We just came back from a trip drone hunting and going to the California wine country with some good ol’ friends from Texas, who were in California visiting their grandson. One problem with visiting vineyards is that you end up tasting wines in the middle of the day, then you have to get back into your car, when all you really want to do is lie down in the grass under the warm sun, amidst the buzzing bees and passing butterflies, and close your eyes and take a nice nap. (The driver,my husband, didn’t drink, of course.)

We didn’t really expect to see any drones, but Whitley was interested in looking at the light in the Big Basin area of California, to see if the photos of drones taken there were the work of a designer, or real snapshots. He took quite a few images, one of which is shown here, and came away convinced that the drone shots were almost certainly authentic and taken in this area.

Going from place to place, we repacked several times and during one leg of the trip, Whitley remembered his Ipod, and even his Ipod HEADPHONES, but he neglected to pack our underwear. I will always remember waking up to the sight of him “toasting” my damp underpants (which I had washed out the night before) in front of the space heater in the wall, trying to get them dry. He looked like someone toasting marshmallows over a camp fire.

On the way home, we drove through a desolate, dry area that looked just like Texas and Whitley kept saying, “Isn’t this BEAUTIFUL?” There’s an old saying that when it came time to create Texas, God was tired, so instead of creating beauty, he just made some people who liked it the other way instead. We saw a lynx cross the road and were close enough to see its WHISKERS. We also saw a roadrunner (another reason the area reminded me of Texas).

The wine country is filled with lovely little towns which are delightful to walk through. In one of them, I went into a store and bought a pink baseball cap that says “Wild Women on Wine.” I wore it into another store, where I had spotted a tee shirt with a big bottle of wine on it. While I was there, the proprietor said to me, “Is that a breast cancer cap?” (breast cancer items are always pink and generally some of the revenue is donated to breast cancer research).

I explained to her that this was a wine cap, but I said that I did have some pink “breast cancer solidarity” sneakers once. I think that all women like to wear pink because we feel a kinship with breast cancer sufferers, since we all know someone who has had (and hopefully recovered from) this disease.

This led her to tell me that SHE was a breast cancer survivor herself and that she had been cancer-free for four years now. Since after five years without a recurrence, you are generally considered to be cured, I was very touched. I stopped trying on tee shirts and reached my hand across the counter and held hers for a moment.

When we plan a trip, we’re always worried about where we’ll stay, what we’ll eat, what we’ll see, etc., but there is no way to plan for these fleeting moments of connection with a stranger, although they are the best reason of all for traveling.

NOTE: This Diary entry, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.

Dreamland Video podcast
To watch the FREE video version on YouTube, click here.

Subscribers, to watch the subscriber version of the video, first log in then click on Dreamland Subscriber-Only Video Podcast link.