One of the best days of my life. Make of my life what you will, but I’ll never forget last year’s Labor Day weekend. It is beyond precious to me.
The other day after getting the new PC up and running I was going through the final QA and wanted to make sure the DVD player was working (after all, since our disc array crash on the old machine you couldn’t play any DVDs), so I popped into the player a DVD of The Sandals that I got during our visit to Carmel Valley and Georis Winery during our “treasure hunt” last fall. Watching the video was so cool – for that brief time I was back in Carmel Valley and Carmel, meeting the Georis brothers and living the dream of a lifetime.
You have to understand, I’m a pretty humble guy – I came into this world with nary an impact and I’m OK with going out the same way. While there are those heroes I worship when it comes to music (Phil Spector, Brian Wilson, The Beatles, Scott Joplin, Luigi Boccherini), I’m no autograph hound, nor am I even a professed devotee of them (or anything) beyond the walls of my home or this blog. That being said, I do admit to being a tad on the obsessive/compulsive side (I’m ashamed to say, like my sister-in-law Tammy), so when, upon receiving my “The Endless Summer” poster with surfer Mike Hynson’s autograph missing, it surprised even me to concoct a scheme to get not only his autograph, but those of the active members of The Sandals (Walter Georis, Gaston Georis, and John Blakeley) as well.
Listening to that video I could only think of how audacious it was to even think of undertaking such a thing. But the memories Tracey and I will always have of that time made it more than worth the effort. The cost? Well, that’s a whole ‘nutha thing, but it was fairly substantial when you figure in the rental car, the flights, the hotels, etc. But I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world – it was the absolute best thing I ever did in my life. I think of our weekend stay in San Diego at the beautiful Hyatt Regency on the waterfront and meeting Milke Hynson at the ASR convention; then, just a few weeks later, traveling to beautiful Carmel Valley for an unforgettable Saturday meeting the Georis brothers. Then, to top it all off, that “chew-and-screw” visit to chilly San Francisco just before Thanksgiving to spend an equally unforgettable afternoon in the home studio of John Blakeley.
Tracey and I were just talking about this the other night. Want to know what a dream sounds like? To hear your phone ring on an early Wednesday night and have the recorded voice saying, “Call from Blakeley, John.” “Call from Blakeley, John…” And then, thirty minutes later, say to Tracey, “I’ve just been on the phone with John Blakeley, he’s invited me up to his studio in San Francisco to meet him!” I mean, how cool is that?
You have to realize, I know The Sandals are not, nor have they ever been, the biggest thing in music by any stretch of the matter; we’re not talking about meeting Sir Paul McCartney or chatting with Phil Spector from the other side of his prison cell. But for me, The Sandals were, and still are, an important part of my life, and their music occupies a not-so-insignificant part of my soul. And to be able to meet them and talk music with them as just one guy to another is, as the MasterCard commercials say, priceless.
The poster with the signatures of Mike Hynson, Walter Georis, Gaston Georis, and John Blakeley remains safely rolled up inside its container on the other side of the door in my office / prayer room. It’s gonna cost some $ to frame it right, after which it will go into the office / bunny room. And I’ll select a few pictures and their business cards and create a nice montage for the same room. From time to time, I’ll take the poster out of its container and just gaze at the signatures for kicks, still unable to truly comprehend the fact I had the guts to pursure the dream and getting their signatures.
Every now and then, we’ll get an e-mail from Georis Winery inviting us up for Friday night tapas and wine tasting, or one from John Blakeley just to say “hi”, or answer a question about what instrumentation was on a particular Sandals track, and I still have a hard time believing the connections that have been made. It all seems like an incredible dream, the absolute best experience of my life. That might tell you what kind of a life I’ve had, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
So began my last stop on the “Great 2010 Endless Summer Poster Treasure Hunt“. It was a gray Friday morning in San Francisco, and John Blakeley, lead guitarist for The Sandals, was on the other end of the line. I had called John at the appointed time, figuring he’d have a lot on his plate, and that I would be scurrying to fit myself into his busy schedule that day. Which was OK, I had come to San Francisco to meet John for the sole purpose of obtaining my final autograph on my Endless Summer movie poster, and I wasn’t going to push it.
“So, John, what’s your schedule for today? We can do lunch, or just meet for a cup of coffee somewhere.”
“Nah, I don’t do that stuff. Why don’t you come by my home studio on Duncan Street around noon or so.”
Whoa. I had just been hooked like some yellowfin tuna on a Fisherman’s Wharf deepwater party boat. Not only would I have the chance to meet John Blakeley, but I’d have a chance to see his studio. I mean, as Rachel Ray was wont to say, how good is that?
On John’s recommendation I forewent the taxi idea and took public transportation – a $2 ticket got me on the F trolley to Embarcadero station, followed by a 30-minute subway ride on the MUNI out to his neighborhood in South San Francisco. It was a nice ride, and I enjoyed seeing all the neighborhoods the train went through after it got above ground on Church Street. I got there a little early and enjoyed a small mocha at this quaint little coffee shop right around the corner from his house, which was situated in an unassuming row of small houses very typical for San Francisco once you get out of the city proper.
The hour was soon upon me, so I strode up to the door, and three raps later I was face-to face with John Blakeley. The final stop on my treasure hunt had begun. It shouldn’t have surprised me, for the same was true when Tracey and I met his Sandals band mates Walter and Gaston Georis, but John Blakeley was the nicest, most down-to-earth guy you could ever meet. We sat down at his little kitchen table and just started talking about music as if we had known each other for years. Comparing music and bands we liked and didn’t, talking about The Sandals and surf music in general, and hearing him tell stories about the bands, personalities, and various equipment he had worked with over the years.
After a little while, he invited me into his studio to listen to some of the new music he was creating with another musician named Jeff Larson. John’s house was really small – it was more like a basement apartment on the bottom floor of a two-story house. A small kitchen in the front big enough for appliances and a small table, his living quarters in the back, and in between, two rooms – one a little larger than the other – which served as his studio. You could have knocked me over with a feather – I mean, what a cool place! A rack of electronics, two huge monitors for editing music (Apple’s Pro Logic 8 his present software of choice), and a couple of guitars laying around – one a beautiful honey-colored Fender Stratocaster that he just had to put in my hands so I could feel the weight of it.
Next on the agenda was to play me some of the newer music he had worked on with Sal Valentino, formerly of the Beau Brummels and Stoneground (the band John joined sometime after The Sandals originally called it quits), and Jeff Larson. We listened to a few tracks while John pointed out to me some of the guitar sounds and techniques he used on them. One of the songs featured John on mandolin, and soon he went into his bedroom and came out with the most beautiful mandolin I’ve ever seen, manufactured by a company called Collings. The woodwork was positively gorgeous, and I told him our friend Jana would be totally disappointed if I didn’t get a picture of him playing something on it, which he gladly obliged…
…this is also a better angle so you can see all the studio equipment in the rack behind him. Me, I was kind of disappointed to not see some big mother 64-track mixing board that you’d feed your guitar directly into – but that’s what having the Apple software can do when you don’t have the space.
It was getting towards mid-afternoon – I had been there for the better part of two hours – and I didn’t want to take up any more of his time than I already had, but John didn’t seem to mind two music geeks listening to and talking about music. He has a great sense of humor and clearly enjoyed telling some pretty funny stories of his experiences with The Sandals and other bands with someone who would “get” the humor of the music industry version of inside baseball. It’s kind of a good thing Tracey wasn’t there – she would have been bored stiff.
Of course, all good things must come to an end, so we headed back out into the kitchen for the moment of truth: signing the Endless Summer poster.
He was pretty impressed seeing Mike Hynson’s, Bruce Brown’s, Robert August’s and Walter and Gaston Georis’ signatures all on there, and a minute later, the deed was done. Somehow, we then got on the topic of science fiction, and when he mentioned he was an avid reader of the genre, I told him Tracey was as well, so he disappeared out back and shortly returned with a copy of Philip K. Dick‘s “Clans Of The Alphane Moon” (one of John’s favorites), which he autographed for Tracey as a gift.
It was time to go. We exchanged contact information and promised each other we’d stay in touch, and I headed back out into the gray cool afternoon with my poster and some parting souveniers to catch my train. As the train crept back towards the reality of my hotel room by Fisherman’s Wharf, my head was swimming in a sea of Blakeley, amazed that, of all the treasure hunt experiences I could have imagined since first conjuring up this crazy idea back in July, this was the most unexpected and crazy wildest of any possible dream I might have had.
Turns out that our Labor Day weekend visit to meet the Georis brothers and get their autographs for my Endless Summer movie poster has opened the door for the final stop on The Great Incredible Treasure Hunt: a chance to meet Sandals lead guitarist John Blakeley and get his autograph.
(Before I continue, it seems hard to believe that it’s been only a little over three months since this whole idea of getting the autographs of Endless Summer surfer Mike Hynson, and Walter Georis, Gaston Georis, and John Blakeley of The Sandals [whose music provided much of the film's score] was conjured up in my wacked-out imagination. July seems so long ago, and so much has happened since: my trip to India, my operation and recovery, the continued suburban renewal of our house, the midterm elections – it seems like everything around me has changed. But the experiences of traveling to San Diego to meet Mike Hynson at the surfing convention and that “Georis weekend” in Carmel have been so rewarding and memorable as to seem like a dream. Iâ€™m so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and took the chance to dream big.)
I wasn’t sure the final connection to meet John Blakeley was going to happen. During our lovely chart in his winery’s tasting garden, Walter had mentioned that John had had some health issues so I really didn’t feel the time was right to press him further on it. However, after I posted the YouTube video for The Sandals’ “School’s Out” last week, I got an e-mail from Walter saying thanks, and I figured why not bring up “the Blakeley scenario” once more – I mean, what did I have to lose, right? And sure enough, I received in return the number to John’s recording studio in San Francisco.
It took all the courage I could muster to call and leave a message letting him know who I was and the quest I was on. Hard to believe, then, a few hours later my phone rings and who’s on the other end? None other than John Blakeley. Very nice guy, very down to earth, and passionate about talking music. When I told him I had included some cuts from his later work with The Sandals’ (“Silvertone” is a gem) and Ron Nagle (“Tan Mantis”) on our “Tropical Breezes” mp3 collection, he even offered up some suggestions of other artists I might find interesting. We talked for a good twenty minutes, and I was touched by his willingness to talk music with an absolute stranger. When I brought up the poster he said to give him a week’s notice when I’d be coming up and he’d be happy to make arrangements to meet and sign.
After hanging up the phone, I just shook my head in disbelief. Mike Hynson. Walter Georis. Gaston Georis. And now, John Blakeley. People I would have never dreamed of meeting in person, let alone talk to and share interests in surf culture, surf music, and music in general. And it once again reinforced just how fortunate I am, not only to have the ability to these people – giants in my own little world, really – but, more importantly, to have had the imagination and crazy courage to see this treasure hunt through.
And so if all goes according to plan and God’s willing, the week of the 15th I’ll have a chance to meet in person the lead guitarist on “Theme to The Endless Summer”, John Blakeley (he of the cool blue Fender and even cooler Fender Hawaiian shirt). It’ll be a dream come true and a fitting end to a treasure hunt for the ages.
Pool temp: 66 degrees
Once again, the treasure hunt exceeds expectations in every way.
First of all, if you’re a kind of artsy, granola crunching, organic kind of person, the hamlet of Carmel Valley is for you. Tracey and I fell in love with the place and would move there in a second if we were independently wealthy and didn’t have to work for a living. I have a couple of nice photos that I’ll be uploading for my Thursday post ahead of time since I’ll be overnighting at the hospital following my surgery on Wednesday. They’re really pretty, as the whole town is, surrounded by drop-dead gorgeous hills.
The goal of our weekend was two-fold: to get the autographs of Walter Georis and Gaston Georis for my “The Endless Summer” movie poster, and to try and get a connection to John Blakeley, the other remaining active member of the surf band, The Sandals, who performed much of the music in Bruce Bown’s surf epic.
Saturday was our treasure hunt day, although we weren’t exactly sure how the day and our mission would unfold. The first order of business was to make a stop at the Georis Winery wine-tasting room, a lovely outside patio area where one can sample various wines surrounded by flowering bushes and artwork of different kinds. After introducing ourselves to Ardelle, the tasting room hostess and gift shop manager, who I’d had a lovely conversation with a couple weeks ago, Tracey and I both selected a “flight” of red and white wines to sample, and found ourselves a lovely table in the shade while Ardelle went to find Walter Georis. Evidently, the introductory letter I had followed up with made a positive impression and Walter was accessible.
Ten minutes later Walter Georis came out and sat down with us. A more gracious gentleman you’re not likely to find – as I mentioned to him, though we had never met I felt we were already friends by way of his music. We actually hit it off really well, and spent a good half hour just talking music. He was impressed with our treasure hunt idea and, after mentioning that his brother was heading out of town that afternoon, began texting to see if Gaston would delay his departure long enough to hook up with us at the restaurant they both owned in Carmel, some thirty minutes away from Carmel Valley.
After awhile, he left us to enjoy our wine tasting and promised to come back once he heard from his brother. We had plenty of time to taste a sauvignon blanc, a chardonnay, a couple of different cabernets, and a merlot – all of which were beyond wonderful. We were kind of pinching ourselves at this point – I mean, how could you not, talking surf music and surf bands with Walter Georis of The Sandals? After a while, Walter reappeared to say he had reached his brother and we were good to go. He requested a marker from one of the waitresses, then signed our poster (“Surf’s Up! Walter Georis, The Sandals”) and posed for this nice picture:
I was looking around the tasting room area and had to ask where the band filmed a video of them performing “The Endless Summer” theme, since (as my mom so keenly pointed out), there appeared to be a vineyard by the house where the video was shot. Walter pointed across the street to a building they use for storage, and sure enough, there it was, looking as if the video had been shot there just moments ago. Compare the video and look at this picture:
Maybe it’s just me, but I think that’s very cool.
Well, time was a wasting, and, it being near three o’clock, it was time to scoot over to Carmel (official name: Carmel-By-The-Sea) to find Casanova Restaurant, where we hoped to make our connection with Gaston. It’s a lovely place, very romantic, very quaint, and when we arrived, the host didn’t know anything about our arrangment, but sat us at a large table where we could chat with Gaston if he showed. We ordered ourselves up a glass of Georis sauvignon blanc and waited with all the anticipation of kids the night before Christmas.
Fifteen minutes later, Gaston Georis walked in and sat down next to us. Again, just the nicest guy in the world, very gracious, very warm and friendly. We talked about our treasure hunt and the restaurant – something he is obviously very proud of – and he was surprised to see the poster and all the signatures on it. Once again, the request went out for a large marker, and Tracey thought it charming how, after signing the poster opposite his brother’s (“Enjoy the music, Gaston Georis”), he blew on it to dry the ink. He posed for a picture…
…and was off. But not before picking up the tab for our wine. I mean, how classy is that?
The only down note to the day was hearing that getting John Blakeley’s autograph may be a little more difficult than originally thought. He lives up in San Francisco, but from what Walter told us has some significant health issues and isn’t in the best of health and very accessible at the moment. So this is something that looks as if it will need to be tabled – until at least my own health issues get straightened out.
But that final leg of our treasure hunt is something that will just have to wait. For now, the first two – meeting surfing icon Mike Hynson in San Diego three weeks ago and then the Georis brothers in Carmel this past weekend, surpassed anything I could have ever imagined. And not just the Georises themselves, but everyone associated with their winery and restaurant. Gracious hosts, friendly people, just a wonderful experience had by all.
Pool temp: 90 degrees
Today I’ll be off to California for a little rest and relaxation, and to see what luck I might find getting Walter and Gaston Georis of the Sandals to sign my “The Endless Summer” poster. The rest and relaxation will be important, because it looks like a pretty rough stretch ahead of me, at least health-wise, once I get back.
Had my final check-up and a EKG today, so it’s all systems go as far as my primary care guy and my surgeon is concerned. Life is about to change in a big way.
That’s why it will be great to see a part of California I’ve never visited and to enjoy some nice wine and good food, and see what happens poster-wise.
I won’t bore y’all further – have a great Labor Day weekend, and keep it safe! I threw a couple of posts up to keep things going – enjoy ‘em or hate ‘em as you’d like.
Pool temp: 87 degrees
A little over a week to go before my surgery – a perfect time to attempt the second leg on our “treasure hunt” for the ultimate in autographs for my “Endless Summer” movie poster. For those of you late to the game, a brief summary:
A couple of months ago, I was talking to my friend John at the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum in – you guessed it! – Huntington Beach, California, who had a movie poster for Bruce Brown’s iconic 1966 surf film, “The Endless Summer”, signed by Bruce Brown himself and one of the two primary surfers featured in the film, Robert August. I asked John about the other surfer featured in the film, Mike Hynson, and John told me that Hynson didn’t sign posters for free, but he knew of people who would track him down at his surf shop in La Jolla where they’d pay him to autograph their posters – something he highly recommended, as he had a unique signature that would make any trip there worth it.
Which got me to thinking: if I could ever get Hynson’s autograph, why stop there? Why not really make the poster unique and get the three active members of The Sandals, the band that provided much of the film’s music, including the film’s memorable, wistful theme song – guitarists John Blakeley, and Walter Georis, and keyboardist Gaston Georis – to sign it as well? That would make a great poster and collector’s item even more unique and special. But how to do it? This would require no small amount of audacity, creativity, and, yes, dinero, but I figured, why not?
Next was to track down the whereabouts of the members of The Sandals, and I discovered that the two Georis brothers live up in Carmel Valley, California, where Walter runs Georis Winery and both he and Gaston own a restaurant called Casanova. John Blakeley seems a little more difficult to track down, but I’m hoping that if we can ever connect with the Georises, perhaps they’ll provide us with a means to contact Blakeley.
So, this weekend we’re off to Carmel Valley. A late Friday afternoon flight into San Jose and three nights at the Country Garden Inn in Carmel Valley. Saturday will be our official “Treasure Hunt Day”, with plans to take in a wine tasting at the Georis Winery on Saturday and dinner reservations at Casanova on Saturday night. Sunday we’ll play the tourist thing and do the 18-mile drive around the beautiful Monterey Peninsula with a stop at Pebble Beach (hey Goodboys, guess where next year’s prizes will come from!) and a redwoods forest, then Monday make the trip back in time for my medical reality show starting next Tuesday.
I’ve written introductory letters to both Georis brothers letting them know we’re coming and our hope that we can meet them personally during our visit. I haven’t heard back from them as of yet, but we’re going nevertheless. Our “Hynson experience” turned out far better than we ever could have imagined, we’re hoping our “Georis experience” turns out the same. But it’s a crapshoot, that’s for sure (which is why, I guess, they call treasure hunts “hunts” to begin with!).
BTW, here are The Sandals performing “The Endless Summer” theme, with Bruce Brown dropping in for a visit towards the end. From the looks of it, the video appears to have been filmed at none other than the Georis winery. Was it? I’ll let you know and hope to tell y’all about it after this coming weekend. Updates as they come in.
BTW, I’m told The Sandals will also have some new music featured in the upcoming documentary film “Shaped”, celebrating the movers and shapers behind the early ’60s California surf culture. Something to keep on the lookout for….
Pool temp: 89 degrees
Our visit to the ASR Surf/Skate Lifestyle/Fashion Expo at the San Diego Convention Center was an amazing experience for Tracey and me. First of all, it confirmed every preconception I might have had that surfing and surf culture is not just a truly unique sub-culture in moderrn American life, but an alive and thriving cottage industry where everyone seems to know everyone, or at least knows someone who knows someone in the industry. The surfing industry is one you cannot fake your way into and last for long in – there’s so much “inside baseball” being played that the less-than authentics will be discovered very soon, and the news will get around before they knew what hit them.
The expo itself was really something – there must have been at least 60-70 surfboard manufacturers showing off their wares, as well as vendors associated with anything and everything to do with surfing and skateboarding. There were live demos of surfboards being created out of fiberglass, art work, musical instruments, exhibitions detailing the history of surfing on the west coast, and panel discussions on the state of the industry. Perhaps what brought about the positive vibe that filled the exposition hall was the diverse crowd the event attracted – teenagers, families, adults, California chicks with tattoos – it was as much fun people watching as it was visiting the booths to see who was selling what.
We almost didn’t make our connection with Mike Hynson to buy his book and get my “The Endless Summer” movie poster autographed. We walked around the entire hall and saw no booth for Hynson surfboards. Then, when we walked to front and saw the list of all the exhibitors, his name was nowhere to be found – no Hynson anywhere, not even a Mike. Figuring something must have happened and that we had made the drive to San Diego for nothing (I’ll admit I was feeling mighty disappointed), we started walking aimlessly back through the exhibits.
All of a sudden, at the very same time, we happened to see a copy of Mike’s book sitting on a low table at the Bessell Surfboards booth along with some assorted business cards. And it was then we met Tim Bessell, who, apparently, is a legend in the surfing industry – one look at his website will tell you all you need to know about why that is. Seems that Tim and Mike have been friends since junior high school, and Mike worked for a time at Tim’s shop up in La Jolla.
It’s pretty easy to see why Tim is held in such high regard, he’s friendly and outgoing, and loves to share his passion for what he does with others. On display in his booth was his 47,000th (!) surfboard – a white long board beauty with graphite geometric designs all over (it’s laying flat in the back of the picture below). We hit it off immediately, and after informing Tim of our quest, he immediately saw to we were taken care of as if we were long-time friends of his. It took a few different attempts for him to finally reach Mike (who was off demonstrating his technique for shaving foam), and Tim told us to hang on, that Mike would be by in twenty minutes or so – just enough time for us to dash downstairs and hit the ATM so we could pay Mike in cash.
Shortly after we returned, Mike’s wife Carol came by and introduced herself. Just as Tim did, she treated us as if we were long-lost friends. It’s hard to describe the excitement and joy we felt talking to Tim and Carol – literally minutes before strangers from a foreign (at least to us) California surf culture, now sharing our own stories and experiences with each other. By the time Mike showed up, it was actually kind of anti-climatic – my sense is that he’s more of an introvert and was kind of shy at fulfilling our request. Nevertheless, he signed the two books we bought and my poster (looking at it, he said, “You got Bruce’s [i.e., director Bruce Brown] signature – nice”), and seemed genuinely moved when I gave him an extra $20 for signing the poster.
I was going to ask him for a picture, but it was Carol who made the suggestion first. She had a smile that could melt even the largest of glaciers, and Mike seemed to loosen up a bit and actually warmed to the occasion:
Imagine that, The Great White Shank posing alongside Mike Hynson. Pretty cool, huh? After that, it was thanks and hugs from Tim and Carol as we said our goodbyes – not before, of course, promising to have Tim customize a surfboard we can stick into the sand by our backyard tiki bar! – and I felt like I was on cloud nine at the way the whole thing had played out. I had figured we’d walk in, find Mike’s booth, buy the books, get the poster signed, and be on our way in minutes. The unexpected way it ended up turning out was much more memorable. How could it not be? We made friends with two incredible surf legends, making our weekend trip to San Diego as exciting as we hoped it would be.
Pool temp: 94 degrees
Hopefully today we are heading back to Phoenix from San Diego, our newly- Mike Hynson autographed “The Endless Summer” poster safely in hand, joining that of director Bruce Brown and and his co-star, Robert August.
Y’all probably are asking, “what’s the big deal about a stupid autograph, let along driving five hours to get one. You have to understand, ever since my brother Mark and I first saw “The Endless Summer” some 35 years ago, I’ve loved the movie, not just for its romantic portrayal of a simpler time when searching for that perfect wave year-round meant summer, sun, and girls (even when Massachusetts was cold and snowy), but for the whole metaphysical idea of being present when wind, sea, and sun join together for that perfect moment in one’s own presence. I always “got” the idea of “The Endless Summer, even if I knew I would never experience that moment for myself.
Still, not in a million years did I ever think that some day I’d be living in Arizona with palm trees and a swimming pool in the back yard – I guess you have to find your own “endless summer” in whatever way God presents it to you.
Here’s a wonderful clip from “The Endless Summer” where Hynson and his surf partner August find that “perfect wave” – at Cape St. Francis, South Africa. A wonderful and mesmerizing clip. Enjoy!
Today Tracey and I are heading west, making the five-hour drive to San Diego in the name of true treasure hunting.
Our objective: to attend the ASR Surf/Skate Lifestyle/Fashion Expo, where, if all goes well, we will not only meet in person the one and only Mike Hynson of Hynson Surfboards and co-author of “Transcendental Memories of a Surf Rebel”, but, more importantly, as one of the primary surfers featured in Bruce Brown’s classic surfing documentary “The Endless Summer”, someone I’m looking forward to autographing my “The Endless Summer” movie poster already autographed by Brown and Hynson’s co-star, Robert August.
Having that trio’s autographs will really make for a nice conversation piece once the poster is properly framed and dutifully hung in our newly-painted hallway.
San Diego is a great town, and being able to meet and greet Mike Hynson, pick up an extra autographed copy of his book for our friend (and frequent commenter) Jana, and find a couple-two-three Mexican restaurants to explore Margaritaville in person sounds like a great diversion between that long trip to India and the start of my appointments leading up to my prostate surgery in just a few week’s time.
It’s my last chance for a little fun and frivolity for quite a while, and I’ll try and make the most of it.