I am on my last regroup place, Palo Alto. My foot will constantly be on the gas pedal from now until mid-September. I am incredibly excited about what is ahead of me. The Redwoods National Park, Oregon Coast, and Olympic National Park. Vancouver Island, where I will visit Ramona whom I had met at Padre Island, TX. Ramona will join me on some of my travels and show me her island - Vancouver, Whistler, Bowron Lake Provincial Park, Wells Gray PP, and Mount Robson PP. I will travel through Jasper, NP, and Banff, NP, in August. At Banff, Sandara (whom I met at Joshua Tree National Park) is planning to join me as it is kind of her backyard. I then head back to the US to explore Glacier National Park. Now you can see why I am so excited!!!
Until I am on the road again, I spend most of my time in front of the computer, working on all the places I want to visit and trying to understand my bearings. Honestly, it is a very overwhelming process; I jump from place to place the first few days without direction. It takes me a while to get to a place where I feel I am in some control and have enough knowledge of the place I am working on.
It is extra wonderful and very much appreciated that Jennie takes Friday and Monday off so we have a long weekend to have fun together. We drive to Moss Landing to kayak at Elkhorn Slough and enjoy the many wildlife within a short distance from us. We kayak gently, trying not to disturb the raft of sea otters just a few feet away. What a delight it is to see the baby harbor seals resting next to their mother or the many nesting birds along the bay shore!
We then bike to Stanford University. Stanford campus is beautiful. I especially love the old section of the University. We park our bikes and enter the Lou Henry Hoover Tower to check out the observation deck. We then walk the campus grounds and enter the Cantor Arts Center to enjoy the engaging exhibitions.
The big day is here! Tonight Jennie and I are going line dancing. I am so excited! I finally got to a place in life where I am open to experiencing new things without the anxiety that comes with it. Wanting to do line dancing has been on my horizon for far too long. It is time to put away my insecurity about dancing and dive in.
I had the most incredible, amazing time tonight!!! I appreciate Jennie's patience when teaching me some of the steps the day before. It greatly improved my enjoyment and ability to remember the steps. I can't wait to go again next week!
It is a beautiful sunny day, perfect for a long hike. We are heading to Mount Tamalpais State Park. I learn to let the locals lead me. What a fantastic surprise it is to be on the Golden Gate Bridge. The hike goes through several different terrains, from open land with the ocean view to hiking under the giant redwood, then down for a lunch break on the beach and a long climb up the mountain to be surrounded by velvety green pikes. Good choice, Jennie!
Jennie's soccer practice group needs more people to have a good scrimmage. Since I am open to trying new things, I decided to join her. I am astonished by my ability to control the ball and the stamina I have to keep up with everyone! I even scored a goal! I will be sore tomorrow, but today I had fun.
It is a gift when an experience opens your mind to understand yourself. Playing soccer the way I did today showed me that there is more to me than I believed. I indeed played unbelievably well. The sincere compliments from Jennie's teammates were a confirmation. When you grow up with a message you are not good, no matter how much you try, the message is clear you are a failure. You have no motivation to give yourself a chance with new experiences. If anything, this journey teaches me that there is always time to try new things. You might find out you are not bad after all. It is up to me and only me to change how I perceive myself; no one else can give me this gift. It requires honesty and the willingness to change myself, and I am willing to put in the hard work to do so!
Another weekend of dancing! Tonight is the last April Follies event, and instead of the dance competition they do every year, they put on a fantastic dance performance. The next day we are back at Sundance Saloon for more line dancing. Last week, I learned to dance Reggae Cowboy; this week is Jerusalema. SO much fun!
For a while, Mitchell Park Library became my office. Unfortunately, a health issue turned all my plans upside down and forced me to rest and slow down. I know I am not alone in my concern about handling a health emergency on the road as a solo traveler. It is a challenge I wish not to experience, yet it is a reminder to enjoy today because you don't know what tomorrow will bring.
A visit to the Legion of Honor to see the exhibition of "Sargent and Spain" helped put my mind in a relaxed mood. The vibrant colors Sargent uses in his artwork cheer me up. I have never painted with watercolors, but I know the challenges it takes to master it, so I am in awe of his work.
My time in San Francisco is all about Adi. I want to get a glimpse of his life. I am super excited to see the hard work he and his business partner Patricia put into building The SF Commons ("Our vision is a community space where play, curiosity, and creativity define the culture and bring together a community invested in collective flourishing."). I am so proud to see his vision come to life and witness his remarkable success.
It is a treat to see Adi's old friends and to finally put a face to the names of so many other friends of his. I so appreciate Adi organizing a dinner at his house in order for me to have the opportunity to spend time and get to know his friends in-depth. It was a pleasure cooking them a home meal, something I know they all miss.
Thank god for electric bikes; I am not even attempting to challenge myself with the hills of San Francisco. However, it is a great way to tour the town, and go to the top of Twin Peaks. I get to see the magic of the fog in the bay. So mystical!
It is an honor when your kids want to show and share their life with you. In January, I had the privilege to have a glimpse of Ron's life and now Adi's.
Knowing they are doing well gives me the green light to continue pursuing my own new path as a spiritual nomad and concentrate on ME.