There's just no way around it, this post is going to come off as a bit of a fan letter. I met one of my favorite early retirement bloggers today, Retired Syd, plus her charming husband Doug, and I couldn't be more delighted.
I'd been wanting to send Syd an email letting her know I'd be in her neck of the woods the moment I booked our Mill Valley rental. I held off for some months out of fear and embarrassment. Would she even be interested in meeting? Or would she be worried I was some sort of deranged internet stalker? I ignored my inner fears and sent the email anyway. A few minutes later, a responding email came back . . . she had accepted!
Some back and forth correspondence later, a date was set, and this morning was it. I woke up with a little leap of excitement that we were finally going to meet, and ran around cleaning the apartment so it would be spic and span when Syd and Doug arrived.
My cell phone rang at 9:45 AM to let me know they were here. I suspect that even with the bad connection, Syd could hear the excitement in my voice. (I did feel like a bit of an idiot when we hung up as a result.)
I ran out to the balcony and there they were. I waved, and ran down the driveway to meet them both. Syd and I gave each other big hugs, started talking, and pretty much never stopped.
My first impressions of Syd: Tiny! Bubbly!
We spent the day hiking in Golden Gate NRA, taking the Coastal Trail over to Muir Beach. The skies were initially grey, but they improved as the day went on, offering up beautiful views of the coastline, and even the San Francisco skyline from time to time. According to Doug's iPhone app, we covered 6.4 miles in all, but with all of our nonstop talking it felt like much less.
Afterward we enjoyed lunch and a bit of sunshine at Tamalpie Pizza, plus a quick run over to my favorite Mill Valley sweetery - Champagne Bakery. One last wild and woolly return trek up and over the mountain in our car, and we were back where we started. Which meant, sadly, it was time to say goodbye.
But hopefully not for long. Mention was made of a second hiking trek at nearby Mt. Tamalpais, and we're keeping our fingers crossed!
|A wild iris on the the Coastal Trail|