I keep two kites, a blanket and a picnic basket in my trunk at all times. Never know when the wind will pick up, strong and steady, enough to pick up a spaceship or a dragon or a beautiful butterfly at the end of a long, taut string, and lift it and my spirits high above the trees.
My picnic basket is stocked with plates, wine glasses, cutlery, cloth napkins, a bottle opener - everything I need for an impromptu picnic, except the food. Location, mood, season and company influence the food, and over the years, I've had all kinds of kite adventures. I've made mad dashes to Whole Foods for cheese, fruit and smoked salmon; my local favorite Japanese restaurant for temaki sushi; and to the local Farmer's Market for fresh fruits and juice. One of my favorite kite adventures included a trip to Venice Beach with an old friend. We grabbed burgers and fries at Fatburgers, then ran to my local wine market for champagne. Thankfully, there's almost always a breeze at the beach, particularly in the mornings and evenings. After our delicious burgers, we strolled the water's edge and flew our kites from sundown till we could barely see them in the dusk. It was beautiful, sweet and oddly romantic.
One aspect of kite flying fascinates me, and I have to share: kites are male magnets. I have NEVER flown a kite without meeting a guy. They've ranged from 2 to 82, and they all approached me with some mixture of awe, concern or gratitude. Almost without fail, they are shocked a woman is flying a kite, especially if I'm alone. Older men reminisce about their childhood kite adventures. Young fathers point and tell their babies, "Look!" Many offer help, while others ask if they can take a turn. It never ceases to amaze me. Women and girls look and, at most, smile. Most men and boys do, too, but one or more always make their way over to me to share a memory, advice or a request.
There are no limits to my kite days. If there's a steady wind and an open space on a hill or beach, I'm game! I wish I lived closer to the ocean for more windy days. Until I get that beach house I'm dreaming of, I'll stay ready in the city!