Oh what a long time no see.
Too long really, but I took forever to go through photos of my latest journey.
Might I warn of the longest post ever with too many photos.
But I had to.
You see -
I went to a place dear to my heart.
Where I went a lot when I was a kid and teen...
In a state I lived half of my life in growing up.
I went north.
Where fog and ocean and wind whip together.
And little trolley's ding up and down streets all day and night.
On a mission of sorts.
To San Francisco for a week.
The view from my hotel room was sublime.
I would open the window and just smell that air.
Ocean and baked goods and salt and sweet.
The scent is unforgettable.
I took sooo many photos to share and it took me ages to go through them all.
What a blast.
Some days I went out with no camera just to enjoy the place again.
The mission was to go to San Fran and surprise my mom who would be there for her birthday.
I boarded a plane with an Irishman.
Quite a thing seeing as how I had sworn off airplanes.
I went everywhere on planes my whole life and then stopped one day.
Well, you all know this.
Found my beloved parcel of earth and got too many furs and gardens to go anywhere for years.
Plus, I didn't want to go.
But as they say, nothing lasts forever and now I'm into airplanes again.
Well it helps to be on a journey with someone who knows how to fly planes and can save you if need be. Kinda sorta, haha!
And so, we set off to surprise my mom at the ocean...
Boy was she ever surprised beyond words.
Her and my dad cried and so did the guy checking them into the hotel.
We got there early and had some time to bash around town at.
And then, the day my parents were arriving we hid in the café and watched.
Almost missing them entirely.
But we surprised them beyond words at check in.
And went on to have the most glorious trip.
Here are a few places I love...
Or, the former place where cliff house once sat.
Here is some history about it.
Such a beautiful ocean at this spot...
Lovely vegetation too.
Nasturtium at the ocean.
So interesting, read here for the story.
Just love the ocean.
Getting your feet wet.
Finding a drift wood heart.
Yes I brought it home with me.
Mom and I could have stayed there for days, just right in the sand.
Where ocean humidity poofs your hair.
Such beautiful cool weather.
The fog is its own character.
We also drove along to all sorts of places.
Homes I'd like to move into.
And the gaspingly beautiful Palace of Fine Arts.
Not to be missed.
What a place.
I guess you could sit there all day too.
Watch the endless birds & flowers...
Just dreamy beyond words.
You can walk across the street from there and get a beautiful bridge and water view.
Water and mountains and fog.
So much to gasp over.
And then the cafes a plenty.
And Chinatown too.
How can you not go to Chinatown?
Just a variety of fun stuff.
Traditional items and fancy things too.
And I did run into Zoltar who gave me a fortune.
I would not leave my hotel window late at night.
Shivering from the wind.
Smelling that beautiful air.
Listening to the saxophones and trolleys.
The wonderful city sounds.
I loved my view.
I could have just stayed there.
Shops and cafes and galleries aplenty.
We would run up the hills in the middle of the night.
Panting and laughing.
Incredible sushi and restaurants.
We found an organic grocery store up the street and went shopping.
We made smoothies in the hotel room, so much fun.
Just immersed ourselves in life there for a week.
Hotel De France!
There was something mysterious being filmed in a cathedral.
And beautiful street flowers galore.
We walked to Fisherman's Wharf and had clam chowder and shrimp.
Of course, we had to.
Admiring the buildings all the way down.
We went everywhere and saw it all.
We stayed up too late and walked so much we hobbled.
We stayed at the St. Francis for old time's sake.
As we used to stay there when I was a kid.
The architecture and details are unreal in the city.
This was in Neiman Marcus, ceiling.
Had to snap the new Louis campaign.
And the ceiling in our hotel.
Ah, San Francisco.
I love you.
There are many homeless people.
But they are not mean.
I shared a lot of my groceries and meals with them.
They were nice and you got used to the same people in places day to day.
They almost make the city in a way.
The characters in a place.
I went home in the evening.
Watching the sky.
So, how did a girl who had sworn off flying for years get on a plane?
And enjoy it?
And have the time of her life?
Well, because I'm a worry wart -
And because I can really make myself insane from time to time...
I decided to read Barry McDonagh's book.
I read it a month before the trip was even a thought in my mind.
If you are a worry wart, or struggle with anxiety...
I think you should give it a whirl.
It's written by a man who struggled himself and found the light.
Even though I'm a real free bird, happy and in love with life -
I've been a worry wart as far as I can remember.
I remember being driven to school as a kid and feeling my stomach flip flop.
But I didn't really feel actual panic until that one time when I was 36, when I took a vitamin supplement that made me so ill.
So I do understand that feeling and unfortunately have felt it a couple times in life.
What's funny is I am brave, I do scary big things.
I'm a happy go lucky sort and I enjoy life as much as I can.
I am strong for others and enjoy being helpful when people need me.
But every now and then I can worry with the best of them.
I mean really just freak myself out.
I can be totally zen in the scariest scenarios and worried about silly things for no reason.
I guess we can all be in some ways.
It's part of being human.
Everyone feels it in some way, no one is alone.
So, after being a bit ill from my stomach a few months ago and not feeling myself, and not getting better as quickly as I would have liked & being stressed, I read it. It helped me immensely during a hard time.
I thought the book was life changing and wonderful.
I loved it.
It was simple and comforting.
Acceptance is the key.
Hard times are when we learn so much.
Being good to yourself and accepting.
Allowing yourself to feel instead of fighting feelings.
Hey, if it got me on a plane and I enjoyed it, that's saying a lot.
It's not just for flying, that was just a tiny part of the book.
But I loved it.
I didn't even read it for the flying part, that was just a bonus I didn't see coming.
Needless to say, I had the best time ever on my trip.
I got on a plane, I surprised my mom for her birthday and we had a magical time.
And I enjoyed the plane just like I did before I swore them off.
Life goes by very fast, and I just want to enjoy the people I love more than ever.
That's what I've been doing the last couple of years.
Living my life, enjoying it, growing with changes and spending time with those I love.
That was the longest blog post in history.
I am loving journaling.
Writing your thoughts really is hugely cathartic.
I've been painting my gypsy wagon, painting paintings and drawing a lot.
The garden is huge and green and I hope to start coming back here more often.
I really do.
Life is good.
Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.
And it will.
Even when you think there is no way.
Lots of love,