A Stolen Phone & a Bottle of Wine!

My first training of the new year was scheduled in Los Angles, CA. Coming from the east coast, who wouldn’t want to head out for a week of sunny skies and mild weather? My training was really fun (I had a great group of participants) and the weather was fantastic…so it SHOULD have been a terrific week. However, my phone was stolen while I was there. Not only was it a giant hassle to get it replaced, but I realized how much I rely on my phone when I travel. I use it as an alarm to wake me up in the morning, my watch, my timer during the trainings, my GPS while I’m driving, communications (phone, emails & texts), it holds my travel itineraries, and it’s my camera….ahhhh…it’s my everything! What did we do 15-20 years ago? I know…we used a regular camera, an alarm clock, a watch, a phone, and real maps! Times sure have changed!

I made it out to Manhattan Beach twice during the week. I usually do the same thing every time I go there–I walk out to the beach and the pier to look at the scenery (and people watch), and I visit ‘Pages,’ which is a little bookstore located a short walk from the beach on Manhattan Avenue. I really love this little store, so if you’re in the area…stop in! I bought a birthday gift for my friend, Debbie while I was there.

Happy Birthday, Debbie!
View from the Pier
Don’t fly away…I want to take your picture!
Another poser!
The last time I was here, the aquarium was under construction. It’s now open, and lots of kids were inside having fun looking at the exhibits. It’s a little gem at the end of the pier!
The exhibit sign said, “Please touch!”
A perfect sunset!

When I conduct my trainings, I always beginning by introducing myself. I usually tell my participants how much I like to travel, and about my long distance hiking, including the Camino de Santiago. A few days into the training, one of my participants approached me and asked if I heard of the movie called, “The Way.” It’s a movie about the Camino de Santiago that was written and directed by Emilio Estevez, and the lead was played by his father, Martin Sheen. I laughed and told her that not only had I seen it, but I’ve seen it about 10-12 times! I knew about the Camino prior to seeing the movie and I wanted to hike it, but the movie is what made me commit to doing it.

The next day, she presented me with a bottle of wine. I was momentarily confused, until she explained that her husband was the producer of the movie—the PRODUCER–and that the bottle of wine was from Emilio’s vineyard (he has since sold the vineyard). The gift was so thoughtful and appreciated! I really love the movie, and it holds such a special place in my heart because of my experience walking the Camino. I’ve walked the Camino Frances two times for a total 1,000 miles! And yes, I’m going to do it again!

This gift was so special, so I asked her to make sure to thank her husband for me, and to let him know that I would love to be an extra if he ever films a sequel! Hey, we only live once, so I even told her the story line that I imagined for the next movie! Okay, okay…twist my arm. The main story line would involve the four main characters hiking a different trail together again. A side story, will involve Josst, played by Yorick van Wageningen, meeting my character…sorry, the rest will have to be up to your imagination until Emilo writes the next script!

Structured Word Inquiry Institute with Pete Bowers—

This week I attended the Structured Word Inquiry (SWI) Institute which was hosted by the Nueva School in San Mateo, CA for five days.

I hear you asking, “What is Structured Word Inquiry?”

The school’s website offers the following description—
“Structured Word Inquiry (SWI) is a scientific investigation of words: how word parts, structure, origin, and history over time come together to tell the story of what words mean, how words are connected, and how they are spelled.”

I learned so much! For example, I learned that morphemes can’t be pronounced until they are within a word. In isolation, they need to be spelled orally. I also learned SWI is accessible to all learners—-Pre-K through adults. My brain was stretched all week, and it felt so empowering to learn so many new things in such a short period of time.

I really hope that I can attend again!

Nueva School—San Mateo, CA

The Perfect Little Place (Airbnb)—

I attended a training this week in San Mateo, California. I found a cute little place to stay through Airbnb in the neighboring town of Burlingame. The house was built 110 years ago and it was absolutely adorable. It was located within walking distance of Burlingame Ave, which was a hot spot for shops and restaurants.

My host, Lisa, clearly understands hospitality. She left out an amazing breakfast for me every morning. No two were the same, but all included home made bread and pastries and fresh fruit. There were so many nice touches that made me feel so comfortable and welcomed throughout the week. A bowl of fresh cherries on the table, a tiny bowl of jelly beans in my bedroom, tissue boxes strategically placed throughout the house, extra toiletries, fresh flowers, etc. I could on and on, so I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves—