C25

C25-a really bad draw on Southwest. However, thanks to some crafty seniors, piling up their coats in the middle seat, I snagged a front row (middle) seat for the flight to Vegas from Columbus-hooray!

Even better-enlightening conversation with the sweet couple. After several days in DC where, despite my best efforts, I got sentimental and let my mind wander about what it means to move, I found this couple fascinating. At 75 years old, after living most of their lives in LA (Topanga Canyon) they moved to Ohio to be closer to their son and grandkids.

It was 20 degrees today in Columbus.

“I really miss LA,” the grandma said. (So strange how you can spend an afternoon talking to someone on a plane and forget to ask their name).

Still, as she explained, when her grandkids called and asked her to come over, and she had to explain she couldn’t drive over (“so drive the plane!” they said), the couple knew it was time for a big move.

At 75!

She explained that she missed LA, but it was the right thing to do-and she lit up talking about her kids and grandkids.

It was a good wake-up call. Listening to her, I felt pretty absurd for all of my whining and wistfulness over a move, at 29 from DC back to California.

Thank you, kind older couple, for your middle seat and frank conversation.

Now I’m boarding the flight from Vegas back to Oakland. After few awesome days in DC and today in Columbus, I’m excited to get home :)

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DC List

Hello! Greetings from an early a.m. flight to DC. Heading to a conference in Ohio on Thursday, and I figured, if I’m going to be all the way in Ohio, I might as well pay to spend a day or two working in our DC office-so I’ll be there today-Wednesday.

Over the last two months I’ve felt more and more at ease in Oakland. In thinking about this trip, I hope to enjoy the few days, catch up with some of my favorite people, and enjoy the buzz of that magical city. I don’t want to spend the whole time sentimental over places I miss, comparing it to any of Oakland’s shortcomings, or wrapped up in any false nostalgia.

So, in an attempt to be present, going to list out things I know I miss about DC-the goal is to acknowledge them, put the nostalgia aside, and really be present:

1) Bikeshare: DC made a tremendous effort over the last several years to develop a more bike friendly city, and most routes have great bike lanes. To be honest, I could have done a lot more biking while in DC, but knowing that it was always an option was nice. With bikeshare, you can bike to work, and then if it’s too late to bike back, just metro home. The downfall of bikeshare is the bikes are heavy and kind of clunky. I miss the safety of all the lanes and the ease of knowing that if you wanted to ride, there was always a bike closeby.

2) Metro: During most work hours, the metro runs frequently and it’s quite clean. Metro riders are generally courteous and aware of metro etiquette, like not blocking the doorway when people are entering the train. It makes the ride that much more pleasant.

3) Feeling like I know the city: This a little less defined, and something that will continue to take time. DC is such an easy city to navigate, and the neighborhoods have a comforting small-town feel. Perhaps it was because David, Janou and I all moved to the city at the same time, I felt like we all grew into it together. Also, for much of my life, I dreamed of living in DC, and the city felt like it was a part of me. There’s such a comfort in that, and I don’t know if it’s replicable in other places.

4) Happy hour culture: Most of my friends and colleagues lived in the city or closeby. This proximity, youth and ease of transport feeds an active happy hour culture. Though my particular office was quiet, there was a strong advocacy network, and I desperately miss those colleagues and their energy and support during happy hour. It was tremendously comforting knowing that if I had a rough week, I could call Katie, and we’d be able to easily meet somewhere for Chardonnay and good conversation.

5) Run/walking the city: Walking home from work, running on the weekend, run/walking the monuments with Janou-no matter what, the backdrop for these walks would include incredible architecture and history. The best days were the mornings that started with Janou on our loop through downtown-from Farragut to the Tidal Basin, around the Thomas Jefferson, down to MLK, the WWII and then off to work. I miss that so much.

6) Coming home to David in our charming neighborhood: Ok, this got way more sentimental than I was hoping. I thought the list would be mostly restaurants and transit, but I’ve jumped into the uncomfortable internet waters of sentimentality, so here we go. I ache for the memory of walking down our sweet street, past the market and the charming homes, and into our apartment, with David home and smiling and ready to hang out. With him working in Stockton, this simply isn’t a reality on most nights, and I miss it terribly.

7) The magical charm of Eastern Market: When David first suggested Eastern Market for our move to DC, I had not visited the neighborhood, and was leaning more toward the Van Ness/Dupot/Red Line parts of town. The first time we visited, I was sunk-totally caught by its magical charm. The homes, the parks, the trees, the restaurants, Hilloween!, the market at Christmas-charm, charm, charm.

8) Our fireplace and exposed brick: To follow up this list, I hope to make one on the flight home of all the things I’ve grown to love about Oakland-one of them will be our apartment. Though I wouldn’t trade our current place for our old one, I miss the character of the exposed brick wall and the comfort of the fireplace. Few things can ease stress like sitting on the chaise, in front of that fireplace, with a tea and David.

9) The buzz of being on the Hill: I didn’t even work on the Hill, and felt slight envy whenever I was up there toward those who got to work in that dynamic force everyday. There’s such a rush of exiting Union Station, walking down to the offices, and being surrounded by the marble and massive egos-it’s overwhelming, stressful and invigorating.

10) Walking through the city, just knowing you live and work in DC: Speaking of ego, everyone has a a certain sense of importance. Though the egos can be nauseating, it would be a total lie to say I didn’t feel slightly more confident, more certain of my professional path and worth, simply because I was in DC. That’s not necessarily a healthy or legitimate way to build confidence, but it existed. The burst of energy you walking down the street, knowing you’re in a place of importance, a place of history-it’s very special.

Ok, I think that’s the big 10, going to stop here. I completely ignored restaurants and places, I guess they didn’t simmer to the top in my gut check of things I miss. I do hope to get a salad from Chop’t, and maybe some Dunkin Donuts and Potbelly’s sandwich while there.

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Weekend at home

It’s raining! It’s a nice quiet Thursday morning and I’m taking it easy before work, drinking tea, listening to the rain, and reflecting on the weekend. Friday night, with bellies full of pasta and tired from the week, David and I fell asleep at 9:30. This was actually perfect, as I had an early flight home the next morning. Saturday and Sunday I caught up with family and friends in Irvine and LA.

The first stop was Papa and Betty’s apartment in Reseda. I’ve been thinking a lot about this visit, and it might explain the slightly melancholy tone. Papa is as sweet and kind and adorable as ever, but his memory is diminishing. He greeted me at the door with a big smile, wearing a patriotic red vest, and a hug. Betty, still frustrated that their complex only serves Kosher food, requested we go to IHOP for breakfast. So that’s what we did. Over pancakes and bacon, Betty indulged my many questions over her life of adventurous travel. With her signature Betty sparkle in her eye, she lit up as she described the summer that she and her family bought a car in Norway and drove if through Sweden, Denmark, and eventually finished their trip in London. Papa asked me about Chicago, and I was grateful that I had recently visited and had some stories to share.

Though Papa’s cognitive health is rapidly deteriorating, his physical health and agility is astounding. I was in a rush at the car rental, and didn’t think twice when they gave me a two-seater Mustang until I got to their complex. I was mad at myself and doubted Papa would be able to squeeze into the back seat for our drive to breakfast-but at 89, he showed me, and jumped right in. I was shocked-it was an impressive sight that I want to remember.

I also want to remember how sweet and dignified Papa and Betty looked as they stood at their complex driveway and waved goodbye. The sad but very real truth about dementia is that a person doesn’t get better, and Papa will only decline. This is a crushing thought, but as this happens, it’s important to remember happy moments, like our cheerful breakfast at IHOP, listening to Papa talk about Chicago.

The rest of the weekend was filled with many other cheerful moments. Some highlights:

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That afternoon, Jen Tan and I got lunch at Salt Air, a breezy, relaxed restaurant on Abbot Kinney. My last time in Venice was freshman year with Catherine-it’s dramatically improved in the last 10+ years. It would be great to go back and spend more time checking out the restaurants and shops. It felt like a vacation, sitting on the patio, with the fresh air, toasting to Jen and her exciting news!! I peppered Jen with millions of questions about family and having a child in the city, and she patiently and wisely listened and shared.

After lunch, I drove home. Mom always makes a sign when we come home-even if it’s just for a fun, 24-trip (I’m a millennial!) After years of wondering what it would be like to be able to just pop back home and hang out with my parents without a cross-country trip-I have to say-it’s just as nice as I imagined.

Mom generously treated me to a manicure and pedicure, and it was a special treat. She made a delicious roast and potatoes, and a Pub Dog salad, and Mom, Dad and I just sat at the dinning room and talked, laughed and relaxed-exactly what I wanted. I love going home.

Sunday morning, we went for a long walk and took in the cloudy, calming views at Crystal Cove.

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We had lunch at the Beachcomber and indulged in beignets and mochas-it was decadent and so fun!

Before heading to the airport on Sunday, I had to meet a very special person-Marshall! I stopped by Julie and Terry’s to meet their sweet son. They even let me hold him-and to my surprise, despite being nearly 30, I can’t remember the last time I held a baby. I had forgotten how soft their skin is-and the smell! It was very special. Like my conversation with Jen the day before, I was curious about their adjustment to parenthood and so impressed by their relaxed and comfortable parenting style. Catching up with Jen and Julie reminded me what an incredible thing it is to see your best friends building their beautiful families and lives. Sometimes growing up can be challenging, but this is definitely one of the sweetest parts of becoming an adult.

updated from the train

Now it’s Friday, on the train to Sacramento. Just wanted to remember some highlights from Tuesday-

First, I’m so thankful for the time spent with Papa, my favorite veteran, a few days before Veterans Day. I thought about him, and all veterans, a lot on Tuesday as I spent the day exploring SF.

A random day off in the middle of the week without any agenda is such a treat. In a little over the month life is going to change dramatically as CA Bar prep begins, so I decided to take advantage of the day to see and do things I might not have a chance to do until March.

My first stop was Tartine, where I basically picked up a pound of butter disguised as pan au chocolate and a croissant. Even on a Tuesday the place was packed, the line snaking out the door.

From there, I walked the city to get to the de Young museum. I’m not sure what neighborhoods I walked through, but they were all charming. There is something so deliciously decadent about walking through a lovely neighborhood in the middle of the morning during a weekday. The streets and houses are the stars, and you’re not distracted by crowds or people, or the urgency to reach your destination, the way you are after work or on the weekend. It’s a true vacation feeling, and I soaked it all in.

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By the time I got to the de Young, I realized I would have to rush the exhibits if I was going to make it back to Embarcardero for class, so I sat and drank tea in the gorgeous garden. I will definitely return with a good book and more time on a nice day.

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In the afternoon I took a class at one of my favorite studios in SF. I was so excited to take a class in the middle of the day instead of super early, thinking I would really relish it. Turns out, eating a massive chocolate croissant the morning before a class will realllllllly weigh you down. It’s all good-the croissant was worth it and it was still a fun class.

From there, I zipcar-ed over to Stockton for Ava’s Christmas play! David and I got dinner at the Abby Trappist Pub before the show. The production was impressive, and Ava was an adorable little elf:

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And now, it’s Friday!!

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Early Christmas

Today at work, I took the plunge. It’s still more than two weeks till Thanksgiving, but my willpower failed me. I ventured from my usual Pandora Yoga to the Jazz Holidays station. After a few hours, I cut myself off. I’ve yet to let myself fall into “Peaceful Holidays” territory-after that I’m totally sunk-but it was just enough to get me thinking about Christmas.

And, as I sit here smelling the crisp pine scent of a Winter Forest candle (it’s a slippery slope), I wonder-what’s the point of resisting? I’m ready for to get excited for the holidays. I always try to wait till after Thanksgiving, worried the novelty and excitement will wear off. This year, I want to savor the season. I want to be more intentional in thinking about the end of the year, and focusing on those in need. I want to be more thoughtful overall, and reflect on gratitude for this season, family, friends, security, everything.

So, hello holiday season 2014! Though we’ll hold off a while longer on getting a tree, I decided to jump into one of my favorite things-Christmas Romantic Comedies. My plan is to curl up with one once a week-there’s six weeks until Christmas:

While you Were Sleeping

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This movie left such an impression on me when I first saw it as a child. It further solidified my thinking that Chicago was a magical place, with the warmest people, and coziest Christmases. Not too far off? It’s been years since I watched this in its entirety-I can’t wait.

White Christmas

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You know that scene when they’re on the train and they make a snow mountain out of water glasses and napkins? And trees-maybe out of parsley? Pine needles? As a child, I thought that as the most clever thing in the world. This movie also introduced me to the concept of late night snacks and counting your blessings when you can’t sleep.

Sleepless in Seattle

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Given that this movie is a Tom/Meg/Nora classic, based on An Affair to Remember and features Baltimore, it’s surprising I’ve hardly watched it. I honesty can’t remember the last time if/when I watched it in its entirety-embarassing. This is first in the queue.

You’ve Got Mail

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Fall and Spring are the seasonal stars in Joe and Kathleen’s story-Christmas is actually one of the low points. Still, it’s so comforting, it was released at Christmas, and just makes everything warm and bright-I’m watching it again.

Bridget Jones Diary

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Mr. Darcy: I realize that when I met you at the Turkey Curry Buffet I was unforgiveably rude… and wearing a reindeer jumper… that my mother had given me the day before. But the thing is, uhm, what I’m trying to say, very inarticulately, is that, uhm, in fact, perhaps despite appearances, I like you. Very much.

Bridget: [Bitterly] Apart from the smoking and the drinking and the vulgar mother and the verbal diarrhea…

Mr. Darcy: No, I like you very much. Just as you are.

***Cue Van Morrison’s Someone Like You!!***

I mean, is there anything better than that moment??

This is the only film on the list to rent from iTunes-the rest are all on Netflix or Prime-hooray!

Love Actually

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We’re Here!
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The piece de resistance, the creme dela creme, the best movie of them all. I literally skipped out of the theater in joy when I first saw this-I was not that young, it was after finals-Freshman year. I love watching this movie alone, with friends, with my family, with David, it’s always, always, always a happy memory. Trying to figure out what to walk down the aisle to was one of the easiest wedding decisions-PM’s Love Theme-easy. It’s laughter, tears, music, sentiment, sarcasm, everything.

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Recently….

It’s only 7:45 but it feels like midnight! After relishing the extra hour and waking up to sunshine yesterday, I remembered the dark side of daylight savings (ha) when the sun went down in the afternoon. The only thing left to do was wrap up work, get home, get in sweats, and have breakfast for dinner.

Also, wanted to remember a few highlights from the last few weeks:

Celebrating these two beauties birthdays!

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Lauren and Heather turned 30 in September and last weekend we celebrated in Napa.

We checked out three wineries:

William Hill

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(My favorite-best wine and view)

Van de Heyden

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(very sweet, family run with an awesome view of a rainbow!)

And Black Stallion:

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(Huge and kind of over-the-top, but good wine and generous pours)

I’ve heard people say Napa is too ritzy and commercial and Sonoma is the perfect spot, but I really liked the three wineries we visited. My favorite part of the weekend was sitting in the hotel lobby in the evening during “tasting hour” and devouring creamy Brie cheese and crackers and laughing with Heather and Lauren. It was so cozy just sitting, catching up and swapping stories over yummy wine and cheese-nothing better than that.

It was such a simple trip-I couldn’t believe how easy it was to get there! Hope to return soon.

This weekend we stayed closer to home. On Friday night, Kim generously invited us to her apartment for Halloween. The shark made his annual appearance-Halloween is probably David’s favorite time of the year. I threw together a Christmas tree costume based on random ornaments and garland I found at Goowill at 4:00 that afternoon:

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It was a great time, and we certainly spent the next day being the Laziest People Ever. We turned the lazy weekend around yesterday, waking up bright and early to make the most of the day. It was a spectacularly clear, sunny day-perfect for an afternoon in Point Reyes. We had an early lunch at Cowgirl Creamery and made our way to Drakes Bay Beach:

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(Yes, that is a completely empty beach. Where was everyone on such a beautiful day?)

A lot of them were at the Lighthouse-our next stop after some beach reading. The livestock along the beach cliffs is awesome-cows! Goats! Deer! All enjoying the view.

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The lighthouse was impressive. I often forget California had quite a few historic monuments that go back more than a hundred years. It was fascinating to think about the lighthouse in the 1870s and read the lighthouse watcher’s log-it was kind of like an HR log-lots of personnel tension. Apparently, the wind can be crazy and the lighthouse is often trapped in fog, but it was crystal clear and incredible yesterday:

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Quick trip to Chicago

wrote this on the plane Thursday night-
I find consultants who travel weekly fascinating. A few years ago, David’s friend Andrew, then a consultant, stayed with him in Baltimore. He had two suitcases and that was life. He didn’t have an apartment. During the week, he flew somewhere new for work and on the weekends, he’d visit friends or fly to his parents house for laundry. I remember thinking it sounded terribly exciting-Austin this week! Then Denver! New York! Andrew said it was exhausting.

Still, I often wish I could do more work travel. Mostly because I know this is the time to do it-I have no obligations-and also because I actually like the theater of travel.

So, I jumped at the chance to go to a conference this week in Chicago. The conference was eye opening-I learned a lot. In DC I got to go to a lot of conferences and at times they seemed repetitive-a lot of the same info and people I saw regularly in DC. Since I’ve been away from that, I relished the novelty of the sessions and left energized by conversations with inspiring collagues.

Also-it was Chicago! The agenda was packed and there wasn’t time for sight-seeing, but I managed a few glimpses at the city. During a short break, I went for a run along the lake. I started out going north and when I turned around to head back, this was the view:

Stunning.

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The conference hosted a reception in the Gene Siskel Theater and seeing these two faces brought back happy memories. If I picture Sunday nights growing up, I see my mom ironing, managing piles of laundry, and watching Siskel and Ebert. Another reminder of how my incredible mom was always taking care of something.

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The walk back from the theater was beautiful. Those few blocks along Michigan Avenue between Ontario and Wacker just sparkle.

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For probably the first time in my adult life, I forgot to pack yoga pants, so I’m sitting on the plane in a stuffy suit dress and heals. Excited to get cozy and get home!

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Maggie’s Story

I heard something on the radio that a recent poll found that rising rates of inequality is the most alarming problem according to —. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch the poll sample. Most Americans? Most liberals? Most seniors?

For me, stressing about inequality absolutely keeps me up at night. It’s scary to think about long-term economic impact if current trends continue. On a more immediate level, I worry about rising poverty, particularly for seniors. Hunger and homelessness is increasing. By a lot. Senior homelessness will increase by 100% in 2050. But no one talks about this.

Last week, I was fortunate to meet a group of people who are talking. Solano County is way ahead of the country in addressing senior poverty. The county Board of Supervisors commissioned a task force dedicated to this issue alone. At an event last week, the task force released their recommendations for immediate action to alleviate the impact of poverty.

In presenting one set of recommendations, a poised senior volunteer spoke to the group. After being introduced as Margret, she laughed and told a story that growing up, upon learning that she shared her name with a young princess of England, she vowed never to go by Margaret again, and everyone knows her as Maggie.

She went on to present the task force’s recommendations on utilizing volunteers. Then she shared, “this matters. It matters to seniors like me. I’m a poor senior.” Maggie is an impressive speaker, and with that statement, the room listened with rapt attention. She continued to explain that volunteering provides seniors with a sense of self-worth, particularly important when poverty robs them of their self-esteem.

Maggie explained that she never thought she would be a poor senior. She hates the guilt she feels when she borrows money from her 89 year old mother for a plane ticket to visit her in a nursing home. She feels equally guilty that she needs her daughter to pay for her gas when she visits her in LA.

Maggie is unique in her grace and bravery in telling her story. But her story is far too common. One in five senior women living alone lives in poverty. They live on less than $12,000 a year. As a recent Bay Area transplant, I honestly cannot wrap my mind around how a senior woman, with high out-of-pocket medical expenses, can possibly live a life with basic necessities on $12,000 a year.

A few weeks ago, four other brave women from Solano County opened up about the reality of growing old and poor in America: http://vimeo.com/m/109467513. They are courageous and honest and their story deserves to be heard.

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30!

Yesterday was David’s 30th birthday!

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This made me laugh-he looks like a kid showing off a prize :). We had a great weekend celebrating. When I asked David what he wanted to do for his birthday, he said: go to Dallas for the UCLA game. And dinner Chez Panise (he was reading Dan Barber’s The
Third Plate). So that’s what we did!

One of my favorite parts of Chez Panise was the seating. We were in the cafe, and the tables for two were set up so you sat next to your date-booth, corner, chair. It meant everyone looked out at the warm, wood paneled, craftsmen room, in the coziest way possible. The food was really nice-just good, thoughtful and simple flavors. It was our first fancy dinner out in a while and it was wonderful.

On Saturday, we had friends over for UCLA house-gating brunch. David made a breakfast burrito bar, I made Bloody Mary’s (and no one drank them! Quite the mimosa loyal group) and it was just fun to host in our apartment. The game was….a classic 2014 UCLA game. We won, but it wasn’t pretty and it was HOT. I had heat flashbacks to the Rose Bowl-2:00 p.m., sun baking, cursing myself for wearing jeans. But it was great to see so many good friends and the Cal Band did a medley of boy band songs, so all in all, a good time.

Saturday night we realized we didn’t have any plans on Sunday. The whole day ahead of us! David wanted to check out Angel Island, so Sunday morning we woke up and went straight to Jack London for the 9:00 am ferry. I hadn’t researched Angel Island at all and didn’t know what to expect. Holy smokes. This place was UNREAL.

Basically, after an hour ferry ride, we arrived in the Riveria. That’s what this felt like. We hiked the island, admired the INCREDIBLE views, and soaked up the sun. I was already blown away by the island’s beauty when we got to the beach. There was a band playing music that Adri once described as Amelie music, and they had Chardonnay, and we sat in the sun looking at the water and the boats, and I could not get over it. It was just amazing. I always got annoyed at smug proclamations from Northern Californians that no where in the world compares, but after Angel Island….I think I get it.

I flew to Chicago for work Tuesday, and though we didn’t celebrate the actual day together, I think the weekend was an awesome way to ring in 30!

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Views of the city from to the top of the island

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The Riveria. In the Bay.

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SF from the ferry

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Sister weekend plus ones!

started this Monday night, finally getting around to posting-

Writing this on the plane, feeling emotional and sentimental after a weekend in Chicago with Janou and Katie.

This spring, when thinking about a MOH gift to Janou, a sister-weekend seemed like the obvious choice. I knew that having a plan to see each other for a fun weekend in the fall would help make the moving transition much easier. After moving, I was also missing Katie a lot and asked if she would join-I’m so happy she agreed!

So, Saturday morning, with Travel&Leisure’s Dream Trips issue and a fancy water bottle in my bag, I boarded the first flight out of Oakland for a sister fall weekend in CHICAGO!

After three days of eating, shopping, a bit of sightseeing and mostly a lot of talking, I’m back on the plan home, after a tearful goodbye at the airport. The trip was simple and restorative-we took it easy and just enjoyed each other’s company. Being with the two of them made me miss them SO MUCH. I thought that the older I got/more I moved, the easier it would be to live far away from close friends. I’m realizing it’s never easy. It just makes me that much more thankful that they made the effort to be here this weekend (and the MAJOR effort to deal with a nightmarish situation at Midway….when I left they were waiting for their plan with an anticipated 4 hour delay).

But, enough sentimentality! I want to remember the fun of this weekend, so here are a few highlights:

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Dressing up for dinner the first night at Little Goat

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Capping off the evening at a champagne bar, dripping with candles

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Sister weekend plus ones! It was great hanging out with Janou’s sweet friend Nicole

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And ending the night snuggled on the couch with pizza and Friends :)

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Shopping and exploring Downtown on a perfectly clear Sunday

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Taking an obligatory bean pic

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Dressing up again for dinner at RPM Italian-DELICIOUS!

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Tea and cake at the top of the Hancock Building in the Signature Lounge

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Walking through Lincoln Park

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After I said goodbye, I checked out my fortune cookie-perfect and true advice!

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Brunch + 3 stages of life

Heather recently turned 30 and last week, her fiancĂ© thoughtfully planned a brunch in SF to celebrate. We sat on the restaurant patio at a long, wooden table, against a pretty ivy wall, and toasted our mimosas to celebrate Heather. As I looked around the patio, I realized we were smack in the middle of a living diorama of our early adult years. The patio hosted three private parties: Heather’s 30th in the middle, sandwiched between a mid-20s birthday party and a 30-something baby shower.

It was hilarious trying to eavesdrop on the other conversations and realize how painfully but sweetly stereotypical each celebration was. At the late twenties birthday party behind us, the birthday girl beamed in her tiara, while her girl friends jockeyed for attention from the few guys by trying to shock them with scandalous hypotheticals during their never-have-I-ever mimosa drinking game.

At our table, the conversation centered on relationships and real estate. The relationship talk centered on wedding plans and recent honeymoons, and online dating horror stories and victories. Peppered in mix were shared grumblings of the rising cost of living in the East Bay, stories of friends who moved away “and bought an estate for the same price as our condo,” and questions of how to maintain the excitement and joy of living in the city, despite its high cost.

I couldn’t quite catch the conversation at the baby shower behind us (I was closer to the bedazzled birthday party) but David reported the group mostly seemed to complain about the heat (it was pretty toasty that weekend). They did appear pretty miserable, which made me sad, because they clearly put a lot of effort into the party. Their corner of the the patio was adorned with Pinterst-inspired blue bunting, blue ballons, blue rocket-ship cupcakes, blue and white chevron straws. (It’s a boy!). They eventually moved to a cooler corner.

It was a delight to celebrate Heather and check out a new brunch place, but also incredibly amusing to notice three little life stages we all represented that afternoon.

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