Happy 5th Birthday, Ingrid Neko Kesswood!

You light up our lives.  

Have a wonderful birthday, full of laughter and fun.   We will celebrate again when we get home.  Love you more than words can say.  You bring us unlimited happiness.  Thank you, honey, for being you!  xoxoxoxoxoxo

I am laughing.

Ha. Ha. Ha.  Laughter is good for you! 

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Try it!  Laughter is the best, most  joyful music on earth!  Regardless of what might be “wrong” in your life, you’ll feel a lot better if you can just find something to laugh about!   Laughter is medicine.

Where Little Cable Cars…..

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The new Bay Bridge soared majestically over us yesterday as we headed into the city to catch August Wilson’s first play, “Jitney.”  John and I have been August Wilson fans for decades.  In fact, the class that I took from John, in which we fell in love, had one of Wilson’s plays on the syllabus.  We saw that play together in Texas, and felt sentimental about seeing this one last night.

Jitney is part of Wilson’s Century Cycle, and is about a group of blue collar men who offer gypsy cab rides to and from African American communities in Pittsburgh where city cabs refuse to go.  We have attended other plays in the same venue, which was once an Episcopal Church, and love the small, intimate environment that makes the audience feel like it is a part of the play’s environs. 

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A luxurious fog bank was beautifully rolling into the city by the end of the day, but Alcatraz was still visible as we crossed the bridge.  Of course, Robin Williams was on my mind as we entered San Francisco, as was my best friend, René.

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See how the streets sparkled in the photo above?  Everything looked silver and blue.  It was beautiful!

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We took our customary drive down the Embarkadero, but did not get out and walk as we usually do, because we wanted to catch a bite to eat before the play.  Again, I thought of Robin Williams, because he used to jog here, and further down the way near Chrissy Field.   There was a definite Robin Williams vibe going on in the city.  I think all of us are still shocked.

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As always, there were interesting things to see, as in this amazing metal sculpture. called SOMA.  The 60-foot sculpture combines metal and LED lights to mimic brain neurons and create an interactive experience for visitors.  The piece was first built five years ago by the San Francisco artist collective Flaming Lotus Girls. The group is known for the fiery statues they feature annually at the Burning Man festival in northern Nevada’s Black Rock Desert .  When it is lit, it is magnificent!

The usual Mimes were entertaining tourists, and a lot of people were out walking around.  It was a glorious day!

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We also drove over to the Haight, hoping to eat over there, but it was ridiculously crowded, so we went elsewhere.  I did snap a shot of this cool mural, however, even though I couldn’t capture the entire thing.  Kind of reflects on that whole hippie, Haight-Ashbury thing from the days of Jimi and Janis.   Doesn’t it? 

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We drove close to the theatre and decided to walk over to Kala Udon Kitchen, a nearby cheap noodle place that serves some of the best udon imaginable.  We had veggie tempura sushi, tofu, and our bowls of steaming hot noodles.  It was way too much food to finish, but we ate until we were full and had a great conversation.  We were both excited about the upcoming play.

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We arrived early for the play, so John took a couple of shots of the very simply constructed set.  When writing is as good as that of August Wilson, a fancy set is not needed.  The work speaks for itself.

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We held hands during the play and enjoyed one another’s company AND the play, more than I can say.  It was really good.  In fact, I was shocked that it was as good as it was since it was Wilson’s first.  I loved his later work, but this first effort was very strong.  It was well-acted and thoroughly entertaining. 

Overall, our date night was a big success! 

Clicking Off Items on the Bucket List….Up, Up and Away….

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to take a ride in a hot air balloon.  I have done this, in a small way, in that I went high into the air in one years ago, but the balloon  was tethered by a long rope.  Soon, my Auntie and I will be embarking upon the real deal, by floating high above the Napa Valley in an epic photo opportunity among the clouds.

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The first hot air balloon launch was in September of 1783, when a scientist named Pilatre De Rozier,  lauched the Aerostat Reveillon.  The balloon’s passengers were a sheep, a duck and a rooster.   The balloon stayed in the air for a grand total of 15 minutes before crashing back to the ground, and I read no accounts of how the animals fared…but I hope they survived.

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My former husband (and still good friend) and I used to go to the Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta to see the spectacular and creative air ballet danced by balloons in the wildest shapes and colors!  It was always so beautiful and exciting to see what people would come up with.

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There were balloons shaped like trains and cars and airplanes.  There were balloons shaped like houses and animals.  There were star shaped balloons and psychedelic balloons.  It was always so much fun to see them drifting by.    There was great music there as well.   It would play as the sun went down and all of the balloons would light up creating a fantasy wonderland of colorful whimsy. 

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Of course, I’m a little bit nervous about the flight.  Accidents do happen….but I prefer not to give those thoughts my energy.  I anticipate a smooth, beautiful ride with a chance to see the Valley from a perspective that I have not seen it before.  It will be fun to do this with my favorite Aunt, who is also a fun loving individual.  I’ll be sure to take a lot of photos, and will let you know how it goes! 

Up, up and awaaaaaaaay!!!!!