Today we met Ron & Melinda for lunch at Bistro B, for Tet. We thought there would be big crowds, but no, and no dancing either. Last year it was seriously rockin'. In a wonderful coincidence we were sitting next to a young man who said, "Melinda?" He was one of the scouts that Ron and Melinda led, mentored, and in some cases, saved way back when in the 1980s - the "Blue Dragons" law enforcement explorers. Ron (TAC sniper & do-gooder) ran the East Dallas police storefront back then and did scout stuff. Melinda was teaching at Spence Middle School (tough place) and doing scout and ESL things. Leslie was managing contracts and volunteering huge numbers of hours with Cambodian refugees. I was teaching and starting the East Dallas Health Coalition. Those were the days. Often when we go out to eat we run into someone from those bad old, good old days.
Lunch was good and when we walked out of the restaurant we could hear the drums around the corner and there were the lion dancers in front of Hong Kong Market. So we had a great time there, too. We're into the crowds more than the dancers and of course there was a good crowd and the drums/cymbals intense and I looked across the way and saw Leslie and that made me happier and as it all came to an end the dance master gave Leslie a blessing, a little magic. And, Michael, the manager at Bistro B told me there will be a big party next Sunday - See you there!
Ideas 2008: (If I retire in May) 5/08 - 7/08 Leslie & I to HKG, BKK, Pakse or maybe Chiang Mai, BKK (meet DK) and on to Hanoi, Sapa and slow travel down through Hue, Saigon and on to Phnom Penh, back to BKK, maybe Chiang Mai, HKG, home. Pocket-Buddy. Home for a month. Then 8/15/08 - 10/08, 1-2 weeks each place, working my way southward (backpack planning page): Glacier, Wind Rivers, RMNP, and back home. Hopefully DK in for the first part, then Jeff. But we'll see - I'm committed regardless. 10/08 ... work on squaring away house. Thanksgiving Sierra Club to Big Bend and maybe BB again New Year. Of course if DK is going to be in California ... what if? John Muir Trail?! In Asia it will be hard to maintain my current level of fitness, much less ramp it up as needed for a major trek. Just grandiose wandering at the moment - part of JMT. OR, what if on east coast? Maybe walk small part of AT.
By now ... Leslie, cycling Asia fall when it's cooler, desert early spring, US more travel summer, backpacking Aug-October as long as I can.
2009: 2/09 Grand Canyon and then to Asia for a few months, slooowwwwin' it down. 8/09 - 9/09 John Muir Trail - meet Leslie in San Francisco, pretty good shower after 30 days on the trail (Oh, I've had some good showers over the years). Easing on down northern Cali - 2 days here, 10 days there OR, slow ride north - northern Cali, Oregon, Washington, BC - to Vancouver and take Air Asia to Macau ... "Come along Little Susie, come along."
What if I drop dead a day or two from now? "Oh how sad, he had so many plans ..." Nope, we're just repeating things we know are good, changes here and there, but not things undone.