Tara offered to come down my way or meet half way but I haven't seen their new house and I know it's more difficult to move around with a child. I made the drive up there and remembered how I used to spontaneously drive up to her house from Pacheco, CA when I was having a bad day, that one Halloween clubbing downtown and even coming out there for my first country bar when I was dating my Marine. Good times. I was happy to make the drive to make more memories with her.
I found their new house and it was a different side of town than where they usually are. Streets were quiet, parks were aplenty and it was warm, as Davis often gets. Tara came to meet me at my car and it was so good to see her. I stepped in their home and found that my baby niece Emma is nothing but a baby! She was tall, formed perfect sentences and had style! I was shown around the house and found that a crib has been replaced by an actual big girl bed, her Belle princess gown was hanging nearby for a transformation at any moment and that Emma is now the owner of her mother's Stella & Dot jewelry frame for her own possessions. Style.
We sat at the dining table to catch up for a bit. Gizmo, their shih tzu, has gotten much older but still a fan of Bernie! He let me pick him up and he got some love and attention from me. We chatted about the crazy costs of homes in the area, their schedule and them trying for Baby #2. Emma declares she wants a baby sister so there are more girls in the house than boys. Majority rules, doesn't it? While we caught up, Emma was drawing me a picture. When she was finished, she came around the table to show me. We had curls in her hair. I was in a grey dress, she was in pink. Quite accurate. We were having a picnic, a butterfly made an appearance and a shooting star was above us. I will treasure it forever.
We then decided on food. It was a beautiful day and I wanted to see how much Davis has changed. I suggested we sit outside and I remember a spot where we would sit next to a fire pit and talk, pre-mommy time. Bistro 33 was still in business. Despite their service, the food was still good, according to Tara. Emma got ready after some contemplation on what to wear and we were in the car headed for brunch.
By choice, Emma held my hand all the way to the restaurant. Oh, the little things that just make me love this little girl more and more. We sat outside under an umbrella but were sat without a whole set of menus. We had to ask someone's waiter for some assistance. Ah, Tara, I see what you're saying. Shocker, I was the only one drinking. I had the Lime in De Coconut with Hendrick's Gin, orgeat syrup, fresh lime juice, coconut water and Coco Lopez. Kenny, Tara's husband, said that there isn't much alcohol in their drinks. He was right. They know this town inside and out. The drink wasn't bad. It was refreshing on a warm day.
I had the Croque Monsieur with smoked ham, Swiss cheese, sourdough bread, requested over medium eggs on top and a side salad. My darling niece that was sitting next to me was coloring her sheet and ordered the pancakes with bacon on the side. What a wonderful idea. I did too!
Oh, there was so much to fill each other in on! Travel, work, next steps and a new boyfriend for me. Job, moving, Emma and the plans to expand their family for her. My goodness. We are living completely different lives and different paths but that doesn't make it hard at all to remain as good of friends over these many years.
I ate my entire salad, one half of the croque entirely but just the insides on the other half. My bacon was gone and when Emma was finished her with her pancakes, Auntie Bernie finished them. I can't remember the last time I had pancakes. And so worth not eating the bread to make room for pancakes!
Emma was the one to make the decision on where to head to next. Were we going to get ice cream at Baskin Robbins or Sweet and Shavery that serves Italian ice, frozen custard and crepes. Emma chose ice cream. The girls headed that way as Kenny checked out a record store where they gave additional discounts on sales made on Sundays. Tara gifted him a record player and he has been collecting records since! How very cool.
Baskin Robbins has their 31 flavors, cakes, cake pies, frozen beverages and more. Emma went for a sprinkled sugar cone with a purple and pink flavor, which went perfectly with her outfit, Cotton Candy. But like the bacon, I followed in her footsteps and got the same cone with their Icing on the Cake flavor. I was hoping it was like Cold Stone Creamery's Cake Batter ice cream. It was definitely different. We sat outside, chatted about making plans to go to the SF and Oakland Zoo with Christy, my Maid of Honor, and the kids, how they were going to stay low key this year and basically prepare for being pregnant. I enjoyed how Emma continued to be sweet and loving with me as we at our similar ice cream cones side-by-side.
Emma was ready to go home but I wasn't ready to head back too early. We ended up watching Moana with freshly popped pop corn. I love Hawaii and they pointed out that this was one of the first Disney films where the Princess didn't have a love interest. Well done, Disney.
When the movie was over, Emma asked if we could watch a Barbie movie next. The adults laughed a little and I had to tell Emma I had to head home but that I would love to see her again soon. She understood. I said my goodbyes to Gizmo and they walked me out to my car where several hugs were exchanged. I do hope another year doesn't pass before we see each other again.
Home, I went.