My journey started last Tuesday in New Zealand, where, after one more quick jaunt to the beach on a gorgeous winter day that made me sad to leave, I boarded the Boeing 777 at Auckland Airport after sundown.
Now, flying has become a necessary evil for me. I don't freak out about it like I used to, for which I am very grateful. It's not particularly fun to attempt sleep in a chair, but the meals are generally pretty good and mostly there are some good movies on. If nothing else, I can haul out my computer and work on a current project.
Eleven hours later, suppered, somewhat slept, and breakfasted, I arrived at San Francisco and inquired as to how to get to the Caltrain station in Millbrae. "Take the Bart train," everyone said, but I wanted to walk after being cramped up for so long. So I did, and it was pleasant there alongside the Bay.
I took the train to Mike and Kathleen's home and they gave me a warm welcome. There are times at home when I forget what it's like to have writer friends around the same table, and I guess that's why I travel so much. We are of the same kind.
The next day after sleeping late, I took a walk, visited Mike and Kathleen's work, and shopped for sandals before heading to the airport for my next flight.
Sandals, you ask? This is about to become a recurring theme, believe me. At home while packing I had decided on a pair of walking sandals to bring. I chose the wrong ones, and from that first walk they began giving me blisters both underneath and at the back. So out we went and grabbed a new pair, backless and with memory foam soles. Gotta be better, right? Well, just keep reading.
So. Red-eye flight. Left San Jose at 11pm, got into Philadelphia at 9.30am after a transit in Atlanta. There was not much sleeping done. But the best thing of all, that made it all worthwhile? Becky, Ralene and Ivani were right there waiting for me when I walked out: Realm Makers had begun!