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OFF I GO! #13, 2014 Trip

Friday, August 29, 2014

With my soul sister Adelaida on my 71st birthday in Ecuador, Feb 23, 2013.

Adelaida and her daughter, my beloved goddaughter Amrita, with dear friends Micaela and her mom Sandra, at their home in Cotacachi
I'VE BOOKED MY FLIGHT to Ecuador, departing San Francisco at 6:00am on September 24 and arriving Quito on September 25 at 1:00pm.

Since I arrive Miami around 8:45pm and depart for Ecuador at 9:45am the next morning I booked a room through for $56!

Hotel Shelley, South Beach, even has an airport shuttle!

Tiger Lily (Kathy's little Mi-Ki, a five-pound furry bundle of sweetness) and I are currently hanging out at Kathy's lovely home while she's off on an Alaskan cruise.

Resting Tiger

I sat Baby Tiger under Big Monkey, a handsome sculpture in Kathy's neighborhood, while we were walking

I've been swimming several times in Kathy's lovely pool, and Vivian came over once to enjoy swimming and lunch with me here.

I also met a Facebook friend, Penny, who came here for lunch. I had a delightful time getting acquainted and I learned about a wonderful parish she is engaged with ever-more now that she has retired from many years of service in social work: Dang my memory -- I forgot to take photos of our coming-together.

These two stately redwoods greet me as I look up while swimming on my back.

Kathy returns tomorrow, Saturday August 30, and has graciously extended an invitation to continue at her place over the next week so we can have some quality time prior to my departure AND she invited me to a fabulous concert Saturday night!

DakhaBrakha, Sept. 6

Then, Sept. 7 Sara and I (and perhaps other friends) will be going to hear New Monsoon in Novato, a group co-founded by Bo Carper, an old friend from Bolinas, CA.

New Monsoon

AND [swoon] Sara invited me on Sept. 13 to see:

Deva Premal, Miten, and Manose

Because she knows how much I wanted to see them and how much I love the music, she got orchestra seats. I'm deeply touched and grateful. The concert is at the Marin Veteran's Memorial Auditorium (a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building which I love --

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NOW, I'm going to share, in no particular order, a few of the things that have been going on since my first sojourn in Sacramento (see the blog,
, "Capital SparkFriends in the Capital!"). This is the proverbial "tip of the iceberg" but will give you a sense of the joy and wonder I've experienced with dear dear friends.
I caught up over breakfast in old Folsom town with the goings-on in the lives of Jon and Amy, the beautiful (inside and out) grown children of a dear old friend:

Dawn and I spent precious time together in her home in Pacifica. It happened that my friend (and ex-stepson, who I first met when he was three years old and I was 20!) John Christensen, a talented jazz trumpeter, was going to be part of a 5-piece group playing in Antioch, East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area along the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta, and we decided to go! Dawn then graciously invited John and I to dinner afterwards, and it was great to catch up with what John is doing. He has a "day job" as a counselor at Diablo Valley College. He also teaches trumpet. Sadly, it doesn't appear that I will have the pleasure of spending time with his wife Maria this time.

Dawn looks radiant

John in the hat is playing the flugelhorn in this piece (with the San Joaquin River in the background)

Two brass, percussion, keyboard

Soulful vocalist Nicky D

Dawn also invited me to attend one of her yoga classes, which was fabulous www.newdawnyoga.c

...and I attended Noe Valley Ministry with her, where she is very engaged in the life of her church community www.noevalleyministry.or

Besides having wonderful visits with dear friend Sara, I house sat for her in her home in San Rafael, caring for Maggie Mae (all 12 lbs. of her):

During my house sit, Ricardo, aka Govinda, an old friend who has had a big impact on my life, came to visit. I had last seen him about five years ago in Ecuador. He is originally from Peru and came to the USA to go to university, graduating from UC, Berkeley. We met in 1978 while both working in CA State Government. He introduced me to Yoga, Latin American culture and international travel, three key elements of my life now. We traveled together throughout Europe and South America.

I spent precious time with Jnani, including in her catamaran, the Catalyst. These photos really don't give you a sense of the spaciousness of the 46' craft, where Jnani, Annie and I goofed off, ate, and worked:

Jnani going through some papers

Annie waxing poetic, while Jnani and I look on, amazed

"Oh no!" sez Annie. "What have we done now!"
From a group called "Vegetarians Get Together," online Weight Watchers, 26 of us from around the country met in Bellingham, WA in 2002, after becoming online friends. Some of this amazing group of women reunited a couple weeks ago at The Redwood Cafe in Cotati, CA:

Catherine, Sonoma town; Deborah, San Anselmo (Washington, DC in 2002!); me, Maddy, Willits and bringing up the rear, Pamela
I met Catherine for lunch in Sonoma on my way to Sacramento this time. Sadly I forgot to get any photos of the two of us, but I did take a couple shots of the javascript: void(0);world-renowned Sonoma grape crops on the way:


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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    The end. LOL!
    Fab photos and great story right to the dog's rear.
    1267 days ago
    This looks like a lot of fun, and I always love your pictures And what a cute puppy! Thanks for sharing them!
    1287 days ago
    Such wonderful people and travels...! So WITH you in spirit! :-)

    1292 days ago
    emoticon and WOW! Congrats on booking your fligh1t to Ecuador..! September 25 will come around really quick! Enjoy and have a wonderful time! Will continue to look forward to your updates and picture blogs***HUGS**** Love, Risa
    1294 days ago

    Wow, Maha, this has been quite a trip. It seems you've lived with your heart and mind open and you are all the richer for it. Good for you! Keep us posted!

    1294 days ago
    i always wonder, are you planning everything in advance or is this all kind of spur of the moment, or a mix of both? i love that you have a huge pool of friends and acquaintances all around, so no matter where you go there is fun, possibly a place to stay, memories, laughs. i aim to someday live life as fully, freely, and joyfully as you do! i feel like i live in a closed up, tiny box and when i read your words it is so full of life, adventure and gratitude - always inspiring my friend! maybe it's the fact that reading ONE of your posts is more lively than i get in 6 months, bahahaha. might need to work on that ;)
    1295 days ago
    emoticon Maha!! Thank you for sharing!! emoticon
    1297 days ago
    So glad you are having a wonderful time
    before you go to your other 'home'. Thank you
    for sharing the great photos. Please make sure
    you stay in touch. Have fun and enjoy each and
    every moment. emoticon
    1297 days ago
  • CATS_MEOW_0911
    What a trip, Maha! And how wonderful to bond with some SparkPeeps.

    And YAY for booking your trip to Ecuador!
    1297 days ago
    Thank you, MAHA! Loved the run-down. Stay in touch, plz, plz, plz!!!
    1297 days ago
    Wonderful adventures and wonderful friends! Keep on keeping on.
    1298 days ago
    Hi, I just stumbled onto your blog and saw you are going to Ecuador. I lived there back in the 1970s and I'm dying to go back. My son was born there but we left when he was 4 months old so he has never seen it. One of these days we will get there. Have a wonderful time!
    1298 days ago
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