zyzyly: (2956)
Breakfast at Alegria

We had a delicious breakfast this morning. The place we like to stay always serves fresh and tasty food for breakfast, and good coffee as well. We awoke to a break in the rain, so right after breakfast we got out do do some walking around.

mendo botanical garden
Malida at the botanical Garden

Our first stop was the Mendocino Botanical Gardens. It is a favorite spot any time of the year. Even though not much of anything is in bloom, the grounds are lovely, and you can walk all the way out to the ocean bluffs, which we did, and watched the waves crash against the rocks.

A sculpture along one of the paths

We spent about an hour and a half wandering around and enjoying the break in the rain.

I love succulents. The woman who told me about this place would often post pictures of the succulents here.

After the botanical gardens, we headed over to glass beach, just in time to meet the next storm coming in. We got to spend a little time walking on the beach before it started raining too hard.

The last couple on the beach before the rains came

We headed down to the wharf for some delicious fish and chips at some dive place, then back to our room to listen to the rain come down.
zyzyly: (2956)
While I was walking toward the complimentary hotel breakfast this morning, someone from a car called my name. It was an old friend, someone who I used to do ministry with back when I did ministry. The last time I had seen her was about five or six years ago, on New Years Eve when I ran into her at the grocery store while we were both buying king crab. She and her husband were in Ukiah (a small town where you don't expect to run into anyone you know) to visit her mother-in-law, who is 92. It was great to see her, and we chatted for a bit before agreeing to run into each other randomly again sometime in the future.

After breakfast, and before heading out to the coast, we stopped at the City of 10,000 Buddhas.

lotta buddhas
The City of 10,000 Buddhas

We were here last year and walked the grounds and took pictures of the peacocks. This year it was raining, so we looked at a Buddha Exhibit, drove around the grounds, and saw many peacocks and hens standing next to the buildings to get out of the rain.

A peacock ducks out of the rain near the administration building

After leaving the city, we drove around randomly along farm roads looking at vineyards and orchards and mist-veiled mountains in the background. It was a pretty morning, even if it was rainy. Especially because it was rainy.

Especially because it was rainy.

We made the coast at about 1:30 pm. We stopped at Van Damme Beach for a bit and walked around in the mist. Then we headed into town, had lunch at the home of the famous thai burrito, and checked into our room, where we settled in and read and napped as we listened to the rain. Which is what we are still doing.

The coast.Pacific
The coast. Pacific.
zyzyly: (2956)
Ten years ago in an empty room.

Ten years ago, just before midnight on December 31, I sat alone in my living room wondering what I was going to do with my life. It was a little more than a year after my first wife had died, and I was completely lost.

I put on an album, Aerial, by Kate Bush. As I listened, I realized I could do anything I wanted to. It was an epiphany. I took a pen and a piece of paper and started writing down the things I might want to do. Go to grad school, travel to a foreign country, take a photography class, consider taking the part-time teaching job I was recently offered. Take a picture every day for a year.

I didn't do it all in 2006, but I did do it all. I love that I have the entire year documented. Not only pictures, but words as well, and memories. It was such a transitional year for me--the year I started to build the life I have now.

The room is much the same, although no longer empty. I have a wife, and a couple of cats, and a big Hello Kitty. I traveled to a foreign country, got a graduate degree, took a bunch of photography classes, took that part-time teaching job, and took a picture every day for a year.

That's what I'm thinking about in the new year.

Happy New Year to all of you!
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