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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