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Monday, May 18, 2009


I planned a vacation back at the end of last year. They'd been pressing me to use some of my vacation so I figured I could take off from Thursday last through Memorial Day and spend some time up at the cabin, spend some time working on the house, and spend Memorial Day weekend at KublaCon. It was a good plan, but it got a bit messed up by the voice messaging launch and the calendar user-testing.

But, the cabin part was fixed. I'd arranged it with my grandparents. I'd invited friends. I'd planned it before the UM project rollout was set or the calendar testing was scheduled. I was going. Can't stop me. (Though there was some last minute meetings attempting to be scheduled during those 3 precious days that had me at the limit of my capacity last week.)

I made it out, leaving a bit after six on Wednesday with no intention to return until Tuesday.

The first stop was lunch with Ray. Ray is working for Edutopia at Big Rock Ranch. I was most thoroughly invited to have lunch at Lucas Ranch. I met Ray at Big Rock and we wandered around there a bit. It's in the style of the Awahnee or the Grand Californian. It's unrelentingly gorgeous. The lobby sits on a lake. The fountains in the courtyard are also skylights to the garage. The whole building is decorated with a fabulous selection of original movie posters. It's extraordinary. But then we drove up to the main house. Allow me to just say... Oh. My. God.
Ammy at Lucas Ranch
We had lunch on the veranda around the back. It couldn't have been a more gorgeous day. We took a turn around the main floor, looking in the display cases holding things like Obi Wan's light saber from Episode 4 or the amulet from the head of the staff in Raiders of the Lost Ark, but also Charlie Chaplin's derby and cane. Passing through the hall into the library. It's a fantasy world come to life. The library is a working research library, stocked full of books on costume and history and geology and so on. There were JC Penney and Sears catalogs dating back to the 19th century. I could've spent days in there, but we passed through into the atrium, glass roofed like a proper Victorian conservatory with trees growing from the lower floor reaching up towards teh ceiling. Then we walked up to the winery and wandered through. Then down past Ewok Lake to the fitness center/pool/shop. On our way back to Big Rock, we passed the barn that is the archive. It's conveniently located right next to the fire station.

The other big bonus for the day was a visit from Dave and his son Phil. I haven't seen Dave in far too long, but he's still the best boss I've ever had. He took Phil to see the Grateful Dead at Shoreline. They crashed here and Dave and I stayed up talking til 2 a.m. It was awesome. I suggested Hobee's for breakfast, and Dave remembered it from back in the day. Sure enough, the next morning, Hobee's had balloons celebrating their 35th birthday.

Back from breakfast, I packed up the car and headed for the hills, with a stop through Davis to fetch Erik and a stop at Grandma's to pick up some things that needed to make the journey. We arrived at the cabin a bit after six and handed some fresh cut zucchini from Grandpa to the neighbors. Alex & Sherman arrived a bit later, and Emily and David arrived later still. So began 2 full days away from telephone and internet. We compared T-Mobile to Verizon to Sprint to AT&T and no one had service. This was perfect. Ari and Andy joined us on Saturday afternoon.

There was walks in the woods, reading good books, and too much food. There was a game of Uno Attack and Scrabble. There was crunching through the leaves and identifying the poison oak. There was walking round the little lake and fishing in the big lake. There was dozing in a comfy chair and birthday pie. It was just lovely.

Back to the real world today to catch up on too much email and so forth. But for such a little vacation, I feel worlds better for it.


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