Week 147 January 21, 2017

This week felt very full! We drove west across New Mexico through Arizona – surprising us in that it included driving through recent heavy fallen snow, as well as other beautiful vistas.
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Then we were into Nevada at sunset and for the moonrise, to reach Tecopa Hot Springs in southern California, which is next to Death Valley National Park.
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We were fortunate in that the forecast was clear for our stay, because this area had been deluged with a week of rain – which is very unusual for the desert. Other than the nuisance of mud-caked shoes, some wind, and winter cold, the major concern was for potential flooding… We enjoyed so much – the view from our “bedroom” (in our van!) on awakening,
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a morning soak in the mineral baths, a hike, and, as our visit to Tecopa included staying Saturday night – when the new owner, who is a drummer, and several other musicians -performed their songs outdoors during the evening hours. Many of the visitors and the locals turned out for it at his family’s Bistro, a nice addition from our previous visits here. Fortunately we did not experience any flooding!
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We then had a full day of driving north to arrive in Castro Valley. We stayed first with Loren’s Mom and sister, who still live in the house where Loren and his sisters grew up. Loren’s sister owns an inflatable double size bed, which fills up to the height of a mattress and box spring. It felt similar to sleeping on a water bed. We have very much enjoyed catching up with them. So far here, we have celebrated Mom’s 91st birthday,
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enjoyed a hike with Loren’s sister, and I have taken daily Bikram Yoga classes while Loren has gone on daily bicycle rides unless it is raining, then he joins me for yoga.
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We had a delightful dinner with some of our friends in this area, many of whom Loren has known since his primary school days.
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We also attended the San Francisco Movement Arts Festival, an endeavor and lovechild of Loren’s friend, who has put on such annual events for some years now. This time it was held in Grace Cathedral, where it was awesome to see dance and movement artists at the “Stations of the Dance.”
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During the week we moved in to our AirBnB with a lovely family, where we will stay for the remainder of our time here. Outside our bedroom window we see a festive sight, both day and night! On the personal side we have attended to some errands and so far visited the first of the several routine doctor’s appointments that we have lined up.
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We look forward to seeing more family and friends while we are near home, and, mainly, spending much time with Loren’s Mom, starting with brunch later today.

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