I just came back from spending six days with my daughter, Zoe, in San Francisco.  One of my favorite tools from Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts is to talk about “favorite frames/moments” of an experience, so that’s what I will do:

– Arriving in San Francisco airport and trying to find Zoe, while we both talked on our phones and then turned around and saw her and we both cracked up
– The greatest first hug
– Walking around the city with Zoe and talking, talking, about everything and everyone
-Going to the movies (one of our favorite pastimes.  We saw “50/50” – which we both loved)
-Surviving Fleet Week and the Blue Angels as their fighter jets swooped down over the city practically giving us heart attacks – especially when we were in a cab and the driver screamed
-Wandering through the Western Addition and finding Hayes Valley, which felt like an oasis with a big park filled with parents and their kids
-Watching Zoe’s delight upon entering Isotope, a terrific comic book store
-Walking into a beautiful charcuterie a few doors down from Isotope and discovering one of Zoe’s former co-workers, Nathan, behind the counter
-Going to Alanon meetings in San Francisco and meeting so many lovely people
-Meeting Wayne, a high school friend, who showed me around the Castro (we saw Harvey Milk’s old photography store and Delores Park, as well as the Castro Theater)
-Having a fantastic lunch with Eric, the person who hired me to work at the Corcoran Group and a total sweetheart.  He moved out to San Francisco for his partner’s new job and is adjusting to moving back home, after enjoying life in NYC
-Visiting It’s A Grind with and without Zoe
-Great meals with Zoe at her favorite restaurants and more walking
-The Nook, a great place for reading and drinking coffee
-Hanging out with Zoe’s roommates and Ian and Natalia
-Sleeping in the same bed the morning I left because the couch was finally just too uncomfortable
-A long goodbye hug
-Driving to the airport and seeing some beautiful scenery on the way – remembering what I do love about California, nature, the hills, the sky, the ocean

It was a more challenging trip this time, since last year I went with my friend Karen and Christian was also there.  But this time I really made the effort to get to know the city better, to meet people and to spend more time on my own, as well as with Zoe.  It was fantastic.  It was a delight.  I miss Zoe but I am so proud of the life she’s made there.  When I moved out to Los Angeles in my early 20’s I felt so lonely.  Zoe seems to have adjusted well and created a wonderful community.

It was hard being away from New York while Occupy Wall Street continues to grow and San Francisco’s efforts to find a place to camp have been prevented by the mayor, but it was a wonderful visit and I look forward to seeing Zoe again soon. And now I can go back to marching and it feels great to be home.

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