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Back to Cali / Mighty Summit 

I just got back from the Mighty Summit. I think people usually get to go once. But a few days prior to the event this year Maggie asked if I'd like to come again as the photographer. I think it took me about five seconds to book my flight, in large part because of the incredible time I had last year. So many friends I met there, are now an integral, cherished part of my life. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to meet new women who would no doubt be (and were) equally inspiring. 

I was also excited because it's hosted in Guerneville, which is about 30 minutes from where I grew up. So I got to visit a few best friends from high school too. 

Coming from the Texas summer inferno where everything is dead or dying or on fire, I might have been disproportionately overwhelmed by the abundance of 70 degree beauty. I might have been so overcome that I was willing to risk a car accident to grab a few snapshots from behind the steering wheel. 

Hard to believe this is someone's every day. 

This photo doesn't do an ounce of justice for how beautiful this light was setting over the hills. 

It almost took away from the fact that my phone was dead and I didn't know where I was going. Realizing it too late to buy a charger in the airport, I tried to remember my friend Lisa's address from her text a few hours before. Note: it's not helpful when you only know the street name. I thought I would drive to her road and magic butterflies might emerge from her windows guiding me to her door with trails of glitter. Instead I knocked on three unresponsive doors until I realized I was going to have to wander town hoping for a Radio Shack to jump in my lap.

I even got out of my car at a gas station like it was 1999 to ask if anyone knew where I could find a car charger. That's when the cashier flatly pointed to the rack next to me that was FILLED WITH iPHONE ACCESSORIES. Seriously? That's when you know you're in silicone valley people. That's also when I got back into my car, and while waiting for my phone to charge, looked up and saw this:

Lucky! Car chargers in gas stations and A DIAMOND IN THE PARKING LOT. For real. Fifteen(ish) years ago I was walking out of this grocery store with my mom when she saw something sparkling in the asphalt. Turned out to be a loose half carat antique diamond. I should've purchased a lottery ticket while I was there. 

After charging my phone I made my way back to Lisa's street (again), only to be greeted by possibly the most charming human in the universe. 

I know I have three children and they are adorable, and I know all kids are sweet and amazing, I'm not comparing. I'm just saying that every so often Dakota Fanning or Jonathan Lipnicki comes along to knock you on the floor. Assuming your standing. If you're sitting, maybe they knock you back in your seat, or knock your socks off or the wind out of you. My point is that their precociousness knocks the crap out of you. Which now sounds like a rogue gang that might terrorize Disneyland. This is Stella. She's actually not terrorizing Disneyland. But one day she will be on television, or curing cancer or ruling the northern hemisphere. I spent the night being mesmerized by how much she could relate to adults. It was as if, in her mind, the only thing keeping her from letting us in on all the secrets of the universe were a few vocabulary words. 

The next morning I was on a mission to SEE EVERYONE AND EVERY PLACE THAT HAD EVER MATTERED TO ME IN THE SPACE OF HALF A DAY. I had a delightful breakfast with Lisa, pictured below with Stella Bella.

Then mid-morning coffee with Melissa and her girls, who let us talk for a few hours without even getting fussy. I've written about how much I love her before. It's always great to catch up in person. And I had my first pumpkin spice latte of the season.

Crappy photo of the lovely proof that is fall upon us:

Had lunch with Vicki and Rochelle (two more HS friends). And it made me think about this weirdly awesome (albeit sometimes scary) facebook and twitter world, where even if you don't see someone for years, you pick up by talking about current events. No one needs to ask how many kids you have, where you're working, or what you've been up to all these years. We start with what we did yesterday. It makes me wonder what it will be like to be old in this world of easy connecting.  

To celebrate we took the obligatory, overly-processed, mounted-on-ceiling iphone pics of ourselves. ...You know, so we could post them on facebook.

Me and Melissa.

Rochelle, Me, Vicki.

You can check out the the photos from Mighty Summit on our flickr stream.   

Reader Comments (8)

PHEW for 'Lucky' and Gas Stations that ARE Lucky ;-) <3 ya chickie
September 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrachel
Glad that you got to stomp around Sonoma County and SF - funny that the parking lot that I find myself in many weekends while visiting my in-laws was a place of fondness and comfort for you on a whirlwind trip. Hopefully next time I can meet up with you as well - you were right down the street!!!
September 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStacey Isetta (Von Glahn)
I love you Maile!

You are the best. You rock.

When oh when will we be together in the same place, again?

I've got to get on this whole Texas trip thing. Maybe this winter?
September 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLeah Bean
I just got back to Coppell (near DFW Airport) from 6 days in Mill Valley and Sausalito, and BOY do I understand how WONDERFUL it is to get out of this Texas heat for a little while! We stayed in a great rental condo... if you ever need a place to stay near Mill Valley, I would highly recommend this wonderful condo, which felt like a private treehouse! Spent time in Napa Valley and SFO, but loved the Mill Valley/Larkspur/Sausalito area, too! Went to Hillsdale HS in San Mateo back in the 70's, but have been in Texas ever since. Love your beautiful photography and your honest blogging!
September 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie
Nice pics... Little baby is looking very cute... Thanks for sharing with us....Good job! Keep posting..
October 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersharon baker
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October 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGarage Equipment
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November 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCee
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November 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCee

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