Monday, April 11, 2016

Beginning of 2016

View from top of Clock Tower
As usual we began the year with a visit to California, not without missing the only major snowstorm of the season (ca. 18 in. of snow locally just before we left). We started in Northern California, the first day I had lunch at Spalti's in Palo Alto (a private room in the back) with a huge group of retired librarian friends. We went to two splendid concerts in PA, one to hear Voices of Music at All Saints Episcopal church, and the other was Quicksilver at First Presbyterian. One day while Bill was playing bridge I drove to Half Moon Bay, sat huddled against some rocks out of the wind to observe brave souls on the beach. Somehow we fit in lunch with Holly and Town, coffee with Ethan, and dinner with the old poetry group at Bistro Vida in Menlo Park.

Bart's Books, Ojai
Then we joined Gil and Joan on the Coast Starlight, probably the first time I had taken this train since I was a young woman. Beautiful scenery from the observation car as we glided past Elkhorn Slough, the green hills above San Luis Obispo (including a great view of La Cuesta Grade), and finally along the ocean on our way to Santa Barbara. We were met by Roger and Fran, and the next day the six of us toured the city, lunch at State and Fig, and going up to the top of the Clock Tower for an amazing view. The next day we all drove to Meinert Oaks (part of Ojai) and had lunch at Farmer and the Cook Organic Market, sitting outside on their expansive patio. On to Ojai and Bart's Books, the World's Greatest Outdoor Bookstore (well, some of it is indoors, of course).

At Buster's
We drove down to Pasadena to stay with Mimi, and one day we had lunch with Kirk and Melinda at Lincoln bakery in a soon-to-be-upscale (?) neighborhood of Pasadena bordering on Altadena. They also showed us Arlington Gardens, a little-known free park with sitting areas under the trees. We had coffee with Kathleen at Jones Coffee, a favorite. A tradition also was attending Santa Anita, this time with Mimi and Kirk (Mimi had the best day, finishing on the plus side). Melinda joined us for dinner at Gale's. On our last day we had brunch with Ed and Gipsy, and Meredith Taylor from my SMHS class at the old Huntington Hotel (now the Langham).

Emerald Bay
Was it too much to ask to just do practically nothing at Janet's in Emerald Bay for three whole days? Weather was perfect. On the way to LAX we discovered a new lunch place in Long Beach called

In late February I took a very quick trip down to D.C. on the train so I could join Janet and Karen to see Elena and Marina perform in a local production of South Pacific. Their somersaults were highlights of the show. In March it was a treat to hear Bob Hass read at Princeton. Later that month I read with the Ragged Sky anthology poets (from the coffee and chocolate book Dark as a Hazel Eye) at the Mulberry branch library on the lower East Side. We had lunch at Tartine and then returned there after the reading for a snack with Jay and Maxine.

In April there were two Cool Women readings, one at the Franklin branch of the Somerset library, the second at the Hopewell branch in Pennington. Both were a lot of fun, especially the second one, which had a huge turnout even though it was raining, and I also performed as moderator for the first time. In the middle of that same week Kent and his family arrived in Princeton (Erika looking at colleges on the East Coast), and we had a very quick visit over lunch, and were also able to fit in a stop at our house on the way to Trenton Station.

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