Sunday, 28 October 2012

Meeting the Family

Reunion with family in Novato, San Francisco

the balcony at Andrews and Lizzies
Another walk around the leafy and very chilly streets of Chicago, before we make our way down to the airport.  The temperatures had plummeted overnight, and a mere 8deg this morning.
The journey time to San Fran is a comfortable 4 1/2 hours, but with 2 hours time difference  it was about 6.30 pm, as we left in the hire car.  Unfortunately we were stuck in all the rush hour traffic, got a bit lost and ended up skirting the bay, and finally drove over the Golden Gate Bridge in the dark, so couldn't see anything.  Finally arrived at the the apartment at 7.40pm!  Lovely to see everyone again and after a brief moment's shyness, Lily was at ease with us.  She seems to have grown a few inches since we last saw her and accompanies most of what she does with a little babbling commentary.  Adorable!  She cuddled up next to us on the sofa, and sat on our knees.
The new apartment in Novato, north of San Fran, is in a much quieter area, surrounded by pine trees, and overlooking a house with a small holding, with apple trees, a large fig tree and other fruit trees.  All the buildings in Novato are one or two storeys high, and you can see small hills rising up in the distance.  Very leafy and quite quiet.  The shops are individual and attractive, rather than just functional.  The cheaper brands like Ross and Target are out of town, and a short drive away.  There are numerous attractive restaurants and coffee shops.  I made a note to return to one of the cafes for a pecan pumpkin pancake.  They do the sweet stuff so well!!

On Saturday am., we all walked down to the Main Street in Novato for a Halloween gathering, put on by the shops and community.  All the children, of all ages, from babies to adults were dressed in fancy dress.  Lizzy borrowed a pumpkin costume from a friend for Lily to wear, with a cute little hat.  Shopkeepers were handing out sweeties, lollies, toothbrushes and even little books to fairy princesses, ghosts, cartoon characters and little cute pumpkins!  A trip to a superb Wholefoods Shop, was followed by a Mediterranean lunch, cooked by Andrew and Lizzy, - pimientos, meatballs, dried ham, cheese, dates in bacon, figs and tortilla.  They really spoilt us!  The afternoon was hot and sunny, about 28deg, but the flat gets all the sun in the living areas , whilst the bedrooms face north and stay nice and cool.  The architecture is interesting, less concrete and more wooden, clapperboarding.  Almost Wells Fargo style, outpost town, with wooden terraces and porches.

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