Who says penguins don’t fly?

Above: this penguin flies high in friendly skies (click image for animation).

Traveling sometimes make me blue (Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore?).

Those of you who know me personally know that 2007 was not a great year for me. Things have been better lately but I still have some pretty rough days (and there are more ahead).

I had a great time yesterday in Sacramento where I attended the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium (look for my post tomorrow). But as I got on the plane this morning, the blues caught up with me once again.

But then… smiles and laughter were brought to everyone’s face when a penguin — I kid you not — came strolling down the aisle. He was on his way to Sea World in San Diego (I was on my way to my family’s place, not the zoo, for the record). Even when the twists and turns of life make you feel like you’re about to break into a million pieces, a close encounter with a happy little penguin somehow makes it all worthwhile again.

Above: the penguin’s mommy.

Above: this sweet lady was flying for the first time in her life and so the in-flight crew made her a “peanut crown” out of airline peanut bags.

Above: they don’t have electronic in-flight maps on Southwest Airlines so they use this one. Listen, after seeing the flying penguin, I’ll believe anything…

Above: the baggage claim at the Sacramento airport has these crazy sculptures. It takes you a minute to figure out that they’re works of art.

Look for my post tomorrow on my dinner with “national treasure” Darrell Corti and notes from Josh Greene’s excellent talk on “the state of the industry.”

Back to food and wine tomorrow, I promise… But a flying penguin? I had to blog it… An antidote to the blues, let me tell you…

*****

So far Away
Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore?
It would be so fine to see your face at my door
Doesn’t help to know that you’re just time away
Long ago I reached for you, and there you stood
Holding you again could only do me good
How I wish I could, but you’re so far away

One more song about moving along the highway
Can’t say much of anything that’s new
If I could only work this life out my way
I’d rather spend it being close to you
But you’re so far away
Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore?
It would be so fine to see your face at my door
Doesn’t help to know you’re so far away
Yeah, you’re so far away

Traveling around sure gets me down and lonely
Nothing else to do but close my mind
I sure hope the road don’t come to own me
There are so many dreams I have yet to find
But you’re so far away
Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore?
It would be so fine to see your face at my door
And it doesn’t help to know you’re so far away
You’re so far away
Yeah, you’re so far away
You’re so far away

— Carol King