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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Summer Day at Dolores Park

To: Maijken (mobile)
Delivered: Fri, May 29, 2008 8:57:23 PM
hey, wht r u doing this wkend?

To: Meghan (mobile)
Delivered: Fri, May 29, 2008 9:02:33 PM
don’t know, supposed 2 b nice outside. maybe dolores prk tomorrow?

To: Maijken (mobile)
Delivered: Fri, May 29, 2008 9:04:11 PM
ooo, yah! i have never been but hear it is super fun.

To: Maijken (mobile)
Delivered: Fri, May 29, 2008 8:57:23 PM
ok, heron and jess want to come 2! bring some snacks and drinks, and we will lay on blankets and just hang out in the sun! dont 4get sunscrn!

On Saturday, I come to at first light and gather my goodies for the park: California Dreamin’ sandwiches from Safeway, white cheddar Cheez-Its, blankets, a sweater, a pack of wine coolers, sunglasses, water, and chapstick. I forget sunscreen. I turn lobster-red when I spend more than 20 minutes in the sun without slathering an SPF 30 over every inch of exposed skin. (I ignored this fact most of my life, which is why I’m wrinkling at age 23.) Nowadays, I try to lather up every morning, even in the middle of December when I wear a jacket, scarf and gloves most of the day. I realize this won’t reverse my already crinkled under-eyes, but a girl can dream, can’t she?

Anyway, by noon Darren and I are on our way to Dolores Park in the Mission. We arrive at the grassy hill to find hundreds of people already camped out for the day, with similar supplies as the ones we have in our grocery bags. I’m sure someone here has sunscreen I could borrow...

“Hey, where are you guys?” Darren’s already on his cell phone, trying to track down Maijken and Jason through the blanket of San Franciscans.

“We’re over here, on the North side of the hill, next to a bunch of balloons. See us?” Jason’s voice echos, bouncing off Darren’s earpiece. After a few minutes, we find them with Heron, Jess, and a few other people we’ve met since living in the city. They’re squished onto two blankets in a sunny spot on the grass, sipping beer and wine coolers and munching on pretzels and strawberries.

That’s what I love about San Francisco: any day can turn into a picnic, no matter the time of year. Case in point, I’ve spent a sunny day at the beach in November AND worn a tank top on February 1st. Both times I got sunburnt.

Today feels like summer. The girls dress in skirts and sleeveless tops, and the guys don t-shirts and shorts. When a four-person band sets up next to us and starts playing a rock song that I don’t recognize but find attractive, I bob to the beat and settle in for an unrivaled summery day.


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