October 2016 was one wild, wet, (hello rain) and crazy month. Oh, yeah. October has always been a BIG month for partays, with my late mom’s birthday only 5 days before mine (I was expected to make my grand entrance on mom’s birthday, but oops I waited!), which meant there was lots of yummy cake and ice cream to be eaten. And when Beatle John Lennon entered my personal teen-age orbit, well, there was another October birthday to celebrate. ( yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!) Same deal when I married the hubby as our b-days are only three days apart. Now, however, I try not to eat so much cake. (I just apply it to my hips.) I love my ice cream, oh boy, and refuse to give-up my dark chocolates, man.
There is also an anniversary in October which means, yes, even more delish cake. Or not.

The hubby and moi traipsed (OK, we took the Mini) to Berkeley for the annual “Indigenous Peoples Day Pow Wow.” (You probably think of it as Columbus Day, but this is Berkeley. They do things differently .in Berkeley, man.) It was way hot and sunny and dry. We had a blast and enjoyed the Berkeley vibe as always. Lots of color was on hand, and for sale. It brings me great joy to attend Native American events. There are attendees from many tribes who honor Mother Earth in a sacred way. Not to mention the colorful tribal regalia that all the dancers wear. All those exceptional native crafts to peruse, and let’s not forget the yummy Indian tacos. Hey, it’s essentially the only fried food I cannot resist. You try and say no way to Indian fry bread, man.

Several days later we trekked to Berkeley again for our anniversary. I tried something very different instead of my “usual” order and was so not disappointed: Nirvana on a plate. However, the absent Tibetan owner and baker extraordinaire had not baked even a crumb for her cafe that day! She was at a prayer service for peace so I had to forgive her. I didn’t want the bad karma either. What I did want was her divine chocolate rum tart. I broke into tears in front of my hot Tibetan waiter who appeared wearing a Guinness t-shirt. (Om my gosh, he owned that shirt.) Where else could I have been but in Berkeley, man??

It took us several more days to pack our suitcases for a long-anticipated trip to visit our son in upstate New York. I really tried to pack light. It wasn’t easy trying to find the right tie-dye ensembles to wear for a 10 day trip, know what I’m saying? The husband always packs way too much. I could not believe all the steamer trunks that crowded our living room the morning we were scheduled to leave. We weren’t even taking a steamer ship, man. We were flying to Chicago and then on to Buffalo, New York.

What I should have packed were enough food provisions to ward off starvation on an airline that has drastically reduced the size of their “snacks.” I’ll give you a few clues to deduce this airlines name: North, South, East, or West. You’ll only need two, folks. The flight was delayed in Oakland because of heavy rain in Seattle, and then turbulence kept us in our seats for so long I think we were close to Chicago before the pilot allowed passengers to get up from their teeny, tiny seats. With hardly any time to get to our gate to our continuing flight to Buffalo, there wasn’t any time to get any food. Bummer. I decided on the flight to Buffalo that possibly a Margarita would make me feel a wee bit better. We ordered one, but then the pilot ordered the flight attendants to stay in their seats because of turbulence so NOBODY got a drink or snack at all.
Yeah, I know, boohoo.

The next day we drove to Watertown where the son lives. Guess what? Rain again. Man, we left a drought in California to arrive in rain-soaked upstate New York. Fortunately, we were able to take Uncle Sam’s Boat Tour out onto the Saint Laurence River to again see the sights in the scenic Thousand Islands area of New York and Canada. There are over 1800 of these Islands, folks and they are not to be missed. This was our first time visiting so late in the season, and we were delighted to find the area bathed in a riot of glorious fall colors.
Not delighted with the rainy weather so much. The folks in Watertown didn’t let the rain stop them from decorating their homes for Halloween, however. Very festive.

Spent some time in the village where my old man’s grandmother was born: Sackets Harbor. Historic little place with a great deal of history to soak in. And we nearly did get soaked with the rainy weather! Ancient houses and a funky ice cream shop that remained open till Halloween. They’re frozen custard causes me to moan, man. Saw a couple of unexpected guys sitting on a bench next to the road and they were happy to pose for the hubby. They seemed out of place in such a sophisticated town, but I was so glad they were there. Also glad that most of the boats were still in the harbor. It’s the time of year to get them all out of the water and swathe them in white plastic wrap. It does get cold in those parts.

Made a quick side trip to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, eh! Only 120 miles drive from Watertown it was. I think from the amount of rain that was falling that they might consider changing the name to Otterwa. We spent the night across the river and found ourselves in Gatineau, Quebec. Who knew? Henri asked me if I wanted to stay at the Ritz and I was so up for that. However, he neglected to inform me that the Ritz was NOT the hotel but an aging motel. Oh, and most of the television stations were French language.
Never thought I would be watching the Cubs play in the World Series while the announcer would only be speaking French! Mon Dieu.

From what I could see through the rain, Ottawa looked lovely. Except for all the cranes at construction sights where skyscrapers are being built. They looked so unbalanced amongst the spirals of the magnificent Canadian Parliament buildings. But where was Prime Minister Trudeau? He’s one hot P.M. He shudda, cudda been out and about amongst the tourists holding onto their brollys (umbrellas) for dear life.

We did enjoy the Byward Public Markets where we found an Irish Pub with scrumptious food and drink. On the return trip to Watertown it rained even more. It looked like ducks were partying all along the roadside.
So you can imagine my surprise when I awoke on a Sunday morning and wondered what that bright light was outside the bedroom window. Why it was sun, sun I say. And the sun was out for the entire day, which also happened to be my birthday. After a return trip across the bridge to Canada, we had a lovely lunch in yet another Irish Pub in the village of Gananoque. Yeah, I sure I don’t know how to mangle the pronunciation any better than you do!

On the way back to Buffalo we stopped at Terrapin Station, which is total Deadhead nirvana. Or like a tie-dyed Disneyland for those who dig all things Grateful Dead. Way fun, but we had to return home. Rosie Colleen was a waiting.

Short flight but rain, rain at Chicago again! Rush, rush to get to the gate, and I ate light in Buffalo to nosh at the airport. It did not happen again. Finally up in the air and ordered another Margarita. I got it! However, the piece of lime should not be that wee. And they did not ask if I wanted salt on the edge of my plastic cup. You would request it too, I’d bet? But, hey you guys, I know how to get things done! I just rubbed one or two of the teeny, tiny salted “snack” crackers around the rim of the cup. (Hey, give it a try on your next flight!)
I needed that Marg. Time really flies when you’re having fun.
Oh yeah, October had it all.

**Peace, love, joy & salted lime Margaritas,
Kathleen **

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