On many occasions I digress from travel-related topics to those more personal and dear to me; friends, family, even unsolicited opinions.
June 2013 is unfolding as a time of celebration and reflection with sadness and joy pulling at the heart strings. So many milestones, birthdays, graduation, and the passing of my very best friend.
Mary had been slowly sinking into the depths of dementia, recently complicated by lymphoma, but well-managed by a great care facility before moving to a loving hospice home in SF. She was happy and though her memory was gone we had agreed if she forgot who I was we'd just lie and tell stories. This cracked her up.
She was always known as Mary Marvelous, or the Marv. As single working moms, both in real estate on the Coastside, we mingled with other couples and friends, and had the best extended family base, always sharing holidays, weekends, vacations, and SF 49er football!
When Howard and I first got together in '89, I set out to embrace his passion for sailing, not always successfully. On more than one occasion, Marv was called to rescue me in fits of panic when storms blew in on the Bay or boat repairs forced us to run for the nearest marina. The lovely waterfront town of Benicia became our safe harbor. She never minded the long drives...and we always had a good laugh!
The first milestone celebration was grandson Daniel's surprise 18th birthday party last weekend at Mavericks Lodge and Event Center in Princeton-By-The-Sea.
This was a beautiful venue with early evening light fading into the fog as we waited for the guest of honor to arrive...
Though he was mortified upon arrival, seeing all his friends and family...how embarrassing for this somewhat shy teenager, the smile broke out courtesy of a grab bag from which he pulled a hundred dollar bill!
The fun continued with an afternoon at the Lemos Pony Farm in Half Moon Bay. Damien who recently turned two had not had a proper birthday party and sis Liliana and lots of other friends and kids gathered to experience this crazy, crowded fun-filled zoo! It was sensory overload.....
Damien wanted nothing to do with riding the ponies or playing in the jumpy thing. As long as daddy Clint was holding him, all was OK.
Liliana, who is a fearless 3 1/2 year old, had enough enthusiasm for both of them!
A fitting finale to our week was Daniel's Half Moon Bay High School graduation. He heads to San Diego State University in the fall.
Daniel was among more than 50% of total graduates that had attended HMB schools from K through 12th grade. His mom, dad, step-dad and uncle did as well. Impressively, 66% of his class of 200 carried a grade point average of 3.5 or higher.
The travel journal will resume once I catch my breath....