My recent and quick trip to the Bay area was so worthwhile; not only did I get to dust off a jacket and the trusty suitcase, but the conference was fascinating. Say it with me — Praise GOD for the interesting conference! How many have you been to where you itch for your desk because the material is so dry? In contrast, these few days provided folk so knowledgeable and passionate about public health, I wanted to soak up as much as I could get.
The icing on the cake was the time I had to spend with friends between sessions.
Finny and her hubby “Bubba” are two of my favorite people. We have the sweet sort of friendship that we pick up just where we left off, checking up on families, jobs, hobbies and there not being an ounce of guilt that there were missed milestones between. Bubba, Fin and I worked together in college running the school newspaper. We spent more hours together than apart during those few years, and seeing each other in moments of sheer exhaustion and on brief waves of AP Style highs has left us forever bound (punctuated?). There are others in this group, scattered across the United States, running photo companies, working for small town papers and giant city rags. I am so very glad by happenstance I ended up in the newsroom one day, working for Bubba and splitting countless tamale combo platters with Finny.
Our dinner last week was too short. In a blink we were headed opposite directions once again but I felt more fulfilled. It’s a hard feeling to describe — that sense of contentment after spending time so appropriately, knowing you’re richer for having these wonderful people in your life and that your friendship is truly something as rare as a correctly spelled Lumberjack headline.
(Also, the way we are posed, it looks like their new foreign exchange student just arrived and they are posing with her for the family photo to be sent home. Si?)
This was as close as I got to the queen of the city, the Golden Gate. Look closely, Waldo, and you’ll find her.
And Union Square, oh, how I dream of you. Not for the shopping — although let’s be honest, being there while Macy’s was having their flower show was a true delight — but for the people, culture and oddity that is San Francisco. So many happy people were draped across the sunlight like house cats enjoying their lunch hours and purring at the enchanting spring weather. The cherry trees were in full bloom too, with bursts of white and the softest of pink.
The fashion in this city is lovely too. I forget how strange Arizona is when it comes to the fashion “norm” until I travel to a larger city. It was fun to see such individuality expressed.
And one last gratuitous food photo — this bison blue cheese burger from Burger Bar was split with the very sweet Ms. Katy. Yet another charming blogger meet up among girls who’ve chatted online for years. (Katy reminds me a lot of Zarah, who I had the pleasure of meeting last year.) Kind, quiet, triathlete, incredibly creative, seamstress, an eye for color and fashion — I’d be begging her for sewing lessons if we lived in the same city. Again, their friendships are another affirmation there are folks that love X, Y, and Z just like me!
It was a wonderful, while all too brief, getaway and a great reminder of the value of friendship — new and old.