I’m not a very good blogger so I’ll just type up some of my notes from the trip, and add a few more thoughts as I think of them. 🙂 But first…
Scholarship announcements. We’ve raised $810 through the pen auctions and sale of notebooks and postcards this month. Thank you all so much! This scholarship is only successful because you all participate. And there is some good news coming very soon that should make it even more successful. I’ll keep you posted. 😉
So like every month, it’s time to say thank you to one random person who wrote or bought in this month. Out of 40 participants, #39 got picked. Congrats to Morgan O! I’ll send you an email to get the ball rolling. 🙂 Morgan gets a $225 credit towards any pen, with a free grind, and free shipping. We’ve been giving pens away like this for nearly 5 full years now, that means almost 60 pens have been made and given away through the Newton Pens Scholarship to people who have helped to support it. Thank you all so much for your continued support. We couldn’t do this without you. 🙂
We also want to make a new notebook and some tee shirts eventually. We’ll make the image selection process a contest like we did with the notebooks. But before we make new products we want to move all of our old inventory out first. So we’re going to make all the notebooks and postcards left $5 each, or 3 for $12. Shipping prices remain the same. So to support the scholarships and help put some high school kids into college, all you have to do is get some cool notebooks or postcards, and you could win a free custom pen (our way of saying thanks for the support) or you could write in for free. Rules are all here.
San Francisco Pen Show. So we drove out to San Fran (Redwood City) for the SF Pen Show and we had a great time. I’m not going to put all the photos here, but you can see them if you’re interested (LOTS of photos on the road). The drive out is beautiful.
Aug 22 – Drive to Tucumcari – KOA camp site. Great views and weather.
Aug 23 – Drive to Kingman. Beautiful drive. Great views, some rain. The KOA camp at Kingman not as nice with no good views from the site.
Aug 24 – Drive to Redwood City. Surprised at the border stop to make sure we weren’t bringing any plants or fruits into California. Hottest part of the trip so far. Gas stupid expensive in Needles, CA. Smoggy drive through the Central Valley, which I didn’t expect at all. Weird not being able to see the horizon or mountains. Arrived at Pullman Hotel. Under construction and some sort of labor dispute going on? I don’t know. A few people called it janky, but I thought it was fine. I love that word though. 🙂
Driving around was a lot easier than I expected. People were nice in traffic, we never got cussed, nobody gave us any hand signs, people let us in and out as nice as you could want. That seemed to surprise everybody I told. Maybe we just got lucky. 🙂
Aug 25 – Show Day 1 – Busy from the start. Bad hotel burger. Dinner at Los Moreno Taqueria which was really great. Late night drive down 92 to CA-1 to see the coast. It was dark but we stuck our toes in the ocean.
Aug 26 – Show Day 2 – Another busy day. Awesome lunch Elizabeth pick up from Nob Hill grocery store up the road. That place had great food ready to go. We met two couples from Arkansas. Small world! Tonight we tried something new and I think it was a great success. We had rotating group round table discussions. I was at one table, and there were other pen folks at other tables discussing vintage pens, doodling, expensive pens, pencils, paper, and anything else you could think of Every 10 or so minutes somebody would whistle and they’d all rotate. I’d talk about myself and Elizabeth, how she got me into fountain pens, my pens, our scholarships, and answer any questions to each group that came by. I hope this or something like this continues at more pen shows. It was a great way to meet a lot of people, and for a lot of people to get educated on all sorts of subjects.
Dinner at Amici’s Pizza. Back to the hotel to hang out by the fountain and talk with other pen people from the show. So many cool people at this show. We had a really great time.
Aug 27 – Show Day 3 – Sundays are always slowest. This was the busiest day for scholarship materials though. Talking about this at the round table meeting the night before got a lot of people interested and I think all of them came by to see what we had. 🙂
5PM – Bye! We’re off to the city! Drove down 92 to CA-1 (thanks to Bruno Corsini’s recommendation to avoid the 101). What a beautiful drive. We got to visit the coast and SEE it. The drive through San Fran was great. The Piers and bridges are awesome to see in person. We walked around Fisherman’s Wharf until it got dark and headed back. I still say San Fran was one of the easiest cities to drive in. Easier than Chicago, Dallas, and Miami by a long shot.
Aug 28 – Drive to Kingman. We stopped at a couple of fruit stands on our way out of Redwood City. Great cherries and apricots. Weather in Kingman was WINDY and rainy. Glad our tent didn’t blow away. We stayed nice and dry. I love that thing.
Aug 29 – Drive to Tucumcari. Breakfast at Calico’s in Kingman on Rt 66. Very good. Big rain in Albuquerque. We upgraded our tent site to a travel trailer so we wouldn’t have to set up in the rain. It didn’t rain on us but it was still nice not having to set up. 🙂
And oh man – Google maps is terrible. I don’t know what they did but every time we went anywhere it would take us 7 miles out of the way to where we were going. Waze is way better but my phone is old and slow and kept locking up. Pizza Hut for dinner.
Aug 30 – Heading home! Breakfast at Denny’s. Those strawberry cream pancakes are delicious. Great drive. So glad to be back in Arkansas. Prettiest place in the country with the best smelling air. 🙂
Lots of podcasts to pass the time during 6 days on the road. Lots of comedy, some science, and a little audio book.
Until next time! 🙂