This morning, Alice, Ryan, Sam, and I loaded up in our station wagon and zipped across the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin. We decided to get some exercise before the big turkey meal. It was a glorious day, and as we approached Mill Valley Alice squealed, "It looks so magical over here, Mama."
We drove up to the railroad grade on Mount Tam. Wearing a pink fairy costume and black patent leather shoes, Alice marched up the mountain. Ryan ended up carrying Sam most of the way. The kids collected rocks and pieces of colorful lichen. We talked about redwood trees and hawks. And we took in dazzling views of virtually the entire Bay Area.
After the hike, we stopped by Old Mill, a public elementary school, at the foot of Mount Tam. The kids climbed on sparkling new playground equipment. The yard was landscaped with Mexican sage, native grasses, and big, old sycamore trees. There was an outdoor amphitheater and a lovely courtyard with Japanese maples, their leaves bright oranges and reds. We peeked inside the gym with shiny hardwood floors, basketball hoops, and California Distinguished School banners.
I wondered, "Would I want to live over here?"
My husband, Ryan, would move in minute. His passion is cycling, and he rides his bike to Marin nearly every weekend. And I certainly have an appreciation for the outdoors.
But then I thought back to our family dinner at a Korean barbecue restaurant on Geary the night before. The restaurant was filled with people speaking different languages, and Alice and Sam nibbled on seaweed, tofu, pickled sprouts. They cooked chicken on a barbecue in the middle of our table. I'm not ready to give that up, at least not yet.