Back in May, Dave & I flew to California to visit with Chris & Molly, and to witness Molly’s graduation from law school.
the ticket to attend
marquee on the auditorium
knitting while I was waiting for the ceremony to start — we were told to wear “business casual”
I brought my shawl (wearing it for the first time). Great decision, it was just enough to take the chill from the air conditioning, and the slight breeze once we were outside. Also, Molly commented that everyone was dressed in dark clothing (duh - how many of us have business casual that isn’t dark?) and thanks to the white shawl, she was able to pick me out of the crowd). :) I also got a very nice compliment on the shawl from one of the ‘ushers’ and even Dave commented on how nice it felt (Shibui Silk Cloud, 60% mohair, 40% silk).
After the ceremony, they served cake, water, and strawberries to the graduates and families in the street in front of the auditorium (the street was blocked off for graduation).
Our graduate with her loving & supportive hubby in the park across the street from the auditorium. She had to return the gown and hood (not even available for purchase, if you wanted to buy it!), but was able to keep the cap. (Her law school is the tower in the background.) More photos of the graduate on her blog.
While that was the purpose and highlight of our visit, we actually spent a week in California - arriving a few days before graduation and staying a few days after graduation.
We arrived in California with only loosely planned days, which is great for the ability to change plans with the weather and other factors. I finally saw Molly’s apartment (good thing, since they are now moving)! A cute one-bedroom with BIG closets. Chris’s parents also came out for the graduation, and the day of their arrival, we headed to California Pizza Kitchen for dinner. John & Lucie had been up since the crack of dawn (after very few hours of sleep) and had flown all the way across the country! I chose CPK for my birthday dinner (Molly sent us certificates for birthday dinners while in California), mostly because Molly had often gone to CPK when she was in Boston, and I was curious what it was like.
The food was very good, and we used the opportunity to send our Chris (at home) a “where’s Waldo” picture. I was amazed that John & Lucie didn’t fall asleep in their food!
Molly cooked two delicious dinners for us, we had a fun evening playing a card game about trading beans, and on Saturday we had a “girls day” planned so we could knit and visit. I had the opportunity to meet Chris & Molly’s pastor’s wife, Joanne. She and Molly knit during church services, and she has asked Molly’s advice on knitting problems. She was a delightful lady, and unfortunately couldn’t stay very long (graduation parties to attend). Lucie also joined us, and while she’s not a knitter, she worked on award plaques for her robotics team.
While the girls stayed in and crafted, the boys went down to Fisherman’s Wharf
and stopped by the Ghirardelli shop (where Dave bought an enormous mixed bag of chocolate)
The graduation was on Sunday, and we worried about getting there on time as many of the streets were blocked off for the annual “Bay to Breakers” run. Molly worked out the route, and we left church early so we had additional time in case it was needed. (Everything worked out very well.) After graduation, we had dinner at Chris & Molly’s favorite italian restaurant, Cafe Altano. It was a very nice dinner and the staff was terrific. John & Lucie left directly from the restaurant to head to the airport.
On Monday, we again split up: Chris and Dave went to tour Alcatraz, and Molly & I went yarn shop hopping. We visited Atelier which was a nice little shop. I bought some buttons there, and had a nice conversation with the gal who was working that day. Next stop was Imagiknit. This was a much larger store. They were definitely NOT as friendly as Atelier, and were not as welcoming. I don’t know if I’d ever make this my LYS if I lived in the area - of course, I may have just hit them on a “bad day.” They did have a nice selection of yarn (I bought some Malabrigo Sock there), a fairly nice collection of buttons where Molly found buttons for a baby pea coat she was making, and quite a few patterns - although I didn’t find anything I wanted to buy. Molly and I took a break for lunch, and just after we got our sandwiches, the boys called to say they were done at Alcatraz and it was time to pick them up.
We then headed to Palo Alto, saw the Stanford campus, and had dinner in a strip mall nearby. California is definitely not a meat-and-potatoes kind of place, and is certainly more expensive than home. We had plans to see a retro-type theater that Molly had discovered last summer - the Stanford. They play only old movies (she saw “Rear Window” last summer), and she thought we might enjoy it. The drawback was that while we were there, the only film available was a musical (and those of you that know Dave, know that musicals are not his “thing”). While eating dinner, Dave & I both got hit with a wave of exhaustion - we had been going full tilt for 5 days already - and we thought we would skip the movie after all. Since Palo Alto is so far from Molly’s, we decided it was unlikely we’d be able to make it back if we didn’t go that evening, so we decided to stop over and at least see the theater.
While they have a free-standing box office in front, they apparently no longer use that, so we had to go into the lobby
The guy at the counter couldn’t let us go in to look around until we had bought tickets.
However, the theater offers a movie ticket pack that gives you a discounted admission, and he agreed that if we bought the pack (4 tickets) that he could let us go in (without using them) to look around (this was, of course, after Molly explained that we were visiting from out of town). We wandered around a little, and “woke up” a bit — and decided to stay and see the movie (so we used the movie pack)! This theater reminded Dave & I of the days (long, long ago!) when we worked at the theater. The carpeting was similar, the layout of the building - everything reminded us of the theaters we knew years ago. Once the previous film let out, we had a chance to go in and see the seating area - with the velvet curtains for the screen, the balcony, etc. One of the neat things about this theater, is that is has a real organ-player inbetween shows! Molly said he plays all the way through on silent films, and plays during intermissions during the ‘regular’ shows. :) The organ rises through the flooring (and retracts when he’s done) - all while he is playing the organ.
We are so thrilled we opted to stay and see the movie - it was a great experience!
On our last “tourist” day in California, we were going to drive along US1 and see the beautiful coast, however the weather was not cooperating. It was foggy and Molly said you wouldn’t be able to see anything. So we took a drive down to a card room so Dave could play for awhile, and Molly and I spent some time knitting. We then headed down to meet Chris, who had started his summer job at Google!
(I was sure we had some photos, but they have disappeared for the moment.)
We were able to join him for dinner at the Google cafeteria as his guests. Totally amazing place, and what a great opportunity for him. Lots of places for the brainiacs that work there to relax and “play” and Dave was able to visit the Google gift shop - and bought LOTS of stuff. Unfortunately, photos are not allowed inside the building.
Apparently, new-hires at Google are called “Nooglers” and are given a beanie to wear (they only have to wear it for a short time). I thought it was very cute, and we’re looking forward to seeing the beanie in person in a few weeks when Chris & Molly come to visit.
One of the items that Dave bought at the gift shop were Android collectibles - so I give you a shot of the Noogler:
Molly and Chris were fantastic hosts - and love having company. We’re very proud of her accomplishments and were thrilled to be there to see her graduate. They both have such bright futures!
I’ve only breezed through San Franscisco once before, in the early 80’s, but this time I had a chance to do some touristy things, and visit my ‘kids.’ Thanks, Chris & Molly!