As we made our way across the Bay Bridge and into San Francisco on Saturday afternoon, our primary concern was, "Where in the heck are we going to find parking with this U-Haul trailer hooked up to the back?" Lack of parking is one of the leading causes of stress and rage in this tightly packed city.
Fortunately, we quickly found a parking garage at UCSF just a couple of blocks from where we were scheduled to meet up with friends for a little picnic in Golden Gate Park.
Here we got to kick back and catch up with Taro and Lyn, Cory and Jenny, Jeff and Jenn, and Jubilee. Carley also got to catch up with her Peace Corps friend Emmanuelle and her partner Roseanne but she forgot to snap a photo before they took off. It was so awesome to be back here with so many friends at once, just like the good old days!
Rowan and Kina enjoyed running around in the grass...
...and we enjoyed some good picnic food - berries, hummus, goat cheese, etc. Everyone commented on how long it had been since such a great get-together, as people's lives have gone in various different directions since we saw them last.
And yes, despite the fact that it was the middle of summer, it was chilly enough to wear pullovers and light jackets during the afternoon. As Mark Twain supposedly once said, "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." (Actually Twain likely never said that, it's just an urban legend, and no one really knows who came up with this saying...but it's certainly understandable!)
Rowan's not quite ready for hooping yet - but playing with Taro is just as fun!
This area of Golden Gate Park is known as Hippie Hill, and every weekend you can guarantee that there will be drummers out here pounding out the never-ending rhythms all afternoon.
Of course, Rowan is already a little hippie!
As the afternoon wound down, we said our goodbyes and made our way across town to...
...Allan's house! Big thanks to Allan (center) and Bernadette (right) for putting us up for the night!
Also big thanks to Allan and Bernadette for hosting an evening get together so that we could catch up with more of our friends that we hadn't seen yet! Despite the lack of good photos from this gathering, we had an awesome time hanging out with Greg and Ellen, Tyler and Beth, Taro and Lyn, Jubilee, Chappy, Lexy and Larry! It was so nice to feel all the Bay Area love. Again, the prevailing attitude seemed to be, "We should do this more often!"
All too quickly, this gathering too came to an end, as people headed out for various Saturday night activities. However, the evening wasn't done...a little later, Rob's long-time buddy Chris Zanardi stopped by with his girlfriend Megan. It was great hearing about all the recent success Chris has had with his band Five Eyed Hand, including several prominent slots at High Sierra Music Festival where they were brought back for an encore by an adoring audience!
Five Eyed Hand is an improvisational band that plays mostly psychedelic rock with talented and tasteful musicianship and a strong foundation in jazz, and Chris is the guitarist and a principal songwriter. In the photo above, renowned virtuoso guitarist Fareed Haque sat in with Five Eyed Hand and took great interest in Chris's playing. How great would it have been to attend this show!
Also in Five Eyed Hand is Mikey Henderson on mandolin and fiddle, whom we visited with Laurel and Quinn a few days earlier in San Jose.
Since we didn't get to see Five Eyed Hand play while we were in town, these last 2 photos are without permission from yet another website.
And since we didn't remember to take any photos during Chris and Megan's visit, here is another "blast from the past" photo of Chris and Megan from our San Francisco Wedding Party in October 2005.
Thanks again, Allan!
After leaving Allan's on Sunday morning, we met up with Carley's always-delightful college friend Brettany for breakfast. It was great catching up with her just as she was packing up to move down to Los Angeles to start her Master's in urban planning at USC - just in time!
So this was to be our final day in the Bay Area before we took care of the storage shed and headed home. Where better to spend Sunday afternoon but back in Oakland?
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