Day 6: of Our Jaunt in June

The morning air from the ocean was brisk and refreshing as we packed out of our Marina hostel to begin our drive north toward San Francisco. It was only a couple of hours drive, but we found the traffic increasing as we progressed.

Stopping just before the city limits at the Junipero Serra rest stop, we took a lovely walk up onto the rise over the freeway to see an over-sized statue of Fr. Serra pointing out toward the sea. The gardens leading up the path were beautiful and so alien-looking to these non-Californian garden eyes. Someone did a masterful job of making a little place look full of bounty and beauty. It was truly a rest stop, in every sense of the word. Now, on to San Francisco.

I had contacted my cousin last night to see if it was possible to meet for a short “hello” just after noon at his bakery: Destination Bakery in San Francisco. We arrived at the prescribed time and no sooner had we purchased a cinnamon roll (absolutely the BEST in the world! Hands down!!) and a ham and cheese croissant, when he and his husband arrived for our reunion. It was delightful to see them again and the conversation flowed. We chatted for about an hour and knew we had to get on the road to be over the Bay Bridge before 3:00. We parted after a few pictures and made our way into Oakland . . . which was the real reason for this whole trip.

My mentor for many years, Fr. Bill, is soon moving from his retirement in Oakland to a “retirement home” in Tewksbury, MA. We knew we wanted to see him one more time before he moved. He has been such an influence in my life and ministry and it’s impossible to measure the impact he has had on me.

It was a delight to see him and we had no trouble in picking up right where we last left off – reminiscing and remembering “the good old days” when we used to work together. We went out to eat at a nearby P.F. Chang’s and filled up on their fine cuisine. He graciously offered us rooms in the rectory during our visit and we are settling in. It was a lovely day, topped by the renewal of friendships that bring such grace to my life.