The Arizona summer rain woke me last night. Lightning made fireworks on the ceiling. I opened the windows and gave in to the romance, welcomed home by my beloved monsoons.

It was the kind of vacation that filled me with joy and left me encouraged to do brave things. The days were paved by new, lifelong friends, morning kayak rides across glassy Lake Tahoe, a woman named Belle, and nights driving across the Golden Gate Bridge.

I feel brand new.

Meanwhile, I’ve missed you.  A few scenes from the journey:

Free expression after an afternoon ride across the lake.

(Photo by genius friend Colin Vincent. Helps to have a photographer on board. P.S. Go see his yachting in evening gown series here. I looooove it.)

Morning at Camp K, Lake Tahoe. (Photo: Colin, again.)

An afternoon in a hammock with my vacation read: Adam Ross’ incredible collection of short stories,Ladies and Gentlemen. I actually miss the characters when the stories end. It’s one of the most enchanting and accomplished story collections I’ve ever read. You’ll adore. I folded down every other page corner hoping to remember a beautiful sentence or metaphor.

Fourth of July house party, dancing on the lawn. (Photo by Colin, and the rest will be, too.)

The two non-blondes and Nigel (whose owner is the third non-blonde.) Love you, H. Thank you for this.

And then on to the city, for our friend DJ Solomon‘s birthday party, swanky nights at Mas Sake (where you MUST go for drinks and appetizers in the city), a walk in Golden Gate Park and romantic bridge drives.

Sunset on the bridge at 50 miles per hour. (Colin!)

Magic, all around.