Monday, September 25, 2006

Vacation - Part 2 (California)

I spent the fifth anniversary of 9/11 on a train that I boarded with no security checks. There is no hassle getting on a train and that is one of the many reasons I prefer to take the train. There are about a million other reasons too. The seats are bigger so one doesnt feel quite as smooshed even in coach. Interesting people take the train and I always enjoy talking to them. There are retired people who have the time to take the train (usually found in the sleeper cars). There are students who cant afford to fly (always found in coach). There are families who are taking the train in order to give their children a different experience. There are people like me who simply just like trains.

There is something isolating about being on the train. Unless one buys a newspaper at one of the stops, there is simply no news of the outside world. No radio. No TV. And certainly no internet. This turned out to be especially nice for me since I was able to spend all of 9/11 without hearing EVEN ONCE of a certain event that happened five years ago on that day. Later, on the 12th, I stopped to consider how lucky I was that I could do that. That no one I knew died that day so that now, 9/11/06 could be a day just like any other day to me.

I slept well on the train and arrived in Berkely in the morning of the 12th. Caleb came and picked me up and we called Nathaniel and met him for breakfast.

After breakfast, Caleb and I drove up to Sebastopol where I pretty much was a lazy slug for a couple of days although, when Caleb came home one day with some tomatoes from his Dad's garden with an interesting shape, I encouraged us all to play with our food.

In the mornings a couple of days a week, Sophie goes to school. Here she is with her lunch basket. No vinyl lunchboxes for kids in this part of the world!

Anja is going to school some days too. I am not sure exactly what she thinks of that.

Thursday night, Caleb's parents invited me to their house for dinner. This is a photo of Caleb's sister Nisha and her son, Liam, doing an art project with Anja. Anja is very talented I think. She certainly has an interest in art anyways. Which is good for me because I LOVE art and maybe I'll be able to get her to go to art museums with me when she is older.

On Friday night, Nathaniel came up and Shannon's friend Karen came over. Even though there were five of us, we tried to play euchre anyways with me and Karen being a team since she'd never played it before. Unfortunatly for Nathaniel, no one else but him stayed sober and everyone else started having trouble playing the game.

On Saturday, we went to the beach.

Then Nathaniel and I drove down to Berkeley so we could get up early on Sunday to go sailing with six of his friends. It was very fun. Nathaniel's friends were all very nice. The boat was nice. The weather was perfect. It was warm even out on the water so I didnt have to wear my sweater or anything. We sailed around Angel Island and went by Alcatraz and under the Bay Bridge (twice) as we went around Yerba Buena Island. This is a self portrait of me on the boat:

This is a pretty boat we saw on the water:

This is Nathaniel on the boat:

Unfortunately, my camera died while I was sailing so I didnt have any more photos. Which was too bad because after sailing, Shannon came down to pick me up and she and I headed over to San Francisco for Gary's birthday dinner.

Gary chose a restaurant on pier 39 which is a pretty touristy place. It would have been fun to walk around there but I was a jerk and didnt wear my boot because I was sick of it. But I still managed to do a little last minute shopping for a birthday present for Gary and was happy to find a fun little store with all kinds of SF tchotchkes where I *really* restrained myself from buying anything too tacky.

Dinner was nice and I sat on the end of the table with Beth and Mike (Gary's parents) so I could hear about their road trip to SF. I love road trips and those kinds of adventures so the conversation was great. We all ordered crab legs which is also a favorite dinner of mine and all in all, it was a nice evening.

The next day, Gary and Beth and Mike, came up north where Shannon and kids and I met them in Bodega Bay where we spent an entire afternoon sitting on the beach there talking and yacking. I love beaches and whenever I go to one, I always wonder why I dont spend more time going to beaches especially since I live in a state with so many really cool public beaches. Maybe I'll take the dogs on a road trip this fall to some beach on Lake Huron or Lake Michigan?

Ah well, that is pretty much the gist of the trip. I'll leave you all with one last picture of Anja being silly


Proshat said...

I like travilling by train. It's more comfortable than a plane & It provides private space in which I can be relaxed in noone else's presence.
It's starnge that on a train, you do not have access to TV, radio & news.... Yes, sometimes it's nice but even here in Iran, we have access to local Radios & TV stations on the train. So it was just surpraising for me to hear that.

Lynne said...

For a minute I was amazed at the very idea of having a radio or a tv on a train. I have to admit that my first thought was to wonder if they put satellite dishes on the train or what. And then I realized that you probably meant just regular broadcast radio and TV. In the USA, if one has a portable radio or TV, one can get reception as long as one is in a city but the train I was on mostly went through big areas of wilderness and countryside. But even then I might have been able to get radio reception if I owned a portable radio but I dont anymore. Sorry for the misconception.

E-Speed said...

It looks like you had a wonderful vacation despite the injured foot (Ouch!!). Gorgeous pics. I am sure the break was much needed!