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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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« california trip, part 2 | Main | out of town »

california trip

No rain! Brilliant blue sky, sunny, cool. We checked out the Muir Woods first, a 560-acre "national monument" in Marin County, just north of San Francisco. Never saw such huge trees in my life! Quite a few tourists standing around like me, gawking up at the towering redwoods.

Saw the Golden Gate Bridge, toured around San Francisco a bit. Lots of hilly streets...I would definitely not want to learn how to drive standard here. On the other hand, looked like a great place to have exciting car chases.

Visited The Exploratorium next. Amazingly fun place! I highly recommend this for kids and adults alike. My favourite exhibits were the Bernoulli Effect beach ball exhibit, and the Tornado exhibit. The Exploratorium is a lot like the Ontario Science Centre except the Exploratorium is much more hands-on, not as much stuff behind glass. In the gift shop, I bought a noisemaker thingy I'm hoping to use in Urban Tapestry children's concerts...a sort of hollow tube with a flared end that whistles tunes of various frequencies depending on how hard you swing the tube around.

Next stop was the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company. The restaurant had some of the original equipment still in operation, huge vats of chocolate being stirred and mixed, tantalizingly within reach. I resisted my initial urge to jump in. Bought about a dozen chocolate bars in the shop, all different favourite so far has been the White Chocolate Biscotti. Also bought a chocolate-themed Ghirardelli mouse pad. While munching our chocolate, we strolled by the harbour and watched the kites fly.

Had dinner at Hama Sushi, yum, then went to visit Apple Computers, where Andrew works. Checked out his office, drew graffiti on his white board, posted in the Blatherchat.

About 11 pmish, Andrew and Jeff dropped me off at the Holiday Inn, where Consonance was being held. A & J came up to the programming space on the second floor of the hotel to meet a few people.
Both Rand and Adam were surprised to see me (I hadn't told either of them, and the surprise aspect is the reason I've been mum about my California trip in my Blatherings). I also got to finally meet Alisa Schaefbauer, the only member of Puzzlebox I hadn't met yet (Puzzlebox = Paul Kwinn, Taunya Shiffer, Alisa). Alisa sings and is also an excellent keyboard player...I'm hoping she and I can do some flute-keyboard collaboration for FilKONtario.

It was great to see a bunch of people I hadn't seen for a while, and Jeff got to meet some of the filk folk as well (he said one of them told him that she was glad he came, that up to then she wasn't sure if he really existed! :-)). It was very weird being at a con without Allison and Jodi, though...corny as it may sound, I went through the whole con feeling as though part of me was missing.

The open filk was fun. And I got to hear Puzzlebox doing Homecoming, a song I wrote a while ago based on Ray Bradbury's short story, The Rocket Man. I'm always thrilled to hear anyone cover UT songs, and this was a special treat for me. I was also really impressed by some of the other local talent like Jeff Hitchin and Jeff & Maya

Crashed at around 2 am.

To be continued...

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