In the spirit of celebrating Grandma Alla's birthday, we visited Alameda for the very first time with little Naomi. Strange to think that we literally haven't been back here for over a year. Even stranger to realize that as a pair, Nadia and I have actually been living in Los Angeles longer now than we had in Alameda. That's just crazy talk, but true.
Now it was time to finally brave the short travel from the warm never ending sunshine of southern California for the crisp air of the Bay Area, but this time, we were traveling with our precious baby girl to the place where her parents met and fell in love. So many memories, so many stories. Being back brings back thoughts of the days of school in the city, working as waiters and bartenters and hitting the gym together. And as I found myself thinking about those days, and how much our future's were shaped by our time here together, I can't help but feel like we were saying hello to an old friend, not for the last time of course, but definitely it felt like a kind of passing of the torch. It felt like we were visiting what used to be home, only now it's place has been taken by Los Angeles. Not because we like it more, but because Los Angeles is where we have rooted ourselves with our own story to tell. We have planted our own tree and have begun to grow our branches bearing whatever fruit we have to share with the world. Los Angeles is the birth place of Naomi. Our first born. It's also the place we got married. Call me sentimental if you will, but It's safe to say that Los Angeles is our home now.
So being back in Alameda, seeing our dear family and celebrating Alla's birthday and Naomi's sort-of home coming was definitely like seeing an old friend who has been dearly missed. We love the Bay Area, not just for the fact that our families are there, but also because of the foundation it gave to our relationship.
This trip was all about joy and surprise - Joy in knowing we would all have a weekend together to be like we once were, and giving Naomi the opportunity to witness this - Surprise because we completely surprised my Grandmother by not telling her we would be in town and surprising her at the Shipovsky home. It was also joyous because introduced Naomi to her Great Uncle....the one and only Toshka. A moment Nadia and I have been waiting for, for a long time.
Now that the weekend has come and gone, we bid farewell to celebrating another successful trip around the sun for Alla and saying hello to an old friend. Thanks for the hospitality Alameda.