Monday, November 4, 2013

Vineyards, and Mountains, and Wal(Nuts) . . . Oh, My!

Yesterday provided a potpourri of new experiences, some awesome, some, well . . . new.

Sitting on my deck in Oakland after writing the last blog post, I watched a significantly drunk, and/or otherwise impaired, woman screaming profanities at a kickboxer working on on a floating dock.  These were complimentary profanities (you're a #$*&-ing badass!).  He invited her over--I'm not sure if he was enjoying the attention or trying to pull a woman who was clearly a bit out of control into a place where he could monitor her--and she raced down the dock and tackle-hugged him.  After more screaming and off-balance swaying, she backed up and raced for the edge of the dock.  He had time to say, "No, don't--" and she had leapt off the edge, fully clothed, into the water.  The good news is that she could swim.  He pulled her back up on the dock and brought her back to the land and monitored her (while she continued to shout about how awesome the Raiders were and how awful the 49er's, and Jerry Rice is evil) until the police came.

I don't have much experience of seeing out-of-control behavior.  Very educational, and everybody ended up okay in the end, (though she was under arrest, I think,) so I don't feel too guilty that I am looking at this as research that I can utilize in my characters.

At a farmer's market in Oakland, I got a henna tattoo, much larger than any I've had before.  I'm enjoying it a lot.  We then headed north toward wine country.

Lunch was at a winery/deli, where we purchased tasty food and ate it at a picnic table on the grounds.  November in California is warm enough that I didn't have to wear a sweater or jacket, though the wind was picking up.

Next stop, Chico.  The road through the mountains was very twisty-turny and I once again had cause to wish I had my driver's license, as I would have been much happier behind the wheel, but Tom did a lovely job and I got to observe the scenery, seeing new kinds of trees and foliage.

In Chico, which I learned grows a lot of walnuts, I got to meet Tina Gower, a writer friend who I have known online for a few years now.  (Look for her Gold Award-Winning story Twelve Seconds in the Writers of the Future Anthology: Volume 29!)  We had a lovely visit, including meeting two of the sweetest children on the planet, and her friendly, and funny, husband Tyler.  It is so nice to meet people in person!  Tasty dinner was eaten, fancy root beer imbibed, and hours of conversation enjoyed.

Now it's time to get back on the road!

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