That meanness reconnected me with so many people from my past and brought me closer to my family back home. My high school friends immediately began asking, “When are you coming to visit? Are you coming for your class reunion?” A lot of my friends were not in my class. Woody became militant and asked me every week. Sis begged me to visit. These were all friends I had not seen or talked to either since high school or while I was still in college.
Chaz and I went to Los Angeles 3 years ago to spend Thanksgiving with Dawn and her family. We also put together a mini-reunion with as many of our friends who could make it to her house. It was an amazing day seeing so many people after so long.
This trip we went down to Encinitas to see everyone. One of my neighborhood friends, I’ll call her Rad, hilariously volunteered another friend’s house in our Facebook messages. He graciously agreed to host and his wife did not quash it. He has a lovely wife, another of my friends from high school and funnily enough, they didn’t remember each other from high school. Life is funny that way sometimes.
We woke early the day of the reunion and had breakfast. There were a few places off of El Camino Real that are super food allergy friendly I wanted to try, but none of them were open yet. We wound up in downtown Encinitas in the old Lumberyard at Lotus Cafe & Juice Bar. A lot of healthy dishes and they lean towards vegetarian or vegan dishes. You see my tofu scramble with turkey bacon. I don’t normally eat turkey bacon. Okay, I never eat turkey bacon. Ain’t nothing like the real thing. Ya feel me? However, they didn’t have real bacon. Only turkey bacon or soy bacon. The food was a little bland, but I did enjoy the tofu scramble. It was the first time I had tofu scramble of any kind and my newly egg-free palate was momentarily happy. I also had a side of avocado. It was a full half sliced avocado. They also do fresh pressed juices and I partook of a carrot, beet, and celery juice that was a wonderful pick-me-up that morning.
We took some time after breakfast to drive around town. I had not been there in nearly 20 years and I had never taken Chaz there. We drove up and down El Camino Real so I could see all the changes in the businesses and show him where my parent’s computer store used to be. The shopping center still looks the same with the old brown painted wood and Spanish tile roofs with the door frames all painted a different primary color.
I managed to remember the back way to my schools even if I did miss the turn to show him Oak Crest Junior High. Ocean Knoll Elementary and San Dieguito Academy (San Dieguito High School when I went there) are across corners from each other so we drove by those two. There was a soccer game or something going on at Ocean Knoll and SDA was a ghost town.
It would have been nice to get out and walk around, but we didn’t have time. We didn’t even have time for Moonlight Beach! *le sigh*
We did have a great time with friends though. That was completely worth not having time at the beach. We sat around talking, laughing, and watching the kids play with each other. Some of the friends we saw the last time we all got together. Some of them, it was the first time getting together with all of us.
We caught up with each other and reminisced with stories of “back in the day.” We all went to high school together. Some of them I knew before high school. Many of us were in band together. Oh yes. My fellow band geeks unite!
Rad did all the food for the meal. Everyone brought little snacky foods. Somehow, I forgot all about the berries and fresh coconut we brought while everyone else was munching on cheese and crackers. Oh, well. I was really satisfied with everything Rad made. All without worry. Rad follows a Paleo diet for her health and even before we talked about little details, I knew I was in good hands. I think we all had a collective foodgasm. I even had seconds. Something I very rarely do. We decided she needs to open up a Paleo food truck. That would bring me back to Encinitas more for sure! Give her something to fix and she will do it on a grill. It doesn’t matter what it is.
It was a wonderful day and I was sad to go. Dawn said it well on Facebook that night, (how I remember it) it is great knowing that some friends are just as caring and genuine now as they were back then. I left with the best memory. We were all sitting around talking and someone said, “Mawwage.” Then we all chimed in, “Mawwage is what bwings us togeva todayyyy.”