My old friend Nichole came to visit for a week in September. She lives in Maine now, where she is originally from and where all her family lives. We met when she was going to school in Santa Rosa and we both worked at Screamin' Mimi's ice cream shop in Sebastopol. I remember her teaching me how to make their infamous homemade fudge in the shop's kitchen. Somehow we got to joking around about how we were the oldest ones working there. (Our manager was 18). I said I bet I'm older than you. She went, "Pfff, yeah right. I am definitely older." Well it turned out she was 24 and I was 26. I won! Oldest person who worked there besides the owner.
We have been friends since 2003 and had many adventures together. I am so glad that she is the kind of person to fly across the country for her vacation to visit old friends, not necessarily expecting anything spectacular, just to put in some quality time together. She spent lots of time getting to know my girls and brought them clothes she had carefully selected for them. (She loves to shop.)
First afternoon we went to the taqueria for Mexican food because that's her favorite and she doesn't find much California-style Mexican food these days back in Maine. Plus she might as well be introduced right away to what it's like to be out and about with my little circus.
Of course we had to show her some of our hang-outs.
So the next day we headed up to Apple Hill for some apple doughnuts and a fritter that we took to Addie's new house in Camino.
Nichole got a kick out of my fritter enthusiasm and snapped this next pic of me. It also shows off the pretty earrings she brought me and the cute color Addie painted her kitchen.
Polly loves playing at Utah's new house. Their cats are much more patient than ours.
All us gals and babies brought some snacks and headed to Jack Russell for a couple afternoon beers. They have a blackberry saison right now that's tasty.
Fun thing about hanging out with Nichole is that with her there's no BS. She likes to talk about the important stuff of life: relationships, children, no-children, family, health, attitude, growth, friendships, philosophies. She is a massage therapist and also practices polarity and reiki, while also being a no-nonsense kind of person who is very honest and open. We like to tell each other stories.
Tried our hand at cornhole. Mostly just to keep them busy.
The next day we took a little trip up into the mountains to visit our beloved Silver Lake. It was shockingly low! It almost seemed impossible, the change that had occurred just since July when we last visited. The side part of the lake, usually a bay that takes a while to swim across, was now just a small stream.
We had fun anyway, wading and exploring. Nichole is very cautious about my little wanderers! My dad and Joey and Em and Scout all joined us up there as well and spent a refreshing afternoon.
Polly took her babydoll Rosie for a little dip.
That night we all ran amok at the pizza parlour.
Nichole left for two days to visit all her Santa Rosa friends and go to the ocean. Then on Friday she came back and we completed our trio from 12 years ago with our other good friend, Brianna! I could talk talk talk to these ladies all day. So good to be back together.
Geeking out hard.
It was my mom's birthday so the afternoon was full of family, babies, wine, activity. My old friends got a pretty solid glimpse into what my life is really like. Fun, overwhelming chaos, love.
Brianna stayed for about four hours and then headed back to Petaluma. I couldn't stop hugging her. Nichole stayed another day and we had some quiet time together Saturday: we went to coffee and rambled along Main Street while Darin stayed home with the girls. It was a good, full day before she headed back to Sacramento to fly home. I will always be grateful that she took the time to plan this trip. I've been thinking a lot about friendships and how they build over time and nothing can replace them, the moments you share together, the funny stories you create without even trying, the memories both little and big. I want to treasure all my relationships in this life and savor them, not let the false worlds created by technology take up too much of my time, to be present for my loved ones with all my heart.
Here's a picture of Nichole and I back in our Screamin' Mimi's days, just for good measure.
Happy friendships to all of you!