I am happy to report that the weather has gotten a bit warmer, and it's been dry for the last few days. I continue to catch up with people and hit some of my favorite restaurants around the area. On Thursday I met up with Angie at her coffee shop (Espresso Express in Terra Linda if you are ever in the area) and we headed out for a late lunch at Chevy's. It is so great to eat decent Mexican food, because Australia really does not do good Mexican. I enjoyed my chips and salsa, salmon soft tacos, and the very yummy strawberry and raspberry margarita. After eating we shopped at Old Navy and Target. I was good and didn't get too many things. That night I met Joanne at Broken Drum Brewery in San Rafael. Since I had eaten so late in the day I just had a bowl of chips for dinner. It was good to catch up and hear all the latest news about Wilson Elementary School.
On Friday I decided to head over to Richmond and visit Wilson since the weather was decent. I walked onto campus during recess and was immediately greeted by a chorus of "MISS ELLIS!!!" and children running toward me. My ex-students are so sweet and cute, and getting very big. They were all excited to see me and asked me lots of questions about Australia and if I would come back. I stuck around for the upper grade recess to catch my other class, who are now fourth graders. It was great to visit with everyone and see all my former colleagues. I tried to explain the differences between the Australian and American education systems- and they are different in many ways. I had only planned to stay a short time, but ended up there for the rest of the school day as I popped into classes and said hello. When I got home I had a message from Lynne, so I headed into San Francisco for the evening. We avoided the drunken St. Patrick's Day celebrations and had dinner at Lettus Cafe Organic on Steiner Street and dessert at Emporio Rulli Gran Caffe on Chestnut Street. Lynne's husband Jeremy and his brother Josh were busy watching the NCAA Basketball Tournament. They had the tv and computer broadcasts going at the same time. Since I went to a non-sports focused university, I'm not as into "March Madness" as everyone else.
On Saturday my aunt Chrissie and cousin Leilani came up to the house for lunch. Mom made her chicken and apple salad, and we had cake for dessert to celebrate all the family birthdays in February and March. It was great to see them again and catch up on all the latest news. Leilani's face is healing nicely after her car accident last week. We laughed a lot throughout the afternoon, and hopefully I'll see them again at Christmas. That evening my parents and I met up with my brother, his girlfriend Simi and her parents at Insalata's in San Anselmo for dinner. They serve great Mediterranean food that is fresh and flavorful. We left very full and satisfied.
Today Lynne and I had brunch in Larkspur at Left Bank and then did some shopping at Vintage Oaks in Novato. It was a pleasant day, but we didn't find any good bargains out there. I guess it's a good thing that I haven't found a lot of stuff in the stores that is appealing to me- I would have trouble getting it all in my suitcase if I went overboard. I have one more week to go until I head back to Melbourne.