Musings and Personal

A Package for Audrey

Wednesday, February 11, 2015:

I left Sacramento and drove to San Leandro.  There, I checked into the Marina Inn.

marina inn logo
Best Hotel EVER!

Before I started the two-hour drive, I stopped by my in-laws’ house.  My father-in-law asked me to deliver a package for Audrey, the hotel’s supervisor.

The package was fairly light.  The things inside bumped around.  It was sealed in a box with the Zulily logo.  I thought it strange my father-in-law was passing on a package of clothing.  Once in the car, however, I didn’t give it another thought.

I drove through the sprawling Altamont Pass.  Anorexic windmills stood tall and proud, interspersed in the foothills.  My ears popped only slightly, for which I was grateful.  I’d forgotten to get out gum for my altitude-sensitive ears.

Pulling into the parking lot at the Marina Inn is like pulling up to Gull Lake, a resort (a term I use loosely) where we stayed for a week each summer.  As a child, Gull Lake was a vacation spot that felt like home.  And so it goes with the Marina Inn on our semi-routine visits.

After check-in, I loaded up the baggage cart.  I brought two suitcases, a Tinkerbell tote bag full of snacks, a lunch cooler full of perishable snacks and my dairy-free, coconut creamer.  I also had an over-stuffed computer bag, light wool jacket for possible cold, and my purse.

Before suitcase explosion.
Yes, those are tampons and polka dot socks

I ran into the housekeeping staff on the way to my room.  She thoughtfully held my room door open as I maneuvered the cart into my room.

“Are you staying a while?” she asked, eyeballing my mountain of things.

I NEVER pack this much, not even for a week-long vacation.

Sheepishly I told her “No.” Embarrassed, I went on “I’m attending a writers conference and wasn’t sure what to pack.”

Then she pointed to the business-sized envelope sitting on the dresser.  “I just dropped that off,” she smiled.  Then she left me to the tedious job of unpacking.


Curious, I approached the envelope.  I had no idea what it could be or who it could be from.  A smile touched my lips when I saw my husband’s handwriting on the front.

Inside I found a card and two stones:  The larger one said luck and the smaller success.


Inside the card was this thoughtful note:


And so went the first day of my trip to the Bay Area for the San Francisco Writers Conference.

It was a wonderful start.

One thought on “A Package for Audrey

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