After a week of prep, sorting and organization, this morning I started a day of travel to go to California to work with the Shelter Art Foundation. I'll be spending the next couple of weeks teaching animal shelter volunteers and staff how to use professional portrait techniques and equipment to make excellent portraits of their adoptable animals. It's great work - and the results can have a dramatic impact on a shelter's adoption rate. It is rewarding and enormous fun to work with people who love animals and photography.
My dog woke me just before my 4:30am alarm for a cuddle. Translation: she plunked her (relatively large and heavy) head on my chest and promptly started to snore. It was a nice start to what is going to be a long day. My dear friend gave me a lift to the airport, a goodbye hug, and THREE bars of chocolate. Yep, she's a keeper!
Lesson one of my trip: It's nice to have things, but it's better to have good people and animals in your life.
Shortly after takeoff, I learned lesson two: In-flight internet is AWESOME!
Normally, I like the chance to catch up on reading during a flight, but the gentleman behind me was celebrating the start of his vacation...enthusiastically. He was "10 shots in" by 8am. The repartee between his almost-as-drunk comrades and he made all of us in the surrounding rows realize that improved wit is not necessarily an outcome of alcohol consumption. He was loud and rude, but my main concern was whether he'd toss his cookies all over my lap when he started complaining of menstrual cramps (the whole 'not witty' thing!). The in-flight internet provided a welcome distraction from Mr. Holiday's antics.
Fortunately he was able to maintain, and even refused more alcohol from the flight attendant. I am now comfortably sitting at my gate in Dallas, waiting for my next flight.
I'll be posting regularly about the adventure - wait until you hear how I'm getting around in California!