I’ve been busy lately. It’s times like these when aspects of my life are pushed to the back burner (for example, I’m currently writing from a boutique hotel in Carmel Valley. I’m on a business trip and wanted to post this yesterday but time escaped me once again, impeccable illusionist).
Last Wednesday, I sent my dad an email with a list of links and descriptions of ideas of how we could spend Father’s Day. I spent the remaining evenings of that week grocery shopping, stocking up on hair product, filling out an amended tax return, then a trip to the post office, lawd knows what else…Plans for Father’s Day were the last thing on my mind (I was literally thinking I will cross that bridge when I get there).
Saturday, I’m standing at that bridge. At the top of our list was a Beer Brunch on the Hornblower Yacht that cruises around the bay with a breakfast buffet and open bar. Sold out. Alcatraz Island tours were booked into mid-August. The Oakland A’s game wouldn’t have worked out because we had dinner at a family friend’s house later that afternoon and, with the game starting at 1 p.m., we wouldn’t have had time to swing both. My list of suggestions was dwindling.
Luckily, where I live in California is quite diverse (the city is north, the beach is south, and I’m surrounded by the heart of Silicon Valley). In particular, the county where I live used to be known as The Valley of the Heart’s Delight since the entire area had been acres of orchards before the .com era and the subsequent tech boom. This state is known for a lot of things: Bay Area, redwoods, liberals, Hollywood, surfers; I heard once that there’s nothing Californian’s can’t cure with yoga and avocados (born & raised, I vouch it’s true). What’s often overlooked is California’s agriculture, where most of the avocados I eat are grown. Perfect weather and great farmers leads to plentiful produce and successful agri-business.
There are plenty farms around California where you can pick the fruit and pay by the pound. A about an hour or so due west of my house is Davenport (population 403) and ten miles north of that tiny town is another, Pescadero. Swanton U-pick farms can be found on those map dots and it just so happened that Father’s Day falls in mid-June, the end of strawberry season.
I woke up late Sunday morning with four hours of sleep from staying out until 7 a.m. doing lawd knows what with my friends. I also battled a mild hangover well into the afternoon (does being sick all day constitute a “mild” hangover? Let me revise: severe hangover). Sorry, Dad. It took all my willpower to dress myself and usher “Happy Father’s Day” with a sickly smile. The drive down to Pescadero was a freaking nightmare; I was nauseous the entire way. The coastal town was filled with local-tourists just-passing-through, while the sun was shining behind bright silver clouds, no heavy breeze rolling across the horizon. We were accompanied by other families, with children of all ages, on the same venture to pick fresh fruit off the vine.
We had both never picked strawberries before. I’m happy that we were able to enjoy that first experience together (while I was holding my shit together…trying to not yak on the plants or simply pass out from sheer exhaustion). I’m nearly a quarter of a century old and my father has got to be damn-near three times my age. I’m thrilled that you can live a life full of amazement and wonder as he has; yet, there will be infinite opportunities to try new things.
“I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.”
Anthony Bourdain said “I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.” He passed away last week (R.I.P, Legend. You inspired the billions of people on this small planet). I’m sure many of you can relate to this quote, I sure do. My dad is aging, as am I, and I appreciate all the moments I spend with him, doing things we do everyday, trying things we’ve never done before. We all know how important it is to spend time with our family, friends, lovers, and others. I truly appreciated this Father’s Day and look forward to the Father’s Days ahead of us.
Aside from feeling like a punk about my last-minute Father’s Day plans and being almost too hungover to function, I made a memo-to-self for next year:
- Plan far enough in advance
- Don’t stay out too late the night before
- Set an alarm for Sunday morning
- Have fun!
- Tell Dad you love him
Do you have Father’s Day traditions or festive suggestions?