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On the Pit of Pins and a Trip to the West Coast

Question: What happens when you’re supposed to be sorting out a blog post but get distracted on Pinterest instead?

Answer: You don’t sort out your blog post.

I could have had this finished and been neck deep in a book hours ago had I not ventured into the bottomless pit of pins (I wrote this last night). It was with good intentions, to begin with, cross my heart. I was looking for ideas, thinking I might share some images from my board that inspire the world of Falconsbane. But, as we all know, one thing lead to another and I found myself leaping from one thing to the next, winding up in craftopia. Pinterest is possibly the greatest place for crafty things, tutorials, hacks, and nifty ways of doing the coolest little things our finite brains can’t always figure out. That’s why there’s so many of us and why we all think and see things a little differently one from the next. It’s teamwork! Teamwork makes the dream work, as I heard my sister-in-law say. I found so many great ideas, from puff paint embroidery to paper mache Japanese lanterns to mini books. (I was on there for a while). But you know what? It still didn’t get me to where I wanted to be in regards to what to talk about.

So, why don’t I just give a brief update about last week?

What’s so special about the last week, you ask?

Well, I went on an adventure!

Adventures, for people in general, are opportunities to learn and grow as a person. For writers, adventures are opportunities to gather information and hoard our experiences for improving our craft. Adventures are fodder for the fires of our imagination, and the anxieties and excitements, sights, sounds, and smells are all a part of that.

The adventure I went on was a family trip to California, to visit my brother and sister-in-law. Truth be told, it’s the farthest and longest (I believe) that I’ve ever been away from home, and it was the second time in conscious memory that I’ve gotten on an airplane. After changing flights four times round trip I think I’m quite finished with airports and flying for a while! Six hours is too long to sit in a tiny chair. I mean, I sit a lot on an average daily basis, but I’m usually up and down and moving around throughout that. Not so on an airplane. Yeesh.

But without boring you too much with my thoughts on air travel, I’ll get on with my first impressions of California: it was like stepping through the Stargate into another world entirely. The people still looked like people, and the buildings still looked like buildings, but it was different. Stepping out of the airport at dusk and seeing those towering palm trees was a sight! You see pictures of them all the time, sure, but seeing one in person, standing under that bare trunk and staring up at that tuft of fronds way up in the sky is a completely different experience. And that was just the first run-in with subtropical vegetation. I guess I’d have to say that, above all else, was the most impactful to me, the different plants. Throughout the tip I think I recognized like, maybe two or three ground covers from home. Everything else was different, and I don’t even know what most of them were called! There were these gigantic agave looking things (which probably were agave) and there were birds-of-paradise everywhere and even a couple stands of bamboo. I couldn’t get over seeing cacti in the hedgerows, that just struck me as funny. The grass felt different that New York grass, too. But hey, it wasn’t buried under two feet of snow, so who can complain?

Anywho, a couple of the places we went to were La Lolla to see the wild seals and sea lions (which was pretty awesome) and the San Diego zoo. We stayed there all day and saw some pretty amazing animals. If you ever wonder where human creativity came from, take a look at all the creatures that fill the globe. God is the source of all things. Wow. I liked especially the lions and tigers and panda bears (oh my!), but the harpy eagle was also beautiful and . . . dare I say . . . kind of . . . cute. I also really liked the secretary bird. It’s like a hawk mixed with a stork with a wild headdress. It’s so cool!

I didn’t take any pictures because 1) I didn’t bring my camera, and 2) I’m new to this whole having-a-cell-phone thing. It’s true! Up until now I’ve never had a phone, and I still wouldn’t were it not for certain circumstances in which it would be convenient in this day and age. So yeah. That’s going to take some fiddling to learn what all I can and what all I actually want to do with it. I didn’t bring my laptop with me either (which was partially why there was no blog post last week). I wanted to focus on being with my family and didn’t want my laptop and everything that’s on it to be a distraction.

A couple of other things to note about the trip before we wrap up: I’d never had frozen yogurt until we went to this one place on base called YougurtLand. Man, that stuff is good. I can’t say it’s any healthier an alternative to ice cream, though, what with the flavorings and toppings, but it sure does taste amazing. And did you know the tap water down there’s unsafe to drink? Like, it’ll kill you? That little piece of information threw me a bit, to be honest. I’m a person who lives off tap water. I was terrified I was going to goof and fill my water bottle or the kettle from the tap and end my career of goofs. But I didn’t! We survived! Praise the Lord.

We arrived home a little after midnight, so it was super, super early Thursday morning, and we ate toast, eggs, and those frozen Toquitoes you can get at Aldi. It was so good. By now we’re caught up on laundry and just about caught up on sleep; life is returning to normal, but not quite the same, because we have new memories. We learned that southern California is a nice place to visit (even though it was chilly the whole time, but hey, that’s what happens when we go south. We bring the north with us), but for all the fun we had we decided that it is not the place for us. Cities are a bit much, if you ask me, and I literally got a rash (probably wasn’t from the city though, it might have been the sunscreen, or the soap, or the mangoes. It’s hard to tell).

All in all, it was a fun trip, a new experience that I’m glad I didn’t chicken out of, and now I can store all of it for future reference.

*Cue maniacal laughter*

So how about you? What recent trips have you gone on, what new experiences have you holstered to your belt? I’d love to hear your stories!

Published inFarm Stuff

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