Monday, February 17, 2014

Adventures, again!

Heather has come to visit again, as per usual, we are up to something, or rather, several somethings.  I am helping her with her new project, Exist Connected (I will share the website and videos as soon as they are complete), and we just filmed the first two segments. It was all very exciting, but not in the way you might expect.

Friday, we pre-planned, which is something that tends to be very casual for us together, but this time, we did it formally.  We outlined, researched, packed, and test drove Heather's wardrobe. Saturday morning, we loaded two cars and headed towards the Portolla Redwoods State Park.  Heather and I rehearsed in the car, discussed what we thought needed to happen, and got ready to really dig into this project after months of talking about it. About half an hour from our destination, things started getting weird.

The road to the park is steep, winding and full of cyclists. It's the type of drive my husband and kids adore, but for some reason, Aiden got carsick. This has never happened before, and was so unexpected we were left unprepared. With both cars pulled over onto the last five feet of the crankiest-woman-ever's driveway and a police officer behind us, we stripped Aiden out of his clothes, cleaned up, and got him situated. Hunter, Heather's son, donated his shirt to the cause and Aiden was dressed again, sort of. A big "thank you" to the officer who gave us an extra bottle of water, some gum ,and junior officer sticker to cheer Aiden up. Piling back into the cars to get going, we had another problem, our car wouldn't stay started. Eventually, that was sorted out at Alice's Gas Station, next to Alice's Restaurant, which meant we had to stop and take a picture to send to my mom and her husband (who is Heather's uncle). Eventually, we reached the park, paid our use fee, and got to filming.

Filming is a laborious process. Over and over again, things are repeated. Light is your constant concern, and equipment is heavy. We got it done, after a couple of hours. Heather and I both had weird headaches from a strange energy we encountered (I'll write about that another time), and the big kids were getting hungry and antsy and bored. Surprisingly, Aiden, dressed in nothing but a pair of Converse All Stars and two borrowed tee shirts that hung to his knees, was happy and having fun. He flitted from tree to tree, enjoying the fresh air and beauty. He talked to the trees, examined all the wildlife he came across (like banana slugs), and ignored the chilly air. He was such a  trooper, and we are all so proud of how he made lemonade from his lemons.

After wrapping up in the forest, we ate lunch and headed over to the beach, which was about ten miles away,  as the crow flies.  There, we filmed some more and everyone but me got pretty wet. The kids splashed in the chilly waves. Heather and I collected holey stones, and my husband filmed and photographed the creatures in the tide pools.  As the sun began setting, we started the drive home. For Heather, Hunter and I, it included our first drive over the new Bay Bridge span.

Adventures are not always full of just fun, when things turn bad or scary or inconvenient, you have an opportunity to really make a choice to be at your best, like Aiden did.  We could have turned home with a sick child and smelly car and scrapped the project. We could have all fought and argued about getting it done, but instead, we laughed and pushed forward and had a great day. We don't choose what happens to us, but we do choose, every day, how we face it.

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