Friday night after a waffle dinner and a Mentos and Coke experiment when Grandpa got back from teaching his international engineering students at Cal, he took the kids out in the Model A. I didn't know it until this trip, but this car was green and white when he bought it, which was before he'd even left for college. It was a major mode of transportation during my parents' early marriage, and my mom drove it to student teaching (which teaches one how to double clutch, among other things; she said it was good and heavy in the snow). I think they just drove around Piedmont, because Sebastian said "we saw some weally funky houses" which is a great truth if you are growing up in a subdivision full of taupe stucco.
Rob and I took Sebastian out to Berkeley with us for lunch and wandering. Here they are at Sather Gate, which is thriving and full of student associations and activism as usual. Telegraph Ave. though, was cleaner and quieter than in recent years. This may be due to Cody's Books closing, which had been an institution for decades (they cited too many loiterers as part of the reason), or it may have been because of Code Pink protests outside the marine recruiting office which received a national backlash, cut Berkeley's federal funding, and brought in bikers who stood between the two parties, threatening to beat up the protesters. I think it's important to note that they were bikers, because no one else could have found parking in Berkeley.
Anyway, it was pretty quiet, and we could only find one lone, grizzled old man who was selling political bumper stickers to take back to the square states. We also got some crate labels for decorating later. My mom was dubious about our taking the four year old to Telegraph, but I told her "we don't have this stuff in Provo -- where else is he going to see the homeless and drugs and people with mohawks and a dozen pierces?". We told him that when he grows up, he can come here for school and play the drums during breaks. Sebastian was down with that. We also took him to Cha'am, our favorite Thai restaurant for lunch. Here he is chowing down on their soup. Then he polished off an order of Satay ("lollipop chicken" if you're marketing to the preschool crowd). When he got into the car, he said "Are we going to Blue Haiwed Betty's?" and even though I offered some other places for dessert, Sebi was not going to be swayed. This is probably because he went with Rob to get some of their amazing scones early the other morning, and while waiting in line, they gave him a free brownie. Who wouldn't show loyalty for a brownie at breakfast? We gave in and he had a strawberry shortcake from Betty for dessert. If you are ever in the neighborhood, you should stop and eat there. It is not cheap, and there isn't a huge selection, but they don't make a single mediocre thing. Betty used to work at Chez Panisse, and has now opened her own bakery at the corner of Telegraph and 51st. There's no sign, and don't worry if there's a line out the door -- it moves fast and you often get freebies while you wait.
Sebastian told us that "Califoinia owanges awe good" but that "Califoinia macawoni and cheese is gwoss!" (probably just overcooked at the restaurant where he ate it).
This trip has solidified the impression that our kids are phenomenal eaters. Last night they were arguing over the last of the salad. How am I supposed to deal with that?!