Two sisters, two coasts, one blog

California Christmas Part 2


K & I arrived home from our 12 day sojourn in sunny (but actually very chilly) California just over a week ago.

The little sips of time snatched with friends and family between school, or work or other obligations were sweet:

Tacos with my brother Sean; catching up with my cousin Vanessa, coffee with my friend Sandra; watching Rucha’s boys watching A Charlie Brown’s Christmas; breakfast & the New York Times with my step-mom, Michela; a museum trip with K, his sister and their folks; a bountiful Korean meal with the Sweeney-Britton-Marie crowd; eggnog with Joan; sandwiches on Hayes street with my former bosses’ Dawn & John; a too-short lunch with Miss Cynthia Foulkes; dinner at Juan’s Place (where K & I first met).

Our first full day in Oakland we finished up our Christmas shopping in Rockridge, and I got to pop into my favorite store, Atomic Garden. I feel like the owners have a direct line into my brain, and would be happy to transport the entire store into my house.

In the morning we headed north to the Sierra foothills to visit Ursula & Jeremy. I had a whole day with my bestie in her studio (just like the old days, looking at fabric and planning collections) and then a delicious pasta dinner all together at their craftsman home, which they bought days after we closed on our place.

We spent Christmas eve with K’s extended family noshing on their traditional line up of bouillabaisse and potato pancakes. Christmas morning was pierogi, eggs & coffee cake with his parents, presents in front of their Neiman-Marcus-worthy-tree. Christmas afternoon Rucha, Keith, the boys, K & I drove south to join dad, Michela, my grandmother (aka Gigi), and uncle Steve, all of us packed into their lovely Berkeley bungalow.

Best of all, in the car on the way there, I had almost two hours alone with my sister. We talked about the blog, and other things, in glorious, long, uninterrupted sentences before rejoining our boisterous crew.

Boxing Day was spent with my brother’s family and the rest of the Wilson clan, me stunned by how big and lovely all the children are, so transformed over the two years I’ve been away. Boy does that make me feel like an old lady!

And of course I took a ton of photos, some of which I posted Christmas Day (I’ve added a couple of images too so check the link again). I’ll be posting the pics I took of Ursula’s studio and Ursula & Jeremy’s house next time around, but below are the ones I snapped around the house & yard at each of our family’s homes.

Rucha’s Sacramento ranch house, with xeroscaped front yard:

Fran & Frank’s eclectic collections:

Dad & Michela’s Berkeley bungalow (I keep calling it that now, after having found out that it was included in this book about Bay Area house style).

And those kid’s I was talking about:

MyLihn's soccer moves, Lincoln

Swinging! Amaya, Sydney & Violet-Grace

Violet-Grace's message for the day & Thao taking it all in

The one & only Bakesale Bettys' fried chicken sandwich

Our departure felt bittersweet, as always. It’s never easy to say those good-byes, as happy as we were to be headed back to our own bed, dogs & routine. For now though, we have work to catch up on and all that New Year’s planning and resolving to keep us busy.  xxxooo O

Almost home: the lights of Atlanta

6 Responses to “California Christmas Part 2”

  1. Justine

    Lovely writting and amazing images Oami. You are doing your new camera proud! Such the creative soul. See you next time bring more clothes and we can shoot away!
    Love and Happy New Year Bean

    • oami powers

      Thank you Bean, I consider that high praise indeed coming from you! And, yes, let’s plan on doing another shoot the next time I’m out. Those stunning girls of yours are almost old enough to start modeling 🙂

  2. Norman Ross Powers

    Lovely photos, East Twin. I like the sweet interpretations you made of various small sights around our house, including even the collander of garden apples on the deck as seen through an air vent in the unfinished laundry room! At the end of your stay it was difficult to let you go, although there was comfort in knowing that it’s a rich and busy life in Raleigh that called you home.

    • oami powers

      Thanks dad, I told Michela this, but I think you were at work already: your house feels like home to me and I always love being there with you two. Miss you already xxoo


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