. After leaving a good ring of dirt in the tub and smelling fresh we headed out to explore the Oakland area.
This afternoon was a slightly bittersweet affair as the item at the top of our list was going to take some flowers to Great Aunt Lou at the Crematorium in Oakland. But, we managed to get some beautiful red antheriums, find her 'book' in the Serenity Room and spend a little time remembering her and her life. It was a bit emotional, in particular for Jess who has known her so well and for so long, and for dear Lily who is keyed into emotions and seeing her Mum cry, made her a bit soppy as well. To me, the highlight was when we left the crematorium and started telling "Louly stories" as we drove all around the neighborhood where she had lived for so long. We visited 5608 Glenbrook Drive where she had lived and Jess told us about the time that she had spilled her container of "slime" all over the beautiful carpet in Lou and Pat's house. This was after she had been explicitly warned about being super careful. She also recollected when she and Ben used to sneak into the super nice and formal dining area which was always roped off for their visit. Lou could always tell when they had been in there due to the way that she vacuumed the carpet, but Lou being Lou, she never really told them off. It was great to see the kids beginning to put all the pieces of families and histories together and how they are also becoming a part of that fabric.
We even began to joke around by telling Tutu and One-One stories….. But, by far the part of the afternoon and evening that everyone was looking forward to was our dinner out at the famous and long-standing Fenton's Creamery in Oakland. Jess and her family have been going there for years and it was our turn as Heidmanns to go there and introduce a new generation to this Oakland institution. I could detail the meal that we all had, but by far the best part to detail was the sundaes that we ordered for dessert. Eli had bubble gum ice cream topped with whipped cream, a cherry and hot fudge sauce. Lily had bubble gum ice cream with whipped cream, a cherry and marshmallow topping. Jess had chocolate chip cookie dough and heath bar ice cream topped with whipped cream, a cherry and marshmallow and caramel topping. And, Tim had chocolate and peanut butter crunch and heath bar ice cream with whipped cream, a cherry and fudge and caramel topping. The toppings and ice cream cascaded out and over the sundae dishes and pooled on the plate at the bottom. All of our eyes were huge with delight and we got stuck in and made proper swines out of ourselves. It was a perfect end to a day and stroll down Jess's memory lane which we were all honored to be a part of. Tomorrow, the Heidmanns do San Francisco.
Eager to get on the road to San Francisco, we were up early and were on the road out of Yosemite by 8am. We had a straight forward drive to Oakland, where our motel was booked, and arrived into Emeryville at 11:30am. Since it was too early to check into the hotel and because we are aware of the need to be outfitting our flat in August, we took advantage of the opportunity to do a 'wee' walk-around, plan and mental shop in IKEA. We were able to look at different options for the kids' beds and had a generally good "nose" of the joint. This visit also doubled as an opportunity to get some lunch into our bellies and we dined at the IKEA restaurant for lunch. Then, just around the corner from IKEA and from Extended Stay was Trader Joe's. Well, knowing that we were heading to a room with a fridge, we stopped in and got enough groceries and food to last us for 3-4 days. Then we checked into the hotel and headed to our room with two luggage trolleys piled high and moved into our new home base by the middle of the afternoon. SHOWER TIME came next for all of us as it had been a fairly dusty last night in Yosemite's Crane Flat Campground and three days since any of us had bathed