Thursday, June 23, 2011

Visit from a Pen Pal

I participate each March in a writing frenzy with other women and men; the challenge is to write once a day for thirty days.   I call it March Madness.  I've done this for three years now, and the first year, there seemed to be a handful of regulars who I got to know through their writings.  One woman in particular, Carrie, seemed to have a life that mirrored mine in some ways: we were both adjuncts, attended church, grappled with similar student issues among other things.  Carrie is a fine and insightful writer and I love reading her posts.

Carrie (on the left, in the chair below) sent me a note this year, saying that she was joining her friend Gina (on the right) who was traveling around the southern part of the country in her research on Japanese Internment camps, and did we want to meet?  Oh, yes!  Since Carrie is from the midwest, this was a chance I didn't want to pass up.

So, she and Gina came to Riverside, spending two nights with us.  I took them to the local fancy old hotel tour (they sit in the Taft Presidential chair, above)--both the official one (slightly boring and too long) and the unofficial one (we act like we are staying there and head right to the fourth floor and make our way down).

Carrie, on Author's Row--only really old (read: dead) authors should apply.

Her aunt has a tradition of going swimming in hotel pools, where she is NOT staying, so Carrie dipped her foot in the reflecting pond in solidarity.

We also went to our local folk art establishment: Tio's Tacos, where the owner has built a fantastic (the original meaning of the word) series of buildings, displays and vignettes.  Above is the beer/soda bottle chapel.

View from inside.

Two towering people, one made of Barbie dolls, the other of plastic toys imbedded in chicken wire.

Every Mexican restaurant needs an ET flying overhead.

They left me with this hostess gift: Carrie had made many cards, and added some fabric for me to create with, all in a cute little bag.  I've used quite of few of the cards already.

After a couple of really fun-filled Riversidian days, they left, driving to Manzanar, Zion's (and other) National Parks, finally arriving at Gina's place in Colorado.  A few days later, this delicious care package arrived, just in time for Dave and I to go on the road to visit Zion's.  

Come again, Gina and Carrie!

1 comment:

Donna Smith said...

What a special time! Love how the Internet can bring so many people together that just never would have met. And how you can find shared experiences over the miles!