Reunions are great.

April 27, 2010

I flew in to San Francisco on Saturday evening and grabbed a taxi to my best friend’s house.  First sticker shock!  Forty dollars!  And when did they change the ten dollar bill to pink? My friend arrived and we had a great evening catching up.  She made me an open faced grilled cheese sandwich on an english muffin – with sharp cheddar cheese!  I was moaning and groaning over food the whole time I was there, as the Bay Area has such fabulous food. Don’t even get me started on her made-from-scratch pancakes.

Sunday my sister arrived in the rental car, a Kia Soul.  Never even heard of it before.  We headed out after a while for a tour here and there of our old haunts, and witnessed the deja-vu of our old house on Corona Street in the Ingleside with an Airstream trailer in the driveway.  When we owned the house (yes, we could kick ourselves for selling it in 1970 when our mom died – for $32,000) you could count on seeing my grandparent’s Airstream in the drive a lot of the time when they weren’t in the Southwest or in Mazatlán.

We ate out one night at a fantastic Chinese restaurant in West Portal, and then had a great lunch in the Mission District around the corner from where my friend works.

Oh, and shopping!  I bought a whole bunch of clothes at the Cut Loose outlet store,  and we whiled away an afternoon cruising the shops on Noe as we waited for my niece to arrive on the train from college at Santa Clara.  Unfortunately there was a bomb threat so we jumped in the Soul and headed South to pick her up where all the passengers had been unloaded.

We stayed up late and caught up on the news from Santa Clara.  Niece Anna is an amazing woman, brilliant, athletic, and funny.  We had a great time.  Her twin, Blair, is a sophomore at Redlands in Southern California, so we didn’t get a visit in this time with her.  The next day we said our goodbyes to Jeannie and headed over to Berkeley to see our other sister Wendy.  She has been working from home for the last 6 weeks as she had foot surgery.  We arrived at her house to see her attempting to vacuum while on crutches.  Hilarious.  Her husband had left on a motorcycle trip so we could have the house to ourselves!


I love just hanging out with friends and family, feeling the rhythm of their day, talking about things as they come up, reading the paper together, and all the rest.  We went to Trader Joe’s and got the fixings for dinner (including HOW MUCH two buck Chuck) and made some great vegie noodle dishes right here.  Don’t you love seeing how people decorate?  It tells so much about them.


My sister has been off her feet for so long I just had to sit in her favorite chair and look out her front window.  I love Berkeley.


After we took Anna back to school – I got a tour of campus, saw her apartment, and met her roommate – we came back to town and of course a little more shopping!


And I am afraid to admit we kind of egged sister Suki on!  Not that it takes too much!  But we didn’t just shop at shoe stores, we also had to stop for food to cook at home.  I have to tell you that I almost had a heart attack looking at this olive bar.  Waaaaah!


We had a list of things we wanted to do and see, and we accomplished a lot of them!


My sister and I went for a long walk.  I took a number of pictures along the way.  We saw lots of flowers…



Some cool rocks…


…and some crazy “art”…



…including some made using baseball caps…


The last day we were there we decided to work on my sister’s yard.  She hasn’t been able to work in it because of her foot, so we all got into our grubbies and got busy.  At the end of the day we had weeded the front beds, and a seating area had been created near the front door.


I love the little house they built in the back yard.  Spare room, meditation space, yoga studio.  Isn’t it lovely?


I’d love to be able to bop over there anytime to work in her yard.  Sometimes you just need dirt to dig in, you know?


Yes, we do look like we have worked hard in the yard, but believe me, we were all having a blast!

The next post will tell about my reunion with Tiko, our yellow-shouldered Amazon.

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More about Nancy

I'm Nancy, a US expat living in San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jalisco after 11 years in Mazatlán, México.

    1. Great pictures. The art is wonderful. Makes me want to go there and visit too.

    1. Lots of great pictures – thanks. A bomb threat – you would think you were in that dangerous country Mexico!

      Stay safe amiga!

    1. OMG!! I know that olive bar… Andronico’s!!! Be still my heart.

      Great pics and a great story. I love that we come from the same old haunts.

    1. You wanna dig in the dirt? I say, YOU WANNA DIG IN THE DIRT??? Listen, I have a nice patch just waiting with your name on it. I feel guilty that I actually have some land and I do nothing but leave it for the dogs. My thumb is decidedly BLACK!

      1. Ingrid, Berkeley is a universe unto itself. Really worth getting to know. Although they have plenty of the usual Restoration Hardware etc that is in every large city now… feels less unique than in days past.

        John, We didn’t talk about violence anywhere on my whole trip. Makes people edgy to discuss. But you’re right, – ho hum bomb scare in the US, if it was in Mexico people in the US would be sighing and tsking.

        Jonna, Yes, Andronico’s! What a place! And expensive! Wouldn’t you know it that my sister and I stopped there on our way home from our long long walk. She had only $15 and I had $0 so we couldn’t really graze. And as it worked out, no time to return. Andronico’s is about 7 blocks from my sister’s house on San Lorenzo. We should pour some wine and tell our stories some day, amiga.

        Zoe, What are you thinking about for your dirt? Would you use it? Has it been too much of a doggie potty to grow things? I would help if you want to make use of it!

    1. what great photos!what a great trip!! gardening in nice loose black dirt sounds so good.

      1. Thanks, Linda Lou!

        Thank you! We had so much fun gardening, it was a real happy sister’s day. Its interesting (to me, anyway) that our mother died on the first Earth Day in 1970, and the three of us were together on the 40th anniversary… and digging in the dirt.

    1. Sooo glad you are having so much fun. No reentry shock at all?? See you soon!

      1. DIanne, Yes, it was a blast. But I was ready to come home to lovely, warm, Mazatlán. I have been going North for one week a year for the last three years so I was pretty prepared. There are things I notice everywhere, though. Like where is the Plazuela? People gather outside the coffee shops but the gathering spots are so different. There’s also the interpersonal things… like the checker that said (like a robot) “please remove all items from the basket” and “please place the basket below the checkstand” made me shake my head. So many missed opportunities for people to connect. Although while we were weeding outside my sister’s front steps several people greeted us cheerily as they jogged on by.

        What shockers do you experience when you go NOB?

    1. The consumerism–huge aisles of cereals, deodorants, so much overwhelming choice. The ads on TV touting so many things that are bigger, better or more convenient but really in no way necessary. The speed and efficiency with which people do things, as you mention about the grocery line checker. …

    1. When you are just standing somewhere, (NOB) contemplating, and not having anyone come up to you to ask if they can help with directions or ? The work ethic, both adult and children so evident here. Friends like you. The cost of food in hurts.

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