30 August 2010

The Good Times: 4th of July

Let's turn back the clock friends, and re-visit July. I had a great time last month. And even though I've since started considering every moment as part of the not-so-grand finale of my relationship, I feel I have to document the "happy." The time will come when I'll revisit the posts of this summer. I'll want to see I was not just a blubbering mess, that I did have fun in the summer of 2010, and that knowing the outcome did not taint the memories. I really did have a good summer. As June was for friends, July was for family.

Jesse's Parents came to visit for the first half of July. The stayed at a vacation rental in Noe Valley, which is a neighborhood in my same city. Until their visit, I had never been there. I had never thought to go there. I mean it takes a muni train to get there, and I can walk to almost everything I've needed so far. Bottom line: I didn't think I was missing anything in Noe Valley. I was wrong.

It's probably the first real family neighborhood I've encountered in years. There is a farmers' market on Saturday. The streets are lined with coffee shops and outdoor seating. There are specialty shops, a gym and two grocery stores. Noe Valley is its own community within San Francisco, more so than Chinatown, where there is always bustling as opposed to just living. In a word, pleasant.

Gary & Janna drove here from North Dakota, taking the scenic route. Just so you can see how far behind my posts are, they arrived the Friday I got my hair done. It was the start of the 4th of July weekend. I don't remember much of what we did that Saturday or Sunday morning, so it must have been relaxing. We grilled Sunday afternoon, setting up a tiny portable grill and loading it with charcoal.

What could possibly go awry?

The process was not as smooth as anticipated - the charcoal to paper ratio needed tweaking. But we did eat and it was delicious. Jesse made steaks, turkey burgers and asparagus. Janna baked potatoes and made real ranch dressing (buttermilk and all). It was a great feast and obviously put me in a food coma, because I don't remember what we did after dinner. I think we heard fireworks, but never went to see them. Or we watched a movie. I'm sure whatever we did was exactly what we needed.

Happiness is eating. In moderation, of course.

Jesse's plate.

Janna treated us to a baseball game the next day. We ventured into Oakland to watch the A's get beat up by the Yankees. I don't follow baseball, but I've gathered the Yankees are known for buying the best talent. Based on what I saw, the franchise is getting its money's worth. They made a few impossible catches. I almost couldn't be mad at their perceived arrogance. The team brings the goods. We stayed through the top of the 9th inning, after we were sure the A's could not make a comeback, but before frostbite set. It was cold, East Bay or not. Jesse's dad said - for how it felt - we could have stayed home and sat in the fridge to watch the game. The A's gave out commemorative baseballs as we left. I don't remember why. But I like getting prizes.