You never know what will come your way when you are open to whatever comes your way. Of course it is sort of easy for me these days to be open to something new because to me everything is new. It is important to remember, however, that fortune favors the prepared and the bold. And occasionally fortune is very kind.
At the beginning of my first weekend here I was checking into my friends back east through the magic of Facebook I learned the my dear friend Joyce was not to far away in Napa on vacation with some friends of hers. Mind you, “not to far away” becomes a relative term when you are three thousand miles from home. Some quick text messages and a Google search away found that there was only one thing between me and meeting up with my good friend for dinner. And that thing was, Oakland!
I have nothing in particular against Oakland. It is just that ordinarily when going from one place to another I have one of two things: An idea of where I was starting from or an idea of where I was going. Give me one of those and a Google map and some tunes and I am golden. Take away that one anchor of how to get someplace, put Oakland on the critical path, and make that critical path the highways of California, and one wrong exit could get ugly fast!
There is however few problems that money can't solve. And the money solution on that day was named GPS. (Which, btw, is a Lockheed Martin product!)
Armed with the artificial navigation I set off for Joyce and Napa! I gotta admit, I really like how Joyce and her crew roll. Some might go for a nice dinner as a cozy little four star place in cozy little Napa. But dinner was planed for a cozy little place called the Culinary Institute of America! As we set down and ordered our cocktails at dinner, which overlooked the pristine hills of wine country, a realization suddenly suddenly hit me.
If anyone had asked me what state of the union I expected to live in four weeks previously, the state of California would have been barely about 25 in my top 50 answers. Just that morning if you had asked me where I expected I would have dinner that night I never could have guessed the answer was the CIA overlooking the hills of Napa eating an appetizer sampling that in no way contained any shellfish! If the unexpected fortune of that moment was any indication of what is in store for me over the next nine months this will be a fun experience. That is as long as I stay open to accepting the unexpected.
Special shout out to Janie for dinner on Sunday! Sea salt infused butter is just fantastic!