It seems like just yesterday I was lamenting our impending departure, feeling torn about choosing between the possibilities that are in our future. Somehow in the past 48 hours, I have come to terms with the fact that I while I am not thrilled by having to make tough choices, we need to move forward with our original plans. I may never be 100% sure, but after a brief reunion we had today, I remembered that all is not lost by moving forward, as there are always future opportunities.
A friend from Iceland, who worked at the Embassy with Peter, (I will call her "Mary") came to visit San Francisco this weekend. She was in town to see The Little Mermaid performed by the San Francisco Ballet, and was able to carve out a generous amount of time to spend with us today. Having not seen her in almost two years (Nicholas was not even 4 months when we left Iceland), we were thrilled to be able to catch up in the city. Kelsey had been aching to visit San Francisco as a pre-birthday treat, and we could not miss the chance for the girls to entertain Mary with hours of pre-teen bickering.
One might say, "Oh, it wasn't that bad." Oh, yes, it was. They insisted on displaying their sisterly love, and bickered through a good portion of the morning. Sigh. Nothing like showing off your maturing, growing, hair-pulling, and name-calling sweethearts. Where did I go wrong again? We pushed through though, and realized perhaps the ole blood sugar might be a bit low, and that a bit of lunch might be in order.
No, we did not end up at the vegetarian restaurant, but thought the menu (given the name of the establishment) to be immensely amusing. We let Kelsey choose the place du jour, and, yes, Nan-King is now officially an old haunt. The girls were separated, Mary and I caught up for a good hour, and Peter and Nicholas had nice father and son quality time. After lunch, we thought a few minutes at the park might release a bit of energy, and this appeared to be the magic that reignited the real sisterly love. The girls ran around, played with their brother, watched endless games of Chinese checkers, and enjoyed the unique decorations of this playground in Chinatown. Nothing like pagodas and cherry blossoms in a park surrounded by hotels, apartments, restaurants, and many gray concrete buildings to feel as though you are in an oasis of sorts.
Given that Mary had the ballet (no, I didn't repeat that because I am jealous...okay, it looks amazing!), and we had to get back for Kelsey to participate in her troop's cookie sale (it's almost over...), we had to skip Crissy Field (Kelsey's last request for the afternoon), and nosh on ice cream at Ghirardelli Square instead. Nicholas chose this area to have his pre-nap breakdown, though the free chocolates being handed out calmed him down a tiny bit (until the sugar kicked in).
Our final event was a ride down Lombard Street (Kelsey's favorite), which helped Nicholas conk out completely, and then we had to bid Mary adieu (or bless, bless as it should be) and return to our corner of the East Bay. It's hard to believe it has been almost two years since we last said good-bye at the Embassy, and yet after 5 minutes, it seemed that no time had passed at all. I realized on the way home, that I needed to worry less and simply enjoy more during our last few months here. Nor do we have to say good-bye, but rather just, "see you later."