My One True Darling and I are both from the San Francisco Bay Area. I was born here (4th generation), he wasn’t, but he spent more time actually living here. We are third culture kids – raised abroad in cultures different from our parent’s own – but the San Francisco area is where we have roots stronger than any other one place.

We’re planning on leaving next year to travel the Pan American Highway with our three kids and we are looking hard and long all around us, savoring the bits we know we’ll miss. Like Trader Joe’s. And like the cool things we can do here. We’ve drawn up a Bucket List of Stuff We Want to do Before We Leave and it runs like this:

Bucket List of Stuff We Want to do Before We Leave

  • Eat at the House of Prime Rib
  • Take a mud bath in Calistoga
  • Visit Alcatraz
  • and Angel Island
  • Go apple picking. Or fruit picking. Pick something
  • Spa Day at the Claremont
  • Go grape stomping with the kids
  • Take a boat ride in the Bay
  • Go for an open bus tour of SF
  • Take a ghost tour of SF
  • (and how about a segway tour?!!)
  • Take the kids to an opera/ballet

– that’s the short list.

Not 10 days after I had been lying on a gurney with my child being lifted out of my uterus, I felt so great that we all hopped in the mini van to travel up north to Sebastopol, a delightful little town that hasn’t been “discovered” yet. Sebastopol is loaded with farms all around, it’s a great place to look at cows, rolling land and… um…rolling land.

So we went there to pick some apples, at the Twin Hill Ranch. It was last of the season, the apples were said to be good only for juicing and apple sauce. We didn’t care. We just wanted to do it.

Mikey and I were pulled together – Moxie in his backpack and MacQuinn in the Ergo:

Micah turned into the most enthusiastic apple picker EVER, running around, plucking, filling his basket, emptying it into ours. Excuse me for a moment while I bomb you with photos:

OF COURSE Moxie wanted in on it, so down out of the backpack she went

She got a little distracted in this part – she wanted to put the apples in the big basket into her little basket. She really wasn’t about to give up the apples in her own basket….And we thought that was pretty funny

We walked up and down those rows, all around. Even though we’d been told that the apples were end of the season, there were still plenty that were great to eat. We know. We ate ’em.

And it was pretty much every kind of amazing: the light, the kids, just being together. I couldn’t get over that just a week previously I’d had my baby lifted up out of me, that my belly was still taped up. I felt so great, so alive, so pain-free (with just one midol!).

We went on over, weighed and paid for our apples (-$10)

I always love those big old barn spaces. Makes me want to move in and be all Jennifer Beals in Flashdance.

Went and played in the open space they have there, the kids were all over the old tractor

Mikey’s hair is getting really long again, isn’t it?

We wrapped it up. Called it a grand day. Couldn’t be more happy.


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