Continuation from First Reunion!
Less than a month after our west coast visit to see our daughter and her family, we were winging it out to the west coast again on just our second flight in over 16 months, this time to visit our son and his family in San Francisco. Having had our first flying experience on that Seattle trip, I was much more prepared for the changes in air travel during a pandemic.
Based on that first flight, I knew we needed to get to the airport earlier for this flight and I also knew I would be wearing a mask pretty much all day, so while in the airport, I still wore an N-95 mask but once on the plane, I switched to a much more comfortable mask and sanitized my hands once I had made the switch.
On the flight from our connecting city to our final destination, I glanced out the window as we made our decent and realized for the first time in so many of my trips to SFO that we were making the approach from the north, affording me a bird’s eye view of the city and iconic bridge that I love so well.
After deplaning and heading to our hotel, we knew our son and daughter-in-law were busy working from home so, my wife and I made it over to a new brewpub we had never been to for an end-of-travel-day celebration.
Once they were finished working, we hopped over to their home for a short visit before heading out to pick up our granddaughter and grandson from after school/day care.
The kids were only told that someone was coming to visit so when they bounded out the door to see Mimi and Granddaddy standing by their car, they were most excited since it had been over 18 months since we had been able to give them a hug.
That night, after getting the kids dinner ready, my son and I walked over to a bar to eat and watch an NBA playoff game. For me, it was my first time to be indoors at a bar since March of 2020. It was an exciting game, and we had a great visit there.
The next morning, before hopping back over to their house, my wife and I stopped off at a great coffee shop we always like to visit.
Once there, I had one project to do for my son—taking down a bookcase that I had assembled and bolted to the wall on a previous visit when they first moved in. But now, within weeks of our visit, they would be moving to a new home.
With that project complete and having helped its new owner load it into the back of their car, we went out to dinner at a wood-fired pizza restaurant right next to the railroad track. It was a double celebration, their 10th wedding anniversary and my birthday which also coincided with the 10thanniversary of their rehearsal dinner.
The next day, before our son and daughter-in-law headed off on their weekend trip to celebrate their wedding anniversary, we got to follow along with our son as he did the final walk-through at their new house.
It is a gem of a home built in 1925 with lots of character and potential. While our son talked to the realtor about last minutes closing details, I was able to thumb through a notebook that the long-term owner had left out that held pictures of the house taken in different eras over its almost century in existence. It was interesting to see the changes in the house and the different foliage employed over the years. Of particular interest was a brief synopsis of the families that had lived there which included a short-term rental by none other than movie star Clark Gable.
That afternoon we had our granddaughter to ourselves to enjoy many adventures to the park and ice cream parlor before picking up her little brother from daycare. That night at dinner, I got a chance to enjoy a treat I had been waiting over 18 months to eat—a huge Mission-style burrito from a walk-up restaurant that claims to have invented them. Delicious!
Over the weekend while their parents were enjoying their getaway, we had a great time with our two grandkids in a number of different activities including: taking them to a birthday party at a local park, taking long walks with them while they biked or scootered, building the Lego kits we brought them as presents, and playing at another nice park within walking distance of their home.
By the time their parents got back home on Sunday, we were all fairly worn out from the big fun we had had. Before heading off to our hotel for the night and our flight back home the next day, we had a nice informal dinner complimented with some of the wine they had brought back from their trip. When it was time to say goodbye, as usual, it was hard.
But having weathered the worst of the pandemic, we at least knew it wasn’t going to be another 18 months before we would see them again. In fact, it might just be a couple of months as we have a long road trip, we need to take to deliver a very special birthday gift to our granddaughter.