I could never figure out where I had heard the name Sausalito before moving out to California.
It’s a cookie. A Pepperidge Farm cookie.
Sausalito the city is so much more memorable than the prepackaged product with which it shares its name.
Dave and I have ridden bikes through the area, and we have also taken the ferry there with my girlfriends. On my Mom’s last day of her visit, we decided to drive there to do a little exploration before a very important lunch-date.
Sausalito is beautiful. Truly beautiful. The main downtown street is along the water, which provides views the San Francisco city skyline across the blue Bay water. There are boats and ferries and yachts coming in and out of the harbor and a cute seaside feel. The homes are breathtaking. My Mom, Dave and I were looking up at the balconies of the seaside homes on the mountainside thinking: Wonder if those people eat a sunset dinner on their porches every single night just because they can? Probably not. The people in those homes are probably regular people just like you and me.
My Mom was in love with the little antique shops, boutiques and cafés lining the main street of Sausalito. She bought a few souvenirs and even a pretty rose necklace to commemorate her visit.
After an hour of exploring (slightly disturbed by the annual “Fill the Boot” campaign by the local fire department which was loud, obnoxious and a bit of a spoiler to the sunny setting), we walked to the waterfront restaurant The Spinnaker.
We had reservations for six at noon to meet my long-lost cousin Karen, her husband John, and her 13-year old son Moji. I don’t talk about my side of extended relatives much, because there are only a few of them. Although my two aunts live in Florida and came to my wedding last year, we don’t keep in touch as much as we should. My cousin Karen has been living in California for more than ten years and we hadn’t seen her in all that time. However, once I moved out here, it was time to reconnect. Karen and her family live in Mendocino County, about three hours away from San Francisco. They decided to make the drive to meet us for lunch so they could see my Mom during her West Coast visit.
My Mom, Dave and I got to the restaurant first and awaited the others. (Completely recommend this spot by the way: it had great seafood, an amazing setting with a dining room surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows so you can see the waterfront, nice white tablecloths and good service.) Once they arrived, we greeted each other with hugs and got right down to catching up on years lost. It was pretty nice to break bread with family members all the way across the country. Karen is just as I remembered, easy to talk to, chatty and fun. I know my Mom was overly joyed with seeing her and talking about life. My Grandma passed away more than five years ago, and we know that she was looking down on us on Sunday with a huge smile on her face knowing we were all together.
I hope to see Karen and company again soon. Perhaps a three-hour drive out to explore Mendocino County is next on our list of adventures.
After lunch, which just so happened to conclude with some awesome cheesecake and bread pudding, we headed back to the city so Dave could get going to the Golden State Warriors playoff game that night.
Although my Mom and I were supposed to go to the game, we decided to spend our last night together doing some more mother/daughter activities. We went to the grocery store, we made a meal in the crock-pot for Dave and me to eat all week, and then we went to The Cheesecake Factory for drinks, appetizers and far too much cheesecake (yes, this day included two meals ending with cheesecake, which I like to refer to as “vacation eating”).
Every activity and every well-planned day during her trip was fun, memorable and special. Yet, there was something about the last day that was different. Instead of being sad that she had to leave the next day, and once again we would be across time zones and living extremely far away, we decided to enjoy our time together down to the last minute. We realized that during our lives right now we are far apart, but we are also closer than ever. My Mom has been a shoulder to lean on when it has been hard for me to be living in a new place. Even though she wishes I still lived in Florida, she is over-the-moon supportive of Dave and my choice to try something new in San Francisco. So for now, our lives will feature well-planned itineraries, vacations, lazy holiday visits and FaceTime chat sessions.
In the morning, I drove my Mom to the airport and sent her on her way. I was proud I made it there with no problems. Looks like I am getting better at navigating the freeways of California.
Thanks for visiting Mom. It was a heckuva trip.