Thursday, January 08, 2009

Starting the New Year...

Penelope joined me in California a couple of days after Christmas, and I've been introducing her to friends and showing her some of the bay area's sites.  She loves it, and we've been having a wonderful time, although there never seems to be enough time.

We went to Big Basin the Monday after she arrived ... a great day to drive through Saratoga and up Highway 9 to the Santa Cruz Mountains summit.  It was a beautiful day, but when we finally got down into Big Basin park where the redwoods block out the sun, it was chilly.  So we limited our walking to the trail through the oldest trees (the Mother Tree is 3,000 years old), and it was pretty spectacular. 
We've both just really enjoyed driving around and seeing places she's never seen (pretty much the whole bay area), but I scheduled a couple of dinner parties with friends.  Ben Kline (who I've taught with at De Anza for many years) and his wife Julie spent an evening before the new year, and we managed to polish a bottle or two of wine off.
On New Year's Eve we danced up a storm at Encinal Yacht Club, where Penelope got to meet many of my sailing friends.  After a nightcap of sipping rum with David and Susan Sherrill on their Beneteau First Argonauta, we spent the first of two nights on Dog Days. That was a trip for Penelope, since she and her husband Bill had an Islander Bahama 32 some twelve years ago that they sailed to the Bahamas and along the southeast coastal area.

On New Year's Day we went on the "round-the-island" cruise on Tony and Michelle Shaffer's power cruiser, and we were kept company by Charles and Kathryn Hodgkins and Sam and Chris Benson.  (Charles promises pictures.)  It was a wonderful day, with lots of drinking at the Aeolian Yacht Club, the Balina Bay Yacht Club, and finally at Encinal.  We ended it having dinner with Rob and Carol Woltring and Mike Porfiri at Otaez, a new Mexican restaurant in Alameda.

The weekend after New Year's my daughter Lisa, her mother Sandi, and old friends Bob and Laura Miller came over for brunch and spent time going through my mother's paintings ... everybody found some to take with them for their walls, which I was happy to make happen.  Then we went for a walk at Shoreline Park and enjoyed a wonderful winter afternoon before a great sushi dinner in Los Altos.  
We also had another nice dinner party with Tony Kay and Lin Hullen, and I have spent a lot of time getting things together to leave my townhouse with friends while I'm cruising the Bahamas this winter/spring.
We had coffee with my daughter yesterday.  It's the last time we'll see each other before Penelope and I leave for Florida, and since we've been meeting for coffee every week for almost two years, it's going to be really hard not to see her regularly.  We'll just have to rely on the phone and email.

Anyhow, now it's packing time and time to focus on the upcoming sailing adventure.  Alizee awaits in Oriental, North Carolina.  Florida next stop, then Oriental.  Soon!!!



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