Went over to Oakland a bit ago, which isn't in itself a rare event, but in this case entailed a whole weekend of activity, none of which included humping or dumping.
Wound our way up to the Cabinhouse to celebrate Miss Shayner's birthday. Lucky for us not only were there vittles and cocktails in abundance, but Eric Landmark brought over his guitar and sang some old-timey tunes. If you've never had a chance to hear him play, go find his album or stop him on the street or something, I promise your days will be the better for it. He's also one of the nicest people I've had the pleasure of knowing and a Wisconsonian to boot.
Sara and Jesse Quattro came through with some old time religion and we all sang along when we could.
Such a lovely way to spend a summer evening.
Camped out around the fire until the wee hours of morning drinking wine and making Cousin Galen laugh his ass off, then finally rolled into the tent we'd very smartly remembered to set up earlier in the evening. I forgot how much fun backyard camping can be, it's like a great big sleepover complete with snoring (Eddie) and late night shushing (sorry, Roosevelt).
Managed to be the last one up in the morning and woke to find tents packed and coffee made. Said our goodbyes over breakfast (you never know how long it'll be til you go transbay again) then headed down to Lake Merritt for the annual Oaklandish Radio Regatta. Half price boats, good tunes and the requisite drinks and snacks, what better for a Sunday outing? Of course just when things seem simplest, they have a tendency to go awry. In this case we can chalk all of up to human error. Feeling slightly worse for the wear we beelined first towards the sandwiches and sangria then wandered down to look at our boating options. We'd intended to get a little paddle or row boat, but with a little liquid courage in me and everything so cheap I changed my vote to sailing. Between the two of us we passed the preliminary 10 questions and walked out to the dock still wondering what half of it meant. It was at about this point I think Franklin realized we might be heading into a less-than-relaxing next hour and pointed out that we could always just lay about in a rowboat floating under the sun, but you know when you don't really want to do something but you're determined to try just to prove that you can? Step right up and grab the biggest boat you can, nevermind that a group of 4 just got out of it and you're only 2 and you haven't actually sailed a boat before just hung onto the lines for dear life while someone else told you what to do and when the nice man asks if you've sailed with a jib before just smile and nod yes, because how hard can it really be? Long story short our little 14-foot Capri was quite pleased to get away from the dock, sprinting us to the end of the lake and letting us fend for ourselves, a trial which consisted of a great deal of yelling, wondering whether we were tacking or jibing (as if it mattered) and trying not to capsize. In all it took us over half an hour to get back, Franklin doing almost all the line handling and very nicely hollering out warnings to the poor paddleboaters we seemed intent on running down. I think I may have even cried at one point.
All of which is rather funny when its pointed out back on the dock that you're simply on a small lake in the middle of Oakland.
Go east, young man? I can't say I'm sorry we went for it, but I think next time we'll go in for something a little bit smaller. I'm sure we'll be back as I'm trying to learn myself into not hating sailing, though at times it seems to be working backwards. Anyhow, if you get the inkling for a warm Sunday outing, head over to the Lake Merritt Boathouse and see what they've got. They're open 7 days a week until November and none of the boats are more than $15 an hour with a $10-$20 refundable deposit. That ought to be enough time to get us ready for next year's Regatta...