Monday, March 14, 2011

Grown Up Now?

As a spouse of a graduate student at UC Berkeley years ago there were two local establishments that were particularly symbolic to me of having "made it". For 6 1/2 years I would wistfully peer out the window of our VW Rabbit and wonder if I would ever partake of their grown-up glory.

This week, I finally did.
The Claremont Hotel is a magnificent architectural presence in the Berkeley hills whose interior is as stunning as its exterior. Brian and I stayed there for two nights this last week!
While Brian was "conferencing" I explored the resort and grounds and browsed the shops on College Avenue.
Food is always a high priority for us when we visit California and our taste buds were tingling at all the possibilities. As we contemplated our options, it suddenly occurred to me that perhaps we could eat at Chez Panisse. (Our trip was childless and we actually could afford the unusual extravagance.)

Should we? Could we actually get a reservation for that very night?
We did, and it was pure heaven!
We dined upstairs in the Cafe, of course. (Downstairs requires a reservation at least one month in advance.) I ordered and delighted in

Blood oranges and avocado with ginger dressing
Wood oven-roasted spicy shrimp with white polenta, leeks, tomato, and green garlic
Creme caramel with candied kumquats and biscotti

It was fabulous!

Even though society defines me as middle age, I don't always feel like a grown up, like I really am the adult, like I've made it. Perhaps it is because the older I get the more I realize I don't know--so much to learn, to experience, and to explore.

It doesn't seem all that long ago that I pumped my own gas for the first time or took my first ride in a taxi cab, but grown-ups do those sort of things.

Grown-ups also get to benefit from the fruits of their life-long labors and enjoy a rare night at The Claremont or a delectable dinner at Chez Panisse.

Enjoy it I did. Relished and savored it, actually.

Being a grown-up really isn't so bad.


Fine Art by Jennifer said...

It looks lovely! How fun. I really don't feel grown up either. I'm having a hard time knowing what to do with the grey hairs that seems to be appearing. Aren't those only for old people?

Jenny said...

I am so looking forward to being a full-fledged grown up!

Suzanne said...

We have one more thing in common.... I grew up in the Bay Area, so I know it well. There are so many gorgeous places to stay and visit there! Glad your dream came true!

Ginger said...

That sounds like heaven! How fun to get away for a couple of nights. Thank you for sharing pictures of the places you visited. It makes me feel like I'm living vicariously through you!

I agree... I don't feel middle aged either. I look it, but don't feel like it! :)

Lacy said...

awesome!!! :)

Lacy said...

so glad you got to go with him this time.

Shannon said...

So glad you had such a fun trip. Bet it was hard to come home!

Happily Ever After Again said...

fun trip. glad you got to enjoy yourself. i don't feel all that grown up either, and can totally relate!

Susan Mathews Hardy said...

This sounds like so much fun. I too looked wistfully at the Claremont Hotel and Chez Panisse. I must follow suit! Thanks for sharing!

How was Telegraph Avenue and Sproul Plaza? Those are also great memories!

Saimi said...

What an amazing place, it's rather breathtaking! How fun for you to have a 'grownup' weekend!!

I'm wondering what that says for the hubby and I who spent our 25 anniversary at Disney Land....

Garden of Egan said...

Woo hoo! That sounds like such a great time!
I love the pictures that you took.....except the one with the spider (terrified of those)

Hope you get to do it again soon!

Valerie said...

Beautiful photos! I'm definitely old enough for it, but haven't "made it" anywhere yet. Sure hope to someday.

Marvett Smith said...

Beautiful images!

Mom to Many said...

Since my baby is 6 we have not made it that far from home yet. But, it's coming. :o) Glad you got to go.


Lesa said...

You had a VW rabbit? That is cool.

Your little get-away sounds wonderful. Good for you for going!

The meal sounds wonderful and I love how you always take beautiful photos.

Joy For Your Journey said...

Oh, it all sounds so wonderful! How great for you that you were able to do this. You have now "Arrived". :-) Your meal sounds delicious as well. Make me want to go pluck some oranges off the tree and cut up those avocados sitting in my fridge.

I am so glad you had a good time. And what a nice thought about getting older--age does have some benefits.

Faith, Trust, and a Little Pixie Dust said...

What fun photos. I've always wanted to visit San Francisco!

Warmly, Michelle