Skip to content


December 29, 2011

I’ve given up coffee for the impressive tally of about 7 days so far. The kids are watching me to see if something interesting might happen, like perhaps I’ll unravel from some hidden seam in my scalp. Oh, I do love coffee. But I’m drinking black tea instead, which is a little, well, brothy, but also pleasing in a 3 cups/day with cream and a brownie sort of way. (Coffee abstinence is temporary, my parents don’t drink it and I’m trying to decrease the nuttiness after showing up with two gluten-free kids who need to be fed every 2 hours)

Every day at some point we walk to La Loma park. It warms my heart that Col and Rose still love playing at parks. I typically roam around making dorky comments about how in Colorado we call this spring, har har, while Col tricycles, brakeless, down the hill (pictured above) which sets off small Vesuvius-like eruptions in my nervous system.

The view from La Loma: San Francisco and the Bay.

Here’s the thing about cities. You want a book by Thich Nhat Hahn? Just head to The Buddhist Bookstore on Durant and Oxford and get yourself one. You want a gourmet scoop of vegan ice cream that has only 3 ingredients, one of which is pumpkin seeds or quince or saffron? No problem: check out Sorbet on Telegraph Ave. You want to take your kids to Ethiopian food where they can eat with their fingers? (sanctioned, not like at home)

The Red Sea on Claremont: One communal plate shared amongst fourteen hands. I have no idea what I ate but it was amazing. Plus, Durango ex-pats, Audrey and Ryan and their girls!

Also, a pile of cousins:

I love how kids who see each other once a year need about 30 minutes to warm up to each other before wrestling.

Today Baba and Col built lego spaceships and launched them to Mars, which Baba explained would take 90 days. They walked very slowly.

I can’t imagine what my parents do for fun when the kids aren’t around.

Rose’s M.O. is to get as physically close as possible at all times to Nana, who soaks it up graciously, although when we first got here she had a dream that the radio was on really loud and she couldn’t turn it off..

We played hide and seek in the big ferns at Tilden Park.

And got mesmerized by the dance of the live oaks.

And I feel a little like a cheesy real estate agent for the Bay Area, but hey: what a wonderful place!

*** ** *** ** *** ** *** ** ***

In other news, I wrote this essay that got published on the website Motherlode about how our family celebrates a little of everything (Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, The Holy Eggnog) and how it hasn’t always been easy or natural. How I learned to let Christmas in even though it felt a little like a bothersome stranger knocking on the door late at night. And how over the years our holiday mashup has evolved into its own beautiful, untraditional stew of flavors and please don’t ask my kids if they think Santa is real.

Oh, and one more thing. Motherlode pays by the click, which means if you click on over (and share with your community) I get paid, which is special. Love to you all!

15 Comments leave one →
  1. abozza permalink
    December 29, 2011 7:32 am

    Rachel, Only you could find the nature in the city! Love it!

  2. December 29, 2011 9:17 am

    Totally sharing (and I can honestly say this before I even read it. ’cause I always love whatcha gotta say)
    Headed to the city today (SEATTLE) all by MYSELF to attend a good friend’s wedding and eat food in places like you mentioned and probably wonder what on earth to do with my own self. write? read? eat sea salted dark chocolate? so many choices!

  3. teresa permalink
    December 29, 2011 9:42 am

    love it! shared the article. i feel like it applies to soooo many families that we are friends with. i adore a mis-mosh of celebrations and family traditions. xoxo

  4. December 29, 2011 10:09 am

    Great blog! I love all your images of half-dressed kids… looks like my house! ;)

  5. December 29, 2011 10:17 am

    Lovely article! Looks like you are having fun in the city. Ethiopian food is my favorite by the way…. that picture made me drool!

  6. Michele permalink
    December 29, 2011 10:58 am

    Looks like your parents no longer live in the house I remember. Jealous of your Berkeley time!!!

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      December 29, 2011 4:44 pm

      Michele, no longer that house on Prince St. They moved when I was 16. Every now and then I visit the Prince St house and blow my mind with memories.

      xo Rachel

  7. December 29, 2011 11:41 am

    These photos are truly lovely. Looks like you are having a wonderful time! Congrats on making it 7 days without coffee….that’s impressive:)))))

  8. December 29, 2011 5:07 pm

    We are Ethiopian food fans, and it’s seriously one of the reasons we can’t move too far away from the city. And cousins playing? So jealous. Wish my kids had that.

    Clicking over to Motherlode now. Later gator! (And Happy New Year my friend).

  9. December 30, 2011 12:46 am

    Sweet! I love all the big smiles! I’ll go check out your article.

  10. Ruth permalink
    January 3, 2012 5:48 pm

    I love the photo of grandmother holding granddaughter, all smiles.

    At this moment I am enjoying okra with “Durango Hickory Flake Salt”. The salt is delicious and really taste like hickory. I am not sure if it truly comes from Durango but it is wonderful.

    (My dad gave me a box set of salts for Christmas, which I just love. Dad and mom both live (separately ; ) ) in the Bay Area)

  11. January 4, 2012 9:14 am

    I love Rose’s Pink Cowgirl Boots! My maddie had 3 pairs over the years moving into new ones as her feet grew and she literally wore the old ones out. So so precious!!!

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      January 10, 2012 1:18 pm


      They are a definite staple, even though they put Rose slightly taller than Col (poor brother). they’re hand-me-down’s from a bigger friend who apparently got a new, bigger pair after passing these to Rose, so I think we’ll be in hand-me-down luck for many years.

      xo Rachel

  12. January 4, 2012 4:59 pm

    Rose’s pink boots kill me. That girl has such fabulous style!

  13. January 5, 2012 7:07 pm

    oh that description of the vesuvius eruptions… i get that too. i feel so validated. i feel you on the coffee, although for me it’s a permanent condition (i let myself have a sip on holidays… but haven’t had a migraine since i quit, kind of a bittersweet result….)

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I love hearing from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s