I asked, "Do you want to go to college in California or do you want to visit the west coast?" When Gemma admitted to the latter, I promised to take her there after she was accepted to college. So last month we flew to San Francisco for one last mother-daughter vacation before she starts Middlebury College in February.
|At Half Moon Bay, CA with my daughter and my friend's dog. Photo by Martha Enthoven Stid, our host in Menlo Park.|
WWOOF). We'd reunited for Christmas in the UK with my husband's family.
After wet England, we were ready for some Californian sunshine, but somehow we brought the rain with us, nearly ending their drought! Luckily the Muir redwoods were just as lovely in a misty drizzle. We spent our first day hiking with my daughter's friend from Chewonki Semester School, whose family hosted us in San Francisco.
As the sun broke through the clouds, we hiked from Muir Beach Overlook down to Muir Beach and had a tasty pub style lunch at The Pelican Inn (his family is half British too). That's a real pelican in my opening shot. Muir Beach and the pub are on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge and up the bay.
Double jet-lagged from England, I fell into the teen timezone, staying up past midnight and sleeping late.
|My Snap Chat debut via Gemma.|
My daughter revived my inner teen, suggesting we try on designer dresses at BCBG just for fun, imagining life on the red carpet. Then we rummaged through the sale racks for clothes we would wear in the real world. Stepping out of the changing rooms in our favorite dresses, we had an hilarious surprise. When Gemma leaves for college, I'll miss her laughter. It was hard enough saying goodbye to our friends in California.
When I last saw Miriam, we were at M.I.T. graduate school studying politics. There were only four women in our year so we bonded tightly. She was a fabulous cook and taught me how to make Oyakodon, a Japanese dish I still enjoy with my family. In San Francisco she treated me to excellent dim sum at Hong Kong Lounge. We reconnected like no time had passed and could have chatted for hours.
Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Braying sea lions and Pacific waves breaking under our cantilevered hotel lulled us to sleep. I woke early to watch the sea otters fishing in the surf while Gemma slept in. I wasn't quick enough to photograph a pod of dolphins leaping past the pier so I phoned my daughter. She stepped out on the balcony in time to see them.
With borrowed binoculars we watched hundreds more dolphins from the shore path, passing like a parade at sunset. We reminisced about the past and discussed her plans for the future: Philosophy, Studio Arts, Psychology, Music?
Today my son and I are helping Gemma move into her dorm. I'm so lucky to have two marvelous children, and Middlebury is a wonderful school. Still, it's hard to let go.
I will cherish these memories...
My daughter at Half Moon Bay, California.