<p style=”text-align: left;”> </p><p style=”text-align: left;”><img title=”tallshipstied” src=”http://ocactiveseniors.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/tallshipstied-300×225.jpg” alt=”" width=”300″ height=”225″ /></p><p style=”text-align: left;”>I love where I live. Honestly, I get up every morning and if it’s early, I get to see the sun rise over the trees (and over the roofs of the other condos in my complex.) I have a view of the ocean and if you lean really far right on the balcony and jump up a little, on a clear day you can see all the way down the coast, sometimes as far as San Onofre. I like to think I can see San Diego, but there’s hyperbole and then there’s hyyyperrrrrbbbbollleeeeee.</p><p style=”text-align: left;”>This past weekend was the annual Tall Ships Festival here in Dana Point. I’d never actually been to the Festival part but I’d watched the ships come in from the aforementioned balcony. It’s a huge event, with cannons sounding their arrival and a fleet of local sailors out there on their own boats, their full sails billowing, circling and saluting the Grand Dames of the sea as they enter our harbor.</p> With the official launch of the website last month I’m starting to really promote it and thought it might be a good idea to take a booth there and hopefully meet up with some other local “active seniors” who might want to sign up for the eNewsletter being offered, <em>Golden Opportunity. </em>I coerced the ”S.S.O.” (“Sometimes Significant Other” – he has “sometimes status” now because I get mad at the poor man on a regular basis and hang up on him…yet for some bizarre reason, he calls back!) Anyway, he is always very supportive and he was not letting me do this alone. Truth be told, I could <em>not</em> have done it without him.
I thought that I’d just tote the 10′ ”EZ Up” pop up tent I’d bought on its dandy little carrying case on wheels, throw it into the car with the six-foot catering table and the boxes of give-aways (400 calendars and 100 engraved keychains), 2000 flyers promoting the website, brochures on the trips we are offering, sign-up sheets, clipboards, standing frames to show the home page of the website and a few other sundry things like tablecloths, candy filled OCAS mugs to be used as paper weights, a smaller table for back up, business cards and a small cooler with drinks since I figured a bottle of water would be $3.
Then I went out to the garage and remembered. The SUV was gone. There was my pretty little pony, Black Beauty, gleaming in the garage light, top down, her shiny grill smiling at me… and <em>absolutely </em>no place to put anything other than the cooler and maybe the<em> </em>business cards.
Well, thankfully, the S.S.O. <em>has </em>an SUV…and he is also among the smartest, most organized men I have ever met and he always has a plan, unlike me, who always <em>thinks </em>she has a plan, but sometimes it’s barely the framework. He thought it would be a good idea to have a dry run with the “EZ Up.” Well, someone had a great sense of humor when they named that thing the “EZ up.” I would have called it the “Man-eating Folding Tent.” There really wasn’t any space to try it out other than my under-sized two-car garage, so I pulled Black Beauty out and we set to work.
It took about an hour to read all the directions which were obviously written by someone from China with a Ph.D. in engineering. We finally got to the “Pop-up” point. After I was trapped in the middle of the thing about three times, we realized that printed on some of the “EZ” push up bars were the words “Open Here” and “Close Here.” Then we got it hooked on the light of the garage door opener, so we opted to make it, just for the time being, a pop-up for people under 4′ tall so we wouldn’t wreck the thing before it’s debut. Exhausted and sweating, we beat the thing into submission to get it back into the “handy” EZ rolling bag. Deargodinheaven. These people who advertise this thing should be shot.
Well, S.S.O. packed his car brilliantly. Everything fit in nicely. We drove down the hill to the harbor to put up the tent on Friday night since the Festival opened at 10 a.m. the next morning and we were all expected to be ready to go at 9.
Our location was ideal: next to the beach, near the main entrance, adjacent to the food vendors and what turned out to be a boon beyond belief: in front of the ladies’ room. We set about the setting up and it actually went pretty smoothly. The mad men who had designed the tent actually thought to include long spikes to hold it down in gusts of wind and there were plenty of those. It took us a minute or two to figure out how to unfold the new folding table but even that worked.
We came back the next morning and lo and behold, it was all still standing and the fun began.<p style=”text-align: center;”><img title=”OCASpopup” src=”http://ocactiveseniors.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/OCASpopup-300×225.jpg” alt=”" width=”300″ height=”225″ /></p><p style=”text-align: center;”> </p><a href=”http://ocactiveseniors.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/dscn0553.jpg”></a>
I met some very interesting people, all of whom were very enthusiastic about the website and signed up. They loved the concept, thought it was really needed and even had some good suggestions, which I will be incorporating into the site in the next few days. The location of the ladies room proved to be one of the best sources for contacts. The clever S. S. O. realized that many men our age spent time outside the door waiting for their wives. He would quickly pick up some literature, a calendar and walk right up to these poor men who had nowhere to go and bingo…they’d sign up! Just to make this extremely enthusiastic, slightly pixilated man go away!
We were next to a local sailing association (ironically, the one I belonged to when I decided to do a head-first dive off the boat onto the concrete pier during lessons) and they are lovely people, full of fun. There were Pirates galore at the Festival and one quite beautiful and very vivacious young woman in the neighboring booth had me lace up her bustier for her lady pirate costume, something I must say I had not done for anyone before! She pranced and danced, waving her Pirate’s (water) pistol in the air, shouting “Arghhh” and posing politely with the patrons when asked. She was just fun to be around. And there <em>we</em> were, in our white knit shirts, emblazoned with an embroidered “OC Active Seniors” logo. Compared to her, not only did we not look “active”…we looked semi-comatose. But, she did draw people over to our area and anyone who looked even remotely around the age of 50 plus, was pounced on by us before they could fully enjoy the prancing piratess.
Well, all in all it was a great experience and we have the beginnings of many new friendships. In fact, here I am with one of them below. He wasn’t even near the ladies room!
<a href=”http://ocactiveseniors.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/dscn0538.jpg”></a><p style=”text-align: center;”><img title=”meandpirate” src=”http://ocactiveseniors.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/meandpirate-300×225.jpg” alt=”" width=”300″ height=”225″ /><a href=”http://ocactiveseniors.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/dscn0538.jpg”></a></p>
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