I am on another vacation, this one courtesy of my dear old friends E. and S. and their Southwest Airlines frequent flyer ticket. I am all the way in Oakland, California, where it is cold and foggy in the mornings, even thought it’s August, but this afternoon, because I am one seriously lucky girl, the fog burned off as we walked through Muir Woods, taking in the tallest living organisms on earth–the coastal redwoods (though there’s some fungus in Oregon challenging for the title–*shaking fist at Oregon’s fungus*). Beforehand, though, I got in a little bicycle ride, because that’s what good friends make happen. I hopped on E.’s Bianchi hybrid and rode up and down hills–not used to that!–to meet PK for coffee. I hadn’t seen her in a terrifically long time, and it was so nice to lay eyes on her. I rode back via the streets of the neighborhood, trying to decide whether or not I was willing to tackle certain hills; I drew the line at the other side of High Street. It was so nice to just spin around a place I used to live, but never biked. I wish I had more time and my own bike to tour this place. I stopped to take a picture of these sparkly sunflowers outside a house on Allendale at Eastman. As my father would say, what a difference a few degrees of latitude makes–our sunflowers have been gone for a month. I love how this town paints with plants; that always make me feel at home.