With Margaret in Santa Rosa

My travel buddy, Margaret, was celebrating big for her 60th birthday and invited a bunch of friends to stay overnight at an African wildlife park called Safari West. She invited me to stay extra days if I wanted to, and I did.

We got off to a late start when there was a hinge not working on one of the doors in the plane. It was not an entrance/exit door, and they said it would not impact safety, but it needed to be fixed. After 45 minutes they gave up fixing, and found us a new plane instead. We lifted off an hour late. Luckily, it was only for a short, direct flight and it didn’t inconvenience me much at all. The passengers all seemed pretty mellow about it, so that was good.

My friend of twenty-five years.

Margaret lives minutes from the airport, and showed up with her beau, Allen, that I was finally able to meet for the first time. It was dark when we arrived home. Margaret had a delicious meal waiting for us, and we ate and chatted until we were very tired.

The next day would be sunny and warm, so we made plans to go for a walk around a nearby park. I’m always happy to get outside after airplane travel. Sitting squashed into coach on a plane affects me more negatively than sitting at my office desk. There’s a trapped feeling I get on a plane and there’s nothing like a walk in the great outdoors to wash all those trapped feelings out of my system.

But first, a friend came over and we decorated Easter eggs. Margaret wanted to try two methods: one is to put a drop of oil into the dye to cause a marbleized effect. The other is to drop dye onto whipped cream, then roll the eggs through the cream. We were game to try them both! click through all the images below to see.

We let the eggs dry and left for a little exploration of Santa Rosa, and the Cyclisk. The description from Atlas Obscura is all you need: “Created from 340 bicycles, and standing at 65 feet high, the monument is an eye-catching roadside display of public art.

In Santa Rosa, California, any construction project costing over $500,000 must put one percent of their budget toward public art. This has led to the creation of hundreds of benches and murals in the city, along with the “Cyclisk.” Specifically, the massive bicycle column now proudly stands near the Nissan dealership whose construction paid for the work. “Cyclisk” was designed by Mark Grieve and Ilana Spector, who proposed the idea to the city’s Design Review Board. Every bicycle, and the monument’s one tricycle, were beyond the point of riding and were donated to the project by non-profit groups and individuals in the community.”

I wish I had thought to zoom in and get a close-up shot of the bicycle parts. Darn it.

Next we went to Spring Lake Park. I had left snow on the ground at home in Rainier, and was hoping my California vacation would be the tiny trip into Springtime that I have craved. Friday was certainly what I had wished for. We were soon plenty warm in the sunshine and did not need jackets.

Looking across Spring Lake

Spring Lake Regional Park is within city limits of Santa Rosa and open all year. It is 320 acres with two lakes and tons of trails. There are trails in this park that allow horses and bicycles, as well as humans, and pets are allowed everywhere, as long as you pick up their poo. You can camp here, barbecue, and go swimming. Though it warmed up to 60 degrees (15.5 C), we didn’t see anyone swimming. ha ha

Looking out across Lake Ralphine, I spotted a bird in a tree. Can you see the black speck?
There it is! Zoom is so much fun.
The trails in the park were quite lovely, even without Spring leaves or blossoms yet.
This straight gravel path followed the top of an earthen dam.
It was fun following the lovebirds around. ❤
As her long time friend, it made me feel good to see the easy way these two are together, and how carefully Allen looks out for her.
We found some blossoms!
Margaret and Allen had hiked here before, and knew the route to get a good long walk in. We walked about 4 miles.
With this outstanding scenery, it made the time pass easily.
Spring Lake is 72 acres and draws a lot of wildlife.

That evening, guests began arriving for the big celebration. Two ladies drove south from where we all used to live, in Humboldt County, California. I had not met the two when I lived there, but was happy to make their acquaintance now. We all piled into Margaret’s car and left for Safari West!

8 thoughts on “With Margaret in Santa Rosa

    1. Hugs back, my friend. ❤ Yes, I like seeing others in love while I am in love. Back when I was not finding love, I hated seeing others in love. It made me so jealous and lonely that I reacted in anger (which I kept to myself of course). I'm glad I'm past that, but wish my heart was more generous. I wish I had more positive relationships to observe while growing up. I only had my mother's and my father's (each different, since they split when I was 7), and those were always terrible. I had to go out into the world and start trying my own relationships to get some things figured out. I am happy to have learned all that I did. You learned a lot too. You learned about the good things of sticking it out, but also the bad. I'd say we went different paths and learned different things. Both of us learned to love ourselves, and it took a long time.

      1. It’s all about the lessons learned in this lifetime. It’s not supposed to be easy. But there is always joy if you are open to it. It’s obvious you are now open.

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