Day 564 OUT OF Beijing: Ladies Who Lunch? Nah, Buddies who Brunch!


The wonderful flowers and J sparkling wine.  We also ordered pomegranate mimosas.

The wonderful flowers and J sparkling wine. We also ordered pomegranate mimosas.


Jill’s friend, Leslie, was in town for a few days and wanted to catch up with us after our long trip in China.

Jill had lived with friends, or in AirBnbs, for the three years before I met her.  She didn’t have a “home” or an “apartment” because she wanted the freedom to move and travel whenever she wanted to.  That is one of the reasons she could move to China just 2 months after meeting me: Her AirBnb rental time was short term so she could leave and go where she wanted to go.  Leslie had let Jill live with her, on and off, in her house in Marin.  She lives in a small town there and it is very quiet and peaceful.  Sort of a wonderland escape from anything that might be stressful or anxiety provoking in the city.

Jill suggested we go to Kate’s Kitchen in the Lower Haight.  It was about a block from the AirBnb and house that I met her at a few blocks from our first date restaurant, Palmyra, that I blogged about a few days ago.

It was packed and the tables at Kate’s are fairly limited so we hung out and waited for Leslie to arrive.

The waitress seemed very familiar and I realized we used to salsa dance together back in the day.

Leslie arrived and brought us a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a bottle of “J” sparkling wine.  We were blown away with her generosity and kindness.

We sat down at our table and I said to our waitress, “You used to salsa dance, right?”  She answered, “Yep!  And you just got back, didn’t you?”  I told her we had just gotten back and asked her name.  “Erin” she replied and asked mine.  It was so nice to be connected to my old world and family of salsa dancers without even trying.  I love this group and the joy they bring to everyone they do in their lives.

Leslie, Jill and I talked about life and what had happened in the past 1.5 years.  Leslie also invited us to have a small engagement party at her house and we will be figuring that out for the summer as we get more clarity on where and when we will have our wedding.  At this point, we are thinking somewhere outside of the USA because we want to get married on a beach and we love traveling so much.  This all depends on many issues, including ability to people to fly down and travel, but it would be a dream wedding if we can do it.

It was wonderful to talk to Leslie, hear about her life, and meet more of Jill’s friends since we’ve mostly hung out with mine so far including my wonderful friends, Catherine and August last night at Taco Club in the Castro.

It has been so humbling to come back and have so many wonderful people want to see us, catch up and share our lives with us again.  It is also interesting to see how people have changed while we’ve been gone and how San Francisco has changed.  There are a lot more of the “glass and steel” buildings and it is a bit of a disappointment becuase those buildings have such little personality and it means that classic San Francisco buildings have been destroyed to put them up.  However, after watching so many buildings that are culturally relevant destroyed in Beijing, San Francisco still is very much it’s own city and has it’s own style.

The food, by the way, was amazing.  I had corned beef hash, Jill had biscuits in gravy and Leslie had scrambled eggs with bacon.  So delicious and so much more reminding us that we are home.  In every way.


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