Trail of Crumbs

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I know it isn’t Wednesday – I didn’t blog yesterday because I spent the entire morning and part of the afternoon downtown, participating in the largest gathering of people in Seattle, ever. It was strange and crazy and a bit magical.

And as I was flipping through my photos from Palm Springs, I came across a photo that was strange, and crazy, and a little bit magical. I took it in Niland, California, outside of the United Food Center. We were coming back from Salvation mountain (which is also strange, and crazy, et al, and I will be sure to tell you all about it next week), and I pulled into a parking lot so we could our bearings.

Rand saw him first, and as is his fashion, was able to distill the situation down to its essence in just a few words.

“That is clearly the greatest human being who has ever lived.”

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Today’s post is the exciting conclusion of our snorkeling adventures on the Outer Reef. Don’t forget to read Part 1.

I should have warned you there’d be photos of us in bathing suits, huh?

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Our seaplane had just landed in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef. Remembering how often lofty expectations led to disappointment, I did my best to calm my brain, which was racing with thoughts of everything we were going to see.

“THERE WILL THOUSANDS OF FISH,” it screamed. “AND SEA TURTLES! AND ALSO KITTENS.”

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The view from our seaplane as we flew over the Great Barrier Reef.

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The other day, I botched a batch of homemade cookies that I had been making for get-together with friends (or maybe my intent was just to sit in front of the TV and eat all of them by myself. Whatever.)

This shook me to my core. A large portion of my life is devoted to the creation and consumption of baked goods. It is, as a friend of mine noted, “one of my core competencies.”

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When I first starting dating Rand, during my junior year of college (for those of you keeping track at home, it was approximately a lifetime ago), I lived in a windowless apartment.

I may be exaggerating slightly. It wasn’t exactly windowless – it had three, to be precise. But each and every one of them looked out on to an air vent, and beyond that, into my neighbors’ apartments. Never mind having a view; to even see sky, I had to stick my head out the window and crane it upward.

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Cave paintings at the Kloof.

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In high school, I had to be at school by 7:25. IN THE MORNING.

I know, I know. It sounds positively inhuman, doesn’t it? I’m fairly sure that in most parts of Europe, it would constitute child abuse (like Spain. Seriously, next time you have to get up early, think WWTS -What Would The Spanish Do? I’m pretty sure that after eating dinner at midnight and going to bed at 2am, they would NOT be getting up at 6).

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I don’t really know how to begin telling you about Bushman’s Kloof.

Words don’t usually fail me. In fact, I often have them in excess. They dribble out of my mouth at particularly inopportune times. Like when I’m telling a story at noisy party, and I find myself shouting the gory details in order to be heard (my stories always have gory details, you see), and at that precise moment because of what I can only assume is a decades-old-curse that was placed on my head, the entire room sort of goes silent.

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Last week the blog was a little thin. I was so busy, I was only able to get one post up. It wasn’t that I had a ton to do, or that I didn’t feel like writing. It’s because I was getting ready to speak at Ignite Seattle.

The Ignite Conference series is built around the following premise: “Enlighten us, but make it quick.” Speakers have 5 minutes and 20 slides (which auto-advance every 15 seconds) to tell a story. They can talk about virtually anything.

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Folks, I am a bit of a thief.

No, I’m not referring to that one time in Barcelona (though I must say, the sheer amount of hate mail I got over that post was both unexpected and delightful).

My sticky-fingeredness occurs far more often than that. I steal from friends, from loved ones, from both those closest to me and those I’ve never met. Sometimes, it happens without me realizing it. Most of the time, though, it’s completely intentional.

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