The California Bucket List…Posting #2
Hi Friends, since the last posting we have checked more off our Bucket List before leaving California.
The Bucket List Continues…
4. Visiting Brian and Gill
We happily drove to Napa on a recent sunny Saturday to visit and have lunch with dear friends Brian and Gill. I have known them since 1974. I was first introduced to Brian when I was 6 years old, he was my soccer coach. I remember him being intimidating and a commanding figure with a thundering British voice. This big voice was perfect on the soccer field, coaching us, and for many years coaching and shouting for my older brother's team, which his own son was on as well. This magnificent voice was also put to great use, booming out above all, as he sang out to God at church each Sunday, sitting right behind or beside us. He and his wife are very loving people, and like parental figures in my life. Gillian was always a softer English mom type, homey, sweet and tender to me. Through the years, they became close friends with my parents, and stayed close to my Mom and Mike, traveling abroad with them on several occasions. They are knit in Bob and my heart for many reasons, but today I will be sharing just a few, which we all discussed over lunch.
Brian reminded me that when I was 6, my interest in sports was established. When I was not playing on the field, I had ZERO interest as to what was happening on the field with the team. I had more important things to focus on, as I played Barbies, with my back to the field.
I still feel the same about sports.
They have made a point to visit us in several states which we lived, because they love us. They actually drove 4 hours from VA to NC, took us to lunch and drove back, because "We were just too close not to come and see you." WOW- what an example to us.
We love them, and seeing them was definitely on our list,
and time well spent.
5. Riding in OLD CAT
Here she is, the closest thing I have to a sister, and her name is
(notice the license plate).
She can be defined as a Jaguar 1954 XK120.
I have been enjoying the adventure and pleasure she lavishly affords, since I was 3 mos old.
Back then, no car seats. Yes, my Dear Ole Dad would drive, Mom in the passenger seat and my brother Jim (3 yrs older) seated in the middle of them, and me on Mom's lap. We would tear around the highways and backroads of California, as she purred up the hills, racing with glory around curves. Our hair blowing in the wind, the sun on our faces, as my Dad skillfully and joyfully chauffeured us in style.
Today, there are few places I feel the happiest, freest and safest.
In OLD CAT, with my Dad at the wheel, is one of them.
He still drives her, at 83, with great skill and delight.
She has been his most expensive daughter, but thankfully,
not the most loved.
So, a recent visit with Dad and Karen, and she being in ready and willing condition for a drive, it was much looked forward to, by me.
The anticipation begins with unzipping her leather cover, tucking properly behind the back rests, and as I get into her, breathing, so familiar, so cherished in my heart, I take a deep breath, and the smell of her...sends me. The old leather, the memories I have throughout all my years being in her. There is nothing like that smell. It's intoxicating to me.
I can't put into words the thrill I get, emotional, spiritual, physical, as I get in her, as my Dad prepares himself to drive. I have to contain my emotion, and mask it in words and tone of common happiness, so I don't overwhelm my Dad with my thoughts, it would be too much for him. The turn of the key, the push of the button (ignition) and she's purring. Purring as a cat sounds when she's blissful. She has her master of 45 yrs at the wheel, her beloveds in her carriage, and she's ready to give them a thrill, all she's got. The sound of her engine revving, the echo of her muffler reverbing off the hills as we pass though canyons, the stares, honks, smiles and thumbs up she receives, the wind whipping my hair, the sun on my face, and my Dear Ole Dad at the wheel.
Life could be less perfect at that moment, I could love my dear precious Dad no more than I do when I am in her, with him driving.
Next to the cockpit in an A-4, it's where he belongs.
He has me switch half way now, and I drive her, which is fun, and exciting, but the thrill of my heart is when my Dear Ole Dad is at the wheel, I'm a kid again, with no cares, and OLD CAT is racing us about, once again.
6. Thrifty's Ice Cream
If you are not from California, you have no idea about this. But Thrifty's (now Rite Aid) used to make excellent ice cream. They always had a counter in the store, and it was a nickel for a scoop. They were scooped with a cylindrical scooper and my husband and his brother Bruce were frequent customers as kids growing up in Southern California. My darling remembers looking for loose change in the rocks on the beach - enough that he and big brother Bruce would have enough for triples.
Well, times have changes and Thrifty's is now Rite Aid but they still sell Thrifty's Ice Cream at some locations by the scoop. That little SOCAL boy still likes his ice cream and that was a Bucket List stop. So, as usual, he got a triple (2 mint chip and 1 rocky road), but it was $3.35 now for a triple instead of 15 cents.
7. IT's IT
It is interesting to note that the last two Bucket List's are both involving Bob and Ice Cream.
So…this ice cream Bucket List goes back a loooong way.
Every time we visited my Dad and Karen (for the last 24 years), who lives very close to SFO, in-between SFO and their house is the It's It factory. What is an IT's IT you may be asking. Well, just click on that link, but in a nutshell, its two oatmeal cookies with ice cream in the middle dipped in chocolate. It is a San Francisco legend and only sold here, and in SO CAL. Yeah, so every time we fly in and drive by it, Bob says "I'm going to get an IT's IT this time!" Well, that never happens because we forget about it when we arrive at Dad's and all the chatting begins about gardening and margaritas.
So, we added an impromptu to the Bucket List and he pursued and finally got his IT's IT.
With our house going on the market, we had an open house, and we were kicked out for 3 hours with the dogs. "A perfect time to find an IT's IT", Bob suggested. So, after a few stops, he got a 3 pack and ate 2 in 10 minutes.
I will interject at this point, that I have been eating something I call a "V-IT's IT" which the V stands for (VEGAN). It is a treat that we have been eating for years, and he confessed he likes as much or better…yes…and here it is.
Doesn't it LOOK like an IT's IT?
Made by Rice Dream it is a Rice Dream Pie.
It comes in Vanilla, Mocha (my fav) or Mint.
It is just like an IT's IT, 2 oatmeal cookies, "ice cream" and dipped in "chocolate", EXCEPT that it is DAIRY FREE and LOW GLYCEMIC. A double delight! So, there you have it. Made with rice syrup as a sweetener in the non-dairy "ice cream" and in the "chocolate" coating. Available at all Whole Foods and Natural Food Stores near you!
********* An ammendment- I originally posted the Rice Dream as Gluten Free, and my dear sweet SIC and friend Megan pointed out they contain wheat and are NOT GF. Thanks Megan! I appreciate the info and have made the correction. ************
More Bucket List to come….