Sometimes, you just need a little mother daughter time.
And when you are hitting a milestone like turning 40, mother daughter time climbs to the top of the list. It was definitely near the top of mine. Fortunately, I had the perfect excuse to whisk Mom away for a weekend of living in San Francisco.
You see, my cousin Shauneen recently launched a new organic tea company, Far Out Flying Saucer Teas. In the spirit of doing "what I want, when I want, and I will pay for the fun when I am 41" I thought it would be super fun to surprise Shauneen by showing up at her official launch party in San Fran. Which led me to calling Mom, who signed on immediately.
Little did I know that we would get two weeks notice of the launch party. Lickety-split, plane tickets were bought and we were standing in Union Square in front of the historic Westin St. Francis, our home for the next three nights.
The next morning we explored. We walked through Chinatown, talked while climbing to Coit Tower, walked down Filberg Street, talked to chatty strangers, until finally we caught a cable car through Russian Hill (one of the "Original Seven" of 44 hills) back to Market Street, where we bumped into the St. Patrick's Day Festival and Parade. One of the great things about walking and talking down Market Street in the opposite direction as the parade is moving is that you see the highland dancers, firetrucks, marching bands and green-clad revelers twice as fast. Twice as nice. Whoooosh.
Next - tea time! The official Far Out Flying Saucer launch party was, well... quite literally a tea party. For some reason I thought media, crowds and fireworks!! Alas, when we showed up I realized it was a quiet, private gathering for 30 or so family friends. Albeit the function was held in a captivating contemporary home with floor to ceiling window and awe-inspiring views (um, hello.... can I stay here forever???) and the tea tasting and food offering was impressive enough to rival the Fairmont Empress Hotel's $51 afternoon tea service. Ornate china tea cups, fancy crustless salmon sandwiches, and very, very respectful conversation with very, very respectable company. Heck, even caviar was served.
Afternoon tea was followed by an evening of Thai, accompanied by a few glasses of wine and I must admit, it felt so great to be devouring good food, engaging in interesting conversations with interesting people, making new friends ("you know, you just have to stay with us when you get to Victoria...."), slightly tipsy, living minute by minute, feeling like a jet setter! Then whoooosh..... into the car, surrounded by black leather, over the bridge, warm air through my hair, door to door drop off at our swanky hotel courtesy of my uncle and voila! We are living the party life!
Ah...... mother daughter time is sooo good!
On Saturday, we were picked up by my aunt and uncle and whisked to a funky cafe for breakfast before being toured through Golden Gate park. Then, whooooosh... kisses and hugs and they were off up the coast while we lingered in the AIDS Memorial Grove for a thoughtful moment before heading towards Haight Street.
Backtrack. When I was 13, I really, really, really wanted to get my ears pierced. I begged, I pleaded. Finally, at the age of 16 I was granted permission and off I went with Mom to Merle Norman. Ironically, over the years, wearing earrings became a bit of a chore (especially those dangly beaded ones that caught on frickin' everything and let's not even talk about the kids yanking on those silver hoops) and my holes kinda grew over. But... that all changed when mom and I were walking and talking into hippy history and proceeded to walk impromptu into a painted red tattoo parlor on Haight Street to get my ears re-pierced. This place was more tattoos, nose rings, body piercings and dermal punch than Merle Norman 80's sea green eyeshadow (which, by the way, is sooo back in style, according to their website) but $24 bucks and a few minutes later, voila, I am 16 again with pretty stainless steel hoops through my lobes!!
(And no, I wasn't even tempted to get a tattoo... perhaps at 50.)
I think you are getting the point about the trip. Whiz bang, here. Whoosh, voila, there! Pasta, pesto, eggs and toast, Pinot Gris, slow down art in the park, DSW, Macy's, hustle through H&M, Sephora, whoooaaaaa deeep conversations with my cousin, *blink* quiet reading in our hotel room, taxi here, drop in there, coffee in the lounge, walk and talk and then pack her up, check out, load em in, check in and......... wait, wait, wait to head home via SFO.
Whew....... how can you pack so much goodness into one little bitty caviar-sized weekend away? Like 40 distinct and memorable experiences into 40 waking hours in Wonderland.
Thanks Mom. That was just what I needed. A perfect weekend to tick off on my Turning 40 to do list. Let's not wait so many years before we... whoooosh.... take off together again. And yes, thanks for everything in the last four decades.