Sunday, June 22, 2014

The last 3 weeks...

The last 3 weeks have been a take-off on a Tale of Two Cities, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  Before leaving Loomis we got news that two of our Petaluma friends were critically ill in ICU in the same hospital.  

We met Bruce and Phyllis several years ago at a 4th of July celebration in the lodge.  They immediately invited us to their lovely home where over the years Bruce cooked grand meals, then entertained us by playing his guitar and singing in his inimitable Willie Nelson style.  Bruce rode motorcycles and lived large.  You never knew what somewhat off color statement might present itself around a lovely dinner evening.  Phyllis always reminded him, "Remember our manners talk, Bruce"!

Bruce doing what he loved!

Patrick, a long-time friend from Half Moon Bay, met Suzanne, the love of his life, and much to our surprise had moved to Petaluma.  We re-connected through Facebook (doesn't everyone), arranged a dinner get-together that led to many.  We immediately liked Suzanne, a talented artist, videographer, world traveler and lover of all things French.  

Suzanne in her favorite city Paris

This was a few years ago and every year when we return one or two times we meet up with these great folks.  Bruce and Suzanne passed away within two days of each other.  Bruce had back pains and his organs started shutting down.  Suzanne had a cough that had been hanging on so went to her dr. who ordered an x-ray in case of bronchitis and found stage 4 lung cancer.  She was a young, fit 70 who had never smoked a day in her life. 

There have been many fun-filled family times centered around barbecues and, at this time of the year, softball.  My son and granddaughter (7) play on leagues.  Christina tried out for a very competitive traveling team and made the grade.  They have played in championship tournaments for the last two weekends.

The Bean is up!

Then there are the mandatory day trips to keep things interesting and provide more photo fodder.  On our first venture into San Francisco we stopped just short of the Golden Gate bridge when we noticed the city enveloped in fog.  A stop at one of our favorite spots, Fort Baker, at the Sausalito (north) side of the bridge also reminded us how cold summer can be in these parts.  We did manage a rather nice fog-shrouded shot:

Last week the perfect day presented itself and we hopped on the ferry at Larkspur for a nice ride to the City, saving ourselves the frustration of dealing with traffic and parking.  We wondered around the Embarcadero, had lunch at our favorite Waterfront Restaurant, then enjoyed the delights of the Ferry Building Marketplace, before boarding our ride home:

City views from the ferry

Along the Embarcadero...

The Ferry Bldg., our favorite

Inside amongst the shops & restaurants

For example!

Boarding our ride home

We will leave tomorrow, Monday the 23rd, for our 20th anniversary celebration in the lovely town of Calistoga, right in the very heart of the Napa Valley wine and hot springs country.  I sincerely hope it will not be another 3 weeks before we meet again.  Thank you for stopping by....

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