! I don’t have actual splashy pics because Rory liked to jump on us after each puddle foray, so I didn’t have my phone out the whole time.

I’m looking forward to my next visit.

~*~

Written for Trent’s Weekly Smile

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.