As I posted last week, our family has been on vacation. This is how our relaxing trip began (at 6 am):
“The Uber is here! OMG why isn’t everyone ready? I told you it would be here at 6, and it’s here! We need to wait outside. Where is the key? You can’t find the key? Fine! I’ll lock everything and go out the garage door. Take my stuff.”
5 minutes later in the Uber, “Where is my black bag?” Assured that if it was with my stuff it got put in the trunk.
15 minutes later at the airport, “You didn’t put my black bag in the Uber?!!!!!” Apparently it was not with my stuff.
And that’s when the Uber driver reassured me that he could quickly bring me back to the house to retrieve the black bag that basically had everything in it we needed for the trip and have me back to the airport in plenty of time. My husband smartly did not point out that we would not have had this extra time if he hadn’t insisted we get to the airport early. He knew, I am sure, that I would have snapped back that I wouldn’t have left my black bag at the house if he hadn’t made me get up at such a ridiculous time.
You might think that this was a terrible way to begin a vacation and you would be right. However, what could have become an escalating crisis resulting in a missed plane and a potential divorce actually turned into an enlightening car ride that made me appreciative of all of the amazing people we meet during life’s journey. So, I have decided to dedicate this post to all of the awesome people I encountered during our vacation, beginning with the Uber Driver who volunteered to drive 30 minutes alone with a hysterical woman who placed ridiculous value on a “black bag” which no one but the woman seemed to believe existed.
Anh, the Uber Driver – Anh heard “Proud to be an American” on the radio as we traveled back to my house and confided in me that the song always makes him cry. He is so happy to be in our country and that his daughter is able to go to school here. He choked up as he spoke about the people who have died for our freedom, and vented his anger at his former homeland where they apparently spend a good amount of the school day teaching students to hate Americans. Anh is the epitome of American patriotism.
Linda, Steven, and Nya at the Cellar Door Bookstore – Our travels began in Riverside, California where our daughter was competing in a tournament. After a failed trip to Palm Springs (where it was literally 118 degrees), my husband and I despaired of doing anything but going to the local mall to watch movies. (I don’t recommend 47 Meters Down if you are planning to ever swim in the ocean again.) . The Cellar Door Bookstore was a refreshing oasis in the middle of a blistering hot trip. I adore independent bookstores, especially ones with resident dogs like Nya. I bought a lovely book called, All These Wonders, which is stories from The Moth. Linda and Steven were so friendly and full of advice that I seriously considered moving to Riverside just so I could work in their store.
Lisa at Game Seeker – We finally got to migrate from southern California to Santa Barbara, where we discovered this delightful shop on State Street. I love games, but usually end up buying them online. However, Lisa reminded me why it is so important to patronize local stores like hers. She is very knowledgeable and personable. When she learned I had chosen the game Dog Pile for my classroom (gotta work on those spatial reasoning skills), she recommended something I had never heard of called Plus Plus, which she said would provide hours of building fun for my students.
Crystal at Stanford – My daughter and her friends wanted to tour Stanford while we were in California. By the end of the tour, I was ready to auction off everything I own just so I could attend. Crystal, our tour guide, was as enthusiastic about Stanford as Anh is about living in the United States. She showed us her own Foldscope, a paper microscope that had been invented at Stanford, told us about all of the hands-on opportunities she has had since she began last fall, and passionately spoke about the dedication of her professors. Crystal pointed out one science building on the tour where Stanford co-hosts a 24-hour live feed with MIT, stressing that Stanford believes in collaboration rather than competition.
What struck me about each of the people mentioned above was the enthusiasm and passion they brought to their work. Through my interaction with each of them, I felt inspired and ready to embrace my life with more zest.
And so I leave you with an image and quote provided by Inspirobot, an artificial intelligence inspirational quote generator, that seems to perfectly deliver the message of this post.
Nope. Wrong one.
Probably the reality check I need most of the time. But still not the right one.
This one hurts my head.
Yep. That’s it.