Yesterday on the way home from picking up our daughter, Valerie, at the Oakland Airport for her spring break week at home, Steve had an inspiration. Valerie had taken a very early morning flight so it was only 8:30 am on Saturday. Instead of making a beeline for our condo in Cotati and the chores that awaited us there or just stopping at a Starbucks off the freeway for a snack, why don’t we have more of a vacation frame of mind and come home through San Francisco – we could enjoy the beautiful morning and have coffee in North Beach.
I’m about as spontaneous as a rock but when everyone else in the car thought that was a great idea, I put aside the to-do list that was waiting for me at home, and my Debbie-downer attitude of “we’ll never find a place to park” attitude and “if I had known we were going to end up in SF I would have worn my cute skinny jeans tucked into my fashionable boots and not crappy running shoes and the jeans that I wear to clean the bathrooms.”
We enjoyed the spectacular view coming across the Bay Bridge and found that amazingly, if you do arrive early enough in the city there actually are parking places available on the street even on upper Grant Ave even if it costs $2 an hour with a maximum of four hours. That’s a lot of quarters. But after digging to the bottom of my purse and Steve looking under the seats, we came up with enough change to buy us an hour-and-a-half; certainly enough to locate a good spot for coffee and snacks.
Café Trieste was too crowded so we headed up Columbus Avenue and happened upon Café Puccini. It was busy but not packed and the aroma of lattes and waffles drew us in. We found a table for the four of us, placed our order and congratulated ourselves on finding the ideal spot.
On the way home, we commented about what a good time we had and that we should take a minute to really savor it; our daughters even teased us that Steve and I were sounding very sentimental about a moment that wasn’t really even in the past yet. I don’t mind; it was the kind of blessed morning that refueled me for whatever the upcoming week may hold. What a sweet memory.