Thank you USA – San Francisco & Portland Oct 2015

I’m recently back from a three-week whirlwind trip to the States where I spent time with my sister, nieces, and mom and as many friends as I could pack in.   A side trip to Portland also allowed me to catch up with nearly a dozen pals as well.

I stepped off the plane in San Francisco into warmth and sunshine.   I’d forgotten how much I love the Bay Area in October.   Two full weeks of balmy summer temperatures (high 70’sF /24 C) allowed for several hikes in nearby Mt. Tamalpais and Muir Woods State Park and allowed for outdoor BBQ’ing and dining.

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My mom visited for nearly a week over Sienna’s sixth birthday.

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It was a busy week with the kids and a jaunt up to Petaluma to the pumpkin patch to get ready for Halloween.  Haybale mazes and pyramids to navigate, corn kernel sand boxes to jump in, farm animals to touch, local cheeses to eat, and pumpkins to pick made for a busy afternoon.

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And multiple birthday celebrations:  Sienna had two birthday parties – one with family and one with her closest girlfriends in which eight of Sienna’s galpals came for a ‘high tea princess’ party complete with china cups, mini-sandwiches, and princess dresses; and my rather subdued 52nd with family and a few friends.

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I often feel like I’ve stepped out of a time capsule when I return to the Bay Area and see how rapidly the technology continues to change.   Pie-eyed, I enjoy catching up with friends and hearing about life in the city, the gadgets, the apps, the new business models, and all the ways that technology is affecting urban life.   I’ve come back to New Zealand with a bit of a task list to tutor myself and get up to speed on social media platforms and content marketing ideas that I hope to employ as we continue to develop Birdsong.

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Up in Portland I caught up with lots of folks over five days – eating lots of yummy meals and imbibing in many things ‘pumpkin’ (lattes, beer, muffins).   I also got to meet and visit with Flora Bowley, the intuitive painting artist whom I took an on-line class with last year.   She and her studio are awesome and I look forward to some day taking a ‘live’ class with her.    This was my second visit to Portland and I really enjoyed it and know it will become a regular stop on our USA visits.

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And then there was the shopping.    I have to say that I find comfort shopping at the stores I know and love and it didn’t take too long for Bruce and I to order enough stuff to fill up a second suitcase.    New treasures to bring home to New Zealand!

One of my most fun new purchases was a selfie-stick as I thought this would be a helpful gadget for Bruce and I when filming our upcoming Birdsong Bookshelf video series.  Though made fun of by many, this little item provided loads of laughs and some of the best photos from the trip!

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Time passed quickly and I was pretty tired by the end.  Jumping from one set of friends to another, having short but in-depth conversations, hiking, walking, talking, and playing with my two nieces nonstop, all made for a very weary Kathy and I felt ready to return to my home sweet home in the country.       Thank you friends for always welcoming me back to the States!  Thanks for your love.  Catch ya’ next time.


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