As you know, Jessica’s twelfth birthday was April 15, but we celebrated it a couple of days later, on a Saturday – about the only day of the week we can all get together now. And celebrate it we did! We started off by meeting at Franny’s Cup & Saucer in beautiful downtown Point Arena. Jonathan joined us, adding an uncle to the auntourage, and there wasn’t enough room in Franny’s teacup sized establishment to fit us all at once as we perused the pastries and chocolates in the glass case.
Eventually, we repaired with our choices to the bench outside and shared them while chatting. I observed to Jessica that she wouldn’t want to do this kind of thing much longer since she was growing up, and she replied “Hormones don’t make you stupid!” Thinking of some beaux in my distant past, I said, “Oh yes, they do, “ and she said, “Not that stupid! You will always be fabulous!” accompanied by a hug.
We had enough time to stop by the pier at Point Arena and watch the surfers skimming over the waves:
I was amazed by their skill in maneuvering through the rough waters and avoiding the many jagged rocks in the bay.
We made our way to the B. Bryan Preserve, where we were joined by two fair sized groups. It soon became clear that this was a much fancier deal than it was nearly two years ago, when Megan and I had our magical safari together: just us and Frank, the curmudgeonly guide. I’m glad for their success, but I’m also glad that Megan and I have that special enchanted memory together.
After the mini talk about the Preserve’s mission to save and breed these beautiful, endangered animals, we loaded into a 1967 Range Rover, equipped with a canvas roof and apparently not equipped with shocks, which were plenty as we jounced over the rough terrain.
Unlike our earlier trip, we stayed in the Range Rover for most of the tour, though we also drove right into the vast, fenced fields where the zebra and antelope played. Also unlike last time, when Frank admonished us that this wasn’t a petting zoo (it still isn’t), we could actually pet a few month old Grevy’s zebra, little Karen Sue:
Her mother died giving birth to her, and Karen Sue was saved by none other than our dear vet, Dr. Karen – hence her name. Since Karen Sue was hand raised, you can pet her, but those days will end when she joins the regular herd in the next few months. So this was a special treat. And those teddy bear ears are as soft as they look. I imagine I am one of the very few people who has stroked a live Grevy’s zebra.
We ended at the Rothschild giraffes, where Sonny, Buster and Jagger (my favorite from last time) have been joined by two more brothers. In fact, Frank was on his way to pick up the “new” boys after our last tour. Like Megan and me, Jessica was charmed by feeding the giraffes. There really is nothing like seeing one swooping down toward you, their huge, soulful eyes, fake looking lashes, and black tongues. You really haven’t lived until you’ve kissed a giraffe.
At the end of the tour, Jessica pronounced it “Totally awesome” while jumping up and down. We then headed to Anchor Bay, where some of the best Thai food ever is to be found and enjoyed. Just like the Preserve, Megan and I were the only ones in our party to have been there before, and we couldn’t wait to share its joys.
Just like the Preserve, everyone was delighted and impressed. We shared our dishes and still had enough to take home and enjoy another night. We kissed Erica and Jessica goodbye and headed home as the sun set over the glorious Pacific. The immortal Lou Reed put it best when he sang, “Oh, it’s such a perfect day/I’m glad I spent it with you.”
A YEAR AGO: Meetings and manicures.